With a team consisting almost entirely of former Rare developers, Derby-based studio Playtonic Games is no stranger to crafting iconic characters. After all, this is the pool of talent that gave us Banjo, Kazooie and most of the modern Donkey Kong clan. So with its Kickstarter campaign for old school 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee bagging its £175k goal within 38 minutes of its launch, we're all beginning to wonder how the new buddy duo will fare in a genre typified by some of gaming's biggest names?
Turns out the creations of its past (including that Jiggy-obsessed bear) have pushed Playtonic to rethink how it approaches Yooka and Laylee's moveset. "As much as I love Banjo, he never did anything that said 'I'm a bear'," comments MD and creative lead Gavin Price in the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine. "He was basically a man in a bear costume!"
So when it comes to the developer's new cutesy leads, it was all about being true to their respective species. "We wanted them to stand out on their own," adds Price. "The bat's going to be the crazier, cheekier one and the chameleon's more sensible."
With the game only a few month's into proper development, Price and co are understandably stingy on all the juicy details, but the creative lead does offer an intriguing insight into the adaptive qualities of the cool chameleon, Yooka. "... when you eat larger, more significant objects the texture of the chameleon will change to reflect what he's eaten," reveals Price. "For example, if you were having to go across a windy ledge, and you ate a big rock, you'd see him go all 'rock textured' and... all of his movements all of a sudden would be a bit forced and slow and solid because he's heavier now."
The latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine is out now, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 on the cover. Want to read more about Yooka-Laylee? Buy a copyhereorsubscribe (opens in new tab)to future issues.