Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is a Xbox 360 title developed by Rare Ltd. and published by Microsoft in 2008. Unlike it’s predecessors, Nuts & Bolts was not a pure platformer; instead it involved building a car and driving with it. First concepts of this gameplay mechanic reach back to 2002-2004, when a small team was working on a prototype for a new Banjo-Kazooie game – at that time still for the original Xbox.
In 2005/2006, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts evolved from a prototype into a real beta game. Hence choices for the design direction were taken as seen in the following gallery with early concept art. But there were also various changes in the later stages of development. One of the levels in the final game is called “Klungo´s Arcade”, but in the beta version it was called “Klungo´s Play Emporium” and below you can see an image that shows what it was gonna look like. After that, there is a screenshot from the same level in the final version. Do you see the differences?
On the official Rare website we can even read some interesting informations on the sixth removed level from the game: “Partway through all this, we learned that one Game World was to be dropped to give us a chance of getting the game finished on time, bringing the total down from six to five. This was a bit of a headache and involved some redesign, as the Seaside lost its Game World doors to the Docks, which required a different Trolley ability to reach, so certain features got changed or moved about to cope with the restructure. Beyond that, we also had a problem in that the size of the actual Town asset was so big, the game kept running out of memory, so a few things had to be pruned.
The pier used to have a pavilion you could drive through halfway along it, complete with arcade cabinets and a lower deck. That had to go, which was a shame. There was also a harbour beacon near the beach huts that got ripped out too. On the whole, though, there weren’t too many sacrifices made in getting everything stable.”
Thanks to Spiral Mountain Forum users, we even noticed some other differences in the early version of the game, like a different vehicle editor and parts, beta trolley and Grunty under the sun.
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was Rare’s third idea in their plans to create a sequel to Banjo-Tooie. In an interview with Gregg Mayles, he said that the first idea was to create a remake of Banjo-Kazooie that would purport to be a direct port, but would feature extreme changes unexpectedly.
For example, a massive queen termite would emerge from the termite hill in Mumbo’s Mountain, causing Banjo to have to get oranges for Conga to throw at it. The second concept involved more traditional platforming, but with Gruntilda trying to follow Banjo and Kazooie around every world and replicating their moves in an effort to better them. The working title for the vehicle idea was Banjo-Buildie, but Mayles stated that it was too similar to the previous titles to have an impact. The team later stated that they had also attempted to make a rather more straight sequel to Tooie without any kind of twist but that they felt it was a “stale” method. [Infos from Wikipedia]
Also, as noted by [Nintex] in the NeoGAF Forum, an entire world was scrapped to reach the deadline:
This world is referenced several times in the game by characters in Showdown Town. A villager references Weird west by saying it was once accessible through the boarded up windows and doorways found near the Pier. LOG makes the comment, “You should be grateful, I could’ve sent you to Hoedown Town. It’s awful. The music, the dancing! Oh my!” A penguin in Showdown Town also makes a reference to this world saying, “You know the docks used to be twice as long? There used to be doors that lead to the Weird West game world.”
Thanks a lot to Lord Deathsaur and Nintex for the contribution!