What does this mean for Carl Winslow’s chances?
[Header art by Yong Dasom]
Shovel Knight gets around. I’m yet to see a complete timeline of all the games he’s appeared in (though this list comes close), presumably because it’s too much for anyone to keep track of, and the list just keeps on growing. Being an Assist Trophy in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s also set to appear in one form or another in No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again,Blade Strangers, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Knight, Indivisible, Indie Pogo, Rivals of Aether,and so many more, including at least one game that I can’t tell you about.
I’ve talked to Shovel Knight’s creators in the past about how some think their darling boy has become over-exposed. They totally understand the criticism, and are doing more to respond to it than you might think. Behind the scenes, they gently and respectfully turn down requests for Shovel Knight cameos all the time. You can imagine that plenty of indie devs have seen how a surprise appearance from the Blue Burrower gets headlines, and then ask Yacht Club if they can get in on the action just for attention. This is the kind of thing Shovel Knight‘s creators are more likely to turn down.
The team at Gutter Arcade, creators of Knight Club, decided on a different approach. They generally don’t like the idea of guest characters for their games, as they feel it waters down the unique flavor of their original work, so while they love Shovel Knight, they would never ask him to join the knight club in, er, Knight Club. Their feelings on the matter are so strong that they made a video about it,in hopes that it would both get a laugh, and also communicate some of their values in game design.
I hope it doesn’t start a trend though. I’m in the camp that loves seeing Shovel Knight pop up all over the place. If it were up to me, he’d be in 1001 games for 1001 years.