PLAYTONIC LABOUR UPDATE – October 2015

Work continues unperturbed in the energy factory that is the Playtonic Games office. Now occupied by some 14 chairs (and another one that I may have managed to snap in half with my arse), it certainly feels like there’s more going on here than in our previous corridor-come-workspace, where only the occasional sound of Steve Mayles shuffling his FHM collection pierced the eternal, cold silence.

Ghosty
Really in to soul music.

It’s been almost three months since the door slammed shut on our stellar crowdfunding effort for Yooka-Laylee, and you can see that time represented in pretty polygon things animating on our array of monitors.

After just a few months the game’s various environments are taking shape and the very first world is fleshed out and running. This is one of the most challenging constructions of the project, since as well as the environment and challenges, we’ve also had to magic up the moves, animations and basic game mechanics required to make it all work.

But if you could glimpse our screens today (you can’t – we’ve blacked the windows) you’d witness our green and purple protagonists running, swimming and soaring their way through a beautiful platforming playground. We’ve also transferred a handful of characters from paper to polygon, including Mark Stevenson’s Ghost Writer you can see – as a special treat – animated on this very page.

One new character you may have spied in a recent issue of Edge is the slender lass below. Crayoned by our own Kev Bayliss, this yet-to-be-named NPC will require Yooka and Laylee’s assistance on the very first world of the game. Obviously she’s forgot to turn the iron off or something and they’ll need to go and get the spare keys off her landlord.

Top off our current dev progress with a roster of new tunes from Grant and Dave, and the embers of what will eventually become the final game are certainly dancing in the midnight air. We’ve got a long way to go before those youthful sparks become mighty flames worthy of your consumption (use gloves), but rest assured we’ll keep you regularly updated with new artwork and in-game glimpses until they are.

An accident waiting to happen.
An accident waiting to happen.

EGX-Rated talk

Last week the team attended the glamorous EGX game expo in Birmingham to have a little talk about some of the old games they used to make. David Wise, demonstrating exactly the sort of behaviour that earned him his ASBO in the first place, made us all drink beer earlier in the morning, so we apologise if our speech sounded more slurred that useful.

It’s also a bit noisy in the NEC, but hopefully you can make out some of the team’s anecdotes in the fan-captured video below. If not, we’re told the busy bees on the Playtonic Forums have part-constructed a transcript.

EGX was also the platform for us to unveil some brand new Yooka-Laylee concept art, scribbled together by our own Dean Wilson. You can now view the hi-res version of that over on the Yooka-Laylee game page – it’s a real looker.


Question quorner

Alright. So this is the new bit of the update where we stick answers to some of your Twitter queries. To get one of the most pertinent ones out of the way: yes, we know it’s not a corner. But ‘interrogation footer’ doesn’t have quite the same charm, does it?

@TheSoundDefense asks: When designing the game, how much do you try to evoke nostalgia vs. trying to go in new directions?

We’re assuming you meant artistically… otherwise you’re buggered, because we’ve got environment artist Steven Hurst out of his chair now:

“We try to present the player with things they might find familiar – for example the themes of the worlds or the look of certain objects. Many things in Yooka will hark back to other projects we may have worked on but they`ll all have a new spin on them to make them feel fresh and different to what the player has seen before.

Soon appearing in the Saatchi Gallery.
Soon appearing in the Saatchi Gallery.

“New technology means we can do things with levels that simply weren`t possible before and we don`t want to be seen as treading old ground – we aim to surprise people as much as we can!”

@SivertFMadsen asks: When will we see some more gameplay?

Probably not for a little while, son. Though we promise we’ll do our best to keep you up to date with posts like this, we want to make sure Yooka-Laylee is looking extra spiffing before we next plaster it all over the internet in video form.

Though the Kickstarter meant we showed off gameplay earlier than we otherwise would have, we’re still early in development and our various designs remain in flux. We’ll show the full game to you when it’s at a good standard to satisfy your expectations. Because disappointment is not in our business plan.

Also, y’ know, we’re still a full calendar year away from release, so unless you want to see every framerate-destroying Steven Hurst tree spoiled ahead of playing the game yourself, we’re better off keeping schtum for a bit, right?

@Moonspod asks: Where do you buy your sausage rolls?

The lady in the local cafe goes chicken oriental if Gav skips a lunch there; asking where he is, pacing the halls, putting surprise pickles in our cobs… so not much choice. He has enough stalkers, to be honest.

@kedercreatie asks: Will you please chain Grant Kirkhope to his chair until every corner of the hub world has a level-specific variation?

He’s well ahead of you. And all we had to do was send across a few comforts of home; HP sauce, Rich Tea biscuits, 100 packs of Mayfair…

Perhaps if you keep watching our social channels a teaser might appear shortly…


Backerkit charge notice

Finishing off with a bit of business, for those Yooka-Laylee backers that added extra funds via BackerKit, please note that those charges will go through on your cards early next week. We’re not robbing you or anything, so please don’t report us to the authorities.