Mark Cerny along with a number of Japan Studio's staff spoke with IGN recently and had quite a few bits of interesting information to share regarding both Knack 2 and its predecessor's development. The original Knack released on 2013 as part of the PS4's exclusive launch games available. It sold over 1 million copies despite the poor critical reception for the game. Art Director Yoshiaki Yamaguchi and Vice President of Japan Studio Allan Becker explained some of the problems they experienced with the original Knack's development,
Because it was a PS4 launch title, the first Knack had incredibly tight schedules and…that meant we had a limited amount of time, and the deadlines came before we could figure out how to implement some of the ideas we wanted to include. So I've always had a strong desire to revisit the Knack IP with a sequel.
It was a brand new IP, brand new team and incredible tight schedules, and we just felt that there was so much left undone.
With these words, Studio Japan clearly admits that the original Knack was undoubtedly rushed. That may explain the poor critical reception for the game as there was little depth in the franchise's original entry. The game, in fact, had a lot of shortcomings. These included a tiny amount platforming, extremely dull and repetitive combat with only one melee combo to use against an also very small variety of enemies, as well as the frustration of not being able to change Knack's size at will. Fortunately for the sequel, Cerny mentioned that the feedback provided for Knack 1 was deeply taken into consideration and further influenced Knack 2's development as a result,
We have been listening to all the feedback provided on Knack 1, definitely…that's influenced us in a great number of ways. In combat, Knack feels bigger because we're careful not to scale the enemies to the same speed as Knack. Or, we're allowing Knack to change size because it was clear that there was a desire for a bit more freedom in the gameplay. It's been very influential for us on the game.
Clearly Knack 2 is taking the franchise to a whole new level as can be appreciated by those that played the original. Be sure to check out a new impressive-looking 12-minute gameplay clip that showcases the improvements made to combat, co-op and platforming. Knack 2 will release on the PS4 on September 5th, 2017 at just $39.99 USD.