Page 1 of 2

Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:50 am
by ShanPen
These boards have been pretty quiet while people are waiting for the Switch version of the game to arrive, and some of the other threads have been filled with negativity that some people have expressed annoyance over.

So for anyone who is still around and wants to pass the time having POSITIVE, FRIENDLY, CONSTRUCTIVE conversations about Yooka-Laylee and/or Playtonic, I thought I'd make this Switch Waiting Room area. The idea is that it would be kind of like the General Yooka-Laylee Discussion thread, but as a lot of people waiting for the Switch version might not have played Yooka-Laylee at all yet, please don't post game spoilers if you have played a different version of the game already.

I have thought up some ideas for possible discussion topics, but they are just some suggestions to start off any conversation, feel free to add your own so long as they are positive, fun, friendly, or constructive (ie. this is not the thread for whining and throwing tantrums over there being no Switch release date yet or for being spiteful towards the Playtonic team - if that's what you're after I suggest this tread instead):

Some possible things to discuss, grouped under headings:

Switch Testing and Switch Preview
- Playtonic said in their last update that version 5.6 of Unity was causing more issues with the Switch version. Is anyone who knows about game development and/or Unity able to share their expertise about what sort of problems in a game could be caused by Unity’s update, for those of us who don’t know about game development?
- Did anyone notice any visible issues in the Switch version preview that was shown in the last update?
- How are they able to show a preview that seems to work fine (to those of us who don’t know about game development) if they are having issues with the Unity update? Is the preview likely to be from an older version of Unity, or is it possible for them to show a section of the game that doesn’t have any issues?
- In the last update, Playtonic said they are working with the people from Unity to try and solve the issues – has anyone here dealt with the Unity troubleshooting team and do you think they are likely to give priority help to the development of a game such as Yooka-Laylee?

New Staff
- Playtonic have recently hired two new staff, an Engineer called Josué, and Environmental Artist Anthea. Has anyone heard of either of them or know of their work?
- Do you think the new Engineer was hired to help with the Switch testing/troubleshooting?
- Does anyone else think it is an odd time for them to be recruiting a new Environmental Artist when the game is mostly finished? What do you think Anthea will be working on?
- If you were the person in charge of hiring staff for Playtonic, who would you want to hire and why? How would they be a good fit with the current Playtonic team?

- How do you think Playtonic should be marketing/drumming up anticipation for the Switch version NOW (before release)? What sort of things would you do if you were in their marketing team, or what would you like them to be doing?
- How do you think they should market the Switch game once it’s released?
- How do you think they need to market Yooka-Laylee specifically in regards to competing with Super Mario Odyssey? (Do you even agree that it will be competing, or do you think both games attract different demographics?)
- I know most people here would love a physical Switch copy of the game, but do you think Playtonic need to release physical copies (why/why not)? What do you think are the pros and cons of both digital only versus physical carts in relation to a small company like Playtonic?
- Assuming a Yooka-Laylee sequel is made, how do you think Playtonic will market it if Yooka-Laylee Switch gets a good reception, versus if it doesn’t get a good reception?

Yooka-Laylee Boxie
- What, if anything, do you like about the set?
- What, if anything, do you dislike about the set?
- What would you have included in the set if it were up to you to design the contents?
- The Yooka-Laylee Boxie is said to ship in December, do you think this could mean the Switch version will release around then, or do you think it’s just a date based on when the company making them was able to fit in manufacturing?

*Waits to see if anyone answers, or if there'll only be crickets chirping...*

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:14 pm
by baker_boy0017

This was a wonderful idea Shan! I've just been peaking into the forums a tiny bit lately because of how much negativity ever new post seems to have. Hopefully we can keep this place as a nice little negativity-bomb shelter.

As for development on Unity, from my limited game experience I can say this much: usually you get most of the game to act exactly like you want, but then you go to do just one little thing and it refuses to work. For example, let's just pretend that everything except Yooka's tongue reaching out for edible objects is working. But every time they try to eat a fruit or butterfly, suddenly Yooka's tongue awkwardly never comes back to his body, gets stuck in one spot, and stays in that spot no matter what you do, creating a weird, obviously bugged pink surface that would likely bend in and out of itself. It's things like this where Playtonic would have to stop and spend all of their resources figuring out why this one bug exists.

As for why things wouldn't go smoothly after Unity updates, it can be like trying to build a mansion after someone just changed the foundation. If the foundation has too high of a water table, you can't build. Let's say most of the mansion is sound, except one little section. You think "We'll wait for the water people to help," only to find that when they fixed that water table in that one place, suddenly the water table in the rest of the foundation went up, and now the house is sinking. It can be highly frustrating working on things like this, and with more powerful game engines like Unity you run the risk of an update causing previous work to just fall apart.

To be clear, I don't know what the actual problems Playtonic is facing are, and I only have amateur game making experience. But that's how I understand it all.

As for promotion stuff, I think Playtonic would be foolish to jump into it right now. As far as they (and we) know, the Switch version might be stuck in glitch-limbo for months. It seems the issue is big enough that they themselves don't have much confidence in how to proceed. The good news is that with hiring for an Engineer, I think it is highly likely that they are no longer leaning on Unity's support to finish the game. Also, that new artist they are hiring is probably good for DLC? I had kind of hoped that the DLC would be further along by this point, so maybe not, but I can't think of much else. Who knows, maybe they are adding some temporary "Switch exclusive areas" to apologize to Switch fans when release comes?

I'm not worried about Mario Odyssey, and for a simple reason. How many shooters do fans of FPS games have? Just one? No. I am super excited to have both Mario Odyssey and Yooka Laylee downloaded onto my Switch, with me all of the time. To me, it is like comparing Disneyland to Universal Studios. Just because they are both theme parks doesn't mean they can't exist at the same time, and both be loved. As excited as I am for Mario Odyssey, the Banjo games were always my preference of Mario 64 as a kid, because the environments and gameplay of those games simply appealed to me more. Heck, how could Banjo and Mario 64 co-exist if this is such a pressing issue? I think YL coming out after Mario may even be more helpful: people might no longer say "Why buy this when a newer and better one is coming?" and instead think "Oh, I already beat Mario. I could use a new game. How about this?"

My long winded two cents.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:24 am
by ShanPen
Thanks for explaining about Unity and giving such good examples! :D

Wow, testing and bug fixing sounds like it would be so frustrating, I didn't really understand how damaging something like a program update could be, but now I'm amazed that any games ever get finished if that's the sort of thing game developers have to put up with. Would it be right to say it's a bit like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube in that you do something that appears to fix the puzzle (such as having the cube face you are looking at finally all being blue), but then when you look at the over faces of the cube you realise that the move you just made to fix the blue side has now stuffed up everything else? I can certainly understand why you think it would be wrong for them to be marketing the Switch version now if it can take them so long to get all the bugs out, as I honestly didn't realise it was that complicated. Imagine how annoying it would be to think you have found everything, and then just as you get your hopes up, you find one more thing that breaks the game again. :shock: Hopefully Josué can come to the rescue!

What about console updates, do you know if they interfere at all? Because I just read that Nintendo recently put out a big update for the Nintendo Switch, so could that add any extra problems to Playtonic's existing bugs, or are console updates not really relevant to game development?

I know a lot of people seemed worried about Yooka-Laylee coming out after Odyssey and having to compete, but I think you made some good points about people who are fans of a certain game genre having multiple games from that genre, or seeking out more when they finish their favourites. I did think it was weird when I saw people making comments like "Hurry up because if it comes out after Odyssey, I can't buy both" because it's not like there's an immediate time limit on when you have to buy the game by (unless it was years into the future when the console is just about to be superseded), so if they can't afford both games at the time, then they could buy the other one at a later time when they have the money for a new game (and when it's likely to be cheaper because it's older). Also because 3D platforming games have been absent for so long, a lot of kids these days might not have picked up Yooka-Laylee initially because it's not the type of game they normally play, but then if they get Odyssey because Mario is such a well known brand, they might realise they like those type of games and then look for similar games which might lead them to Yooka-Laylee (although I think this might be harder if Playtonic don't end up doing physical copies so that the game is visible on physical shop shelve in game stores, particularly if parents are buying the games for kids as I may be wrong, but it doesn't seem like many parents, unless they are also gamers, would be that familiar with downloading games from the Nintendo eShop, but rather buy games from brick and mortar stores. Actually on that point, when I've visited stores that sell games but where the shelves don't have designated spots for each title, while in the PS4 isle I have been known to move a copy of Yooka-Laylee right next to the more famous Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy or Ratchet and Clank games, so that it hopefully gets noticed by people who like the more cartoony looking games who were looking for Crash Bandicoot :lol: ).
So I can see both sides of the argument, that competing with Odyssey could be good or bad for Playtonic, and it'll be interesting to see what happens. I'm really looking forward to both games for my Switch, but I also have to wait for Odyssey because I'm getting it from family as a Christmas present, so I'll just have to finish my Wii U copy of Zelda Breath of the Wild, and play more Splatoon 2 on Switch while I wait for Odyssey and Yooka.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:50 pm
by baker_boy0017
I love that you put YL next to Crash and such in the stores LOL.

Bug fixing can definitely be a lot like a rubix cube, particularly something like a port I imagine. When you build the game from the ground up, bugs tend to pop up as a direct result of something you just changed or added into the coding, giving you a good idea of what exactly the problem is. You then fix it before proceeding, so you don't end up with a chain of bugs. But for porting to other consoles... that process can be much trickier. I think that's a big reason why ports tend to be handled by additional studios, including Yooka Laylee. Also a big reason why MAKING the PS4 and XBox update took months to do, and why the game ran so poorly on those consoles initially. Also keep in mind that most video game producers have teams significantly bigger than Playtonic. Really puts into perspective how much the team decided to bite off with this first game of theirs!

As for console updates, those shouldn't really be an issue as otherwise games that were already released on them could suddenly show bugs. Unfortunately, I don't understand the ins and outs of computer architecture and whatnot, so I can't help explain the situation all that much :(

I certainly agree that kids' familiarity with Mario Odyssey can be a huge boon to Yooka Laylee. Now, if Yooka Laylee were coming out at the same time (span of a month before or after), I could understand the competition aspect. But it's not, from the looks of things: we can confirm it didn't come out a month ago, and it looks like it will be at least a month into the future before it releases. Now if only people would stop saying "Mario Odyssey is more Banjo than Yooka Laylee" because that does not look true to me at all hahaha.

I'm curious as to what you - and anyone else - think about the 3D platformer collect-a-thon coming back. We've got Crash Bandicoot remade, Mario Odyssey right on the horizon, plus a bunch of different indie games based on the genre like Yooka Laylee and A Hat in Time. Game "journalists" have claimed for a while that nobody likes these types of games and thus they disappeared, but I genuinely think it was just the perfect storm of other things that caused the genre to go missing, and developers have finally realized just how great the games are again. Thoughts?

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:47 pm
by FailureFactory
From my experience, porting works best if you build with ports in mind from the get-go. It's a bit like writing a long text on paper, and knowing you'll have to replace certain words with other words later. If you know this from the start, you'll avoid the words or mark the pages they appear on to easily find them later. If you don't, have fun finding them. Considering the Switch appeared mid-development, nobody knew the words in time. This is only part of the problem of course.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:01 pm
by FailureFactory
About collect-a-thon, I really dislike this term. If I want to play a game where all I do is collect, I'll get something like Cookie Clicker or play a fetch quest in some rpg. Games like Banjo or Crash have hazards and action, because stuff is meant to be earned. Part of the earning will be collection, but I won't buy a game where collecting is the main thing. People don't love boss fights because there's so much to collect there, I think.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:57 pm
by ShanPen
I’m stoked that the 3D platformers are making a come back! Banjo-Kazooie is one of my absolute favourite games, so I was really disappointed when those sorts of games suddenly disappeared from Nintendo consoles once the Game Cube hit.
And back then I didn’t have the internet, so the only way to find out about new games was to see them on shelves (hence why I think it’ll be a big disadvantage to Playtonic if they don’t make physical Switch copies), reading the couple of pages dedicated to games in the free magazine the video rental store (ha, remember those) used to print, or hearing rumours from people. So when my sister heard that there was going to be a 3rd Banjo game on XBox, we were really excited, and thankfully due to the lack of internet we didn’t see that initial preview trailer that made it look like it was going to be a proper Banjo game, otherwise we would have been even more disappointed when we played Nuts and Bolts. I remember attempting to play that game but giving up after about 30 minutes because not only was it too hard to read the tiny text on our old CRT TV, but the game was boring and nothing like a real Banjo game, and that character who kept rubbing it in that 3D platformers are dead, no one wants them anymore etc. was SO annoying.

I wonder if one of the reasons 3D Adventure Platformer games disappeared was because it was around the time that everyone was so excited by the graphics on PlayStation 2 and XBox, which seemed to tend to favour shooter and racing sort of games. So people flocked to PlayStation 2 and XBox where they were only really playing the same sorts of games due to those being the only sort of games available, and game developers mistook this to mean that everyone just really wanted shooter and racing games, rather than realising people were switching because of the good graphics those consoles were capable of, not because of the type of games, and so they all kept churning out more of the same type of games because they knew people would buy them. Like how Hollywood keeps churning out remakes or sequels, because they know those types of movies will guarantee them money, rather than risking doing something different that might not succeed and they’d lose money. And then after a while, you get a generation of gamers who only really know shooter and racing games because they never had anything else available to them, so they might be a bit sceptical of playing something a bit different like Yooka-Laylee (I cringe whenever I read a comment by some kid about how annoying it was that there were no maps in Yooka-Laylee when that’s the point, to go exploring! They just want to be hand-held through everything these days, I even saw someone asking for a map that would also include the location of the collectables on it, like what’s the point of even playing then?! :shock:).

But now the people who grew up playing Banjo-Kazooie have grown up themselves, and with how computer literate a lot of them are, they are able to make their own indie platformer games, plus the fact that social media has made it way easier to interact with the big game developers and ask them for the type of games people want, they have realised that people still want and have been missing 3D Platformers. And just like Hollywood with their remakes, game developers have realised there’s huge nostalgia at the moment for 3D platformers now those gaming kids of the ’80s and ’90s have grown up and have money to spend themselves, so we’re suddenly seeing a resurgence of those type of games. But just like Hollywood, I think we will see a majority of old games being remade (eg. Crash Bandicoot), sequels to old games, or games using already established characters (Mario Odyssey) rather than many completely new game franchises. Which is what makes Yooka-Laylee interesting, as it is sort of a sequel in that it has been promoted as the “spiritual successor” to Banjo-Kazooie, but at the same time is it also a new franchise because the characters are all new. Which could make it difficult for Platonic to compete, because people can be reluctant to try something new.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:30 am
by ShanPen

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:00 am
by ShanPen

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:33 pm
by baker_boy0017
I'd be afraid of sharks too if I lived in Australia, but for different reasons :lol:

I've honestly pondered whether they ought to just try building the game again from scratch. It is true they basically have all of the assets they need, the level designs, and so forth. But I figure that it would be several months of guaranteed development (six+), whereas there is a chance that they could get away with just a month or two by continuing to port. Possibly less.

I think it MIGHT be more likely that they just cancel the Switch version... which I'm sure they really don't want to do. I'm willing to bet they don't have the money to refund backers, not that they have to. If they were to cancel, I bet they would at least give everyone a free Steam version.

I just don't know what the future holds for this game. I like to keep believing the game will come, and hopefully before March 2018. In my mind, I just keep picturing myself playing on my Switch, and that keeps me going!

On another topic, I can confirm that Mario Odyssey is AMAZING. I tend to not believe in hype - which proved me wrong already with BoTW - but Odyssey is amazing. It is the absolute perfect sequel to Mario 64. I also still believe that it and Yooka Laylee can exist together just fine, particularly because Yooka has the core element of learning new moves.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:50 am
by PandaLover

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:44 pm
by baker_boy0017
I haven't looked at the link yet, but what you've said is very interesting. It would make sense how Nintendo could have possibly created such a "powerful seeming" console whose cost and even mere existence seem to suggest otherwise.

So, did Playtonic jump the gun when they announced the Switch release? That is starting to worry me. Arg, this is such a bigger nightmare than we all hoped it would be! :o

Anyway, on a more positive note, the collector-3D platformer genre is getting lots of people to jump back onto the band wagon, which I think is good news for Yooka Laylee. Despite some blunders on this first one, I think a sequel game could be great. I do have to ask though for those who have played Odyssey - would you prefer a new YL that has LOTS of Pagies in a single world that range from laughably easy to ridiculously tough to find, or what Yooka Laylee has done now, where there is the set-in-stone number per world? Or what Banjo did where the worlds also had set numbers, but the number was much smaller?

I felt YL suffered from "Cleverness fatigue" in that they clearly - IMO - started running out of ideas of where to put things, or what to have players do. Yet each Pagie still felt like it was trying to be on the same level of difficulty as most of the others. Is this good? Is Mario Odyssey's huge range better, or is Banjo's very small and typically average difficulty the way to go? Thoughts? Remember to keep spoiler-free!

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:25 am
by FailureFactory

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:32 am
by ShanPen

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:23 am
by baker_boy0017
Good point Shan.

So I'm curious what everyone else thinks about additional Switch content: do we think it'll come? Do we think it'll be SUPER Switch exclusive (doubtful) or just temporarily exclusive for the Switch? What would you want from it?

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:46 am
by FSY
If Switch users get something excusive, I think it will be something super small. But not sure that we're getting anything at all. And honestly, I'd be more than ok with that.

I'm eager to play the game on the Switch and small part of me feels like it would be a nice gesture for the long wait. But if I think rationally about it, if there was any kind of new content, I wouldn't lose anything if everyone got to enjoy it, not just Switch owners. That's why I don't like exclusive content in general. The content is not getting better through exclusivity. It's the exact same content either way. Making it exclusive doesn't gain those that have it anything, it just means that fewer people are able to enjoy it.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:14 pm
by baker_boy0017
I agree that it can be incredibly lame to make purely exclusive content: it can feel like punishing those who didn't choose the right platform. That's why I like to think that if there would be exclusive content, it would be only temporarily exclusive. Heck, maybe Playtonic would let Switch users try some of the DLC stuff slightly early? Something simple and small, that ultimately feels like they are trying to make up for the long development.

Speaking of DLC and whatnot, whatever happened to that?! LOL, I know they are working on it, but unlike the Switch port, that stuff shouldn't be indefinitely postponed (I would think...). What are we expecting?

Had the DLC been showcased by this point, I imagine it might have been something simple like an extra 5 pagies in each world and maybe some small expanded areas. Or maybe 10 new pagies in Hivory Towers and one expanded area in there. But they've had several months to work on this now... and they've still showed nothing. Does anyone else get the feeling that the DLC might be a lot bigger, or is that just wishful thinking? It's really hard for me to gauge... After all, I can't fathom that more than maybe half the team is needed to work on the Switch port. In my mind, that other half must be working on things like the DLC...

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:55 pm
by FailureFactory
I don't think there will be Switch exclusive content. It would be more work for fewer people. It would also seem out of place considering they haven't delivered all their promises yet. Even after that, I think the only legitimate kind of exclusive content are things that don't make sense elsewhere (like "if you play the console-with-camera version, you can insert your pictures into the game").

Also, even though I share the belief that there are probably people at Playtonic who aren't currently working on the Switch port, that doesn't mean people are currently working on the dlc. Possibly, the artists and writers already did their stuff, and now the programmers are the bottleneck both the Switch port and DLC will have to pass through. It might very well be different, but we can't really know.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:16 pm
by baker_boy0017
I wrote several different possible responses to your reply, but in the end I realized the speculation is just my sad attempt at staying positive about the game :(

So, let's move the conversation onto something else: how would you guys feel about discovering Rare is making a new Banjo game? Excited? Skeptical? Irritated? How about a full HD remake of Banjo Kazooie?

I'll be honest: as someone who greatly dislikes Xbox and has since his 360 died on him (and other incidences), I would probably consider getting an Xbox One if Banjo were getting the full HD remake treatment. I'm a sucker for nostalgia stuff like that.

Re: Switch Waiting Room - Friendly Conversations While We Wait

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:22 pm
by ShanPen