Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Kavukamari » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:04 am

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Tomato » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:37 am

I know what you mean, Kavukamari. I love having free control of the camera. I'm fine with a fixed camera in certain areas, like the "Camera Test Area" in the Toybox. When it comes to pure platforming sections, however, it can be frustrating when the game thinks it knows what's best. Right now you can't position the camera directly overhead, like you said. I would like to see that possible.

I'd like a couple different camera modes, kinda like Super Mario 64. Have a character-centered camera with full movement and distance positions. Then you have a guided, "smart" camera, still with full control, but it can switch perspective whenever it deems necessary. You could click the analog stick to change modes or maybe use the d-pad.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby UraniumAnchor » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:57 am

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Robb1324 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:14 am

The Toybox was awesome!!! The controls overall feel excellent! I can tell a lot of time was spent on getting a great feel, even Mario doesn't feel this good.

The ONLY part of the Toybox that really felt off to me was the swimming. If this ever gets read by the Yooka-Laylee gods, if it's not too late... please change the swimming controls to be more Banjo-Kazooie-ish. The way it is now with one button for ascent, one button for diving, and the control stick to move on a 2-dimensional plane just feels too wonky. It would feel much more natural to have one button for propulsion (either tapping that one button at different frequencies to vary speed or having two propulsion buttons for different speeds), and have the control stick change pitch and yaw in 3-dimensions.

For the camera angle portion of the Toybox, I honestly found all 3 great. I'm sure all 3 will be useful in different situations, any chance we can just switch between the 3 by clicking in the camera stick? :D If I had to choose just one, the last one (closest to the npc) seems to be the best overall.

Thanks for making this Toybox for us, and thanks for making great games again! You guys rock!

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby nwoodhouse » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:11 am

I love the Toybox Demo !!!!!

Wish I had the Toybox + but ah well, really looking forward to the actual release. Yooka and Laylees abilities felt fluid and responsive and all mistakes made were by me either not paying enough attention or me getting distracted with how nostalgic the game is to the classic Rareware platformers :)

I've got a few little bits of feedback and if non of these are changed I wouldn't mind as I spent quite a few hours loving the hell out of the Toybox and will most likely be playing it till the full release comes out.

The swimming mechanic is quite different to Banjo-Kazooie/Banjo-Tooie with one button for diving and the other rising back to the surface, while the left analog stick (used the xbox 360 controller for this) moved Yooka and Laylee around. The original way that Banjo and Kazooie swam felt better with the two varying speeds (three if you count the swim upgrade in Banjo-Tooie) and could create some challenging under water puzzles especially if a speed upgrade was need to solve puzzles halfway through the game or if you had to swap between different speeds underwater to make tight turns.

Another feature I noticed is there isn't a button to move the camera closer or further away from the character like in Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie and DK64. A few platform jumps where made more difficult at times because the camera was zoomed in too much on the characters.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby TWO155 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:39 am

The Toybox was fantastic! I'm very much looking forward to the real deal next year. Hopefully you'll have a better budget for repeat dialogue by then. :D

I had to play this with a mouse and keyboard as we do not own any Xbox controllers. This was also my first time playing a game with a mouse and keyboard, so it was a massive learning curve for me, to say the least. Even so, the controls on the mouse felt very...wonky. So many occasions the camera wouldn't react properly when trying to navigate through tight spaces, even if it was just a short wall like with the ball puzzle! I can only assume this is a simple camera issue and not the controls itself, but it was irritable nonetheless. It took me a good 3 and a half hours to complete the Toybox due to my "training" with the mouse and keyboard controls. I now feel a much greater appreciation for the good ol' joysticks!

Swimming seems to be a big topic here. Due to the control scheme, I really didn't take note of whether it's better to have dedicated rise and sink buttons or just a Banjo-Kazooie style of swimming. I think I'd prefer the latter, though; it'd be a lot more precise that way.

As for the point of view for the block puzzle, I think all three could be used depending on the type of puzzle. As for preference, I like the top-down view the most since you can see the entire layout much easier and clearer. But all in all, I think all three could be implemented for different puzzles.

When I first started the Toybox, something compelled me to go into the small space in between the rocks near the first chest (not the one right behind the start) and I promptly got stuck in that space and then I wounded up in a never-ending falling animation. Luckily, I escaped thanks to the Ground Smash, but if it's a major issue, I hope I helped in that regard. That was the only glitch I encountered.

I'm pretty sure I found all the secrets, unless I need to put in the Konami code somewhere...

I really don't have much criticism for this because I'm highly confident you guys know what needs to be done anyways. Music, sound effects, gameplay, etc. all felt exciting! Obviously the controls are a different story for me, but judging by the button mapping on a regular controller, it looks like you nailed that too!

Overall, I'm very satisfied with this simulation of Yooka-Laylee and am more pumped than ever to get my hands on that lovely game! Although I don't know how I'll manage that since it will be a digital version...

Keep up the hard work, fellas!

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Estêvão » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:39 am

So far I'm very pleased with the Toybox however I wish that in the final game there has to be a camera mode to view things from the character's perspective so that we can zoom in into things and I also wish that the swimming would be more like Banjo-Kazooie, with 2 swimming speeds and being able to direct the characters to any direction. But I suppose that some people find it difficult to have so much freedom. I personally loved the swimming in Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro 2 (and 3) games but I hear a lot of people complaining about how difficult those games were because of underwater controls. I personally don't find them difficult at all, I thought that the underwater controls of those games were pretty amazing and gave more freedom of movement.

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My Impressions of the Toybox+

Postby Jr_Meatcat » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:00 am

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Valadurs Erbe » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:08 am

Just finished the toy box+, makes a very good impression so far. Can´t wait to see more!

Here are a few thoughts:
- When I punch open a treasure chest, I would expect a slightly louder sound effect than the faint "plop" we hear now. After all, we are using brute strength here to force it to open
- Turning around while ducking feels very sluggish. It takes forever to turn around once. If we get an equivalent to Kazooie´s egg shot it could become a problem with aiming.
- When doing the roll, I expected to be able to jump off in mid-air when rolling over a ledge. Probably played too much Donkey Kong.
- Speaking of the roll, the sounds from Laylee are cute and I like how it speeds up when going through the wind tunnel. But I could imagine that it will get on your nerves after some time.
- The ground pound move is also a bit unresponsive and takes away the control from me for too long. I also tried to fight the enemies with it. Needlessly complicated, but it worked back then in BK. In the toybox, you get beaten up pretty badly for doing it.
- The double jump + floating covers an incredible range. It is far enough to ignore a good portion of the platforming and jump straight towards your desired destination. Maybe it is a bit too good? I remember that Banjo was not able to cover so much ground with it.
- I miss a first person view

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby WhatIsThatThing » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:45 pm

I really enjoyed playing through overall, especially the trademark humor and collectathon platforming. Movement was overall very smooth and I have faith the camera will be worked out eventually. One of my favorite features is that you can hover again even after letting go of the button for a short time. I can't wait for the full game, and I'm so happy I backed this project! However, there are a few small things I noticed that I think need some attention.

1. Rolling. If you're going to have a fast movement option, it needs to be able to control precisely. The wide-angle turns and crazy careening around don't fit the platforming nature of the game, although I do like how you can stop on a dime. Overall, it needs to be much more precise for regular use, unless you are aiming for a situation where only experts will use it. I get that it should be hard to master, but getting used to it should not feel awkward. I also think it would be great if you could double jump or ground pound out of it, to perform some advanced combos. Speaking of jumping, it is especially difficult to jump off a ledge while rolling! Many games allow you to jump for a few frames after you are off a platform, and I think Yooka-Laylee would heavily benefit from that instead of having your jump input eaten as soon as you stop touching ground.

2. Pickup hitboxes. There were several times where I just walked around a pickup several times without directly touching it, causing me to not pick it up until I hit the exact hitbox. This was especially frustrating on the slopes, where I could not circle around tightly enough in a roll to pick up the Quill I missed and I fell off. The Quill hitbox should be slightly bigger than the actual artwork itself, or there should be some kind of feature that magnetizes them to you as you get close.

3. Moveable objects. There is currently no pushing animation, so awkwardly shoving your face into balls and boxes just looks strange. Also, there should be some way to lock your position to the object, whether by holding a button or automatically. Pushing the ball up the slope was an exercise in frustration because of the insane amount of tiny imprecise adjustments necessary. Some kind of lock-on would make it much easier!

4. Wind effects. They were cool and I have no problem with the movement itself, but they were extremely opaque and hard to see through. Enough said.

5. Ground pounding. Oftentimes I found myself extremely close to the ground, intending to land in crouching position from a jump, but ground pounding instead. This isn't necessary, but perhaps there could be a low enough distance to the ground where you crouch on landing instead of ground pounding?

Thanks for releasing the Toybox and opening yourselves up to criticism like this. Do with it what you will!

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Knux2 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:18 pm

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Postby moritasan2040 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:37 pm

How does everyone feel about the buttons? I've thought of a few changes that could improve the control of the game, so I'll say those here. I'd love to here some more ideas, tho.

•The button icons in the dialogue should change when you modify the controls.

•The button assigned to Cancel should proceed text as well. I think a lot of people who had the Super NES as a child grew up pressing the A Button to start a conversation, and then mashing the B Button till they stop talking.

•The Control Pad should work to scroll through menus.

•Being able to toggle both axes (axises).

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Personal Experience and Review

Postby MissBayley » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:04 pm

So I've just finished collecting all the quills and discovering all the secrets to the Yooka-Layee Toybox Plus.

I must say I am absolutely thrilled with what the team have created, the small pieces of art scattered around the level really excites me to how the final, finished game will look and feel.

Some personal reflections on my experience when playing the game.

1. Swimming didn't feel very natural.

I've noticed this part brought up a lot, so I'll keep it brief. The swimming felt a little clunky to myself personally. I first naturally found myself using the camera to direct myself, and the joystick to swim forward/back/side to side. In the end, I did get used to it and I definitely see the pros with the current setup. It might just be a natural learning curve.

2. Speech bubbles pausing movement.

When I collected 50 quills, the security bot nicely let me know. Right when I was in the middle of rolling up the tricky slides. Because of this, Yooka and Laylee stopped rolling and stood up, which when the security bot stopped talking, made me slide down because I was no longer 'rolling'. Perhaps Yooka and Layee should still be allowed to move when characters are talking?

3. Shadow disappearing.

I noticed when jumping on the hover platforms, my shadow would disappear and I couldn't see where exactly I was landing. Makes it a little hard to determine where and when to stop.

4. Animation suggestion.

Just for a little extra fun, when the player if moving through a wind, I think it'd be cute if Yooka and Layee were sliding, as opposed to just running faster. Like Yooka could have their heels sliding across the ground and their hands waving around to keep balance.

5. Camera preference.

As for the Camera when doing the block puzzle I preferred the one that was angled to the side, focused and a little bit further from the player. I feel this camera would allow for larger-scale puzzles, whilst also giving the player a good view. The one that showed the entire area could work out, but could easily loose the character if the area is too big. (That being said, the camera could move area to area, which in itself could be an interesting gameplay design. [Player enters one room, find outs that it's dead end, and that entrance is somewhere else.] The lack of visibility could be a fun gameplay mechanic.

These were the only things I could really think of that really noticed when I first played. I had a awesome time navigating the level, and everything else worked really well from what I could see. I'm very excited to see the final version, and to get that cool shirt too!


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Re: Buttons

Postby dotEXE » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:23 pm

I thought it was weird that the D-Pad wasn't really usable. At some point in time I've switched to navigating menus with the D-Pad. Not sure why I started using the D-Pad, but I definitely kept trying it and it kept on not working :)
Make the forum great again.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby mickeythelegend » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:39 pm

Swimming needs to be more like Banjo-Tooie, Up down and forward is horrible.
Tail attack move should be allowed when jumping.
Make pushing objects more like conker. Poor control.
Rolling can be difficult to control going up the mountain.
Camera needs to move above yooka laylee more.

Great experience though :)

Edit: On 2nd thought the swimming isn't too bad im getting it now.
DK. Donkey Kong. DK. Donkey Kong is here. :D

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby bobthegiraffemonkey » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:05 pm

Had a lot of fun, and I'll try to not repeat stuff too much from the rest of the feedback thread here.

1. I don't mind the swimming mechanics, I've been replaying R&C 1 and 2 recently and it's the same style. It needs tightened up though.

2. I'll join in the chorus for camera x-axis inversion, it's the opposite of what I'm used to for R&C and it's confusing me a lot.

3. Honestly, the enemy area was a little underwhelming, but still fun. The combo is not explained well and difficult to pull off, and the enemies stop appearing after a little while, and before they stop spawning they sometimes show up after a seemingly random wait. I would have liked endless frequent waves of enemies and the combo to always work when spamming the attack button.

4. Rolling was a little tricky at first and I failed the tower climb a lot, but after some practice I can scale it easily so I don't have any problems with it. Sure, it handles differently from Talon Trot, but that just means there's a learning curve, not that's it's bad.

5. Small detail, but water, especially shallow water at the top of the slope down into the water in the first area, is a little buggy with how YL interact with it. In particular, ground pounding (or whatever it's called) in shallow water can result in one of three things (and sometimes all three in exactly the same spot with repeated use):
-Splash and stay on the surface (and lose all momentum suddenly)
-Hit the floor under the water with no splash (weird because it ignores the water)
-The first one but without the splash
-[bonus] gaining momentum down the slope sometimes happens for all of the above
Not exactly important, but thought I'd point it out. If anyone is wondering why I tested it, it's because I swear I ground pounded against the bottom in deeper water by accident once and was trying (unsuccessfully) to replicate it. Also, rolling in shallow water doesn't splash.

6. When I have to close my laptop over to go do something, sometimes when I start back the controller behaves strangely and I can't move, but some things like curling into a ball work. Toggling the switch on the back to "D" and back to "X" seems to fix it, and it may just be a rubbish controller which is causing the issue. It's the first game I played on steam and I only got the controller for YL, so I have very little experience to go on.

From the Toybox experience, I expect the final game will be amazing!

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby MattUmby » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:15 pm

While the game and animations run at a solid 60fps, and I'm getting no recorded frame-drops, when the camera moves it seems to be a bit jittery. When the camera is stationary, all animations run much smoother, such as smoke poofs from appearing buttons, or the Yooka-Laylee silhouette screen transition. Whenever rotating the camera, or moving fast, the camera seems to jitter. It's easy to see during 60fps gameplay videos on YouTube by turning the speed down to 0.25x. Example here ... (apologies, the frames blur together a bit. My recording setup isn't ideal. But it's very easy to see in 60fps footage of the game. Just set the speed to 0.25x)

EDIT: A better video is here Try switching to 0.25 speed, and see what I mean.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Kitsunary » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:10 pm

There are four things that I think should be mentioned in regards to the camera, jumping under small ledges, the rolling, and the Pagie. Since the last one has been mentioned multiple times as I have noticed people already address it in the animations thread, you don't need to read it if you have read it elsewhere.

Camera: The camera is my biggest issue. I understand how weird it is to have the camera clip into objects, but preventing camera movement doesn't fix the problem. I would rather the camera zoom really close to the characters face rather than not let me see around me. In the toybox, you can't move the camera past things like walls, pillars, little bits of terrain, etc... without either having to move awkwardly or rotating the camera completely around, which might end up being impossible if there is another bit of terrain poking out of the level ground. I wouldn't mind if it decided to roll around a wall or pillar straight over top of the characters, but it just won't let the camera go past a certain point. If you want to look around down below or something, but where you are looking has pillars on either side, you will be unable to look around without trying to manipulate the camera by moving close to certain pillars in order for the camera to rotate around it. Sometimes, you can't do this either, so it became a little bit frustrating. Also, when you go behind a chest backed up against a wall, like the one at the top of two small slopes, the camera will just continue spinning around or force itself to be on the opposite side of a wall preventing visibility. If camera movement does have to be limited, perhaps chests should be excluded.
Another point about the camera, though I know I am in the minority, is an invert X option. I don't know how or why, but I got really used to playing various games with an inverted X if it is a third person game, even playing games like Dark Souls with inverted X, so it would just be nice to have the option. It is fine if it is not put in, but I just thought it should be noted.

Spring Jump Under Small Ledges: Though it can be cancelled out of with any other move input, it is possible to get stuck in a falling animation. When doing the spring jump thing under a small ledge, or behind a chest back up against a wall, twice in a row, they will end up stuck in the falling animation. Movement is still possible and this is really minor since it can be cancelled out of very easily, but I thought is should be mentioned.
Edit: Doing the spring jump once while leaning into the back of an opened chest does this consistently. I tried to recording it so you would get an idea of what I mean.

Rolling: I already mentioned this in the animations thread, but it should be noted why it is a problem. From looking, it seems that there is a full cycle of animations for the roll, but it looks strange to have that cycle just stop on a particular frame when idle. They just sort of look frozen like statues and no longer feel alive with Laylee just standing there, mouth agape, not moving and Yooka with eyes perpetually staring into the void. I really like the animations for the roll when moving, but since the roll is a good way to traverse the area, I sometimes just stop to look around while still in the roll and it ends up looking a little strange, as if the game froze, but not really.

Pagie: It has already been stated by others, but there needs to be an animation when you get it. Maybe Laylee reaching for it and Yooka pulling Laylee back and putting the Pagie away by eating it or curling it in his/her tail or something.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby StarErik » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:50 pm

I first started playing in OS X Yosemite and the game was completely unplayable right from the start. Framerate was around 20 fps and dipped down to sub 10 fps when jumping a lot. My computer is a 2015 MacBook Pro 15" with the 2.8 GHz i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM and the AMD Radeon R9 M370X dedicated graphics.

I then ran the game in Windows 10 in BootCamp mode, and it ran way better, at around 55-60 fps the whole time. On the exact same hardware.

It was okay, but don't ever have a section where you push a giant ball with a narrow character. Please, it never worked in any game.

They could be improved and be tighter. Not really sure how else to put it. Oh, and when Yooka is in rolling mode I want to turn immediately by pushing the stick in the opposite direction. Now Yooka slowly rolls around in a circle when doing so, and that could be very annoying on narrow areas on higher ground where you would probably fall down. Sure I could just let go and turn the character and then start rolling again, but still.

The particle room was framedrop city. Sure, not all those will be in the same place in the final game, but it was not a great showcase.

a friend shot while I was playing. Laylee's model was going bonkers. It started after probably an hour into the demo and kept glitching until I was done and quit.

Not sure if anything's final, but the jingle when picking up a Quill doesn't really blend in that well.

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Re: Toybox camera

Postby loyalsage » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:47 pm

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