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Yooka-Laylee features a chameleon and bat as the platformer’s main characters. However, those two didn’t start out as the initial ideas.

Responding to one fan in a Reddit AMA, Playtonic’s Steve Mayles revealed that he initially wanted to have a tiger in Yooka-Laylee. The team also considered a witch and a broom with eyes.

Mayles’ full comments are as follows:

My initial idea was a tiger as they are great-looking animals, but he never got past the sketch phase. He was deemed a bit too much of a ‘hero’ when all of my past characters were more like underdogs. We even tried a witch and a broom with eyes at one point!


Playtonic revealed a new character for Yooka-Laylee today. We have a first look at the Ghost Writers, a type of enemy in the game.

Playtonic said of the Ghost Writers in its latest blog post:

In their physical days these articulate phantoms were the scribes behind Yooka-Laylee’s mysterious book worlds. However, following their suspicious demise the Ghost Writers’ unsettled souls are now cursed to endlessly wander their creations in search of spectre salvation. Free their spirits for a special reward…

Yooka-Laylee’s creative lead, Gavin Price explains: “The Ghost Writers haunting the book worlds will add a fun twist to collecting. There are a variety of different types hidden in every world, each with their own unique requirement for being caught.

“Mix that with the different areas in which you’ll find them, and hopefully they’ll result in a fresh challenge with every encounter. They’re like a living (un-living?) collectible.”

Character artist at large, Mr. Steve(n) Mayles described the design process behind his band of ghouls: “As these characters aren’t based on any particular creature, it was good fun to go a bit crazy with them. And we are crazy guys at Playtonic Towers… never a dull moment, etc.

“The ghost was originally going to be one character, but I sketched so many thumbnails (50+) it sparked the idea of having 5 separate ghosts with different abilities.”

Yooka-Laylee will launch in Wii U in October 2016.


Beta64 recently had an opportunity to speak with some of the folks at Playtonic. The developers talked all about its upcoming game Yooka-Laylee, but there was a decent amount of chatter about Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 as well. Check out the interview in full below.

Yooka-Laylee’s Kickstarter campaign has been updated with yet another stretch goal. At £2 million, the studio will prepare DLC that will be free to backers. This content will only be created once the game itself has been completed.

Playtonic wrote in a Kickstarter update:

Smashing it up like a student in Yates’s, Yooka-Laylee backers have strawpedo’d their way through the latest stretch goal, and so now an orchestral soundtrack will be enjoyed by all. But before you stumble towards the high street intending to disseminate a large donner meat and chips – wait, because there’s more…

The entire Playtonic team would like to offer its sincere thanks to everyone who has backed the Yooka-Laylee campaign so far. Our intention from the beginning was to use Kickstarter as a means to improve our game, and by helping us reach an incredible £1.5 million you’ve shaped it into one fine specimen.

From the start of the campaign we also pledged to do best by your amazing support by only setting stretch goals that would improve the game, without negatively affecting core development.

Our next stretch goal, if reached, will be used only to further improve and polish Yooka-Laylee, and give something back for your amazing support. Namely, we’ll release our first post-release DLC pack free of charge for all backers.

When – and only when – we’ve finished and shipped the full version of Yooka-Laylee, we’ll start work on additional content that will be distributed to backers free of charge for their platform of choice. And again, all additional funding will of course go towards improving and polishing the game.

You can donate to the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter campaign here. It ends on June 16.


Update: Yooka-Laylee has now reached £1.5 million on Kickstarter, which means that the game will be receiving an orchestral soundtrack (thanks Maxime).

Playtonic shared a first look today at one of Yooka-Laylee’s support characters. It’s none other than Trowzer, who is pictured above.

Playtonic posted the following description of the character on its website:

Trowzer is a business-snake whose career never took off. Not that he knows it – the smug, serpent salesman thinks he’s the bee’s knees (not that he has knees), and for a little dosh he’ll teach you some of the slick moves he picked up on the high-stakes sales floor.

Yooka-Laylee’s creative lead, Gavin Price, shared the following about Trowzer:

Trowzer thinks of himself as the best salesman ever, but with his downbeat appearance and 1980’s mobile phone, life never took off for him. He’ll take your money and count it (he’s an Adder…) and because he knows best he’ll even demonstrate the moves you just bought for you to replicate… if you can follow his jiggling.

Character artist Steve Mayles added:

I didn’t want him to be a snake in the traditional sense, and when Gav suggested he should have shorts on (do I have to add shorts to all of my characters?!), a great idea for this was his body could curl back up through the other leg hole. So he’ll move with a certain springiness, which will be fun to animate.

We’ve now seen three core characters from Yooka-Laylee. Along with Trowzer, players will take control of both Yooka and Laylee. You can read up on their naming origins here.


Yooka-Laylee’s Kickstarter success is no secret. The campaign reached its $270,000 target in under an hour, and has gone on to raise over $2.1 million.

The strong support demonstrated for Yooka-Laylee is leading to a couple of records. First, the title reached $1 million in funding faster than any other game on Kickstarter. It’s also on track to be the most-successful game campaign in the UK.

Developer Playtonic confirmed on Twitter a few minutes ago:

The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter is located here. Amazingly enough, there are 41 days left before it ends!


Playtonic’s new 3D platformer is called “Yooka-Laylee”. As it turns out, those are also the names of the game’s lead characters. Yooka is the chameleon while Laylee is the bat.

So how’d Playtonic come up with those names anyway? In a new website interview, artist Greg Mayles explained:

It was planned like this from the start. Yes, that’s right. It wasn’t just a happy coincidence that ‘Ukulele’ splits so well into two character names, honest.

Actually, someone on the team picked up a Hawaiian dictionary and apparently ‘’uku’ means ‘a small brained person’ and ‘lele’ means ‘to fly’ or, excitingly, ‘to get off of a vehicle’. That’s definitely not a coincidence either.

Yooka-Laylee came to Kickstarter last week, and quickly surpassed its $270,000 funding goal. Over $2.1 million has been raised thus far.


Yooka-Laylee’s Kickstarter hasn’t slowed down since launching on Friday. The campaign has smashed through another two stretch goals within the past day or so. Playtonic will now create a N64 shader mode, a credits “GK Rap + Video” written by Grant Kirkhope, and a developer walkthrough/commentary video.

Yooka-Laylee is closing it at nearly $1.9 million on Kickstarter. 44 days remain before the Kickstarter campaign ends, so there’s plenty of time for additional stretch goals. The latest one, coming in at £1.5 million, will allow for an orchestral score.

Head on over to this page for the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter.

Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter hasn’t slowed down since launching yesterday. The campaign has now raised over £1 million, and all stretch goals have been reached. Yooka-Laylee had already been guaranteed for Wii U, but thanks to the Kickstarter success, it will be on the platform day-one alongside all other consoles.

Here’s a look at all cleared Kickstarter stretch goals:


Next up for Yooka-Laylee is a N64 shader mode and a credits “GK Rap + Video” written by Grant Kirkhope. This will be confirmed at £1.1 million. Also planned is a developer walkthrough and commentary video at £1.2 million.

You can check out Yooka-Laylee on Kickstarter here.

Yooka-Laylee composer Grant Kirkhope has shared the first piece of music from Playtonic’s new 3D platformer. The track is simply called “Jungle”, and should play out in the relevant level. You can have a listen below.