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Playtonic talks Yooka-Laylee – not wanting to copy Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country inspiration, more

Posted on June 22, 2015 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii U

The latest Yooka-Laylee comes from Polygon, who sat down with Grant Kirkhope and Andy Robinson to discuss the 3D platformer. The two commented on topics such as not wanting to copy Banjo-Kazooie, taking inspiration (and elements) from Donkey Kong Country, and more.

Head past the break for a roundup of the Q&A. You can find Polygon’s original piece here.

Kirkhope and Robinson on how it’s not like Banjo…

“We’re trying to make something fresh. It’s not just a retro remake.” – Kirkhope

“It was very important for us, with the Kickstarter, to have a lot of the Banjo-Kazooie-isms front and center, because that’s what we were selling. We’re the core Banjo team and we’re making a spiritual successor. When people went to that page, they saw a buddy duo in a colorful jungle world collecting things while a tune played that sounded like Banjo-Kazooie. But the team isn’t satisfied to trade on nostalgia. We don’t want to make a knockoff. It’s about capturing a tone and a style of game more than it’s about just replicating everything. They want to do new stuff now.” – Robinson

Robinson on collectibles and Play Tonics…

“The collectibles in the game need to be meaningful. Play Tonics bring in a player choice element. You can equip one or two of them and they’ll have game-changing properties. You might go for more damage or be able to glide further or swim for longer. Not only does that have a player choice impact on how you play, but you could have some secrets in the game that you’ll only be able to get with those choices.

Robinson on taking inspiration from Donkey Kong Country…

“DKC was the precursor to Banjo-Kazooie. There are elements of that we want to put in as well. We have mine car sections and retro mini-games that can be unlocked in each world.”

Kirkhope on whether or not Yooka-Laylee’s villain will be a witch who speaks in rhyme, like Banjo’s fondly-recalled Gruntilda…

“There’s no witch. We’re picking out the best bits of the Banjo games and bringing them forward, adding new ideas.”

Robinson on how Yooka has more moves…

“We asked ourselves, which kinds of creatures would have interesting moves? Hopefully, in the final game, it’ll be a bit more interesting to play than in the past.”

Kirkhope on how the advance in technology allows for more things to be done…

“There’s tons of stuff I couldn’t do then that I can do now. Back then you only had 16 tracks of music. Now I can just do what I like. It’ll be way more vibrant and way more interactive.”


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