Former Rare designer Kev Bayliss joins Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic


Playtonic is 99% Rare alumni now

Kev Bayliss has one hell of a history in gaming. He was part of some of Rare Software’s biggest games. He was the producer and character designer for Killer Instinct, and also had an integral role in the graphics design for Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox Adventures, and many more. Oh, and he was the voice actor for James Bond in GoldenEye 007.

Now, he’s got a new gig at Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic, a company founded and predominantly staffed by former Rare people.

Before joining the team as a full-time character artist, Bayliss sporadically contributed to the game with designs such as this really cool skeleton girl. Talking about his new role, Bayliss said moving closer to Playtonic’s studio was a driving force behind his decision to go full-time:

For the past six months I’ve been travelling up and down the country to spend a couple of days a week with the team, but now I’m in the process of re-locating to work fulltime at Playtonic. This year my wife and I are moving much nearer to where the studio is located, and it’ll take me 15 minutes to get into work, rather than two hours. So that means more graphics, and speedier development time!

Of course, exactly what sort of characters he’ll be designing haven’t been announced yet. I’ve never been a fan of Yooka and Laylee’s designs, though. I think they’re kind of bland in comparison to their spiritual predecessors Banjo and Kazooie, so I hope he does to them what he did to Donkey Kong and gives them the decent makeover they deserve.

Trowzer can stay though, I love him. He’s great.