Interview: Playtonic Games brings Yooka-Laylee to Nintendo Switch
Yooka-Laylee is out now on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch, allowing you to enjoy classic old-school platforming anytime, anywhere! It’s filled with huge, beautiful worlds to explore and an unforgettable case of characters to interact with. You can gear up with up to four Joy-Con controllers for some multiplayer madness too*!
We had the opportunity to catch up with Gavin Price, Managing Director & Creative Lead at Playtonic Games, to discuss the colourful platformer and its arrival on Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo UK: Yooka Laylee was clearly a passion project for the team at Playtonic. What elements of the game are you most proud of and why?
Gavin Price: We’re really proud of what we accomplished, especially as a small indie team. There’s a huge amount of content and variety in Yooka-Laylee, whether you’re chatting with oddball characters, battling hulking bosses, taking on minecart challenges, arcade games, quiz shows, multiplayer games…and much more!
Since release on other platforms, the Playtonic team personally handled development on Nintendo Switch and spent many months adding significant optimisations and dozens of game updates to ensure that this version of Yooka-Laylee really is the bee’s knees. We think our fans on Nintendo Switch will be pleased!
NUK: Fans have been eagerly anticipating Yooka Laylee’s appearance on Nintendo Switch, so we’re sure they’re pleased it’s finally here! What tweaks have you made to Yooka Laylee since its original launch?
GP: We spent a lot of time adding many, many optimisations to ensure that Switch players will enjoy a smooth experience both on and away from the television. On top of that there’s single-Joy-Con support across our eight unique multiplayer games, the ability to play on-the-go, plus a huge list of updates since launch such as a brand new camera mode, control improvements, menu options, music…there’s a lot! We really paid attention to player feedback to make sure that the Switch version was the best it could possibly be.
NUK: What do you think helps Yooka Laylee stand out against other platform games available on Nintendo Switch?
GP: Yooka-Laylee has lots of the sandbox-style platforming that Mario fans love, but there’s also a grand adventure element to enjoy as well; there’s a huge roster of colourful characters to meet (or beat!), moves to acquire and a hub world to explore. If you like dad jokes and excellent puns, you’ll certainly get your fill. We think the combination of adventure game and platforming offers a really compelling twist to the formula.
NUK: Yooka and Laylee visit a number of varied worlds on their adventure. Which are the team’s favourite locations?
GP: Picking a favourite world will only cause internal fighting amongst our team…so with that in mind, let’s choose Dr Quack’s Quiz Room and watch the fighting commence!
NUK: To help them on their adventure Yooka and Laylee can be transformed into a number of other creatures by Dr. Puzz, how did the team come up with these various transformations?
GP: We looked at how we wanted the transformations to escalate each time and offer up a unique mechanic well suited to the environment. That gave the animator a real challenge (we possibly peaked with world 3’s transformation in this regard!)
NUK: What do you feel Nintendo Switch brings to Yooka Laylee? Are there any elements of the game that you feel work particularly well now that you can play anytime, anywhere?
GP: A lot of our team members have a strong Nintendo heritage, having worked on games like Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie in the past. So it definitely feels fantastic to be back making games for a Nintendo platform. It’s like coming home!
Much of the game was designed to provide a wide range of challenges that allow for faster progress in smaller time periods, as well as ones that take advantage of the larger worlds too. So the game experience is definitely enhanced by the ability to pick up and play anytime, anywhere.
Our arcade-style multiplayer games are also perfect for single-Joy-Con play, so we felt that it was really important to get that feature in for Nintendo fans.
We'd like to thank Gavin for taking the time to chat with us! Yooka-Laylee is available now on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch.
*Multiplayer requires one compatible controller per player. Additional controllers (sold separately) may be required.