Manco

Oct 262011
 
Oddworld Inhabitants have posted some new Stranger’s Wrath-related images to their Facebook page. The images show comparisons of several character models, highlighting the differences between the original graphics and the improved graphics of the game’s HD remake. Characters featured include Caste Raider, Doc Vykker, Blisterz Booty, Sekto and of course Stranger himself.
Oct 262011
 
Self-described fruit tree and divulger of metaphors Alf is back again with a random sampling of questions sent in by fans. This month’s second Dear Alf section is now up on the Oddworld Inhabitants website. This time around finds Alf talking about—well, sidestepping—the Muds and the bees, the business families in Oddworld and their negotiations, and cloning. Given how busy the Oddworld team are, there will likely be only one Dear Alf posted in November. In the meantime, you can submit more questions for the mudokon media mogul through email, Twitter, Facebook, and Formspring.
Oct 242011
 
Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray has been interviewed by website New Gamer Nation. The interview mostly focuses on the work done on Stranger’s Wrath HD, with Gilray once again confirming the scale of changes being made:
Goodness, we’ve “updated” a lot, actually almost the whole game has been updated, Movies, audio, textures, UI, environments, characters, HUD, visual FX (full MLAA on PS3), We’ve added in a few easter eggs, we’ve fixed a few things that were actually broken in the Xbox version. As for creative freedom, with the UI we went back to the original designs that Oddworld created in 2002 that they couldn’t use on the Xbox. But as they had only designed 4 of the 13 UI screens in the game, we just created the others based on those. Also, we only had Lorne’s approval on one item, the rest was entirely up to us.
It was also confirmed that there would not be a disc-based release of the game in the foreseeable future:
No, unless we end up releasing a boxset in the future. Mainly as, we and Oddworld are small indie companies now, to be able to afford to release on Disc is a MASSIVE risk. You have to pay a lot of money to get your discs manufactured, I think something like $10 per copy, so if you do the maths, having 200,000 copies made would cost us at LEAST $2,000,000 and that simply is not possible for us.
You can read the full interview over at New Gamer Nation.
Oct 182011
 
Stewart Gilray appeared as a guest on episode 237 of the PSNation podcast, posted last Thursday. The podcast covered a wide variety of topics, with discussions several times turning to Just Add Water’s current and future projects. Continue reading »
Oct 032011
 
Tea fiend and business proprietor Alf has once again graced Oddworld fans with his unique brand of wisdom, and has posted the first part of this month’s Dear Alf on the Oddworld Inhabitants website. Questions this time around poke about in the structure of Oddworld’s capitalist society, dig up some geography, ponder who would win in a fight (it is always a Scrab), and even pry a bit into Alf’s own affairs. Alf is all done with questions for now, but you can always submit more for Volume 2 through email, Twitter, Facebook, and Formspring.
Oct 012011
 
Following on from yesterday’s hands-on Stranger’s Wrath HD preview, The GameFreak Blog today posted an exclusive interview with Stewart Gilray, CEO of Just Add Water. The interview covers a huge array of Oddworld-related topics, ranging from discussion of the work being done on the Stranger’s Wrath HD remake to speculation on the future of the franchise and the Oddworld universe. The first section of the interview covers the work done on Stranger’s Wrath HD. Gilray details some of the changes made, including changing the resolution and the HUD, the processing power of an Xbox compared to modern gaming platforms, and the ultimate goal of getting the game running at a constant 60 frames per second. He also notes that there are very few bugs left to fix, and that the game “should be done in 3 weeks”, at which point the team will move onto development for Abe HD. Another point of interest is when Gilray describes his relationship with Lorne and Sherry. “I spent 3-4 days with them last year at their house in Berkeley and I came away from that with the feeling that, well, that they felt, knew, the game and the brand were in the right hands,” he says.He then goes on to discuss possible future projects, mentioning that both himself and Lanning want to see the Quintology finished, and that Squeak has been discussed. Overall, it seems as though the relationship between JAW and Oddworld is looking good. The discussion briefly touches on Abe HD, with Gilray mentioning how the source material will be respected:
we’re not 100% what we’re going to be doing with it yet, all we done know is that we are starting from scratch, in some respects, We’re not just taking Oddysee and making it higher res, the backdrops are now going to be full 3D environments, but the gameplay is still going to be 100% 2-dimensional. It’s going to be the game that Abe was originally, same sound, it’s going to look the same but more. So like, the environments will be living, not just like in the old games where you had an occasional background animation of a barrel going by or whatever.
A question about the negotiations with Microsoft reveals two things: firstly, that the main barrier appears to be Microsoft being unwilling to “commit” to a deal; and secondly, that the JAW team will happily publish on any gaming platforms: “Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Vita….and maybe Mac, other platforms” is the tentative line-up given for Abe HD. Speaking of future projects:
  • The Stranger engine will be reworked into a multiplatform game engine, and will possibly be used “to do one or two different games which we have not talked about yet in the Oddworld universe”.
  • Hand of Odd is briefly discussed, with Gilray dropping some clues that the game’s original design documents are being adapted to work in a modern gaming industry; differences in input devices is highlighted as a major consideration.
The interview is rounded off with Ferrol and Gilray talking about the Oddworld universe as a whole, particularly the sheer size of the world Oddworld Inhabitants have created and the potential scope of future stories set in that world.
SG- Yes. There’s a timeline of Oddworld document that covers around 2-3 thousand years of Oddworld time, and the games so far have covered two, maybe three hundred years, so you know, there’s around two and a half thousand years left to explore… GFB- Kind of like the Old Republic and then the Star Wars films, Middle earth…. SG- Yeah, you know…you play Strangers Wrath and you get to later on in the game, the Mungo Valley area, and there are roads there that have been demolished…where did they come from? All that kind of stuff, so you have to think, the Strangers Wrath version of Oddworld is like the second age effectively, in some respects. And again, Oddworld is an entire planet. The games so far have been based in two different parts of one continent of that planet, so there are other continents on Oddworld, other civilisations and stuff, there is stuff designed and written down, other characters created I mean, we found a document the other day that had, they aimed to have 300 different species. When Strangers Wrath came out they had a list of forty five species, Hand of Odd was ninety five species, so we have all of these species, well, not all of them, but most already designed and written. Yeah, you have Slogs, Slegs, Sligs, Baby slogs, so that’s four species there straight off. It’s all there! It’s this massive wonderful universe to work within. Some might say it doesn’t leave a lot of room to be creative, but I say that it’s easier to start off with a chessboard and design new pieces, than to start off with a blank board and have to design a game from the start. So yes, we have a whole universe that we get to play in.
If your appetite for Oddworld news isn’t fully satiated by these highlights, you can read the full interview over on The GameFreak Blog.
Sep 292011
 
Tony Ferrol, owner and writer of The GameFreak Blog, today published his world-exclusive account of his hands-on preview of the Stranger’s Wrath HD remake. Ferrol was invited to visit to the offices of Just Add Water last Friday, where he was given the opportunity to play the beta build of the game. Overall, it sounds like Ferrol came away extremely impressed:
So basically guys, the game is great. Graphically it looks completely gorgeous, with amazing characters and environments, it sounds brilliant too (all the original sound samples and effects have been quadrupled in quality) and all in all Stewart and everyone at JAW has taken a fan favourite and improved it in almost every single way. I for one, cannot wait for it to be released, and i’m sure, no…I GUARANTEE that if you’re a fan of Stranger’s Wrath and the Oddworld series in general you’ll be more than happy that the series is in the hands of everybody at Just Add Water.
Also included alongside the article are a few new screenshots of in-game footage taken from the Xplosives McGee area of the game. Interestingly, at the end of the article Ferrol teases that he will be publishing an interview with Stewart Gilray tomorrow, in which “some EXCLUSIVE NEWS you won’t have heard ANYWHERE ELSE” will be revealed. You can read Ferrol’s full preview here.
Sep 232011
 
Oddworld Inhabitants have posted a new image to their Facebook page, revealing the new Munch character model for Munch’s Oddysee HD. The image compares the new model to the old, showcasing the higher resolution textures and higher poly-count in the new model. The new HD model follows the release of new Abe, Scrab and Paramite models, first seen last month.
Sep 192011
 
An online petition has been created by fans of the Oddworld series in a bid to convince Microsoft to allow Oddworld games to appear on their Xbox Live service:
Many fans of oddworld are disheartened to know that it is unlikley that Microsoft will allow Oddworld games to be released on the Xbox 360.Us as fans have decided to start a petition and let Microsoft know just how much we want Oddworld to be released on the Xbox 360!Please help us get a much loved game on to a much loved console by signing this petition. Thankyou :)
Various different Oddworld outlets have referenced the petition, including Abe’s, Alf’s, and Just Add Water’s respective Twitter accounts, and the official Oddworld.com blog. JAW have commented on the difficulty of getting games published on the Xbox Live Arcade several times since the announcement of Stranger’s Wrath HD, stating that they would prefer to publish on the Xbox Live Arcade but are unable to due to a restrictive file size limit. Alf has stated that the Games on Demand platform is an alternative they would “settle for”, but has a requirement of two prior games published on Xbox, which JAW have yet to meet. JAW have also stated that they will not be delaying the PS3 release of Stranger’s Wrath HD because of the Xbox 360 delays. If this is true, this could mean that the game may not appear on Xbox 360 at all, as Microsoft’s policy on downloadable games is that they will only be allowed if they are released first on Xbox Live, or at least simultaneously with other channels. As of this writing, the petition has gathered 224 signatures.