Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
Buzzard
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Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Buzzard » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:36 am

I have just 100% completed the game, and I enjoyed my experience very much. Yooka-Laylee is exactly the kind of game I was hoping it would be. That being said, I thought it would be fun/helpful to compile a list of suggestions for improvement as I played, incase the Playtonic devs decide to release a patch in the future. I think some of these suggestions could make the difference between a GOOD game, and a GREAT game, worthy of "classic" status. Keep in mind that these suggestions reflect MY experience with the game, and you are more than welcome to disagree with them. (I have organized my list into 4 sections, for your reading pleasure!)


MENU/INTERFACE

• The "Quit" button should be listed on the main menu, rather than in "Options & Stuff". This is a minor issue, however it took me longer than necessary to figure out how to quit the game without pressing ALT+F4.

• Selecting "View Totals" from the options menu should bring you directly to the totals page for the world you're currently in. This is certainly the most frequently occuring issue I've had with the game, as well as the most common complaint I've heard from others. I'm sure this is already on Playtonic's radar, and should be a quick and easy fix.

• The speed at which you scroll through the 'totals' and 'file select' menus should be faster. This issue, coupled with the previous one, makes navigating the menu feel rather sluggish. A simple fix here would certainly go a long way.

• There should be a way to save your progress manually, rather than having to rely on the auto-saves. Have you ever collected a hoard of quills, but aren't sure how long it's been since the last auto-save? Having a "Save & Quit" option would be a wonderful addition, providing players a way to end their play-session with full confidence that all their hard-work has been preserved.

• The health guage should remain visible when at low health. When you only have 2 or 3 butterflies left, it would be nice to have a visual indication that your health is low, so you know to keep an eye out for some extra butterflies.


MOVEMENT/CONTROLS

• "Slurp Shot" and "Lizard Lash" should highlight the tongue's target. It's not always obvious what your tongue will latch onto, or even IF your tongue has a target. I would suggest having a visual indicator that highlights what your tongue will grab onto, should you press the 'B' button. Maybe something similar to how NPCs are highlighted when you're in range to talk to them.

• "Reptile Roll" should cost less energy. This is a personal suggestion, but it seems odd that "Reptile Roll" costs more energy per second than "Flappy Flight". Having a hard restriction on your ability to contiuously roll feels clunky, especially when you're traversing large chunks of the world. Consider reducing the energy cost, or simply make it free (though I'm aware that this would also require the "Baller" tonic to be reworked).

• "Sonar 'Splosion" should be able to destroy the floating balloons in "Galleon Galaxy". Being able to land on top of the balloons, and destroy them all at once with one radial blast would be much more efficient and satisfying than having to hit each balloon indivdually. The strange thing is that "Sonar 'Splosion" works perfectly on the balloons near the ground. Potentially a bug or oversight?

• World 1 transformation should move faster, jump higher, and be less noisy. I think a slight increase to the transformation's mobility would incetivize players to actually go around and get hints from the other plants scattered around the world. Right now, navigating with it feels a bit slow and cumbersome. Also, less 'boing' please!

• World 5 transformation needs improved firing controls. Using your arsenal of projectiles can feel unresponsive at times, especially when you have to quickly switch between them. The cannon won't fire if the flamethrower is active, and there's no way to shorten the duratiuon of the fire. I would suggest having each weapon on it's own timer, allowing you to use all your projectiles simultaneously. Maybe also have the flamethrower stay active as long as the button is held, and deactivate when released.

• Remove the collision from leafy plants. Every world has a version of this plant, and it seems to get in your way all the time. I like how the leaves jostle around with your movement, but maybe it's possible to keep that effect, while removing player collision?

• Remove the collision from destructable objects (slot machines, igloos) as soon as they're destroyed. Another minor issue, but having to wait an extra 2 or 3 seconds for the debris to clear can be a bit bothersome. Occasionally, one of the pieces of debris will also carry the player with it, as it flies off.

• The camera could use some improvements. Without going into specifics, I've heard too many complaints about the camera to exclude it from this list.


BOSS BATTLES

• "World 1" boss needs some camera improvement. When you move too far down from the ramp, the camera instantly shifts, which can be very disorienting. Consider also zooming the camera out a little, so it's easier to see an incoming log when you're sliding down the ramp.

• "World 2" boss should require less hits. Plain and simple, I think this boss takes too many hits, to the point of tedium. As a side-note, I think many players are not aware you can break the wall and light the torches to make the fight a bit easier. Consider putting the torches behind meltable ice instead of behind glass, so the torches can be accessed with the fire breath.

• "World 5" boss needs improved controls. I think the mechanics of this boss-fight are really cool, however the experience is hampered by awkward boat controls. I would suggest having the boat's orientation locked to face upwards, towards the boss. This would make the fight feel like a space-shooter game, allowing you to easily move to avoid damage, while also aiming your return-fire.


QUALITY OF LIFE

• There should be a 'restart' option for Rextro/Kartos challenges. There are times when you know well in advance that completing one of these challenges has become impossible, and you wish you could simply restart the challenge without having to intentionally die, or have to listen to the dialogue over again.

• Kartos' projectiles should travel forward while jumping, and move along the track. Kartos' challenges are some of the trickier parts of the game, however some of that difficulty comes from slightly awkward controls. It feels bad to miss a barrel with your projectile because Kartos shoots off into the sky when he jumps, or because you were going around a bend when you fired it. That being said, I am completely willing to accept the extra difficulty as 'intentional' if the controls were made this way on purpose.

• Beating Rextro's high-score during your first playthrough of his game should award both pagies at once, allowing you to skip a second playthrough. You can always go back and replay the arcade games that you enjoy, but I think many players would appreciate not having to play the arcade game twice, if it wasn't their cup-of-tea the first time. Speedrunners would also appreciate being able to save time in a run if they manage to beat Rextro's score the first time.

• The pagie acquired from Rextro's arcade in Hivory Towers should be accessible with "Reptile Rush". Many other challenges in the game reinforced the concept that "Reptile Rush" is the move to use when I see cracked glass, so when I tried to use it here, I thought it was bugged. It wasn't long before I realised the solution was "Sonar 'Splosion", but I feel like it makes the game feel a bit inconsistent.

• When transformed, butterflies should restore health instead of energy. Since it's impossible to eat the butterflies while transformed, and also impossible to deplete your energy meter while transformed, it just makes more sense this way. I have a feeling this was an oversight rather than a design decision.

• Cutscenes should be skippable. This is another suggestion I've heard from others (especially speedrunners). This option could potentially be restricted until you've beaten the game at least once.

• It should be more obvious when you need sticky honey to ascend a ramp. This is probably the least-concerning item on this list, as well as the most difficult to find a solution for. It's nearly impossible to know whether or not you'll be able to scale a hill using "Reptile Roll" alone, or if you need the sticky honey. The best example I can think of is the ramp leading up to the Velocity Terminal in the last world. It looks like you'd be able to roll up the hill normally, were it not for the conveniently-placed nearby bee-hive. There's nothing wrong with learning through trial-and-error, but it might be nice to tell visually.
Last edited by Buzzard on Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Buzzard

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Scrubber
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Scrubber » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:11 am


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Minionwithamission
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Minionwithamission » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:44 am

All sound pretty reasonable to me.

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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby yooka-dragon » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:48 am

I'm totally agree with you Buzzard !!


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Cube
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Cube » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:55 am

Wait...Kartos shooting isn't just for the boss?

That may have made the Minecart sections a bit easier. The first time I got the dialogue for "no controls" even though I'm sure I asked for them, so I just figured them out myself.

Buzzard
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Buzzard » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:11 am

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Natsu
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Natsu » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:37 am

I really agree with all of those suggestions. By the way you made a typo and said world "4" boss when you started talking about the boat battle.

I personally think the final boss could have been much better, but it would have needed to be completely different. I really dislike that the bubble shield move can be used in this fight. It might be kind of contrived to tell the player they just can't use it here, but it would help. I think that move in general just doesn't fit, though. Surely there could have been better moves to add in for the final ability.

Anyways, I thought I would lay out an augmented final boss fight to see what some of you think:

Phase 1: Instead of sentient bee swarms, he will shoot bee projectiles in streams. These will be rapid-fire homing shots that can only be dodged by the aerial attack (laterally), reptile rush (laterally) or deflection with basic sonar. I would have him shoot three streams in a row and then tinker with his cane while doing a short hop backwards. The idea here would be to use one of the above methods in zig zags to close the distance and then knock him over when he reloads.

Phase 2: Capital B fills the room with corplets, I.N.E.P.T. bees, and four punishers. Capital B then hugs the back of a punisher and shoots a single bee stream once every 10 seconds or so. Your job here is to take out the punishers one by one so that the boss has no more meatshields to hide behind. Then you will be able to hit him with ice eggs afterwards.

Phase 3: I would have Capital B hover around while three punishers perform ground pound attacks. This means you would be actively trying to move around the arena to catch the boss while dodging a series of simultaneous shockwaves. It would be a lot more fun to me rather than waiting for Capital B himself to get stuck in the ground after the 4th slam.

Phase 3.5: Capital B combines Phases 1 and 3. You will have to zig zag to dodge his attacks while the punishers ground slam (reduce slammers to 2).

Phase 4: This can stay the same. I really enjoyed guiding the homing rockets back into him.

But in order for that boss fight to really work the bubble shield would have to be removed. I think it would also be great if the world 4 boss had an alternate form you can fight that is significantly longer and more challenging. Jumping over his missiles and mines was extremely fun and reminded me of the DKC2 final boss. I would love to have a lot more of that kind of stuff, and for it to be harder.

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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Dawnshock533 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:26 pm

Agree on most of the issue underlined here and have a few of my own ideas/issues.

Rextro's Arcade

The arcade is a nice retro addition with a modern twist but in each world it kinda feels out of place and with Rex having an entire room dedicated to him in the hub having one on each world also feels like wasted space.

A solution I thought for this is maybe have unique play tokens which are found in the worlds or even the hub that allow you to unlock arcade games in the hub.
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Another issue is whenever you fail a run in the arcade, rather then asking if you want to retry it take you completely out and loads the world again just to ask you. This just seems impractical and a waste of time where it could quickly reset whilst still in the arcade screen.
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Now this one isn't for all the arcade games just maybe the ones in Capital Casino and Galleon Galaxy.

Collecting Quills as a point indicator is a good idea but I feel that when you get to the point of the game that you might end up losing a life, trying to recover from that is punishment enough with the current respawn mechanics let alone losing a cluster of quills while your at it. I understand you need it for the high score but being able to pick the quills back up seems pointless in these two games types as it's near impossible without awkwardly respawning infront of obstacles a bunch of times.

So to counter that maybe have it so that you lose quills but they don't drop so that they can't be picked up.

Kratos Challenge

The first issue is lower the killzone on the screen a bit, all the gems that require to you fall a bit then jump in order to collect them need to be done so pricise because even a fraction of a second out and the automatic killzone ends the run. (Also restarting for the kart screen rather then exiting out to the world is another time waster)
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Boosting and slowing down is fine but not knowing when you're able to again after using it is frustrating, adding a cool down meter would help with timing of when and when not to use boosts or brakes on the tracks, that or have a reserve meter that you can have there to use in succession with one another but have a cool down when depleated. Better that rather then guessing if you have enough time to collect that gem and clear that gap also (yes I'm looking at you Capital Casino).
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Third isn't really a problem so more as an idea, I feel that a double jump would fit comfortably with the gameplay of the kart challenge which would make completing the challenge easier but not necessarily collecting enough gems. It would help you salvage any mistake you made in jumping boosting or so on where you would otherwise fail a run.


Bosses

The I.N.E.P.T boss is a great boss fight but the difficulty of the first phase takes too long to clear and without having most of your life built up you end up having little to no butterfly's left by the time the you get to the second phase which takes most of the fun out of the encounter.

I believe that if the later mines sequences were spaced out slightly better to be more jump or cannon friendly, it would greatly increase the enjoyment and playability of the encounter.

Buzzard
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Buzzard » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:51 am

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Scrubber
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Scrubber » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:25 pm

I'd like to add that (like Tooie) the game needs a pagie checklist. When a game is this big there has to be some kind of help if needed. I'm missing a pagie and haven't a clue where it is. The banjo Tooie checklist worked wonders. It doesn't tell you where it is but it gives you a clue.

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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby FailureFactory » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:46 pm


Simtaur
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Simtaur » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:37 am

1st time posting here so I have to get this out of the way, but I threw some backer money at the game when the kickstarter 1st launched, enough to get a digital copy, although I bought the game for PS4 anyway. Overall, I love the game and got almost exactly what I was expecting.

Also, I haven't quite complete the game but I have all the worlds expanded, and I have almost 100% each world except for Galleon Galaxy, which is what I'm on now before I tackle the final boss.

Galleon looks fantastic and this world feels very well designed. The layout, art, and overall design of it makes it the highlight world for me.

That said, I have never found myself more frustrated with the game than I have just now, attempting to beat the Space Golf "Black Hole in One" challenge. I just spent a lot of time replaying it over and over, and every time feels the same, like I don't really have control of the golf ball mechanically. It feels way too loose for me to feel like there is much of anything besides luck that will help me to clear the challenge.

It's a shame because I like the idea of it, and the course itself looks great, and has a good design to it. It's just ruined for me by seeming lack of control over the golf ball itself.

I don't know how this could be improved but I feel it was a big enough of a sore spot for me that I needed to address it, if only in hopes that if Playtonic reads this and gets to make a sequel (which I absolutely would support) that mechanical based challenges like this don't end up in the sequel.

Nearly everything else I love, and I don't want to diminish how much I appreciate being able to play this type of game again, I really do love this game and give my thanks for Playtonic for going through the effort and risk of making it.

Buzzard
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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Buzzard » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:13 pm

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Re: Improvement Suggestions [SPOILERS]

Postby Simtaur » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:06 am



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