Hello everyone, and welcome to this brand new edition of Beyond the Board, where we sit down with various people from the bingo community and ask them about their games, and more!
Before getting started, do remember that Bingothon Summer 2021 are currently still open until May 2nd – so you still have time, but it is slowly running out! In any case, enjoy this Beyond the Board!
Floha: Hello everybody, welcome back to a new episode of Beyond the Board! Today’s guest is going to be talking about Yooka-Laylee. Having said that, I would say, how about you introduce yourself?
hedweg: I can do that! Hello, my name is Hedweg, you might know me either under that name or as Freddie if you met me in real life, and I speedrun some game, for example Yooka-Laylee which we are gonna talk about today.
Floha: Alright, that is awesome! So, tell us a bit about yourself – how have you gotten into Yooka-Laylee speedrunning?
hedweg: Basically, when I found out about Yooka-Laylee becoming a thing on Kickstarter I was massively hyped and I backed it. I was excited until the day it released, and while I was regularly re-playing the demo of the game which was called Yooka-Laylee Toybox I found out online that there were people actually speedrunning that demo. It was just like a 6, 7 minutes-ish little speedrun but it got me intrigued because I wanted to replay the demo more often and it was just really fun for me to try to challenge myself and beat it better. So, that was actually my first step into speedrunning in general actually! It was really fun, I engaged with people and then I ended up running the full game when it was released.
Floha: It’s a very interesting story so far! So, what would you say keeps you hyped to this day about this game? What is your favourite aspect of Yooka-Layle speedrunning and why is it so great?
hedweg: I think my favourite part about Yooka-Laylee speedrunning is how open the worlds are and in how many different ways you can route yourself through the different worlds – and that will also come in very handy for the bingo aspect of the game as well!
Floha: Yeah, that’s a great point you already made there! So how exactly did you get into Yooka-Laylee bingos?
hedweg: So basically our community for the game is rather small, so we always try to find new ways to enjoy the game, new ways to challenge ourselves, playing the game and interacting with each other. The people in the community really, really enjoy spending time with each other and with the game. So one day we thought ‘hey, there’s this bingo thing!’, and I had experience with bingo from the Super Mario Odyssey community, as I played bingos over there. As Yooka-Laylee is a rather similar game in terms of being a 3D collecta-thon, and having very free-roaming worlds allowing for exploration and different approaches to routing, we thought ‘hey, wouldn’t it be cool to make a bingo board for Yooka-Laylee as well?’. So, me and two friends from the community went on and did it!
Floha: What is it that you think makes these bingos so fun?
hedweg: I think, specifically, that we have a lot of sequence breaks in the game that allow us to jump around between the five levels of the game. In addition to the overworld being a really fun hub that connects all of that, that we can just skip through like crazy, basically making bingos rather unique. Usually we’ll have only the first like 5 or 10 minutes that are sort of similar between runners, but then we really see the different possibilities of the bingo, of the different things you can focus on collecting, or you can focus on completing certain tasks… yeah, stuff like that!
Floha: So you already brought up a nice point there! As you already said there are different worlds, and usually you have to progress in one world to unlock the next but as you are already sequence breaking, I am guessing that there are goals that are for multiple worlds… Do you have to focus on ‘do I unlock the next world now or do I keep focusing on this world, or is there any way to counterfeit this?’… I don’t know how to say it!
hedweg: [Laughs] Yeah, the levels themselves are restricted by, like you have to open them up with Pagies. Pagies are the main collectible in the game that you get for fulfilling little tasks inside the levels or you can find in hidden spots… And also in the overworld, actually! There’s twenty I believe in every level in the overworld as well… Actually, I am wrong, but something around those numbers! [Laughs]
Then there’s Moves, and you can buy Moves from a character in the game for Quills, which is the secondary collectible. So we get some goals based around buying Moves, but we also have goals around getting Pagies, and in some occasions getting specific Pagies that will in the end require Moves for which you need Quills, so… You could maybe connect those with Quill goals and stuff like that.
To get a bit more back to your question, we can skip around the hub. From the very start we can go to the very final level entrance, but we wouldn’t be able to enter it because we’d still need Pagies to open up the level which we would have to collect in another level before.
Floha: So there is no way to directly go to the final world and do all the stuff in there?
hedweg: Yeah, exactly. To put it in context in total there are 145 Pagies in the game. The final level, just to open it up, would need 12 Pagies. And then levels also have a mechanic where you can expand the level – you basically make the base level bigger – and that costs some additional Pagies again as well. So you always gotta keep in mind how many Pagies you will need for opening up the levels you need to go to to fulfill your tasks on the bingo board. Routing will sort of be based around not having to get too many Pagies for it not to be valuable anymore.
Floha: What do you think is it that makes Yooka-Laylee bingos so challenging and engaging? Is it gonna be in routing, in execution, or something else? What is the key aspect?
hedweg: I think the key aspect is definitely routing in this one just because of the openness of the overworld now that we’re able to sequence break like the entirety of it, and even skip a few of the Moves that would usually be required to get along the game. But even inside the levels, one of the biggest points of critique of people when the game released was that the levels are too big and too open to some extent for some people. But that openness, just the sheer size of the levels and how much stuff is scattered around different parts of the level… It makes it so that routing becomes even more important because if you go from one point to another and then realise ‘oh no, I have to go back!’, it can easily cost a minute or something, which of course is something we never want to take.
Floha: In that sense, are there any tricks or glitches that are not so often seen in normal speedruns that are much more useful in bingos? If there are, which would they be, and why are they not so commonly used in runs?
hedweg: Let me think about that for a second, actually. [Laughs]
So, there’s a few things that are bingo-specific because they aren’t in runs *anymore*, like they *used* to be part of the route but because these days they lose time we decided to add them as goals on the bingo boards, to some extent for the memes, because for example there’s three quizzes throughout the game where you have to answer questions about the game. And well, those cost quite a bit of time! And because we found out very, very early after the game was released that it’s rather easy to skip the first of the quizzes. There’s a goal on the board for example which makes you have to do Quiz 1! It’s kinda neat.
Floha: So to further engage in the topic of the bingo card itself, what do you think constitutes for a fun and engaging goal or one that you think probably will need some rebalancing?
hedweg: I think a lot of goals that we have work well when they allow us to combine different things and ‘route stuff together’, so to say – I am not sure how to express it. Not being just individual things that you do one after another. For example I started going into Earlier, you need Quills to buy a Move and then you use that Move to do a specific thing. Goals that kinda lead into each other I think generally make for a bingo experience, at least in our game.
But then there’s other ones that are specific challenges that can add some sense of difficulty to the bingos for the reward of just getting a bingo… how do we say? Bingo piece, no, bingo square?
Floha: Bingo square or goal, I guess!
hedweg: [Laughs] Bingo square or goal, yeah exactly! Like, that adds some difficulty in like a risk/reward type of situation for getting a rather quick bingo goal. That does have a pretty high difficulty though.
I do remember from when we last actively played bingos a lot that we have a few goals that include beating the final boss of the game, and that usually adds a 7-ish minute penalty to your time – well, not penalty, but it adds about 7 minutes to the time. They’re rarely ever worth it, we might have to rebalance those or think about kicking them out in a way but yeah for example those don’t work too well and rarely get picked.
Floha: Do you have any kind of favourite goals that you just LOVE having, and on the opposite some goals that you just detest?
hedweg: [Laughs] I personally have a strong love for challenge-type goals. For example we figured out only in the development of the bingo that it’s actually possible to enter the third level of the game first, which we weren’t ever aware of before because it wouldn’t ever be relevant for a speedrun because to really do a lot of stuff in the third world you need Moves that you would acquire in the first two worlds. There would never really be an incentive to actually enter the third level, Moodymaze Marsh, as the first in any kind of run. So we thought hey, wouldn’t it be fun to add that as a goal, to enter Moodymaze Marsh first? You basically have to skip all around the overworld and then enter that level and then even in there do some pretty fancy tricks to even get enough Pagies to enter one of the other worlds and be able to go on with your run!
Floha: That sounds very interesting! On the opposite hand, do you think there are any goals that you just absolutely detest and you just don’t like at all?
hedweg: I usually tend towards not liking the goals with bosses in them. Each level in Yooka-Laylee has a boss that you can beat, so there’s 5 – actually, considering the final boss which also counts towards the total boss count, there’s 6 in theory. But yeah, we have a few different goals including bosses, like beating individual bosses for example without a Move or beating individual bosses on lower health or something like that or just beating a total number of bosses, which could in theory be combined with the other types of goals.
And yeah, I don’t know, I personally don’t like the design of the bosses of the game too much so I’d prefer not to go for them too often, but they line up pretty well rather often and they aren’t too time-consuming so I end up going for them anyway!
Floha: So when it comes to routing are there perhaps any routing mishaps that may happen or something that most people usually just don’t think of?
hedweg: How do you mean, I’m sorry?
Floha: Like if there’s something that people just usually do not think of when routing. If you don’t have any answer to that, you don’t need to answer it!
hedweg: Sorry, I don’t fully see what you mean!
Floha: Alright, let’s just skip that question then!
hedweg: [Laughs] Ok!
Floha: How would you say is there any kind of barrier for entry for people who are interested in picking up Yooka-Laylee bingos, and do you have any advice for them in that regard?
hedweg: Yeah, I’ll be real, I think the entry for being able to fully enjoy a bingo would be to learn the basic tricks of at least an Any% with Flight run, but better a 100 Pagies run of the game. At that point you’d be able to do enough things to really be able to maneuver around the overworld and do enough sequence breaks to really be able to create a working route for a bingo. It would not really work if you’re not aware of sequence breaks, I believe.
But yeah, basically as soon as a sort of alright knowledge about the game in general and those two or three tricks we do on the overworld to sequence break the game, there is really nothing stopping you from getting into bingo, I believe!
Floha: So to get back to my earlier question, I think I found a better way to formulate that, now. Do you think that there are any kind of tricks or glitches or whatever that just, in terms of routing, where you just cannot continue anymore, because you’ve locked yourself?
hedweg: I believe not, no. We don’t really have that in Yooka-Laylee. You can always just save and quit out of the game and reload the file, and you’d be fine.
Floha: Do you think that let’s say ‘normal speedrunners’ could benefit from doing bingos in some way? I’m especially thinking of runners who usually just run categories that may not explore the game to its fullest.
hedweg: I can mostly speak for myself in this because I only really grinded a long category of the game after I did bingo. Before I played bingo in the game, I didn’t really have good knowledge of most of the game’s collectibles and challenges and where everything was. The routing of 100 Pagies for example, which is a 2-hour category that completes like 70-ish% of the game, whenever I tried to run that before bingo I had really big problems with remembering the route and whenever I would deviate from it ever so slightly I would get lost in the worlds and stuff like that!
Bingo really helped me get a feel for orientation in the worlds, way more than I had before.
Floha: How do you think the community can further support bingos?
hedweg: We’ve actually been thinking about different possibilities to do fun things with bingo boards. A lot of it hasn’t caught on too much just based on the fact how small our community is!
[Whispers] So everyone who would like to join, feel free to! [Laughs]
For example, we thought about challenge-type of things including bingos, like weekly bingos that people could actually take their time and route and not do as a live race, which is how you would usually do bingos in most cases. So in this case take a bingo board and sit down and properly try and route that bingo board out. That I think is a pretty fun thing.
Then in general, any kind of testing of the bingo board is always greatly appreciated, giving feedback on the board… Because yeah, it’s mostly been done by 3 people and also mostly been played by the same 3 people! [Laughs]
Floha: Do you maybe have any anecdotes of bingo to share? Some funny things that may have happened to you during a bingo or just something that’s unlikely to happen in a normal run, or anything!
hedweg: The funniest thing that’s happened to me is when I GREAAAAATLY underestimate goals! Sometimes I’ll be like ‘Oh yeah, now I’m only this many goals away from winning, and it’s only these small goals – they can’t be that bad, right?’ [Laughs] And then I end up realising how terribly long those goals are and how I totally underestimated them when thinking about my initial route, and now I have to backtrack into like all the levels and do stuff in them. It doesn’t happen too often but when it does it’s sort of ironic because I’ll be at a point where I’m like ‘Ah! I’m nearly finished!’ and then… Reality strikes back! [Laughs]
Floha: Probably sounds very familiar to some bingo runners out there! So yeah, is there maybe anything you and the community and the community are currently working on, or any discoveries, be it just in terms of bingo or in general speedruns?
hedweg: Hmm, there’s nothing too recent, no.
Floha: Nothing you’re particularly working on, currently?
hedweg: The community might soon work on a charity type of event actually. That might even include a bingo or two. We’re not really very far in planning yet right now, it’s just little sketches of stuff that might happen.
Floha: Ooh, that’s very interesting! So yeah, any final thoughts you’d like to say to the community? Where can people find you, what do you do? Well, I guess we already figured that in the beginning, but where can people find you if they want to?
hedweg: Oh, well first thanks for having me, I love being able to talk a little about Yooka-Laylee bingos because it’s a rather niche thing. And yeah, everyone who’d like to get into it definitely feel free to search up the Yooka-Laylee speedrunning Discord which you can find on Speedrun.com… Get in touch with us, we’re always very willing to help people get into the game, and we will JUMP at you and help you more than you’ll want to! [Laughs]
Yeah, also I stream on Twitch sometimes, irregularly! [Laughs] So yeah, that’s pretty much it though. The game is really good!
Floha: Alright, thank you very much hedweg for this interview! So yeah, I hope you enjoyed this episode of Beyond the Board! Keep in mind that submissions for Bingothon Summer 2021 are currently still open [until May 2nd] – you can find more on our website at Bingothon.com, and we’ll see you all next month for the next Beyond the Board.
And that is it for today’s Beyond the Board! We hope you enjoyed it. Definitely make sure to give a follow to hedweg as well as taking a look at Yooka-Laylee’s SRC page and Discord server if you are interested in picking up Yooka-Laylee bingos as well!
If you ever are interested in being featured yourself in a Beyond the Board, do not hesitate to contact either Pikastroff#4262 or Floha#1968 on the Bingothon Discord server, and we can surely do something about it! And remember (because clearly we haven’t mentioned it enough): Bingothon Summer 2021 submissions are open until May 2nd! If you want more info about it, you can check out the Summer 2021 Masterpost which contains everything you could need.
Thank you everyone, and we’ll see you next month for the next Beyond the Board!
About The Author
Floha258 is one of the Main Organisers of Bingothon and depicts himself as “Mädchen für alles”, since he’s responsible for Development, Social Media and all other kinds of organisational activities.
Currently he is trying to fix his sleep schedule, in the hopes of it not crashing like Otogi.