Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

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

Postby wacky ducky » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:43 pm

A really small point of critique: I found it disappointing that if you ground pound from a really high place, Yooka loses control and falls on his face. I climbed to a really high point just to ground pound and the result wasn't satisfying. In Mario Sunshine you become like a meteor, as far as I remember.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby ShanPen » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:27 pm

wacky ducky
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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby wacky ducky » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:42 pm

Thanks, that explains a lot.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby tempoz » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:57 am

Issues I found:

As many other users have stated, swimming was very unpleasant. Worth noting, perhaps, that Tooie's swimming after you talk to the fish and can kick and flap at the same time felt good to me. I don't think the rise/sink mechanic is necessary; I much prefer the system where you can just look up or down and that is the direction you swim.

Rolling felt mostly fine, but I would request that turning radius be massively reduced depending on the speed you're rolling at (and that it be near-0 if you're sitting still). Being stopped on a ramp pointed at a drop is just a death sentence you're waiting for the user to execute, and that isn't fun. If I've stopped short of failure, I would like a way to recover, not to just be forced to follow through and fail.

I don't know how much you plan on doing with slides, but if it's a lot I would like the option to jump more frequently. Just slowly sliding down a ramp and angling felt pretty boring.

Other than those minor issues, I thoroughly enjoyed the toybox and look forward to the full game.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Cyberen » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:52 pm

I found it jarring that Yooka doesn't hold his hands in front when pushing against a wall or box.

Watching the Conker's BFD Developer's Commentary pointed out how important this little animation is. Add the hands in front animation and it won't be so weird to walk into a wall.

I registered just to make this comment. Hopefully it's added!

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby wacky ducky » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:32 pm

Yeah, the water and the ball really pissed me off. I saw swimming as even more of a chore than I usually do. Other small point: there's no animation when rolling Yooka stands still. It looks weird.

For the rest I was surprised that I could enjoy playing such a skeletal game so much while even playing with mouse and keyboard.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Meinhard1 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:00 pm

It's natural to feel upset about certain aspects of the toybox experience, which appear so crude.

Really though, what that Conker interview was getting at is the impact of polish on player experience. And most polishing occurs towards the end of development.
We cannot quite expect a pre-alpha demo to have all the water marks of a well finished game!

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby wacky ducky » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:15 pm

It wasn't the fact that the game is flawed that pissed me off. It was the frustrating gameplay itself. Overall I'm really happy about the game but pushing the ball was just really tedious. I felt really out of control.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Meinhard1 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:04 am

The response was for your post, as well as the one above which cited the Conker commentary.

I agree the ball portion felt a bit pointless. Didn't find it very enjoyable aside from the basic idea of dropping an object from a great height to be used as a key.

The change in swimming was jarring/unexpected, but ultimately intuitive with some definite advantages.
However BK's allowed for more freedom of movement and the Toybox's seems more rigid. Not sure how/if that may affect fun factor of swimming sections. Mario Galaxy is an example of swimming made both intuitive and enjoyable.

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Re: Toybox camera

Postby TylerBeardShow » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:44 pm

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Liraco » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:33 pm

New peep here from Mexico, wanted to share my 2 cents which are long overdue on the Toybox.
I'll keep it short to just critical things instead of nitpicking every last detail as I'm sure that's already been covered.

1- Blob shadow and navigation
After playing around some more I found that I'm disoriented at times of where I am on the world space not because there's 2 shadows but because the blob shadow disappears! There is no sense of grounding in shadow because that realtime shadow can't be cast and your blob is missing until you jump. I've fallen quite a few times by running a bit too far off an edge because my real shadow doesn't tell me where I am on the surface.
A permanent blob shadow (even a very light or tiny one) would help ground me at all times. I imagine that a permanent Mario 3D World shadow may mess with the style you envisioned but the fact that it's permanent and always touching right beneath you is a HUGE help with knowing where you are at all times.

2- Rolling and turning
If you can only make one change, I'd make it THIS. That one section where you have to roll up a "hill" made it painfully apparent that turning around in tight corners should be more "game-like" and less realistic to give you control (which is KEY to a platformer). It's nice that when you turn while rolling you can in a curve... until you have to navigate tight corners and constantly fall off because you wanted to tweak the angle you're facing and the game decides to do donuts instead. Needlessly frustrating and don't think that realism in turning is something that'll break a game with a trouser-wearing snake. :P Just let me turn on my axis and if I fall while rolling up a hill I'll know it was my fault and not the Ridge-Racer-Laylee drifting controls.

3- Movement combos
I'm not sure if this is related to combat since I only have the basic Toybox, but there have been moves that feel like they should combo into each other but don't and that takes away a sense of control. Rolling and then trying to stomp for example. It's unreliable but I managed to make a stomp after a long cooldown from ending the roll animation in the air. Feels like I should be able to stomp much sooner. Getting INTO rolling shows a smooth transition (say you high jump and roll immediately after landing, it works as you feel it should, but from rolling to anything else... doesn't work or feel as it should).
I can understand some things not being able to combo for balance reasons like rolling into a regular spin attack or rolling into a glide/flap to make crazy long jumps. Still, like point 2, it sometimes feel as if something should work together and it doesn't. A stomp specifically would be great to stop your crazy forward momentum.

4- Camera
I've seen this discussed so I'll just second that sometimes, blob shadow aside, it gets hard to see where you're going to land. Maybe auto-tilt the camera down a bit to see the very edge of where you'd land, especially on bigger jumps. This would be even more helpful if a permanent blob shadow solution was implemented.

5- Skippable dialogue
This one is just for the Toybox probably, but if you want to jump straight into playing it's a bit of a pain to have to wait for all of the talking.


Overall thoughts
I really enjoyed the demo! Controls felt intuitive, platforming was fun, the art style already shines, and that preview with the floor types and the hidden room were nice extras. Ball rolling wasn't the most fun thing in the world but I liked the hunting for feathers as it really does become in part a test of skill and also a reward for finding every nook and cranny of a level. You guys have made a great thing already and I can't wait to see what you do when you've had more time to add spit (lots of spit, I'm sure) and polish. :D

Thanks for hearing me out. :mrgreen:

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby Pang_Tong » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:48 am

I don't think it's fair to criticize the swimming just for being different to Banjo-Kazooie or Mario 64. I personally found the 360-degree-aiming style of swimming in those games more difficult to control than the Toybox's, since you don't always have a good idea of where you're aiming and how far you're going to move forward. I remember lots of frustration back in BK trying to do stuff like swim through hoops or collect notes underwater, because I'd end up being slightly off in my aim and then I'd have to readjust my angle to go back, ending up spending twice as much time as I needed to. In the YL Toybox it's much more straightforward, swimming is just like walking on a flat plane except you have buttons that allow you to descend or ascend to different depths.

Like I mentioned before though, the thing I disliked about swimming in the Toybox is its lack of responsiveness. Yooka is too slow to respond to inputs, he takes too long to start swimming when you press a button/direction, and takes too long to stop swimming when you let go. It's also a tad too slow for my tastes.

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby mickeythelegend » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:36 pm

The swimming was strange to me underwater, it didn't seem intuitive like Banjo or DK64.

The roll move is difficult and frustrating turning around tight corners, slopes and heights such as in the toybox. Generally though i like it.

Everything else is awesome
DK. Donkey Kong. DK. Donkey Kong is here. :D

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby timmygeesus » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:14 pm

Hey Playtonic! I wrote a review ages ago but only now have just submitted it. I hope its still valid!

So far I'm ADORING the Toy Box!! I'm so excited to play the full game and as a backer I feel happy that I was able to help with the development in some form!

Nevertheless, like many others agree, there's room for improvement. Here's what I think should be looked at in order of importance.

1. The jumping. I feel like this is a BIG PROBLEM. Yooka's jumping could be perfect with one little tweak. The first jump can be any height you want (within the limits) depending on how long you hold A for. However, if you double jump, that second jump height should stay constant no matter how high you jumped on your first jump. I can't emphasize how important I feel this is.

2. The swimming isn't fun to control at all, it feels VERY unresponsive. Sadly, Banjo 1's swimming controls I've felt weren't nice to control either (I haven't played Banjo Tooie, so I don't know whether that game fixed it). Even the beast Super Mario Galaxy didn't have the best swimming. The BEST swimming controls in a 3D platformer in my opinion are from RATCHET AND CLANK 2 and 3. It uses the same button layout and they just feel beautiful(especially with the hydro pack).

3. The camera. This will already probably be in the game since it did what I wanted with the box moving challenge. But still, I found myself disoriented when jumping between platforms. Maybe move the camera a fized orientation in certain sections?

3. As someone else on the forum already mentioned, combo moves. For instance, I found it odd that I couldn't ground pound when jumping from a roll. Another would be rolling and then pressing LT to skid to a halt to prep for a big jump. Another would be when I ground pound, if I kept pressing LT I would keep ground pounding. Implementing these would make the game feel much smoother to play and blend together Yooka's move-set.

4. The rolling could be improved by reducing the turning radius depending on the speed you're rolling. It feels pretty good but a little tweaking could help.

Here's just one extra request if its possible.

Squash and stretch animation.

I understand it's difficult, but squashing and stretching would benefit the game so much! When Yooka spins, wouldn't it be great to see his tail get a bigger to emphasise the spin? Or maybe when he jumps, Laylee and his body compresses? What's crazy is that is FEELS much nicer to play. Don't get me wrong though, the animations of Yooka and Laylee are beautiful, so full of character and so damn smooth! Whoever animates this game, buy them a Michelin Star meal.

There's a really good video on Jak And Daxters animation here

Other than that. Playtonic. You deserve all the love for this phonomenal project. The demo is amazing so far and I CANNOT WAIT for the final release!

Love you all,


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Jumping Mechanics Suggestion

Postby Trainguyxx » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:46 am

Hello All!

I was playing the toy box a couple of times through and I thought of a simple (at least I hope) way to improve jumping around. When I climbed a series of boxes that did not require you to double-jump, and were distanced from each other, I found myself trying to hold down the Jump Button to activate a glide without double-jumping. I feel the game would benefit from adding the ability to glide after jumping once by not letting go of the Jump Button after you have reached the top of your "Jump Arch", similar to how you are able to do that when you double-jump.

Does anyone else see what I mean / feel the same way? I hope I made my thought clear, and I will try to clarify if needed. This game is looking amazing and I'm glad I backed it on kickstarter, and I would love to see that it lives up to its full potential.

Thanks for reading and happy gaming! :)

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Better late than never feedback.

Postby i208khonsu » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:10 am

So I finally got around to enjoying the Toybox+. Just captured the pagie and found all the secrets, Yarrr!

The main reason I want to post is I'm one of the few crazy people who like to play on a keyboard wherever possible. Thankfully the stock Unity configuration makes this possible. I've backed Unity powered games in the past where I was able to enjoy them with custom keyboard bindings only to find out that they removed the stock configuration tool and didn't implement their own key binding options. Please at a minimum keep the stock Unity configuration utility in the final release!

I have a few more general thoughts I want to share while I'm at it.

Ground pound! When using it at speed, Yooka still drifts forward slightly. I'd expect this to be a near instant, if not absolutely instant stop. It's been a long time since I found my hands sweating, probably N64 platformer days, being able to instantly stop with a ground pound really helps control the difficult platforming jumps. Especially with 3D platformers where distance can often be hard to judge, being able to ground pound when you see your shadow where you want to stop is rather a corner stone of advanced platforming techniques.

Drop jumps! I was ticked pink when I saw you could spin attack off a ledge and then double jump in midair. Very classic DKC/DK64 technique. So I find it an interesting decision that you can't somersault and jump in mid air. In fact I find the overall utility of somersaulting into the air oddly restricted. Not only can you not jump at all (forgetting double jump) but you also can't ground pound either. In the Toybox+ there is the tower that you need to climb up the slick sides, including somersault launches. I had expected to be able to ground pound on the corners, but apparently no dice.

In contrast to wanting more air utility to the somersault, it's interesting how unrestricted you are while using it on the ground. I was expecting Yooka to get dizzy when using it for an extended period of time. Also, no bonking when running into a wall? Both of these restrictions seem oddly missing.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Toybox. Looking forward to the full release!

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Re: Better late than never feedback.

Postby Meinhard1 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:18 am

That is really good to point out - how the drop shadow and ground-pound move are used in tandem by more seasoned platforming fans.

Generally agree with your feedback here!

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Re: Better late than never feedback.

Postby DarkTone » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:30 pm

Did you look them up first?

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Finished Playing Toybox - Some Thoughts

Postby KAOSTheory » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:08 am

To start out, I have to say I had a lot of fun with the toybox, more than I have felt in a game in a long while, which just makes me even more excited for the full game :D. I thought I would share some criticisms on what felt weird while I played.

1. The speed of movement animations scaling with yooka and laylee's net velocity (I think) felt really.. off. For example, when I was in the roll-mode, and I fell off something, the animation would go haywire fast. Or another example is when I am standing still, and just jump straight up, they would start rolling relative to vertical velocity. I would say to make the animation disregard height when deciding the speed of the animation.

2. The circular shadow put under yooka/laylee when they are off the ground. I'm pretty sure it is there on purpose to allow people to know where they are going to land, which is fine, but having both that shadow + the general unity shaders working feels really wierd. I would say to just have the unity shaders, but I'm not sure how much that would hurt precision platforming ;/ I dont know a good solution for this one

3. The camera within tight areas bugs out, sometimes bad. One moment I had within the sky island (near a bridge iirc) locked the camera, which caused everything to go haywire, and mee to fall off the map :D.

I'm sure most of these are already on your radar, but just thought I would throw these out there in case they are helpful in some way. Cant wait for the full game :)

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Re: Toybox feedback & discussion thread (SPOILERS)

Postby nothinginroom237 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:06 am

I'm loving the Toy box mode for the most part. I'm glad you've decided to release this as opposed to a "traditional" demo as it allows for more feedback and ideas to be implemented.

I'm really loving the controls except for one thing: there's no grabbing on the edge of the geometry. It makes the animation and controls seem sub-par when the character can clearly make a jump onto something but makes no effort to grab on, even waist high (and,yes, it applies to the double jump and LT+jump too). Somehow that takes a lot away from the traversal. Which is a shame because it controls very well.

But overall I'm liking how it's come along and haven't regretted at all about pre-ordering this. I'm glad passionate creators like yourselves are bringing back the platformer! Hopefully its success will lead to more of this genre, from you and other companies.

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