Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
Piet
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Piet » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:24 pm

Rueckkoppler wrote:Yeah I don’t know why they’re using this wording when that tonic is 4+ months away. That’s not something big and exciting like a whole game or a DLC world after all...

Indeed. On the other hand... I'm getting used to it.

LancerEagle
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby LancerEagle » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:28 pm

From the shreds of evidence we've gotten so far (they thought it would be done soon in November, we've seen plenty of screenshots and video of what looks to be a completed product, in the Moodymaze Marsh commentary video Daley thought they'd be able to give us a sneak preview of the tonic in the build version of the game) I would hazard a guess that they're having trouble getting the tonic working on the Switch version specifically, and they figure making everyone wait for it will generate less anger than round 2 of "Switch owners are second-class citizens and must wait several additional months for content".

Be nice to get some sort of confirmation one way or the other, though.

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Daley_Kong
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Daley_Kong » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:03 pm

Hey all!

Currently, the 64-bit tonic is still in testing and there is nothing we can do to speed that process up. It's taking a while because it needs to be tested on all platforms and we are hoping for a simultaneous release.

We have a nice little preview of it coming up in the Galleon Galaxy Developer Commentary, which we will be releasing next Tuesday at best, Wednesday at worst!

Thanks for the patience. We're not deliberately holding back, we just have to follow the appropriate process. There seems to be disagreement on how we announce things. Some want us to reveal things as early as possible, and others say they would rather we stayed quiet until we had a solid date. We can't please everyone! :)

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Piet » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:05 pm

Daley_Kong wrote:others say they would rather we stayed quiet until we had a solid date.

This please...

Creating hype by announcing things (WAY) too early is not smart, 'cause people will just forget about it, if no news is given soon after. That's the way it goes. "Soon" is also a no go, btw.

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Daley_Kong
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Daley_Kong » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:26 pm

Piet wrote:
Daley_Kong wrote:others say they would rather we stayed quiet until we had a solid date.

This please...

Creating hype by announcing things (WAY) too early is not smart, 'cause people will just forget about it, if no news is given soon after. That's the way it goes. "Soon" is also a no go, btw.


Unfortunately, things aren't that simple. There is a lot to consider. We still don't have a solid date because there is a big question mark over the testing side of things. I'm glad the knowledge that this feature is coming is out there, it's much better than radio-silence and mystery. Frustration over wanting a solid date, is a much lesser evil than frustration and doubt due to radio-silence.

People don't forget either - because that's where marketing beats come in again. Beat when we have a date, beat when we release.

It comes down to:

A) Do you want to reassure your Community something is on the way, even if details are vague?

OR

B) Do you want to stay quiet for an unknown amount of time, leaving your Community to assume nothing is being done?

Of course, there's balance to be had but I'll always believe that option A is the better bet. It's better communication, because it's something, rather than the nothing that B is.

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ShanPen
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby ShanPen » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:52 am

Daley_Kong wrote:
It comes down to:

A) Do you want to reassure your Community something is on the way, even if details are vague?

OR

B) Do you want to stay quiet for an unknown amount of time, leaving your Community to assume nothing is being done?

Of course, there's balance to be had but I'll always believe that option A is the better bet. It's better communication, because it's something, rather than the nothing that B is.



I think option A is definitely the better one (and communication has been so much better since you joined Playtonic Games, so thanks for that! :D ), but as Piet said, maybe don't use the word "soon" until you know for certain that it really is going to be soon. Especially because before you joined Playtonic, the word "soon" already had negative connotations attached to it for backers and fans of the game (to the point it become a bit of a running joke - people in comments/forums used to write is at "Soon™") because through experience it was learned that whenever Playtonic used the word "soon", that they did't mean "soon" (by the average person's definition, anyway) at all. And I understand that they may have genuinely meant "soon" at the time they said it and then something unforeseen happened (such as a bug was discovered that had to be fixed), but then we often never got a followup saying circumstances had changed, and so we'd just be waiting endlessly with no information for "soon" to arrive.

But it has been much better since you took over! I love your honest updates, such as how you've recently told us that the 64-bit tonic is being tested externally so you can't control how long it will take for them to finish. I'd much prefer to learn something like that, than to hear nothing at all, but then I can see the unfortunate side to saying something like that in that it gives people who just like spreading negativity more ammunition. As you said, no matter what you do it will never please everyone all the time, so I appreciate what a difficult job you have!

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rocho
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby rocho » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:44 am

I think option A is a good choice.

Please try not to use the word "soon" I think it gives the wrong idea of what to expect.

A good example of option A could be the Smash Bros Ultimate DLC announcement. They always say something like "we can confirm that Smash Bros DLC is in development, it may take several months before we can show it tho"

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Scrubber
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Scrubber » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:33 am

Piet wrote:A new update:

'Are you ready for the ultimate glow-down? The 64-bit Tonic is coming to #YookaLaylee very soon!

This is hilarious, OCTOBER 2018 coming very soon. They need to scrap this filter that is taking up so much of their time and resources. Does anybody even give a crap about it?

Piet
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Piet » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:35 pm

Well... My answer is... All of the above! HAH! :D

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby ShanPen » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:47 am

Scrubber wrote:They need to scrap this filter that is taking up so much of their time and resources. Does anybody even give a crap about it?


I'm looking forward to it, I'm waiting to do my second ever full play through of the game with the 64-bit tonic switched on.

I'm pretty sure I read one of Daley's posts on either Facebook or Twitter where she said it was now being tested externally, so I assumed that meant that it was no longer taking up Playtonic's time (until they get the all clear to release it), and just from odd comments scattered throughout the Developer Commentary series, it does sound like they are working on another game (well that's how I interpreted it, anyway).

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Piet » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:53 am

ShanPen wrote:
Scrubber wrote:They need to scrap this filter that is taking up so much of their time and resources. Does anybody even give a crap about it?


I'm looking forward to it, I'm waiting to do my second ever full play through of the game with the 64-bit tonic switched on.

I'm pretty sure I read one of Daley's posts on either Facebook or Twitter where she said it was now being tested externally, so I assumed that meant that it was no longer taking up Playtonic's time (until they get the all clear to release it), and just from odd comments scattered throughout the Developer Commentary series, it does sound like they are working on another game (well that's how I interpreted it, anyway).

I'm not going to play through the game again, while the only change is a filter, while the rest of the game plays EXACTLY the same. I might reconsider playing through the game again if the DLC will finally be released.

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Scrubber » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:06 pm

I wont be playing it again either, not for a good few years. Unless they drop the DLC.

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby ShanPen » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:33 pm

This quote from Playtonic's latest Kickstarter update, along with the counting up each day from 57 to (presumably) 64 on Twitter that started not long ago, point to an April 1st release date for the 64-Bit Tonic.

...and we’re a 6it excited for 4pril Fools' Day.

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Scrubber
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Scrubber » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:48 pm

Woohoo :roll:

Piet
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Piet » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:10 am

Scrubber wrote:Woohoo :roll:

Oct. 25th 2018 - PTG: 'The 64-bit Tonic is coming to #YookaLaylee very soon!'
Apr. 1st 2019 - PTG: 'The 64-Bit Tonic is available now!'
THAT took more than 5 months... Seriously... And now they're counting the days (on Twitter) like this is something huge...

The game didn't receive any (content) updates since Dec. 14th 2017 (Switch game release date). We did only get some vague/silly Twitter updates and the Developer Commentary series.
The huge update from PTG that Daley was referring to earier (which is promised for the first half of 2019) better be good...

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Scrubber
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Scrubber » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:27 pm

To do a count down to a release, would actually require, you know, RELEASING it when the count down ends. Completely misleading and getting some peoples Hope's up. It's out for Switch and PC only. Nothing for xbox, nothing for playstation, who knows when their versions will come.

Yooka Laylee was released in April 2017
It's been two years and now they release a filter that was supposed to be in the game at launch.
I look forward to the orchestral soundtrack in 2021 and I look forward to the DLC in 2023.

Piet
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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby Piet » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:40 pm

Frustrating indeed...

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby LancerEagle » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:33 pm

On the plus side, the first thing I did was check on our old friend Toybox INEPT in Galleon Galaxy, and
exposition is 98% complete. Hopefully this means that the next update is definitely the DLC.

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby EekumBokum202 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:14 am

ShanPen wrote:For anyone interested, Playtonic posted a Q&A about the 64-bit tonic on their website:
https://www.playtonicgames.com/64-bit-tonic-a-qa/

Here's the article copied and pasted:

Playtonic Games wrote:
64-bit Tonic: A Q&A
Posted on 12 Nov 2018

We recently released a teaser trailer for the 64-bit Tonic, which is coming soon to a Vendi near you!

Due to a whole host of questions from the ever-curious community, we figured now would be an apt time to sit down with the brains behind the operation, Jens Restermeier. Read on to learn more about what exactly went into the development of the Tonic which aims to take you back to the era of cartridges, questionable cartoons and flared baggy jeans.


In case you aren’t familiar with the zeroes-and-ones genius that is our Technical Director Jens, he did a bunch of cool stuff with Rare’s internal technology back in the day, and you can thank him for some of your favourite handheld ports, like Donkey Kong Country. He currently does a bunch of smart computery stuff at Playtonic, that only he truly understands, the rest of us are mere mortals.

What did you use as reference material/inspiration for the 64-bit Tonic?

When we decided we were going to implement the 64-bit Tonic, we knew we wanted to create something reminiscent of “the good old days”. Naturally, we looked back at Nintendo 64 games that we had both played and worked on.

We had to consider the technical side too, so we looked at what was possible with the hardware in that era, and tried to simulate that with our existing game assets. Many features that are common nowadays were either not available, or were limited by the memory available and rendering performance.

Wouldn’t it have been more authentic to rebuild every asset in the game with a low-poly mesh, re-do all rigs, reduce the number of joints in models and reanimate every character, produce all new textures from scratch and delete every 3rd rock?”

While we would have loved to completely rebuild Yooka-Laylee using low poly assets, it would have been a gargantuan task that would have required a full studio effort for a long time. We’d have had to create entirely new assets, and with their implementation would come a whole host of design and code considerations.

Image
Sixty Phwoar

Can you explain the core elements that bring together the 64-bit Tonic?

Most of the backgrounds use the Unity “Standard” shader, so I wrote a stripped-down version of that, with limited shading and a simulated “pre-rendered” appearance. Some objects are rendered with a special effect shader, such as animated and scrolling textures, so they required a special variation. To simulate the limited texture memory on early 3D platforms I chose to override the MIP level when reading textures, so they look like they are stored at a much lower resolution.

In addition to that I switched off shadows (curse you point-light loving artists!), changed the fog settings to capture that authentic N64 ‘atmospheric experience’ and applied a CRT post effect. Oh, and we capped the frame-rate. It sounds bizarre, but looking ‘old’ and having a higher frame rate looked weird. We settled on 20fps in the end. There was a lot of internal debate: some wanted to go lower than this, but QA Lee isn’t that deserving of such punishment… most days.

Image
Look at them bits

Was the CRT filter always a part of the plan?

Yes, that was always the plan. Many people used CRT TVs when playing on their N64s and the screen blurred out the blocky pixels that come from using a lower resolution. A lot of graphics at that time were designed around that effect, so we decided that a CRT filter would be required for an authentic experience.

We’re aware that some people have requested the ability to turn the CRT filter on and off, however this wouldn’t be a simple thing to implement as it requires additional art (UI), design and test work. We also feel it significantly reduces the quality of the rest of the 64-bit Tonic, so we’ve opted out of doing so.

Is there something you wanted to do which didn’t work out or had to be changed?

I originally wanted to use the “Replacement Shader” feature in Unity, but found that it was far too slow, so instead I replaced all shaders on all required materials when the player switches into 64-Bit mode. This was significantly more work to program, but making things speedier was worth it.

What were the biggest challenges you faced?

The biggest challenge was writing 64-bit approximations of the various special effect shaders, and making sure that various scripted changes still worked correctly. Circumnavigating individual platform bugs/glitches, performance on console and avoiding projectiles thrown at me by Lee are worthy mentions too.

What aspect of the 64-bit Tonic makes you particularly proud?

We are using a layered shader for a lot of the terrain, which blends smoothly between different ground materials. The 64-bit version of that shader just picks the material with the highest weight, which gives a surprisingly effective low-poly look on things like paths or grass patches.

Image
Splashdown(-res)


I only noticed while copy/pasting this article, but in the screenshots from the 64-bit tonic, I love how the corners of the screen are masked out to make it look like an old, curved CRT TV screen.

You know, that really helped put thinks in perspective for me. Though I'm still somewhat disappointed with the 64 Tonic, I get why it can't look like what basically everyone expected it to look like. Still, it DOES highlight a common criticism I've seen, and it's that Yooka-Laylee and what was promised with it was a bit too ambitious for a starter developer, even veterans like the blokes at Playtonic.

Here's hoping the true sequel to Yooka-Layee is the game we were all hoping for out of the first one (and that people will actually give it a chance despite the mixed reception of that game).
ATTENTION PLAYTONIC!
For development "Twoka-Laylee", please watch these:
Banjo-Kazooie Review & Analysis
Banjo-Tooie Review & Analysis

For everyone else, talk about these videos here!

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Re: Yooka-Laylee: 64-Bit Tonic coming soon!

Postby LDK777 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:43 pm

Did the PS4 version ever receive the filter? If not, is it "coming soon" or has it been scrapped?


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