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All Articles: Project Ukulele
Playtonic Games is hard at work on Yooka-Laylee, their loving tribute to the “Collect-Em-Ups” of the late 90s/early 2000s like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. But it looks like that hard work is going to take a little more time, as Playtonic has confirmed Yooka-Laylee won’t be released this October as originally planned. Instead, the developer revealed (on their official website) that it’ll be released for the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One early next year:
While we felt confident we could ship the game in October as originally projected in our Kickstarter, the Playtonic team has decided that it would prefer to add a few extra months’ polish to the game schedule.
Ultimately, this will allow us to deliver a better game to the tens-of-thousands of you who’ve supported us throughout development. And that’s what we all want, right?
While Yooka-Laylee is a bit further away now than it was before, Playtonic plans to bring their work-in-progress game to next week’s E3 Expo, so we should learn more about it soon. In the meantime, you can check out the game’s E3 trailer, which has been embedded above.
Playtonic’s Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee has smashed through all of its initial stretch goals after a single day. The platformer has received pledges totaling more than £1,000,000 (about $1.5 million) and there’s still 45 days to go.
Yooka-Laylee’s success means that the game will expand considerably beyond Playtonic’s original pitch. By hitting stretch goal after stretch goal, fans have ensured the game will include boss battles after each level, a Quiz Show level, a transformation powerup, a local co-op mode for two players, a local versus mode for four players, and a simultaneous October 2016 release on the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One.
The developer has added more stretch goals to the campaign including an “N64 Shader” mode and a Playtonic-hosted Let’s Play of the game. Additional stretch goals will surely be added over the next few weeks as fans continue to fill Playtonic’s coffers.
Yooka the Chameleon and Laylee the Bat seem to have struck a chord with gamers across the world. In an update posted this morning, Playtonic offered their “sincere thanks” to everyone who believed in the project enough to back it.
Well that was unexpected.
Proving that the public’s hunger for a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie is currently going unfulfilled, the Kickstarter campaign for Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee has already reached its funding goal… less than 40 minutes after it began. The development team, which is comprised of several former Rare employees, was seeking £175,000 ($270,041) to produce the game. Instead, they’ve blown past that mark and are well on their way to the first stretch goals. As of this writing, the game’s backers have already pledged £250,578 ($386,665).
With their goal reached, Playtonic Games has vowed to release Yooka-Laylee for the PC by October 2016. Console versions (including the PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U) will be released sometime later, but if the campaign reaches £1,000,000 ($1,511,565), Playtonic will release the game on all four platforms simultaneously.
More details about the game’s world, characters, music, and platforming mechanics can be found at the Kickstarter page. But odds are you’ve already looked at it and already emptied your wallet in Playtonic’s general direction.
Back in February, Playtonic Games announced they were developing Project Ukulele, a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. The developer might just have the chops to back up its boast as many former members of Rare, including Steve Mayles, the Character Artist behind the bird-and-bear duo, now call Playtonic home.
Today, Playtonic revealed that Project Ukulele will officially be known as Yooka-Laylee. As expected, the ridiculously great pun hiding in the title is also proof that Yooka-Laylee will also star a pair of animal friends. Yooka is a chameleon with a grapple tongue, while Laylee is a bat with a sonar blast. Both characters will have to work together to traverse their massive world, which you can get a taste of in the gameplay trailer embedded above.
Playtonic wants to bring Yooka-Laylee to “your platform of choice,” but we don’t know yet where the duo will take their platforming act. However, Playtonic plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the game tomorrow, and presumably, it’ll reveal quite a bit more about the game.
Before Rare became known as Microsoft’s Kinect team (though that’ll be changing soon), they developed a whole slew of well-received platformers for Nintendo. Now, the core developers behind those titles have left Rare and struck out on their own as Playtonic Games. Their first project? A spiritual successor to Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie.
This project is currently known as Project Ukulele, and Playtonic plans to pull back the curtain on it in this month’s issue of Edge Magazine, which will be available on newsstands tomorrow. The team has also written a bit about Project Ukelele on their official website:
We’ve got the bloke who programmed Donkey Kong Country, the character designer behind Banjo and Kazooie, and the artist who made your console fit to burst with lavish environments across a decade’s worth of adventure games.
Together, our all-star ensemble is aiming to build its debut game, Project Ukulele, into a worthy spiritual successor to those fondly remembered platforming adventures we built in the past.
I highly recommend a visit to PlaytonicGames.com as the site also includes biographies of the team members and the first piece of concept art from Project Ukulele.