Playtonic director reveals why they focus on style over realism with their graphics
In 2002 a group of former Rare employees announced that they wanted to make a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie. This classic platformer was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998 and introduced the world to the dynamic duo of Banjo the bear and Kazooie the bird. It was seen by many as the greatest platformer since Mario 64.
Gavin Price, the studio director for Playtonic, was recently interviewed by ArsTechnica and explained the company’s view on style and graphics. “Personally, we’ve always tried to put style over technical brilliance in games.” Price reveals that they prioritize the art style over creating realistic graphics. Playtonic believe that “stylised art is more fun and creative”. This can certainly be seen in the way they have designed Yooka-Laylee. The upcoming release may well be the most bright and colourful game in years.
Price admits that it is sadly a risk to develop a game that focuses more on a fun art style, but explains “we make games for ourselves in that they’re fun to play and they’re mechanically very strong.” Despite the simple art style for many of their games, Rare has always created a sense of challenge combined with exciting gameplay.
Yooka-Laylee has big shoes to fill in order to be the spiritual successor for Banjo Kazooie. Early signs indicate that Playtonic are well on their way to crafting a future classic which embraces what made their past games so unique. Yooka-Laylee will be released for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Playstation 4 on April 11th.
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