Apr 072014
 
Gaming website Worlds Factory has published an exclusive interview with Stewart Gilray, in which Gilray discusses New ‘n’ Tasty, PlayStation Plus, and the possibility of using Kickstarter to fund Oddworld. It seems that Oddworld will not be appearing on Kickstarter any time soon:
It’s something we’ve spoken about, but I don’t think we really need to right now. With any type of crowd funding there’s an element of, what I’d call, “The publisher effect” where your backers feel they should be telling you what THEY want to see, or indeed you could get complaints etc if there’s issues or differences from what was expected.
Gilray is reluctant to publish New ‘n’ Tasty on PlayStation Plus, at least as far as the Instant Game Collection is concerned, believing that publishing on this platform at the game’s launch would hurt sales.

There has also been no progress in getting the game published on Xbox One. Gilray also clarified a quote from a previous interview Lorne Lanning:
Worlds Factory: Lorne Lanning recently said that he thinks there isn’t as much of a gap between PS4 and Xbox One, mainly due to improvements in the dev toolset by Microsoft. Still, the hardware specs seem to clearly favor PS4 – do you agree with his assessment and if so, does that mean that developing for the two platform is equally easy now, whereas previously most developers gave the edge to PS4?
Stewart Gilray: Actually that is NOT what he said. I spoke to Lorne afterwards and what he meant when speaking to that guy was that budgets, schedules and perceivable differences would narrow, NOT that the Xbox One performance is improving to align with PS4, that is just physically impossible. The PS4 has MORE COMPUTE units, and faster memory and a whole bunch of things, that would make that physically impossible to happen.
Apr 042014
 
“Competitive multiplayer” isn’t the first thing which springs to mind when one thinks about Oddworld. However if Eurogamer’s interview with Lorne Lanning is any proof, it seems that the original Oddworld Inhabitants team once had plans to make just that.
The game, given the working title “Stranger Arena”, was built on the same engine used for the original Xbox version of Stranger’s Wrath, and that the work on the game had begun shortly after production for Stranger’s Wrath had finished.
As well as the engine, Arena also incorporated many of the same gameplay elements as its predecessor, with players having the ability to sprint around at high speeds in third person or taking careful aim in first person. Lanning claims that this style of gameplay stands in contrast with the current multiplayer shooter conventions, and may have had a huge impact on the development of the genre:

“I was looking for more strategy in how I want to play the character. Like if I’m dealing with people who are obviously tougher than me, then I want to be more clever. I don’t want to be losing just because they’re faster on the draw,” he said of a game about reptilian cowboys who are fast on the draw.

“You’re not going to beat them by being clever. You’re going to beat them by playing as many hours as they do,” Lanning said of other shooters, name-checking Halo and Call of Duty. Instead, he wanted a more strategic method of play more akin to a real-time strategy game.”

Of course, in light of the poor retail reception of Strange’s Wrath, it doesn’t take much guessing to work out why the game never came to be. Nor would it surprise anyone familiar with Oddworld who Lanning believes is responsible – he accuses publisher EA of not marketing the game, resulting in poor sales which ultimately led to the closure of the original Inhabitants studio.
Mar 262014
 
The Yorkshire Voice briefly covered the upcoming New ‘n’ Tasty in a feature highlighting Just Add Water.
Notably, Stewart Gilray voiced his concerns over Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift:
This is not Facebook’s first foray into the world of gaming, titles like Farmville and Mafia Wars have millions of users worldwide. Stewart said: “I personally detest that type of gaming, they’re games you play on your phone for five minutes when you’re on a train. I like my games to be story led with lots of adventure. So if Facebook turn Oculus into a casual gaming type of thing, I’ll personally have zero interest in it.”
Gilray also briefly talked about the level of violence in video games in a Youtube video posted along with the article. He criticised the general public for not recognising age ratings on games and for not purchasing games with these recommendations in mind.
Mar 252014
 
In an interview with VG247, Lorne Lanning declared that the upcoming New ‘n’ Tasty is “not a HD remake”, denouncing the term “HD remake” as it is currently used in the games industry on the grounds that it is usually used to describe older games being ported over and adjusted to work on new platforms.
In the interview, Lanning also had some harsh words for the industry’s publisher-developer system:
“Fuck that business. I don’t want to play with that business, because it was a losing business,” he lamented. “I just don’t want to go back and play the old [publisher] game. I’d rather not make games than go fucking be a slave for public companies who care more about their shareholders than they do about their customers.
The interview also covers Oddworld Inhabitants’ relationship with Sony; the studio’s willingness to ask fans what game they would like to see made; and the resurgence in popularity of 2D platformers.
Mar 182014
 
In an interview published today on Eurogamer, Lorne Lanning has announced that New ‘n’ Tasty will be sold for $30 (approximately £18 or €21). At the same time, Lanning also estimated that the game would need to sell around 250,000 copies for them to be able to fund their next project, a full remake of Abe’s Exoddus in the same style as New ‘n’ Tasty. But interestingly, he also said that selling 500,000 copies could enable them to produce a brand new Oddworld title as well – and it seems that game could be the previously-scrapped Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot.
Lanning was quite clear about his desire to make The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, a project he’s resurrected to tinker with some more. “Over the last year and a half, I’ve designed Fangus extensively. And I would like to be able to move into Fangus as soon as a new IP in Oddworld,” Lanning explained. That being said, he noted that the studio has other ideas as well, so Fangus Klot is not guaranteed to be the next original Oddworld title if and when the studio gets enough capital for it.

The Oddworld team also seems interested in releasing expansion packs for New ‘n’ Tasty and the potential Exoddus remake, although no details were given on what such packs might contain.
The interviewer notes that Lanning is confident in his sales goals, thanks to the Oddworld games’ strong digital sales in recent years – notably, Stranger’s Wrath HD selling 600,000 copies (more than its original Xbox release) and the original Oddysee and Exoddus games together selling more than a million copies.
Feb 212014
 
New ‘n’ Tasty new screenshot
New screenshots of the upcoming New ‘n’ Tasty have been published online. Some screens were spotted on PlayStation’s New ‘n’ Tasty PS4 minisite yesterday, and today GameInformer published some exclusive screenshots over on their site.
The screenshots cover a variety of scenes, including in-game shots from RuptureFarms and the Scrabanian and Paramonian Temples, and stills from cutscenes – some of which will be familiar to those who played the original Oddysee, and some which appear brand new. We also get our first look at Molluck, Bigface, and the Monsaic Lines.
Feb 122014
 
The PlayStation 3 version of Stranger’s Wrath HD now has a free demo for prospective players to try, as detailed in a post on the Oddworld website. The demo is available in both Europe and North America.

The demo was released alongside a free update for American players, which patches in the following features (previously only available in the European version of the game):
  • Stereoscopic 3-D support (bundled into the main game)
  • PlayStation Move support (also now part of the main game)
  • All movies have been re-encoded in MP4 format (Install size reduced from 3.2GB to 1.6GB)
  • Various performance improvements
  • Leaderboards added, so you can challenge your Steef-mates
  • Brazilian Portuguese language added
To download the update players must first delete the current installation of the game and redownload it from the PlayStation Store.
Feb 042014
 
New ‘n’ Tasty may be a digital-only release, but it still needs boxart – and that’s exactly what Oddworld Inhabitants revealed over on their website.
New ‘n’ Tasty boxart
The boxart, painted by Alex Konstad (with additions by longtime Oddworld artist Raymond Swanland) gives us a glimpse at an all-new RuptureFarms, and will be featured on digital storefronts where the game is sold. It will also be appearing on the PlayStation Store’s “Coming Soon” section.
Jan 312014
 
Oddworld Inhabitants are running a competition for fans to (once again) name a part of the upcoming Abe’s Oddysee remake.
The competition, which was posted on the official Oddworld site, asks fans to submit names for some of the Trophies that will appear in the game.
The trophies to be named are:
  • Kill a Boombat with a rock
  • Escape from RuptureFarms without Abe being spotted by any Slig
  • Have Abe die in 15 unique ways
  • Kill Sligs in 15 unique ways
  • Finish the game with the Good Ending faster than our best developer time
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 5th February, and all entries are to be submitted by email (alf@oddworld.com). Oddworld staff will then pick five finalists for each Trophy from the submissions, and the winner will be voted by fans.

Prizes

In addition to their submission being used in the game, winners will also have their names featured in the game credits and will also be given a download code for a copy of New ‘n’ Tasty on the PlayStation platform of their choice. Runners-up will receive a download code for the Oddboxx.
Dec 152013
 
Oddworld Inhabitants have begun posting Developer Roundtables over on their official blog, where questions asked by fans are tackled by some of the developers working on the game. So far two Developer Roundtables have been posted to the site.
The first Roundtable focused on the potential inclusion of a map editor and multiplayer modes; with producer Craig Spiers, game designer Matt Glanville and environment artist Brett Lewis discussing the topic. While the group were immediately able to confirm that the original turn-based co-op multiplayer from Abe’s Oddysee would be returning (noting it was a favored game mode for parents playing with their children), the group’s discussion about alternative multiplayer modes concluded that while the team had some ideas, the amount of work required in redesigning levels to accommodate two simultaneous players means it wasn’t really feasible to do. Similarly, while the group discussed the possibility of including a map editor in the game, their limited time and budget wouldn’t allow them to develop something satisfactory.
The second Roundtable focused on the game’s art assets; with animator Maya Oruba, environment artist Colin Stewart and character artist Tom Bramall talking about their areas of expertise. The trio discussed the tools used to build the game’s art assets, their specific workflows, and how many of the assets they use are pulled from previous Oddworld games – the model used for Abe, for example, is a retouched version of the model used in the original Abe’s Oddysee’s pre-rendered cutscenes.