Recently I re-watched the kickstarter gameplay video for Yooka-Laylee, and I noticed something that I hope changes before the game's release. Firstly, I would like to mention that I'm aware that a lot of work has left to be done on the game and I don't mean to say that I think the game is awful just by looking at it. Perhaps since the gameplay video was released, this has already been changed. I'm only hoping that the developers see this comment and consider what I have to say.
The problem is the shadows under the main characters. In all great 3D platformers (Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64, etc.) I've noticed that what really helps my understanding of the space that I'm walking and jumping around in is the shadow underneath the controllable character. If the shadow is located directly underneath the character, it's a lot easier to tell where I am relative to the ground below. Currently in Yooka-Laylee, the shadows are cast based upon an angled light source.
This causes two big problems. For one, when making a jump, the shadow will travel across the ground away from the characters, making spatial relationships confusing. The other big problem I imagine is the characters' shadows disappearing into the environment's shadows. In the shade of the trees, the shadow completely disappears. If I were playing the game, it would probably cause me a lot of grief trying to understand the size of the characters relative to the scenery before I could make accurate jumps.
It seems that the developers already knew this because, of course, they've made awesome 3D platform games in the past in which the shadow intentionally stays under the character all the time. Whereas I can see that this is a choice between which looks aesthetically appealing and which is better for gameplay, I think that sacrificing pleasing visuals for a more enjoyable experience is worth it.
I appreciate if you've read to the end of my post. If you're a passerby who agrees with my concern, a simple "I think so too" would help identify how many people would like to see this changed. I have a lot of faith in the developers to make the right choices for the gameplay, even (and especially) if I'm off base here. I can't wait to play the finished product.