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Yooka-Laylee Developer Says “We’ve Always Tried To Put Style Over Technical Brilliance”

Ars Technica recently caught up with Playtonic studio director Gavin Price to discuss the cute and colourful upcoming 3D platformer, Yooka-Laylee. A number of things were discussed in the interview and I would recommend reading the full thing. However, it is interesting to note that the studio and its bunch of acclaimed developers say that they have always tried to put style over technical brilliance and that its a real shame that it’s seen as a risky prospect to do bright, colourful games.

“I think a lot of realistic visuals got done simply for the sake of it, simply because the hardware got to a point where it could handle it,” laments Price. “Personally, we’ve always tried to put style over technical brilliance in games. I think stylised art is more fun and creative. From a business perspective, it’s a great shame it’s seen as a risky prospect to do bright, colourful games… Essentially, we make games for ourselves in that they’re fun to play and they’re mechanically very strong. However, they’re also completely fine to give to anyone of any age.”



  1. I definitely agree with him. Games that shoot for a realistic aesthetic tend to age worse than other games. A good example is Wind Waker vs Twilight Princess.

    Yooka-Laylee is the kind of game that can only work with the art style they’ve chosen. It, and other games like it, simply wouldn’t look right with more realistic visuals. Its graphics actually make it better, rather than worse.

    It’s a shame that gaming evolved to a point where it’s common for games to be judged by their visuals. A lot of people view any game with a colorful, unrealistic appearance as kiddy.

    1. It’s also ironic that a lot of the “kiddy” visual games are deeper and more difficult than most realistic looking games that have you running around completing shallow, meaningless tasks. Banjo-Kazooie or Mario Sunshine are NOT easy games. I doubt Yooka-Laylee will be, too. This is the classic JRPG vs western RPG argument as well. Persona 3-5 are infinitely more badass, harder, and deeper than most western RPGs to date, and they look good doing it, too. Give me Fire Emblem, Persona, or Shining over TES, Fable, or Fallout any day. And give me Metroid Prime, Zelda, Okami, or Ico over The Last of Us, Uncharted, Watch Dogs, or Assassin’s Creed.

  2. Would expect nothing less from developers during Rare’s heyday. Breath of fresh air that some developers (Nintendo included) still feel that way. I’ve always been a fan of more vibrant, aesthetically pleasing artstyles over the boring ass, realistic barren wastelands that are saturating the market today.

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