Mark @ DKU: Gregg, nice to know you worked on It's Mr. Pants (one of my personal favorite Rare titles). As for my question: You knew this was coming... Earlier you mentioned two other approaches before the vehicle-based approach we have now for the game. Care to elaborate just a little bit on what they were in concept?
Gregg Mayles: The first one was a remake with a difference. The plan was to pretend it was a carbon copy remake, but then stuff changed. In Mumbo's Mountain a giant queen termite was going to break out the top of the termite hill and you had to get conga to lob his oranges at her. That kind of stuff. Clever, but a bit 'last-gen'. So we dumped that.
Then spent a while looking at a game where Banjo and Grunty went head to head all the time. Grunty was always on the levels, trying to do what Banjo was doing. The AI for this was going to be a real pain and again, we didn't think it offered the angle required to get Banjo noticed, so we scrapped that too. Then along came the vehicles...
Drew @ Banjo Universe: Is it safe to assume that vehicles have taken the place of transformations then?
Mayles: Yes, think of them as lots of transformations. We kind of reached the limit of the transformation in B-T. After the T-rex where do you go?
Francis @ Perfect Rare: Now that you are the person in charge of the title, can you give us something you chose to do you would not have been able when the Stamper brothers were still there? Could you name one?
Mayles: I was in charge of all the Banjo games, so nothing has changed. Boring answer I know... You wanted scandal, didn't you?
Francis @ Perfect Rare: But not much of a change since the 'brothers' left?
Mayles: Maybe we'll feature them as future Banjo characters, Like Trophy Thomas this time. Change happens all the time, some good, some bad. As in everything. But nothing specifically linked to Tim & Chris leaving. Banjo has changed a bit for instance... Rare has changed as we now actually speak to people occasionally. You move with the times or get left behind. I try to stay ahead of the times!
Mario @ Rare-Elite: If you decide to develop a new game with such an unique concept like Nuts & Bolts, aren't you scared another developer comes up with the same/sortlike idea before you announced your plans with BK3? Especially since you keep quite so long… must be mindbreaking at E3's…
Mayles: If someone wants to try and replicate what we have done they are welcome to try. It's been a real struggle with some extremely talented people. It has been by far the hardest game I have designed. I don't think we will be seeing too many copies. It took us at least 6 months to write the vehicle editor and we are still wroking on it.
Nick @ Roysten's Fishbowl: Can we expect to see a special edition version of the game?
Mayles: No plans either way at the moment.
Kelion: That's more of a marketing question.
Mayles: Maybe we'll release a version with all the team's favourite creations on it. There are some very disturbing ones I can assure you... I'm sure you are already thinking about what you may be able to create. There will be no prizes at all for the first one who makes a flying profanity. Makes for a good future competition though...
Paul @ Spiral Mountain What is your own pesonal favourite level from the N64 Banjo games, and will we be seeing it in some shape or form in BK N&B?
Mayles: I like Rusty Bucket Bay. The design was neat and it all felt 'right'. A lot of people liked Click Clock Woods.
Paul @ Spiral Mountain Very neat... except for the damned machine room propellers!!!!
Mayles: I also liked Witchyworld and Jolly Roger's Lagoon. I thought Grunty Industries was a masterpeice but it was too complicated!
I have a favourite in the new game too, but I'm not telling you what it is! It took just a week to design, whereas some of the levels took two months! Sometimes an idea just works exactly how you expect it to and you can literally get everything right first time. Sometimes it take ages and lots of reworking before things are right. The Showdown Town Map is a real beauty, but that took a lot of hair tearing out to get right. I think a lot of you will love Showdown Town. We've tried to make it a proper 'living' town; there's a police force, lots of shops (with silly names) and townspeople that you can chat to or run over!
Rareman @ NewRare: Banjo are a very popular series for the gamers around the world but Microsoft always gets problems to impose his console in Europe. What might be the impact of your own game for a country like France?
Mayles: A good question. Europe is hard because there are many countries with different tastes. I think Banjo could do really well in Europe, as the 'building' concept is something that everyone can enjoy. Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into the European market and Banjo will be playing a key part. You can always colour your vehicles in the national colours of your countries! And then try and blow each other up in multiplayer!
Alan @ RWP: Sorry, we are the RWP, so... Will Stop 'n' Swop finally be resolved in this game, or will we have some new mystery that fans will talk about for years to come?
Mayles: What do you think?
I do have some plans... But I'm not going to ruin anything by saying anything else at this time.
Jeremy @ Rare-Extreme: With the challenges, can you assure me that you aren't going to do what you did with Donkey Kong 64 and have the same stupid challenge 44 times! (Beaver Bother!!)
Mayles: Ha ha, you can't blame me for that one! Every challenge is different. Even the 'difficult' version of each challenge are way more than 'we just made everything tougher'. For example, in the standard version you can chose a vehicle of your creation, but in the 'difficult' version we'll provide you with a really crap vehicle that you must use!! It might only have one wheel. Or be ridiculously top heavy. Or frighteningly overpowered. Or have no engine at all. We can do lots to you!
Alberto @ MundoRare: Sorry, but I have to say this. As a lover of typography design I feel I have to ask if there is any chance to see the old BK typo back instead of Microsoft's Comic Sans.
Mayles: Comic Sans is a good choice for games as it is easy to read on High def and standard def screens. The old font was one we invented and its just not possible to do that when there is about 10 million languages to translate it into. We tried lots of others but they weren't clear enough. It isn't final yet, if we find one better we will use it.
Alberto @ MundoRare: Arial or Helvetica, please!
Alan @ RWP: Hell yes! Helvetica ftw!
Alberto @ MundoRare: Anyway, for the real question... We know that the original BK game was codenamed "Dream". Could you share with us the working name of the Nuts & Bolts project, and tell us when the final title was decided?
Mayles: We've had loads of names. Banjo 3 and Banjo-Threeie were used. Banjo-Buildie was my favourite for a final name, but it didn't suit the new direction as it sounded to much like the old games. We needed something that would appeal to everyone, not just the old (and very loyal thank you all very much) fans. It needed to be something that grabbed new players attention too. But don't worry, there's lots of in-jokes for you old timers to find that new players won't have a clue about!