Playtonic, the promising ex-Rare developers behind Project Ukulele, have been interviewed by The Guardian. There’s a wealth of information contained within the interview, especially about Rare of the past and of the present. Interestingly one of the former staff members says that Microsoft gave Rare more freedom than they had with Nintendo. You can read the full interview, right here.
“I still chat to them, I know what they were working on when I left last year,” says Playtonic’s studio head, Gavin Price, who worked for Rare for 20 years, having joined as a tester in the 1990s. “It sounds really good.”
“I want them to do well,” says Price. “They’re mates and we left them behind to come and do this. I’m looking forward to what they’re doing next – people will be really happy to see it.” Asked whether it would be a Kinect-focused title, like the studio’s other recent projects, he replied: “I can’t say for sure what they are or aren’t doing with that piece of hardware that Microsoft isn’t supporting much anymore.”
The team has also talked about including a vast range of non-player characters in Project Ukulele, who will then star in their own spin-off titles. Intriguingly, they have even expressed an interest in working with Rare again in some capacity. “You never know, there are some good old mates of ours down the road, they may might want to do a little multi-studio collaboration,” says Price. “We’re just going to be open minded. We’re not trying to look too far ahead. We’ll make the right decision when we get there.”
“For me, it was more about [Rare founders] Tim and Chris Stamper leaving,” says Playtonic technical director Jens Restemeier, who worked at Rare handling handheld conversions of key titles. “There was no sense of progression about what the company was going to do from that point on. The story people want to hear is that Microsoft came in and destroyed everything. It wasn’t like that. They gave us freedom, almost more freedom than Nintendo gave us.”