Wil

I became an Oddworld fan when I first played Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee in 1997 and joined the Oddworld Forums in 2000. I started Oddworld Library in 2003 but it wasn't officially launched until 2006. In 2010 I started doing work for Just Add Water, and joined the company the following year.

Apr 292011
 
Stewart Gilray made a number of project announcements at Season 2, Episode 4 of GameCityNights last night, where he spoke about his history in the industry and his thoughts on formal videogame education and qualifications. Lorne Lanning spoke to attendees through the medium of Skype, summarizing the last few years of Oddworld and answering questions from the audience. OddBlog was present for the whole evening, which you can relive through its live tweeting. Gilray made four main announcements.
  1. Because of the time spent fixing bugs present in the Oddboxx’s original release, the release of Stranger’s Wrath HD has been pushed back until the summer. A small number of higher-resolution characters were showcased, but the delay has allowed Just Add Water to include additional features, such as support for PlayStation Move, 3DTV and automatic uploading of gameplay recordings to YouTube. A mysterious ‘Feature X’ was assured, although its reveal had to be censored last-minute. It is ten letters long, starting and ending with ‘s’. In addition, the game’s menus and HUD have been redesigned to more closely match Lorne’s original sketches for them.

  2. Munch’s Oddysee is also being given a HD treatment, with a number of higher-definition characters showcased at GameCityNights. Set to hit the PlayStation Network in October or November this year, this rerelease of MO will bring all four Oddworld titles to simultaneous availability on consoles, specifically the PlayStation 3. That being the case…

  3. The Oddboxx will be coming out on the PlayStation Network. Just like the PC equivalent, it will feature all four Oddworld games, including the HD remasters of Stranger’s Wrath and Munch’s Oddysee, at the same low price!

  4. Perhaps the most exciting announcement is the reveal of Oddworld: The Hand of Odd as a new title for release on platforms to be determined, although Eurogamer reports they are looking at iPad, Android tablets, Facebook, PC and Mac.

    Wielding a large bound copy of the game’s original design documentation (circa 1998), Gilray explained that the modern gaming landscape has encouraged them to imagine Hand of Odd less as a Command & Conquer-style Real-Time Strategy and more like Zynga’s brand of social games.

OddBlog will be publishing its own interview with Stewart Gilray in the coming days, to follow up on last night’s announcements and chase all the latest news from the re-emerging field of Oddworld videogame development.
Apr 142011
 
GameCity has today announced details of the next GameCityNights, the monthly after-dark exploration into videogames culture. Taking place in Nottingham on 28 April 2011, Season 2 Episode 4 will host Lorne Lanning and Stewart Gilray as they talk about bringing Oddworld back and developing Stranger’s Wrath HD. Just Add Water has confirmed on Twitter they will also be announcing a new Oddworld title. Widely regarded as the best-looking game to grace the Xbox, fans of Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath can rejoice that the long overdue update is complete and will be unveiled at Episode 4 of GameCityNights by Stewart Gilray, Managing Director of Just Add Water, the team responsible for reinvigorating the latest Oddworld title. From 6pm, Gilray will deliver this month’s Frontend section, delving into the life of a studio head, from his early beginnings to the daily challenge of leading a team of talented developers, and reassuring a vociferous fan base their beloved franchise is in safe hands. The main event of the evening follows at 8pm as Gilray presents the moment fans have been waiting more than six years for: Stranger’s Wrath with updated and remastered HD visuals and audio. Charting the process of adding shiny bells and whistles to an already brilliant looking game, fans will see the progression from start to finish. In a distinctly Orwellian moment, Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning will be the eye-in-the-sky as he casts a glance over his original creation as this month’s ‘From the Desk of’ guest, as well as discussing the series’ past, present and future. GameCity Director Iain Simons said, “Lorne headlined the first ever GameCity festival back in 2006, so it’s great to be welcoming him back. We look forward to hearing his views on the updated Stranger, learning about the weather in Berkeley and sharing in his anticipation of the forthcoming Union of Kate Middleton and Prince William, staunch royalist that he is.” As ever, GameCityNights will also feature the very best indie developers showcasing their work alongside the latest AAA titles, comedian Paul Butler’s Augmented Vision, A Winner Is You prize competition with generous contributions from Capcom and Square Enix, an impassioned My Game appearance and a well-stocked bar to round out the night. GameCityNights take place every month at Antenna in Nottingham, Beck Street, NG1 1EQ. Entry is strictly 18+ only, tickets £5 in advance and for students, £6 on the door for the general public. Due to limited capacity, pre-booking via GameCityNights’ website is advised. There is a Facebook Event. OddBlog will be present on the evening to cover information and happening as they develop. We will also be bringing you an exclusive interview with Stewart Gilray following the event.
Mar 162011
 
Following yesterday’s addition to Direct2Drive, GamersGate is now the latest online games store to stock the Oddboxx, as well as Munch’s Oddysee and Stranger’s Wrath, DRM-free. All Oddworld games on GamersGate, including Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus, are now being sold with a 50% discount for the next 12 days. Since yesterday, Direct2Drive has extended its 50% sale to Munch’s Oddysee and Stranger’s Wrath, although still only in the Unitied States region. The latest updates to Stranger’s Wrath have now gone live on Steam, although the latest updates to Munch’s Oddysee can currently only be installed manually. Stewart Gilray has stated that Munch’s Oddysee and Stranger’s Wrath will be DRM-free on Amazon Game Downloads, Stardock and newly-confirmed GOG.com.
Mar 152011
 
IGN’s online game store, Direct2Download, is now the second digital distributor of the Oddboxx. Earlier today, the rival of Steam’s uploaded Munch’s Oddysee, Stranger’s Wrath and the four-game compilation, the Oddboxx. Unlike Steam, Direct2Download features Raymond Swanland’s Oddboxx boxart. The games are similarly priced on both Steam and Direct2Download, although Steam is currently holding a weeklong 50%-off sale on all Oddworld games and packages. Direct2Download has 50% off the Oddboxx in the United States region only. Other digital distribution services are expected to upload the Oddboxx shortly, including Stardock, Amazon, GamersGate, and others to be announced.
Dec 202010
 
As announced previously, the Oddboxx will be released today at 10am PST/6pm GMT. In the meantime, Oddworld Inhabitants have released a small official soundtrack online, the Oddboxx Soundtrack Sampler. Featuring over twenty minutes of music by Josh Gabriel, Ellen Meijers and Michael Bross from the Oddworld games Abe’s Oddysee, Munch’s Oddysee and Stranger’s Wrath, the ten-track OST can be downloaded along with its cover art from the new Oddworld website. Source: AlfMudokon Discuss on the Oddworld Forums
Dec 032010
 
Oddworld fan liaison Alf has returned from his sabbatical to post on the Oddworld Forums and open an account on Twitter. Alf has been an intermediary between Oddworld Inhabitants and Oddworld fans since before OWI controlled their own official website, but hasn’t been seen since he went on sabbatical in April 2005. Upon his return Alf is seeking followers on Twitter. Alf is not the only Mudokon on Twitter, his friend Abe having started tweeting in May this year.
Dec 012010
 
The latest developer diary from the Stranger’s Wrath remastering team at Just Add Water has been published on the official JAW website. This edition talks about restoring the fidelity of the game’s audio, both dialogue and effects, one of the biggest criticisms of the game’s original release. The article is punctuated by audio clips that really demonstrate how much life the improved sound quality is going to bring to the rerelease.
Nov 132010
 
The official Oddworld web space at oddworld.com has finally been replaced with a new website featuring news articles stream users can comment on, information on Oddworld Inhabitants and its games, links to places you can buy and download Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus, and a stream of AbeMudokon’s twitter feed. The launch opened with a message from current head of marketing The Native hinting at the new production models and mediums of release Oddworld will be utilizing, which includes the technologies built by Lorne Lanning’s new company, OddMobb. The Oddworld website stopped being regularly updated following the release of Stranger’s Wrath, but came to a definite halt on 15 April 2005 when Alf announced he was going on ‘sabbatical’. A ‘Coming Soon’ message was added as a splash page on 12 June 2006, but it took over four years for this to be replaced with the new WordPress-powered site. The new site is maintained by Just Add Water despite initially being created by a different company. Fans can now sign up to a mailing list to have the latest Oddworld news emailed to them. Source: AbeMudokon
Sep 172010
 
The first in a new series of developers’ diaries chronicling the remastering of Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath by Just Add Water has been published on the official JAW website. This entry introduces the changes that need to be made to the game, which will form the backbone of the series, and describes their choice of version control software. There is also an enlightening image comparing the Stranger model with different polygon counts.