When you play “Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” in November, you won’t be playing what Rare initially set out to make with their revival of “Banjo Kazooie.”
Series creator Gregg Mayles told me last week at a review event for the game in San Francisco that Rare went through several iterations of a new “Banjo Kazooie” before settling on their current path.
One of them even included a pseudo-remake of the original Nintendo 64 platformer produced alongside Nintendo. Keep reading to discover the three iterations (two of them now dead) of a next-generation “Banjo Kazooie.”
Idea #1: “We started off thinking, ’Okay, let’s do almost a clever remake of the original, where we have the original worlds.’ We actually started on Mumbo’s Mountain, but all the tasks that you played in Mumbo’s Mountain weren’t quite as you expected it and different things would happen. We thought that’s not the way we wanted to go. Then we tried something else.”
Idea #2: “Kind of a game where we had Banjo versus Grunty, and the whole game is about is trying to achieve these objectives and Grunty was there all the time trying doing the same. So if you were trying to get the jiggy, she was trying to get the jiggy. Then again, that didn’t feel like the kind of direction we wanted to go.”
Idea #3: “Then we came up with the idea of…in traditional games of this genre, there’s usually a loaded task that’s created by the designer and then it’s up to the players to work out what the solution is to that task, and there’s usually only one solution. Then we thought ’What we can we do with that? Kind of give the player more choice, kind of turn that around.’ We actually got these quite simple tasks, but the solutions to them — there isn’t one correct way of doing it. And it came from that. I felt like it’s a different way of looking at it. Rather than [giving] Banjo and Kazooie these abilities that you learn and that are bolted on this character, can we give players abilities in a different way?”
That last idea blossomed into “Bnajo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts,” the platformer that allows players to custom-create vehicles that will allow them to accomplish developer-issued goals. It’s out in Novmber. Sound good? Do you wish Rare had picked one of the other ideas, readers?
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