Jul 262013
 
Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat managed to grab a hold of Lorne Lanning at Siggraph 2013 for an interview:
Why Lorne Lanning went from triple-A games to indie — and loudly loves it

Topics covered include Lorne’s recent comments on Xbox One, future plans for Oddworld, larger involvement with the fan community, crowdfunding and much more.
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 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.
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.
Mar 032013
 
Just Add Water have been featured in a Eurogamer article focusing on the development of PSVita games.
In the article programmer Peter Memmott and CEO Stewart Gilray get deep into the technical side of developing for Sony’s handheld console, discussing some of the challenges and constraints involved in getting Stranger’s Wrath HD working on the platform.
Be warned, the article features some tech-talk that may be a bit bewildering if you’re not particularly interested in game development.
Mar 032013
 
Lorne Lanning and Stewart Gilray spoke to website All About the Games last month. The Q&A style interview features questions on past and present developments for the studio, as well as some questions (mostly fielded by Lanning) on the state of the games industry.
One interesting thing we noticed was the following comment:

AATG: Oddbox is a wonderful package of your games all wrapped up neatly on the Steam digital platform. Now Steam Bigscreen has launched, do you have any plans to patch in more controller options, as Xpadder seems the only solution for some of the games.

SG: Xpadder? Not sure what you need that for… do you mean the original Abe titles? We’re looking at something that might help in that area, but we’re not talking about it yet.

We’re not sure what this means, but it may be a little hint towards some future updates for the PC ports of Abe’s Oddysee and Exoddus. Fingers crossed, anyway.
Feb 212013
 
In case you hadn’t heard, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 at a live event yesterday.
While it may not be the most surprising thing you’ve ever heard, it looks as though Just Add Water will be developing a game for the brand new system – the studio’s logo was shown on a slide along with the logos of other developers working on titles for the console. This was quickly followed up with a post on the JAW site confirming the fact:

By now you’ll have eagerly lapped up all the information from the Sony PlayStation announcement. You’ll have seen our name in the list of confirmed developers. We’re delighted to finally be able to tell you that JAW are developing for the Sony PlayStation 4. We can’t talk about what we’re working on just yet. Just be assured it’ll be worth the wait.

It’s entirely possible that the mystery project has nothing to do with Oddworld — the studio has hinted that they have some non-Oddworld plans in the works in the past — but with the amount of Oddworld titles already announced, it’s a safe bet we’ll be seeing Abe and friends on the next generation of consoles.