Mark @ DKU: What would you say the traditional platforming/vehicle usage ratio is in the overall scope of the game?
Gregg Mayles: I knew someone would ask that! Mmm... I would say around 80% vehicles. But just a rough guess. Banjo gets in and out of the vehicles all the time; but the travelling is done in the vehicles. A lot of the tasks require Banjo to get out and either do something to the vehicles, put something in the vehicles and so on. So you aren't in them all the time. But once you play the game and realise the freedom the vehicles have, you will forget that they are vehicles and simply a different way of having abilities, albeit ones that you choose and combine. I know it is going to be tough for people to accept that vehicles, especially the old fans, but I belive they make the old games look limited and very outdated. People are always afraid of change; but change for the better is great, which is what I believe this game to be.
Mark @ DKU: So vehicles are a must for completing most, if not all core missions?
Gregg Mayles: Yes. It's going to take time for people to get it, I know!
Francis @ Perfect Rare: Six years ago Microsoft told the game press a racing game was in development by Rare. Are there any elements from that game you have used for BK3?
Mayles: No. The new engine for Banjo that allows the creation and control of the vehicles is brand new and WAY ahead of what that game was going to be. Generations ahead. I haven't seen anything quite like what we've got. The ability to create a 3D vehicle that behaves how you would expect? A real achievement for our software team I assure you.
George Kelion: I AGREE. Sorry to butt in, but it really is astinishingly unique! (sorry)
Mayles: What you have seen so far only scratches the surface of what is possible. You'll have hours of fun just making things - I'm sure of it! Banjo games were never really strong on replayability, whereas this one sure is.
Mario @ Rare-Elite: Can you build other things besides vehicles? Like the giant pixellated character in the trailer, that looks like a buildable thing? Maybe loops or ramps or so?
Mayles: That was a vehicle that Banjo could climb in and pilot. He had an engine and wheels! You can make pretty much anything. I made a ball that rolled around a level. A giant robot man-thing that fell over! A pogo stick. A spider. Loops and ramps are built into the backgrounds for you to have fun with.
Mario @ Rare-Elite: Wow... So you can place more vehicles in one level?
Mayles: The player can only have 'one' vehicle in the level at once, but there's nothing stopping you building something that splits into several vehciles. Or taking control of some of the prebuilt vehicles we will be hiding in the levels. Or stealing bits of the NPC vehicles!
What also isn't clear is that the vehicles break up in the same way as they are put together. So drive off a cliff and smash into the ground and all sorts of bits will fly off. That's why you should look to make your vehicles strong or equip it with something to cushion the drop. Lots of thought required for you guys! But you can all do it in your way instead of trying to find out what solution I have designed. You may come up with a better method than I can! But no prizes though...
Nick @ Roysten's Fishbowl: What do Banjo and Kazooie lend to the vehicle building process, considering that it was originally a seperate concept?
Mayles: Good question. Not a lot. Originally we had Banjo and Kazooie placing the parts together. But it was soooooooooooooooo slow. We had to sacrifice their involvement to get the building process as fast and fluid as possible. A shame, but gameplay comes first. The building process is done 'magically' using Mumbo's Magic Wrench; it's a bit like a magic wand.
Paul @ Spiral Mountain Can you elaborate on how many Jiggies / challenges there are in total, and how they correspond with the Challenge Spheres we've seen in Showdown Town? (i.e. one sphere features one challenge, or are there many challenges within each sphere?)
Mayles: Yep, easy. There are 96 Jiggy Challenges, then there are another 96 Challenges that are 'different' versions of the Jiggy Challenges, where further Jiggies can be won. Around 130 jiggies in total I think.
The Game Globes (as they are called)... These are the game worlds. They have to be taken to set places in ST (Showdown Town) to activate them. Once a GG is activated, all the doors around ST that lead to that world are available. There are 6 doors into each world; each door requires a varying amount of Jiggies to open it. So very much like the old game, but more in depth. Is that clear?
Paul @ Spiral Mountain Yeah, that's great. Is the number of worlds confirmed as 6, or do you have some lying in wait for us?
Mayles: So lets take Nutty Acres as an example. There are 6 doors into Nutty Acres. Each door leads to a different 'act' in Nutty Acres. Each act features a varying amount of Jiggies to be won. Some acts only have one jiggy whereas others have several. If the act door is open you can enter it, the order you tackle them in is only controlled by which doors are open around them. Jiggies control pretty much all progress.
Alberto @ MundoRare: Pretty much like Diddy Kong Racing, isn't it?
Mayles: Yes, it's more like DKR than the other Banjo games. But I'd say there is even more freedom. You visit Nutty Acres Act 1 and see stuff you will be doing in Act 3 and Act 4. It's very clever like that. We don't set up different stuff per Act, you see stuff in earlier acts and then get to do things with that stuff later. Hard to explain, but you'll like it!
Rareman @ NewRare: How long have you worked for this sequel? Had you envisaged to make this new game suitable for the old consoles like the original Xbox or actually like an addon developed for 64DD?
Mayles: No, this game would not have been possible before. The sheer computin power required to make the vehicles work and the physics involved could not have been done. It's the fact that you can combine anything in any number that makes it such a technical challenge.
This is actually the 3rd Banjo 3! We scrapped two other approaches. Didn't think they offered a big enough step forward. I bet you didn't expect that!
So I would say it started after Ghoulies. But then got scrapped a couple of times. Then I worked on Piñata. Then came back to Banjo again! Oh, and I think I did some puzzles for Mr. Pants too!
Mark @ DKU: I love you.
George Kelion: MARK!
Alan @ RWP: Humba. Are you able to discuss her role in this new game, or is that still under wraps? PS: She's a bit of alright. Would ya?
Mayles: It's still under wraps. But she has a major role. All the 'major' characters (Mumbo, Bottles, Humba, etc) have multiple roles. One in the 'real world' of ST and 'acted out' ones in the game worlds.
Alan @ RWP: Thought as much. Is there a limit on how many of your vehicle creations you can save?
Mayles: There will have to be a limit to stop our software breaking, but it will be a very large number. Hundreds I'm sure.
Alberto @ MundoRare: Let's discuss the multiplayer a little bit. Are there any offline multiplayer options, and will this mode be all vehicle-related or we'll get some minigames a la Banjo-Tooie? And are there any plans for a co-op mode?
Mayles: Yes there is offline stuff. They are all vehicle related. Yes, there is co-op in multiplayer. We have spent a lot of time on the multiplayer: one designer and several engineers have been on it full time. It should be good!
Races I'm sure you can imagaine, but we have plenty of unique multiplayer stuff? Vehicle football? Vehicle golf?
Nick @ Roysten's Fishbowl: Mayan kickball? *puppydog eyes*
Mayles: Ah yes, kickball for modern day! But this time you can cheat by picking up the ball and flying in the air where no one can reach you! Or building a giant box and hiding the ball in it. Lots of ways to play...