New Project Ukelele Screenshots and Details Revealed

Playtonic Games has ambitious visions for the new 3D platformer, with a KickStarter coming in May.

By Kyle England. Posted 03/16/2015 11:15 2 Comments     ShareThis

Playtonic Games– the new independent game studio made up of former Rareware employees– unveiled its existence and its first project a few weeks ago. The new game, tentatively called Project Ukelele is a 3D platformer that will be a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie games we loved so much from Nintendo 64. At the show EGX Rezzed in London this past weekend, Playtonic Games divulged many new details about their latest project and shared the first couple of screenshots.There was a TON of new information revealed, probably more than I want to cram into one news article, but here’s some paraphrasing and summarizing.

Playtonic Games had a short presentation, and then fielded questions from show attendees to answer questions about the world of Project Ukelele, release details, extra features, and much more. Rest assured that the new game will undoubtedly be a 3D platformer just like those Rare had in 1990s such as Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. There will be large, non-linear worlds to explore and plenty of collectibles to collect. Developers indicated that they planned to include secrets that could take months or even years to find.

In a recent news post to Playtronic’s website, managing director and creative lead Gavin Price summarized some of the presentation’s points about the game in a handy FAQ:

The hype train is only just leaving the station as our fans keep saying! If you like our past work, the humour, style, challenging 3D platforming, helping out lots of mumbling NPC’s and collectively collecting collectibles then you’ll be in for a goggle-eyed treat!

Project Ukelele will also have a KickStarter launching for it in May. Playtonic wants to use this campaign as an opportunity to help get extra funds and gauge interest in what features fans want to see. First and foremost, the game doesn’t have any set platforms yet. It’s coming to PC for sure, but other consoles are still up in the air. Of course, Playtonic is aiming for a Wii U release, as it’s something that many fans are clamoring for. The old Rare games made their home with Nintendo, after all. But don’t think that means Nintendo is being courted as a publisher to be an exclusive game or anything like that. “Fans of our past work are all over the place and it’d be a shame to leave anyone out and we’d really not do that!” said Price on the question of what platforms Project Ukelele will appear on. And when it comes to possible publishing partners, Price said “We’re just a team of developers who want to focus on making the game itself. There’s LOTS of other tasks that need doing in future and we want to be in full control!”

Interestingly enough, Playtonic mentioned a couple technologies in consideration for Project Ukelele— NFC figures and VR. An audience member at Rezzed asked if virtual reality features would be available, and the developers replied that it wouldn’t be out of the question if fans expressed interest. But more relevant for Nintendo fans is that Playtonic mentioned Amiibo figures several times during the presentation. The developers are looking into the possibility of some sort of figure functionality. In fact, some of the team admitted to being Amiibo collectors themselves!

Despite all the details on the vision for Project Ukelele, Playtonic is still keeping some secrets. We still have not seen a full reveal of the playable characters, which will apparently be a duo similar to Banjo and Kazooie. Playtonic feels that showing what sort of creatures the heroes are would give away too many gameplay mechanics. However, one of the images presented at Rezzed did feature a hint at one of the main characters. After Playtonic teased the appearance of the character on Twitter, fans quickly found this little green critter:

Things are really shaping up for Project Ukelele! This is definitely a game that many fans of Rare and the Nintendo 64 (myself included) have been looking forward to for a long time. The 3D platformer deserves another chance at life, and who better to handle it than a group of Rare veterans with such a clear vision? We will keep you updated on Project Ukelele details, so stay tuned. Check out the embedded YouTube video below for the entire Rezzed presentation, and hit up Playtonic’s official website for some more information about the team and the game.

Are you excited for a revival of the golden age of Rareware? Do you plan to support the KickStarter? Let us know!

2 Responses to “New Project Ukelele Screenshots and Details Revealed”

  • 1561 points
    penduin says...

    I’m not as Kickstarter-happy as I was (mainly because I haven’t had lots of gaming time lately) but this one’s getting my money for sure assuming a Wii U build is in the cards. Not that I’d mind playing this on a Linux PC, but, Wii U’s top-notch controllers and plausible amiibo support? Hell yes! :^)

    Between this and Hat in Time, I’m excited to see this style of game come back. The closest we’ve had in recent memory have been Mario 3D World (not quite the same thing) and Sonic Lost World (really not bad, but not old-Rare magic either).

    Microsoft may have bought the Rare trademarks, but Playtonic escaped with the substance. :^)

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    This one is going to break the gaming Kickstarter record for sure. Looking forward to seeing future development updates after its inevitable funding.

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