Yooka-Laylee = Banjo-Kazooie by ex-Rare Playtonic

So the latest Kickstarter success story is Yooka-Laylee which met its funding goal within 40 minutes, and has over £1 million in less than 24 hrs. Not sure if these were mainly popular in Europe, but were were many clones of the basic concept. It’s a 3D buddy platformer along the lines of Banjo-Kazooie made by much of the same team of ex-Rare devs. It’s been a while since we saw a good one, and this is pretty much the ideal dev team to bring it back. Their lead platform this time is PC, which is great, but they’ve already met their “bring it to the consoles” stretch goal. Apparently the game was getting made anyway, but the KS campaign was to add content, features and polish.

Oh, and I endorse the choice of reptilian and chiropteran heroes. :)

I’m very surprised by how quickly the goal was reached. And then when that huge list of stretch goals was shown, I was thinking “awww man, they’ll probably never get all the way down to porting the game to current-gen consoles, which is where a game like this should be played”. And then, a day later, they had already passed that bottom stretch goal and had to reveal more. So what is it, 39 more days to go in the Kickstarter campaign? I wonder if they can keep coming up with stretch goals to keep pulling people in.

I’m interested in this game but the Kickstarter seems really disingenuous to me. The goal was extremely low and if they follow social media at all it was blatantly obvious that interest was through the roof.

Maybe. But what about Kickstarter fatigue and all that? I thought their goals were in keeping with that factor. I don’t want to contribute because of that factor.

Well I hadn’t even heard of this game before the Kickstarter campaign, so I’m sure it’s increased the audience substantially. Plus they’re quite open about the purpose behind the KS: to add bells and whistles. I do hope they don’t go down the endless stretch goals route though. As someone pointed out in the discussion about stretch goals, hiring more people to get the game done quicker would be the best one, rather than it causing the game’s development to balloon out like it usually does.

I hope you didn’t back the Wii U version. It’s cancelled:

Why have you transferred development from Wii U?

Despite our best efforts and exploring every possible avenue over, we’ve unfortunately encountered unforeseen technical issues that mean it will be impossible for us to release the game on Wii U as initially planned.

We can however confirm the exciting news that we are now working very closely with Nintendo to look to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch. We’re looking forward to exploring the opportunity and will have more details to share early next year.

All Wii U backers can move their pledge free-of-charge to any of the versions launching on April 11th (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac or Linux) or upgrade to the Nintendo Switch version when we announce further details in 2017.

I would hope they wouldn’t even mention the Switch at this point if they weren’t certain they’ll be able to make it happen there. But I’m curious how long it will take to arrive there.

Or, you know, have your money back?

I mean, they should offer a refund, but it’s hard to believe there are many Wii-U owners out there who don’t have another console and don’t plan to buy a Switch. I’m fairly confident that the intersection of those people with backers of a non-licensed reboot of an N64 franchise is an empty set.

They address that later in the FAQ:

I chose Wii U as my platform. Can I get a refund?

All affected Wii U backers can choose another platform to receive a digital copy of Yooka-Laylee for, at no extra cost to their existing pledge (already at more than 50% discount to retail). Wii U backers can also choose to wait for updates on the Nintendo Switch early next year.

However, if you would like to discuss a refund please contact us via the Backer messaging system for Kickstarter.

(or if you are without a Kickstarter account then via [email protected])

Multiplayer trailer

Its not the main game that’s MP right. These are minigames?

Correct. These are just multiplayer minigames.

The actual game looks more like this (from E3 2016):

Incidentally, there’s supposed to be multiplayer in the main game mode as well, where you control the “bee team” picking up collectibles. No details available on that yet.

Looks like Jon"amateur white supremacist"Tron is out of the game.

“We would like to make absolutely clear that we do not endorse or
support JonTron’s personal viewpoints and that, as an external fan
contributor, he does not represent Playtonic in any capacity,” they
added. “Playtonic is a studio that celebrates diversity in all forms and
strives to make games that everyone can enjoy. As such, we deeply
regret any implied association that could make players feel anything but
100% comfortable in our game worlds, or distract from the incredible
goodwill and love shown by our fans and Kickstarter backers.”

Apparently only congressmen can get away with saying deplorable shit without consequences.

Review copies are going out to some folks, and the early impressions aren’t great.

Unity performance hitches seem to be an issue.

Is it selfish if I want this game to fail so my brain doesn’t have to awkwardly chew on the name of the title every time I see it?

Jim Sterling has said a few bits on his podcast to the tune of

If you pre-ordered this, you might want to think twice.

On the other hand, I’m seeing some early impressions from others going the other way, and even going so far as to wonder if some people have a bad/old build. Not sure what’s up at this point.

Guess we’ll have to wait until after the embargo.

Sterling is a harsh critic, he is kind of like an identity politics reviewer. If there is one issue he dislikes, it really makes him dislike the game as a whole. (framerates, frivolous survival mechanics, fee to play stuff) So, it doesn’t surprise me that little issues can be a big deal for that guy.

It is still very early on.

Performance issues for some seems like a solvable problem though. I’m more interested in whether the game itself is any good.