What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
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Enrel
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What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Enrel » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:44 pm

They've talked about the nightmare that was DK64 101% and let's face it that game was brutal when collecting everything. They said they should be meaningful collectables and I agree.

But the main question here is "What is the perfect balance" at least to you guys? I felt like Banjo Kazooie had a good balance though that might have been a bit long in the teeth too, DK64's was just painful to do. Is there more Banjo side or could you go close to the DK64 spectrum without it causing pain?

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Maritimekeepers
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Maritimekeepers » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:47 pm

BK did have a good balance between collectables making the game fun/challenging, but I always wanted more levels to explore to increase the amount of gameplay.

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Enrel
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Enrel » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:48 pm

And they did say that the "pages" you'd collect could expand the world you're already exploring as well as opening new worlds. Which is a bit interesting but I'm sort of worried of the way Nuts and Bolts did it.

Thomx
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Thomx » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:49 pm

As a sort of general/vague response, I think each collectible needs to DO something. They should be things you want to collect regardless of whether you want to 100% the game. They shouldn't be there for the sake of grabbing them; different collectibles would help expand different parts of the game.

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woodspirit
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby woodspirit » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:50 pm

I liked the level of BK collectibles. Encouraged full world exploration. I also like the idea of having levels re-opened and expanded later on.

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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Kippran » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:50 pm


Piffers
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Piffers » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:52 pm

I don't know if I would call DK64 painful. At least in my opinion. Taking on all the collectibles in DK64 was really a challenge mode of sorts. You only needed just over half of the golden bananas to beat the game. Anything further was in my opinion just for those who wanted to continue playing (out of boredom or secret endings, etc). Grant it it wasn't perfect, I think they can put in as many collectibles as in DK64 (Or more, that's a world record that needs to be broken xD), but in a manner that would be less frustrating and more interesting than in DK64. For example, they mentioned that worlds would expand as you play the game. That means by volume, there could be less in a world at one time, but later when you come back and more areas are open to you, you could collect more things. My point is that if the worlds and the game itself is larger than DK64, than more collectibles would be justified.

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Yoshi
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Yoshi » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:53 pm

I think Banjo-Kazooie was perfect in that regard: Have one kind of collectible that strucutres the game world and shows the path to the main goals (i.e. notes in Banjo) and one kind of collectibles that signifies sucessfull completion of quests (i.e. jiggies). One kind of collectible that is a main goal itself (i.e. Jinjos) is nice, too, but optional.

Guybrush
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Guybrush » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:55 pm

BK had it spot on. Nice round numbers of collectables for each level. The best feature of the XBLA release was the improved draw distance so you could see ALL the items in the level at once. I loved getting up somewhere high and seeing the notes etc. glinting in the distance.

I played Jak and Daxter HD recently and having the orbs on a restricted draw distance was really disappointing not to mention fairly annoying.

VX967
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby VX967 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:59 pm

There's also the matter of balancing the number of collectables to the size of the worlds.

In Tooie for example, the worlds were much bigger than in the original, but a lot of the collectibles were condensed down into grouped nests (ex. a note nest gave you 5 notes). It felt like a bit of an overcompensation, and Tooie ended up being a bit frustrating since you were combing these massive worlds just to find that one note nest you missed. Surprisingly enough, there weren't enough collectables to fill the worlds up adequately.

While Tooie is still pretty much my favorite Rare game (save for Diddy Kong Racing), it did feel inherently flawed in this way. I trust the team enough that they've learned from all these past experiences, and will balance the collectables and worlds pretty damn well. Looking forward to what they can do!

kdavis
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby kdavis » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:00 pm


Captain Paul
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Captain Paul » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:00 pm

I kind of liked Mario 64 in terms of how many collectables you needed to complete the game vs complete the game 100%. Letting you finish the game but leaving some of the collectables for the hardest challeneges gives two distinct accomplishments. The 70/120 stars was a good ratio I think. Means they can make more collectables but keep the main task at around the same length.

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woodspirit
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby woodspirit » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:08 pm


HighwayWizard
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby HighwayWizard » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:09 pm

Too many collectibles is a kind of hard thing to nail down. I think that as long as there are collectibles that each have a purpose and are distinct from each other, it should be good. An important thing to think about is also how often you see which collectibles- in Banjo-Kazooie actually had a lot of things to collect, but it was really well done in how those collectibles were portioned out. There were a ton of notes, because you needed a lot of them to progress, and they could just be littered all over the world as a way to get players to explore around and help indicate where you have and haven't been. Jiggies were your primary goal, and there were enough in each world that you didn't have to get all of them, but you did have to get the vast majority of them. Usable items like feathers and eggs were all over the place, but didn't matter for completing the game, just as a way to replenish your resources. Empty honeycombs were few in number and hard to find because they were valuable to make you permanently stronger. Jinjos were 5 to a world, and only mattered for a jiggy if you found all of them. Mumbo Tokens were scattered all over the place and often hidden, but you didn't need all of them- just enough for that next transformation. And that's not even going into all the world-specific collectibles, like caterpillars to feed Eyrie the eagle in Click Clock Woods.

I think that how many kinds of collectibles you have doesn't matter as much as how well they're implemented. A lot of the things you can grab in Banjo-Kazooie don't count towards your progress in the game on their own- ultimately notes and jiggies are the only collectible that progresses you in the game. But all the other collectibles help you progress, because they're used as a resource, or part of a jiggy challenge, or to get access to a transformation to get to new places. Every collectible should help you in some meaningful way, even if it doesn't actually progress you in the game directly. In addition to that, how many collectibles of a kind exist and how hidden they are should reflect their purpose in the game.
Last edited by HighwayWizard on Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rodolink
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby rodolink » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:09 pm

I think a 100 things PER level is enough and rewarding.

Also 5 or 10 "special" things depending on the size of the level.

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Floyd
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Floyd » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:28 pm

Yeah, as others have said BK already perfected this.

In fact, I'd love to see the arcade-like "note score" system return - much of BK's challenge and longevity stemmed from that mechanic, since you actually had to master the gameplay to get all the notes - you couldn't just do blind suicide jumps to pick up hard-to-reach ones.

But regardless of whether they do that again, the amount of collectibles was just right. It's always a joy to pick up notes because they're so important for advancing through the game - whereas in Tooie you'd just go "oh, another bundle of pointless notes that I never have a shortage of anyway". The levels in Tooie also felt a bit barren because collectibles were nested.

DK64 of course went too far in the other direction - having to switch characters to pick up bananas was frustrating and pretty much just padding of the gametime, and there was way too many collectibles overall.

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Jim
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Jim » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:31 pm

BK had the perfect Banjo.
Personally, a hate games where there's 193874820 things to colect, like a RPG. But, i really love it in Banjo.So...

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Jazz
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Jazz » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:34 pm

5 things
like in Banjo-kazooie

Notes
Jiggies
Jinjos
Eekum-bookum skulls
Honey comb shards

sure there were also eggs and feathers but those were more or less so ammo then collectables.

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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Captain Paul » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:35 pm


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Lukhuta
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Re: What's the perfect balance of collectables?

Postby Lukhuta » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:46 pm

Banjo-Kazooie / Tooie was perfect for me. Three kinds of main "story" collectables in each level (Jigsaw / Notes / Jinjos) + bonus collectables to improve the character. Maybe we could see more of the second? To improve different things about the main characters, like health as it already was, and then things to progressively improve the amount of items you can carry (if there's a system similar to feathers / eggs of course).


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