Justin Cook, lead designer of Viva Pinata 2: Trouble in Paradise at Rare, was recently interviewed and mentioned where Viva Pinata 3 fits in Rare’s future.
To quote him: “If we did do another game, we would almost go back to the start and see what we’d have to do to make a fresh version of it. Rather than trying to build it on something existing, so that it might be — you know — a two or three-year-cycle rather than 18 months to two years. I don’t think that we’ll be doing another Viva Pinata 3 next, heh. I think there’d be a bit of a gap at least for us before we have a look at it again. Because it’s been six years now that we’ve been working on that [series], so.” But of course that’s only being said by the Viva Pinata Xbox 360 console team, their portable DS team might still directly continue after the release of Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise that’s also coming on September 2-5, 2008.
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Gavin Price, multiplayer designer of Banjo-Kazooie 3: Nuts & Bolts at Rare, was also interviewed and mentioned him and the Banjo-Kazooie team would love to make Banjo-Fourie on the Xbox 360 after the release of the fan-titled Banjo-Threeie come November 14-18, 2008.
To quote him: “We’re still thinking of lots of other new features and I think we were told ‘you’ve got to go and do a sequel’ then there’d be a hell of a lot new fresh ideas straight away.” Salvatore Fileccia, the lead programmer, who was with the original Banjo-Tooie team echoed: “Yeah lots!” Neil Harrison, lead technical artist, added: “Yeah there’d be loads of stuff we’d love to do.”
UPDATE September 9th: Rare senior animator Ellissa Miller said in an interview that “[Nuts & Bolts] is like an introduction to what we could do. If we went on and did some more then we could push it. If it was accepted and people enjoyed it then we could definitely push it in a much bigger direction. This is like an opening to a new type of gaming I guess.”
Rare lead technical artist Neill Harrison added that the Rare team has a few “crazy ideas” for more Banjo mechanic work, and it’ll “probably” expand the building concept for future games.
“[lead designer] Greg did have a few crazy ideas [for the next game]… I’ll probably get in trouble if I mention them,” added Harrison. “I think if [Nuts & Bolts] was successful we’ve definitely got a load of ideas for what we could do next with the same sort of concept but expand it out.
So what’s next for Rare? Outside of the Xbox 360’s new avatars, they are working on unannounced games. Lee Schuneman, production director at Rare, says: “Usually in production is probably about four or five titles, so there’s definitely a few that we haven’t spoken about yet. And some of those we maybe never will, because sometimes we’ll try out ideas and they don’t always come out to market, but there’s a good few.”
Anyone care to guess what few? Maybe it’s Killer Instinct 3 and Jet Force Gemini 2 that they aren’t working on.
Quotes from Eurogamer.tv