Rare has confirmed plans to release a Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts demo before the game's release in November, and outlined how the "Stop 'N' Swop" component that links Nuts & Bolts to the Xbox Live Arcade re-release of Banjo-Kazooie will work.
"A Marketplace demo? Yes," lead programmer Salvatore Fileccia told Eurogamer when we popped round last week for our Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts hands-on preview, published today. "We've got various different ideas. I think all the leads on the team all have their own idea what the demo should be, and it obviously makes sense for the demo to happen before the game ships. We all feel that it's essential because the game is so different."
The most likely scenario is a variation on the E3 demo (previewed elsewhere on Eurogamer), apparently. "There were four challenges in the E3 demo in Banjo Land...and that worked well, so the idea would be that and then we'd have some form of the editor in there as well, because that's a whole different part of the game - building things and seeing how they perform, and taking part in challenges."
The team is also "desperate to get Live in there", showcasing some of the multiplayer elements that we played for today's hands-on preview.
While we were up at Twycross, we also inquired after the Stop 'N' Swop functionality that will link the Xbox Live Arcade version of the original Banjo-Kazooie and the new Nuts & Bolts game.
"The way Stop 'N' Swop was meant to work originally was that there's parts in the original Banjo that weren't unlocked until the original Banjo realised you'd been playing the sequel, which we had to change because of the evolution of the hardware of the N64. It would've worked on early N64s but not the later ones," said Fileccia.
"So that's why we never actually released it. It was my job to actually finish it off, so you can't imagine how many fans hate me because of that! So what we're doing now is literally the same thing, so there is unlockables in both games that are accessible once both games realise you've been playing the other one."
So it immediately notices and unlocks, rather than asking you to do stuff in-game? "No, that in turn unlocks bits that you can use and so forth. I think that's about as far as I'm allowed to go!"
Finally, we also asked Rare about plans for downloadable content for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which - with its significant online component and the huge promise of the easy-to-grasp vehicle editor - seems ripe for that sort of thing. However, the developers wouldn't be drawn, saying only that "nothing is set in stone", despite internal discussions, and a lot depends on how the game does.
We went out on a limb in today's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts hands-on preview and said we hope that that's really well - because for all the moaning on forums and comment threads (admittedly away from Eurogamer's excellent examples - you're a classy lady), Nuts & Bolts is a cunning Trojan Horse for an idea Rare came up with years ago, and finally has the tools to realise. We really liked it, so check out the preview to learn why.