Krome has developed numerous games over the years in genres such as sports with surfing titles. Where did the idea for the TY franchise originally come from?
The idea for TY came about during afternoon drinks just before Christmas, 2000. Both Steve Stamatiadis (co-designer and character designer) and I have wanted to do a 3D action platformer for ages. A group of us were throwing ideas about when we hit on the idea of doing an Aussie game with Aussie animals created by real Aussies. Within a day Steve had created the look of TY and within a few weeks we had a prototype up and running. And we never looked back.
What does the storyline involve for the new game and is Boss Cass still involved despite his defeat in the original story?
The new story starts with an epic battle in which Boss Cass is freed from prison. TY is annoyed that he failed to stop Cass escaping, so he and his mates form a team, called Burramudgee Bush Rescue. This is a high tech rescue operation lead by TY and he's helped out by Maurie, Dennis, Shazza, Ranger Ken, Professor Julius and the helicopter pilot, Duke.
It has been announced that TY can now use vehicles. How do these vehicles affect the gameplay in the sequel? and can you give some indication as to what vehicles players will be able to control in the sequel.
As part of Bush Rescue, TY has access to new vehicles, including a four-wheel drive, a helicopter and a submarine. He can also use a series of brand new mech units, called Power Bunyips that have been developed by Professor Julius in conjunction with the Bunyip Elder. These are kick-ass power suits that TY uses to do all sorts of cool stuff, like put out fires, lift heavy stuff, dive deep under water, and enhance TY's fighting ability.
TY's primary weapon in the original game was his boomerangs and the different abilities they had. What new types of weapons and boomerangs will TY be able to discover in the sequel?
TY has a whole lot of new boomerangs he can collect, including the Lasharang, Lavarang and Thunderang, to name a few. The Lasharang lets TY swing around like Tarzan, while the others cause massive amounts of damage. Each boomerang can also be upgraded to do more carnage with an appropriate amount of cool effects.
This time around TY buys his boomerangs with the Opals he collects. This adds a lot of strategy to the game because you can choose which rangs' to buy first, which in turn affects which missions and puzzles you can do.
TY himself has some new abilities, which include grinding, climbing, swinging and driving vehicles.
The other big new feature is the introduction of giant mechs, called Power Bunyips that TY can drive. Each one of these has different abilities and attacks. The Battle Bunyip, for example, has a Power Slam and can stand up to most big enemies.
It is being released and developed simultaneously for the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube? Do you plan to take advantage of the console specific features such as the connectivity between GBA and Gamecube or downloadable content over Xbox Live? If so which features are you looking at and how do you think they will affect the game being played on different formats?
The game is being developed for each console and we are playing to the strengths of each one. We've made sure that people have a different experience with the GBA version, so the story and game modes are different to the console versions. Because of this we've elected not to have any connectivity between the GBA and Gamecube.
Besides the fact it is based around Australian flora and fauna, where do you think TY will differ the most in comparison to other platform games such as Ratchet and Clank?
The Bush Rescue theme really makes us stand out against the crowd. The game play is really open ended has a lot of variety - TY drives a four-wheel drive, pilots a helicopter, dives deep under water in a submarine, he uses different mechs, like the Lifter Bunyip, Thermo Extreme Bunyip and the Battle Bunyip, he races carts and he has a whole lot of boomerangs that he can use as both weapons and tools.
It's also more graphically rich than the first game. We've pulled out all stops to make this the biggest and best action platformer on the consoles to date. The game is much more lush than TY1, with more trees, bushes, enemies, critters and background details.
Will new characters be introduced to players over the course of the game in comparison to those who appeared in the original, and if so what Australian animals make a new appearance? Also at any point in the game will players be controlling someone other then TY?
All the old favorites back, and there are a heap of new characters. Among these are Sergeant Bluey, the koala chief of police, Bri and Di (TY's mom and dad) who run the local Boomerang Shop, Karlos, a renegade Koala and Boss Cass' scientific advisor, and Duke the Kiwi helicopter pilot. Some new Aussie animals include magpies, echidnas, wombats, kookaburras, and bearded dragons. We even have Birrel and Squeaver, two new American characters who are a cross between a squirrel and a beaver.
Here's some stuff so that you can compare the amount of characters and story in TY 2 to other platformers. TY 2 has over 100 characters in the new game, with over 2,200 lines of dialogue, and there are over 50 brand new friendly characters with speaking parts.
Players will be able to control other characters, but only in terms of using them to drive vehicles. TY sits with Duke as he flies the helicopter, and stand son the back of the four-wheel drive as Shazza drives around the Outback.
Will any multiplayer feature at all such as co-operative play or perhaps a duel, deathmatch style system?
Yes, we have multiplayer! We have seven cart racing courses that you can play in the game during single player mode, but these are available from the front menu as multi player carting. We're talking Mario Kart style racing here, by the way. The racing is so cool that we could have released it as a game on it's own.
Thanks for your time
Thank you Simon. We hope you enjoy the game.