New Year, New Us

If you’re reading this then congratulations, you survived the carbohydrate onslaught of Christmas and may just live long enough to see Yooka-Laylee reach the shops (we’ll certainly be doing much detoxing until then, burp).

We’re kicking off the new year with a small, employment-related post today but rest assured: we’re currently working on a much larger update for later this month with information on, among other things, how Kickstarter backers will be able to change platforms and upgrade to physical versions.

If you haven’t already pre-ordered Yooka-Laylee and unlocked the Toybox, you can do so from many fine establishments including Steam, GOG, GAME UK, the PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store. For those who’ve already backed us, we thank you very much for your support.


Veterans Yay

Arriving just in time to light the cigars at the Yooka-Laylee launch party and take a well-earned break, it’s our latest Playtonic hires!

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of supreme scheduler Andy Wilson, who joins as producer, and handheld honcho Gary Richards, who joins our design team. The 20-year game veterans have entered the Playtonic office hungry to help us improve – and not just in the average employee age department.

Andy and Gary here, proudly posed in front of the Playtonic Joiner’s Bush

Here’s their RPG backstory:

Like all good and proper developers, Andy and Gary have a history in QA (and NOT hard crime, as some have suggested). The former acted as tester on Diddy Kong Racing and lead tester on Banjo-Kazooie, while the latter attempted to break countless classics across NES, SNES, Game Boy and N64.

By the late 90s the pair had moved full-time into both design and primates; Andy joined the design team on Donkey Kong 64, while Gary helmed Game Boy title Donkey Kong Land 3.

“It’s great to be back with a small team in control of their own destiny”

For Andy, the dabble in design kick-started a 15-year career in production across almost 10 platforms and 20 titles, including Banjo-Tooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Jetpac Refuelled and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

Gary’s design debut meanwhile paved the way for a similarly glitzy career. Gary went on to become Head of Handheld department at Rare and lead design on all portable titles, including the likes of Conker’s Pocket Tales, Sabre Wulf, Banjo Pilot and Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise.

Gary gasped: “Having spent over two decades working with most of the guys at Rare, I already know what a talented and awesome team I have joined. I can sense great things ahead.”

Andy added: “A couple of years ago, I thought it was time to grow up and jumped into the world of commercial software. Then Playtonic came knocking and that itch to get back into game development became too hard to resist. It’s great to be back with a small team in control of their own destiny.”

Welcome aboard, gents!

Ear’s a Freebie

Red sky at night… aural delight

Later this month Official PlayStation Magazine UK is offering its readers a very special newsstand treat; a free Yooka-Laylee music sample CD!

This one-of-a-kind aural delight contains a handful of tracks from the final game. To get your hands on it, British residents can simply visit newsstands from January 17. Alternatively, the issue can be purchased online via the website for worldwide delivery.

In addition to the pretty excellent free gift, there’s a ton of new game details and images in the issues. It’s not to be missed!