Manco

Nov 062013
 
As Oddworld Inhabitants announced on their website yesterday, the Oddboxx is now available on Playstation Network for countries in European territories. The Oddboxx (the collection of rereleased Oddworld games including Stranger’s Wrath HD and Munch’s Oddysee HD) is priced at £15.99 GBP or €19.99 EUR.
However, the developer notes that US Playstation owners will not be able to buy the bundle, at least for the time being. According to the blogpost, Oddworld Inhabitants cannot release the games as a set because they are not listed as a publisher for two of the games in the US. As to whether they will be able to work around the problem? “We’ll have to see” is all they can say for now.
UPDATE: A new post just went up on the Oddworld site which clarifies a few details about the Oddboxx, which we thought we’d outline here for your convenience:
  • The versions of Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus included are playable on PS3 and PSVita.
  • Munch’s Oddysee HD included (PS3, no Vita version currently) has not yet been updated with multi-language support, so non-English-speaking customers will not be able to play it in their chosen language on release. A patch is currently in QA.
  • Stranger’s Wrath HD has been updated with Playstation Move and stereoscopic 3D support, as well as taking up less hard drive space.
  • A bonus PSN avatar is also included as part of the bundle.
The developer has also re-clarified its stance on a US version, sounding a little more optimistic:
Sadly, a little red tape is currently holding us back just now from pushing the pack out to the United States, but we’re hoping to overcome that as soon as we’re able.
Aug 272013
 
Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning is set to host a keynote at next month’s DICE Europe 2013 summit. The event, hosted in London from 24 – 25 September, features a lineup of various big names in the gaming industry, including 22 Cans’ Peter Molyneux, EA Chief Creative Director Richard Hilleman, and Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli.
Lanning’s keynote, titled “Properties for the Apocalypse”, is described on the Oddworld.com blog as:
[taking] attendees on a journey across the macro intent of his studios historic design ambitions, their experiments in resonating with an increasingly disillusioned audience, why it’s a blessing that retail is dying, how increasingly fractured leisure time is changing the studios design focus, and why self-published indies have faith in embracing a new messiah model
The blogpost also mentions that the event will be streamed and will also be recorded, so don’t panic if you won’t be in London next month.
Jul 172013
 
GameSpeak was always a major part of the original Abe’s Oddysee, and it seems that New ‘n’ Tasty will only up the ante. In a post on the Oddworld.com blog, Oddworld Inhabitants have asked for fans to send in their audio recordings of Mudokon GameSpeak dialogue for a chance to have their voice included in the upcoming Oddysee remake.
The studio are asking for very specific set of lines:
  • Hello / Hi
  • OK
  • Laughing
  • Giggling
  • Angry hissing
  • Pain grunts (oof, ow, eugh, etc) x5
  • Death screams x3
  • Bonus points for providing some sound effects for the wildlife of Mudos (birds, Scrabs, Elums, etc.)
The requirements for the audio files are at they must be 24bit/96kHz WAV format files, and they must be made available to download on SoundCloud and shared with the Oddworld Inhabitants SoundCloud account. The studio notes that there is no guarantee they will use submissions, but any that do make it in will have their names included in the game’s credits.
The deadline to get your audio in is Friday 26th July, which gives you just over a week to work with as of this writing.
Jun 272013
 
Just Add Water have penned an open letter to Hideo Kojima expressing their interest in working on a remake of the original Metal Gear Solid game.
The letter comes about from a recent interview in which Kojima was asked about working on a remake using Kojima Productions’ new Fox Engine (which powers the upcoming Metal gear Solid 5). Although Kojima’s comments were mistranslated (Kojima is not actively looking for a developer), he has since stated that he is keen on the idea.
JAW’s open letter highlights their work with the Oddworld IP, especially their work on the upcoming New ‘n’ Tasty, as proof that they would be a good fit for the project. We’ll be looking out for Kojima’s response.

UPDATE: JAW have since removed the letter from their website. Stewart Gilray took to Twitter to clarify the studio did not intend for the letter to be considered as a proposal to work on the MGS series.
Jun 112013
 
The day before the New ‘n’ Tasty E3 announcements started rolling in, Lorne Lanning couldn’t resist dropping a teaser for another Oddworld project: Stranger’s Wrath will be coming to mobile phones.
Lanning showed an early version of the game running on an iPhone to TheSixthAxis.com, who commented that it was unfinished but “very playable”. The mobile port uses the original Xbox assets, but some assets from the HD version may make their way into the final version. Although the version demoed was running on an iPhone, Lanning also mentioned Android support, and that controller pairing should also be possible.
The port is being handled by Square One Games, as the Just Add Water team currently have their hands full with other projects.
Encouragingly, the demo was originally menat to be “off-the-record”, but the team are so proud of the project as it stands that they were willing to allow TheSixthAxis to publish the news.
Jun 112013
 
At yesterday’s E3 press conference, Sony announced on behalf of Oddworld Inhabitants that Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty would be making its debut on PlayStation 4. Lorne Lanning took to the stage along with other indie game developers, accompanied by new gameplay footage.
Oddworld Inhabitants have also published a selection of 1080p screenshots on their website, plus a full teaser trailer on their Youtube channel.
New ‘n’ Tasty was already confirmed for PS3, PSVita and PC at last year’s Eurogamer Expo – but tellingly,  there has yet to be an announcement that it will appear on Xbox One. Oddworld Inhabitants also confirmed on their website that the game would be coming to Mac OS X and Linux.
In a surprising announcement, New ‘n’ Tasty and Stranger’s Wrath HD will also be coming to Wii U, marking the first time a game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants will appear on a Nintendo console.
Jun 102013
 
Official Xbox Magazine UK visited Just Add Water to talk about the studio’s plans for the future of Oddworld. Apparently action will be taking center-stage, as the studio is still deciding between making a Stranger’s Wrath sequel or The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klott for their next project after New ‘n’ Tasty.
The studio is already working on converting the Stranger engine into something modern and optimized for multiplatform use – no small task, considering the original engine was built only with the Xbox in mind and took no small effort to port to PC and PS3.
Strengthening the argument for Stranger 2 is Gilray’s revelation that a detailed premise for the hypothetical sequel has already been laid out by Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning:
Lorne and I spoke about it five, six months ago and nothing happened. And then in November we all said ‘what’s this Stranger’s Wrath 2 idea you had?’ and he sent me an email about a mile long and I’m like ‘oh my god!’ So I’ve read bits of it, he’s got a whole premise out for Stranger 2, and it is something we have considered doing.
As for new content, JAW are keeping quiet for now, but hint that Live Ammo types cut from the original game may make a comeback.
For Fangus, we know that the basic premise—cats vs dogs—has already been set out, and the team are already sitting on character models from the original Inhabitants’ work, but as with the Stranger engine anything made for Fangus was only ever built with the original Xbox in mind, so lot of work would still be needed to build the game.
JAW also shared a selection of concept art for Fangus, some of which has not been revealed before.
Some other tidbits of information revealed by the interview include the fact that Stranger’s Wrath was originally conceived as a sequel to Munch’s Oddysee, and in fact an early build of the game has Stranger and Munch occupying the same in-game environment; and apparently, there were also some early plans for “Abe karting” games, although the team at JAW isn’t too keen on taking these any further.
Apr 022013
 
At the start of February, The Electronic Playground invited Lorne Lanning to be a guest on their podcast Vic’s Basement to talk about Oddworld (Lorne’s section begins around the 4:25 mark).

When asked how he has endured in the industry for so long compared to other developers, Lanning explains that he first became interested in the industry because of the possibilities it held; and those possibilities still interest him even now.
 
At several points Lanning talks about how “Oddworld 2.0” (as he calls the franchise’s current incarnation) is approaching the market:
  • Lanning believes that digital shelf space is infinite, and is positive about digital distribution; sel-publishing means they don’t have to work with big publishers and make huge returns.
  • When designing games, Oddworld takes less of a direct “you are in the story” approach common to other games, and instead allows the player to sit back and watch the story while still allowing their influence to be felt.
  • Lanning talks about wanting to engage with audience more directly, saying he wants to “make our audience feel heard” and that Oddworld listens to its fans
  • There has been no advertising for digital rereleases, instead relying on guerrilla marketing and pre-existing brand visibility
Lanning also rides motorcycles, apparently. Interesting.
Mar 152013
 
Earlier today Oddworld Inhabitants posted a sneak peak at a new piece of merchandise on their blog – a brand new t shirt
The shirt, designed by Jonny Eveson (who you may remember as being behind a nifty New ‘n’ Tasty poster recently unveiled) boasts a rather classy interpretation of the SoulStorm Brew logo:
SoulStorm t shirt design

Ice cold.


No word yet on when you’ll be able to buy one, but the blogpost promises that more information will be coming “early next week”.
Mar 042013
 
You may have heard that Stranger’s Wrath Vita had a patch incoming. You may also have heard that the patch was delayed so that some issues could be fixed.
Well worry not, as Oddworld Inhabitants have now confirmed that the issues have been worked out and the patch is now live in Europe and North America. The patch adds an online leaderboard which allows players to compare completion times on bounties; alternative controls for those who dislike the Vita’s rear touchpad; and some bug fixes.