Former Rare Devs Making a "Spiritual Successor to Banjo Kazooie"

By Leon Hurley on at

A group of ex-Rare developers, including a Donkey Kong Country programmer and the character designer behind both Banjo and Kazooie, are working on ‘Project Ukulele’.

According to information in the latest Edge, and the studio's own site, the team currently has funding but are interested in getting a publisher. The game will hit Steam first and consoles later.

According to an interview in the magazine, Playtonic saya, "there's a history of working with Nintendo so we'd naturally love to see our game on a Nintendo platform. If people tell us to make Wii U our target console platform then we've got the flexibility to do that."

There are six people working on the project at the moment (which is still at a very early stage), consisting of "core members" of Rare. A quick poke around LinkedIn and Moby Games turns up the following team members:

  • Chris Sutherland as project director & software engineer. He was at Rare from 1989 up until last year and worked on games including Banjo-Kazooie Banjo-Tooie, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Battletoads.
  • Gavin Price, an "Excited Developer at at Playtonic Games" who was at Rare from 1999 to 2014. He lists a designer credit on Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Viva Piñata, along with Q&A credits on Donkey Kong 64, Perfect Dark, Banjo Tooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day.
  • Steve Mayles is the character art director at Playtonic Games. His credits include senior artist on Donkey Kong Country SNES, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest SNES, Banjo Tooie N64, DK 64 and Banjo Kazooie N64 (1998)
  • Steven Hurst has a design credit on Banjo-Tooie and Donkey Kong Land 2, programming and engineering credits on Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, as well as art and graphics credits on Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Viva Piñata and Banjo-Kazooie
  • Mark Stevenson has design credits on Donkey Kong 64 and Donkey Kong Land 2, plus programming credits on Donkey Kong Country 3. He's also got art and graphic credits on Donkey Kong Country 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Land and Donkey Kong Country.
  • Jens Restemeier, who has "mini-Games, multiplayer & cut-scenes" programming and engineering credits on Perfect Dark Zero and programming and engineering credits for the Game Boy Colour version of Donkey Kong Country.

Playtonic Games

NeoGAF - Edge #277