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Phil Tossell

Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic has been adding talent from Rare on a regular basis since its inception. This past week, yet another staffer from that company joined the team – at least temporarily.

Playtonic has welcomed Phil Tossell, who was the coding lead on both Star Fox Adventures and Kameo. He’s also one of the co-founders of Tengami maker Nyamyam.

Playtonic tweeted out the following:

Based on a tweet from Tossell, it sounds like he’s still on with Nyamyam:

Thanks to Jake for the tip.


Update: Nyamyam also added the following on Twitter…

Nyamyam hasn’t disclosed any specific sales figures for Tengami, but the studio says that the game’s performance on Wii U has been “somewhat disappointing”.

Co-creator Phil Tossell told Nintendo Life in a recent interview:

Tengami has done very well for us on iOS. No doubt the worldwide Editor’s Choice was a large contributing factor. I hate to think what might have happened had we not been featured. I’d say that the Wii U sales have been somewhat disappointing. Although we had much lower expectations than iOS, I think even taking that into consideration we’ve been disappointed with the sales so far.

Tengami has been out on Wii U for about two months. Hopefully the game’s sales can pick up over time!


Kameo: Elements of Power wasn’t always planned as an Xbox 360 title. Rare was initially making the project for the GameCube alongside the likes of Donkey Kong Racing.

In the end, Microsoft ended up purchasing Rare, and Kameo was moved to the Xbox (ultimately the Xbox 360). But you may be interested to hear that the GameCube release, while “quite a different game” on the platform, “was quite far along.”

Former Rare staffer Phil Tossell said on Twitter:


Back in the day, Rare was one of Nintendo’s top studios. The company really came into its own during the N64 era. Rare ended up creating Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, GoldenEye 007, and plenty of other prominent titles.

Perhaps it was due to Rare’s success that Nintendo was a bit jealous of the studio. Former staffer and Nyamyam co-founder Phil Tossell has said that “Nintendo were often quite envious of us.”

Tossell told RetroGamer this month, “I got the feeling they thought our games were technically and artistically superior to theirs.” He also spoke about a rumor in which Nintendo recreated all of the textures in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time after seeing what Rare had done with Banjo-Kazooie since Rare’s title “looked better”.

Tossell’s comments came about when asked if Nintendo ever shared code with Rare considering the Big N had a large stake in the company. He said:

No, we never had the Zelda engine or any code they did! We did see an early version of Zelda and that was a big influence on Dinosaur Planet, though. Nintendo were often quite envious of us. I got the feeling they thought our games were technically and artistically superior to theirs. Miyamoto would visit regularly and I heard a rumor they redid all of the textures on Zelda after they’d seen our work on Banjo-Kazooie because our game looked better!

Thanks to joclo for the tip.

Rare was originally developing Dinosaur Planet for the N64. However, the project was cancelled, and ultimately saw a complete transformation. The final game ended up as Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube.

Former Rare staffer Phil Tossell spoke about what the studio initially had in store for Dinosaur Planet while speaking with Retro Gamer this month. Tossell revealed that the project “was supposed to be a hybrid of Diddy Kong Racing and an adventure game.”

“Actually, it was supposed to be a hybrid of Diddy Kong Racing and an adventure game. Every level would have some kind of track in it and a race as part of the story. It took a while to settle down…”

One reason why Dinosaur Planet turned into a Star Fox title was because of Shigeru Miyamoto’s feeling that some of the characters between the two were similar in appearance. To say the least, Rare welcomed the opportunity to work on one of Nintendo’s legendary franchises.

“It seemed like a no-brainer. They’re offering this great character from this great franchise! I was attached to Dinosaur Planet but I love the original Star Fox. Our only concerns were how we could fit it into this game we have.”

Thanks to joclo for the tip.

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