Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
NPChilla
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Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby NPChilla » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:55 pm

DISCLAIMER: This thread is intended solely for constructive criticism, NOT trolling or provocation.

Having played on Yooka-Laylee a while - I haven't beaten it yet but am certainly progressing through it at a good lick - there's certainly a lot RIGHT with it.
However, like many on this forum I can't help but feel in many ways let down but the end product.

Hoping that Playtonic will go on from strength to strength and make more 3D platformers (though not necessarily immediately), I have some feedback, intended in the best possible manner:

1) More QA/testing. Before the patches sorted it all out, this game had a number of issues.

2) Tone down the 4th wall humour. Yes, it's a Rare trademark and can be witty; but like any joke, too much is too much. You went a little OTT in this area.

3) Never work with Team 17 again. The horrendous way it botched various PR disasters (mentioning no names, we all know the ones) damaged a lot of goodwill towards the end product.

4) Find a company like Nintendo who will guide and back the game in a positive manner. I think this is what Playtonic (as well as Microsoft-era Rare) is missing the most: a backer who engages with development and helps make it a better final product. In many ways, Y-L felt unfocussed compared with Rare's N64 oeuvre.


Any ideas or feedback you hope Playtonic will take on board? Please leave it below!

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ShanPen
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby ShanPen » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:01 pm

Covered in your point 1 about more testing, but more specifically I think in future they should set up some focus groups made up of gamers (in Yooka-Laylee's case I'm sure there would have been backers who would have gladly participated for free) to test game aspects like the Rextro mini games to see if the majority of people find them fun before those parts make their way into the final game, and if not the focus group participants could give feedback as to how the games could be improved. Judging from what I've read others say, and from what I've now experienced finally getting to play the mini games on Switch version, most people didn't find them fun (especially Hurdle Hijinx - that one goes on way too long to be remotely fun). It seemed most people liked the idea of the retro arcade games and the mine cart parts during the Kickstarter, but that the finished versions of those weren't received well and I think they could have been if Playtonic had run some test groups to get feedback (like how they got some good feedback and made some changes by getting backers to play the Toybox and give feedback here).

Also their communication could be improved a lot in future (though I guess it won't matter so much if their next game isn't funded through Kickstarter).

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ShanPen
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby ShanPen » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:20 am

Could I add one that's more specific to the game?

Please tone down the "Press button, start time limit, go through hoops" challenges.

They are fun occasionally, but I thought everyone learned from Superman 64 that there is such a thing as too many hoops.

World 4, and especially 5, were great because they had so much more variety of challenges to do such as characters who had problems you had to solve (loved the pig taxi service in World 4, fixing the plumbing for the chap in the toilet in World 5, and the intro to the World 5 boss), whereas the first 3 levels felt a bit like Playtonic went "We still need to add more Pagie challenges to this world, any ideas people? Errr, ummm, hmmmm.......I know! We could add more buttons with time limits and hoops!". World 3 in particular seemed to have so many "buttons with time limit" challenges.

One of the things I loved about the Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie games was the variety of challenges you had to solve to get a Jiggy. I loved the challenges that took a lot of thinking to solve, such as having to get the batteries to the power terminals in Grunty Industries. There were fun mini-game styled challenges like helping the Twinklies safely across to the Christmas tree. And I particularly loved the challenges where there was an amusing character who needed your help to find something (worms for Eyrie, acorns for Nabnut, gold for Captain Blubber, presents for Boggy's kids, finding the kids for Mrs Boggy, food for the cavemen, bringing the dinosaur kids home) and wished there was more of that in Yooka-Laylee (I can only remember there being one of these challenges in Yooka-Laylee, the snowmen needing their hats), or characters who needed your help to do something (freeing Snorkel, getting water to Dippy the dinosaur) - I think that might be part of what people mean when they say they found the Yooka-Laylee worlds to be "too empty" - there weren't enough characters unique to each world who had interesting problems they needed Yooka and Laylee to solve for them, so the worlds didn't feel "lived in". And the Playtonic team has some amazing character designers on board, so in future games I'd love to see lots of amazing characters with interesting problems for the protagonist to solve.

NPChilla
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby NPChilla » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:24 am

ShanPen wrote:Could I add one that's more specific to the game?

Please tone down the "Press button, start time limit, go through hoops" challenges.


Agreed.

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rocho
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby rocho » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:35 am

ShanPen wrote:
One of the things I loved about the Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie games was the variety of challenges you had to solve to get a Jiggy. I loved the challenges that took a lot of thinking to solve, such as having to get the batteries to the power terminals in Grunty Industries. There were fun mini-game styled challenges like helping the Twinklies safely across to the Christmas tree. And I particularly loved the challenges where there was an amusing character who needed your help to find something (worms for Eyrie, acorns for Nabnut, gold for Captain Blubber, presents for Boggy's kids, finding the kids for Mrs Boggy, food for the cavemen, bringing the dinosaur kids home) and wished there was more of that in Yooka-Laylee (I can only remember there being one of these challenges in Yooka-Laylee, the snowmen needing their hats), or characters who needed your help to do something (freeing Snorkel, getting water to Dippy the dinosaur) - I think that might be part of what people mean when they say they found the Yooka-Laylee worlds to be "too empty" - there weren't enough characters unique to each world who had interesting problems they needed Yooka and Laylee to solve for them, so the worlds didn't feel "lived in". And the Playtonic team has some amazing character designers on board, so in future games I'd love to see lots of amazing characters with interesting problems for the protagonist to solve.



Exactly my thoughts for sure!

NPChilla
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby NPChilla » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:18 pm

rocho wrote:
ShanPen wrote:
One of the things I loved about the Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie games was the variety of challenges you had to solve to get a Jiggy. I loved the challenges that took a lot of thinking to solve, such as having to get the batteries to the power terminals in Grunty Industries. There were fun mini-game styled challenges like helping the Twinklies safely across to the Christmas tree. And I particularly loved the challenges where there was an amusing character who needed your help to find something (worms for Eyrie, acorns for Nabnut, gold for Captain Blubber, presents for Boggy's kids, finding the kids for Mrs Boggy, food for the cavemen, bringing the dinosaur kids home) and wished there was more of that in Yooka-Laylee (I can only remember there being one of these challenges in Yooka-Laylee, the snowmen needing their hats), or characters who needed your help to do something (freeing Snorkel, getting water to Dippy the dinosaur) - I think that might be part of what people mean when they say they found the Yooka-Laylee worlds to be "too empty" - there weren't enough characters unique to each world who had interesting problems they needed Yooka and Laylee to solve for them, so the worlds didn't feel "lived in". And the Playtonic team has some amazing character designers on board, so in future games I'd love to see lots of amazing characters with interesting problems for the protagonist to solve.



Exactly my thoughts for sure!


You hit the nail on the head.

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Rueckkoppler
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby Rueckkoppler » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:26 pm

Yep ShanPen pretty much nailed what went wrong with Yooka. Playtonic didn't explore the level themes enough (or I wouldn't say even barely), they didn't attach the pagies to little stories that would happen within the world. (Sounds like a missed opportunity when you consider that almost everything happens within books. A Hat in Time is much stronger in this department.)

And reskinning the main enemy didn't help at all. I really don't like the supposed AI they developed for the game. The way they're animated because of this feels a bit glitchy and off. Why not have the enemies walk around with some goofy animations until they see you & just run straight at you? Combat never was a thing in Banjo games either and it was still fun to whack these guys, no reason to make it more complicated. Just look at how the sailors in Rusty Bucket Bay walk around, it feels much more like they're minding their own business while feeling perfectly animated to the rhythm of the music. On the other hand Yooka's enemies feel like they're not really living in their worlds, but stressed already by a potential encounter with the player. It's just not as fun to encounter them. Don't get me started with the cop-hatted-guys.

And (aside from cutting the enemy numbers by half compared to Banjo), I don't like how most enemies are either a variation of the corplets (if they had different voices and more different animations that wouldn't be a thing though), blocks or some weird combination of two familiar things. Why not take more inspiration of animals like in B-K? Maybe I can't put it so good into words, but if you compare both games in regards to the enemies designs, you might understand what I'm feeling about them:

http://yooka-laylee.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Enemies VS
http://banjokazooie.wikia.com/wiki/Cate ... jo-Kazooie

(Shoutout to the regular corplets, the tribal & the big ones. But everything else is just not pleasant to look at.

Sorry if I come up as negative, but this really and honestly was a big downside of this game, aside from what ShanPen said.

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bigfanofoldrare
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Re: Lessons Playtonic might learn from Yooka-Laylee...

Postby bigfanofoldrare » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:01 pm

ShanPen wrote:Could I add one that's more specific to the game?

Please tone down the "Press button, start time limit, go through hoops" challenges.

They are fun occasionally, but I thought everyone learned from Superman 64 that there is such a thing as too many hoops.

World 4, and especially 5, were great because they had so much more variety of challenges to do such as characters who had problems you had to solve (loved the pig taxi service in World 4, fixing the plumbing for the chap in the toilet in World 5, and the intro to the World 5 boss), whereas the first 3 levels felt a bit like Playtonic went "We still need to add more Pagie challenges to this world, any ideas people? Errr, ummm, hmmmm.......I know! We could add more buttons with time limits and hoops!". World 3 in particular seemed to have so many "buttons with time limit" challenges.

One of the things I loved about the Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie games was the variety of challenges you had to solve to get a Jiggy. I loved the challenges that took a lot of thinking to solve, such as having to get the batteries to the power terminals in Grunty Industries. There were fun mini-game styled challenges like helping the Twinklies safely across to the Christmas tree. And I particularly loved the challenges where there was an amusing character who needed your help to find something (worms for Eyrie, acorns for Nabnut, gold for Captain Blubber, presents for Boggy's kids, finding the kids for Mrs Boggy, food for the cavemen, bringing the dinosaur kids home) and wished there was more of that in Yooka-Laylee (I can only remember there being one of these challenges in Yooka-Laylee, the snowmen needing their hats), or characters who needed your help to do something (freeing Snorkel, getting water to Dippy the dinosaur) - I think that might be part of what people mean when they say they found the Yooka-Laylee worlds to be "too empty" - there weren't enough characters unique to each world who had interesting problems they needed Yooka and Laylee to solve for them, so the worlds didn't feel "lived in". And the Playtonic team has some amazing character designers on board, so in future games I'd love to see lots of amazing characters with interesting problems for the protagonist to solve.


agreed with this too.


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