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.