Mar 182014
 
In an interview published today on Eurogamer, Lorne Lanning has announced that New ‘n’ Tasty will be sold for $30 (approximately £18 or €21). At the same time, Lanning also estimated that the game would need to sell around 250,000 copies for them to be able to fund their next project, a full remake of Abe’s Exoddus in the same style as New ‘n’ Tasty. But interestingly, he also said that selling 500,000 copies could enable them to produce a brand new Oddworld title as well – and it seems that game could be the previously-scrapped Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot.
Lanning was quite clear about his desire to make The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, a project he’s resurrected to tinker with some more. “Over the last year and a half, I’ve designed Fangus extensively. And I would like to be able to move into Fangus as soon as a new IP in Oddworld,” Lanning explained. That being said, he noted that the studio has other ideas as well, so Fangus Klot is not guaranteed to be the next original Oddworld title if and when the studio gets enough capital for it.

The Oddworld team also seems interested in releasing expansion packs for New ‘n’ Tasty and the potential Exoddus remake, although no details were given on what such packs might contain.
The interviewer notes that Lanning is confident in his sales goals, thanks to the Oddworld games’ strong digital sales in recent years – notably, Stranger’s Wrath HD selling 600,000 copies (more than its original Xbox release) and the original Oddysee and Exoddus games together selling more than a million copies.
Dec 152013
 
Oddworld Inhabitants have begun posting Developer Roundtables over on their official blog, where questions asked by fans are tackled by some of the developers working on the game. So far two Developer Roundtables have been posted to the site.
The first Roundtable focused on the potential inclusion of a map editor and multiplayer modes; with producer Craig Spiers, game designer Matt Glanville and environment artist Brett Lewis discussing the topic. While the group were immediately able to confirm that the original turn-based co-op multiplayer from Abe’s Oddysee would be returning (noting it was a favored game mode for parents playing with their children), the group’s discussion about alternative multiplayer modes concluded that while the team had some ideas, the amount of work required in redesigning levels to accommodate two simultaneous players means it wasn’t really feasible to do. Similarly, while the group discussed the possibility of including a map editor in the game, their limited time and budget wouldn’t allow them to develop something satisfactory.
The second Roundtable focused on the game’s art assets; with animator Maya Oruba, environment artist Colin Stewart and character artist Tom Bramall talking about their areas of expertise. The trio discussed the tools used to build the game’s art assets, their specific workflows, and how many of the assets they use are pulled from previous Oddworld games – the model used for Abe, for example, is a retouched version of the model used in the original Abe’s Oddysee’s pre-rendered cutscenes.
Jan 252013
 
Oddworld Inhabitants has finally given us another peek at the upcoming Abe’s Oddysee: New ‘n’ Tasty. This time the focus is on something a little different, though – it seems the classic RuptureFarms product posters are getting the HD treatment.
Johnny Eveson’s poster design for New ‘n’ Tasty.

Jonny Eveson’s poster design for New ‘n’ Tasty.

The updated poster for “New ‘n’ Tasty” (above)—redesigned by Jonny Eveson (who you may remember as the creator of these gorgeous art deco-inspired Oddworld posters)—will hopefully fit in to a HD world a lot better than the original version – and from what we can gather, we can expect to see more reimaginings from Eveson in the near future:

And as the cherry on top, the original teaser is introduced with “we’ve been working on some cool ideas for you guys to enjoy outside of the games”, suggesting that we may be seeing printed posters gracing our walls as well.

Oct 182012
 

Oddworld Inhabitants and Just Add Water finally revealed their new game to the world on September 30, during their live panel at Eurogamer Expo.
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee: New ‘n’ Tasty (named by fans via a competition held by OWI) was officially announced after the team showed off a short video demonstrating pre-alpha gameplay footage. Stewart Gilray delivered the announcement of the game, revealing its official title and detailing some of the changes made (and what will be left alone).
New ‘n’ Tasty has been given a tentative release date of Autumn 2013 and initial release platforms of PlayStation 3, PSVita, PC and Xbox Live Arcade, with other platforms being considered as possibilities.
The full panel lasted around 37 minutes, with Lorne Lanning taking center-stage to discuss why he started Oddworld, what Oddworld means and what the Oddworld team plans to do in the future – including approaching the games industry from the perspective of a small independent studio and micropublisher. After the announcement of New ‘n’ Tasty, a short Q&A session was held before the end of the panel.
After the panel came MudoCon, Oddworld’s very own fan meetup. Fans who attended Eurogamer Expo had the opportunity to meet Lorne Lanning, Stewart Gilray and other members of the JAW team (including Oddworld Library’s own Wil, pictured here with his #1 fan). Attendees were also given limited edition minicards, signed by Lorne with links to exclusive downloads. You can read the full overview over on the Oddworld.com blog.
Aug 092012
 
Oddworld Inhabitants has announced that Abe HD will be showcased at the upcoming Eurogamer Expo event in September.
The expo takes place from 27-30 September at Earl’s Court, London (that’s the British London for anyone confused), and will feature many upcoming games (such as Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3, among others).
Development team Just Add Water and series creator Lorne Lanning will be on stage at 2:30pm on Sunday 30 September to talk about the history of the Oddworld series and give a demonstration of Abe HD, as well as to announce exclusive details about the game.
Tickets are currently available via the Eurogamer Expo site.
Aug 092012
 
Earlier today game developer Just Add Water posted the first screenshot of the upcoming game Abe HD to their Twitter account.
The screenshot, which you can see below, appears to feature an area which appeared very early in the original Abe’s Oddysee – the second “screen” that players visited in RuptureFarms, in fact. Just like in the original area there is a Directory (which were used as maps in the original game) and a ledge.
Abe himself also appears in the screenshot. It appears that in this game Abe will be realistically rendered and colored, rather than having his skin tone simplified outside cutscenes (as happened in Oddysee and Exoddus).
 
click for full size

The first screenshot of Abe HD (click for full size).

Aug 062012
 
In a post on the official Oddworld.com blog, Oddworld Inhabitants have reached out to fans for suggestions on naming the game currently referred to as “Abe HD”.
The post states that the team do not simply wish to title the game “Abe’s Oddysee HD” as this would make it “sound like [they have] injected bigger pictures into the original engine”, as opposed to a full “grounds-up” 3D remake.
A rather nice prize is being offered for the winning suggestion – besides having their suggestion used as the game’s title, the winner will have their name in the game’s credits and will be awarded a poster of the game’s cover art, signed by artist Raymond Swanland.
Suggestions are to be entered via the form attached to the blogpost, and must be submitted before August 10.
Feb 242012
 
In a press release posted today, Just Add Water Ltd have announced that they have licensed the Bitsquid technology and game engine to use in future Oddworld titles, including Abe’s Oddysee HD. The choice to use Bitsquid tech was discussed in the press release:
The Bitsquid engine is designed to have some of the same core functionality and attributes, while being more lightweight and functional for digital download game development. “The ability to scale and iterate quickly without sacrificing quality is a key component to creating quality games that live up to the Oddworld name and reputation,” said Stewart Gilray, CEO of Just Add Water. “After a good deal of shopping around, we found the Bitsquid engine to have the perfect combination of power and flexibility for our needs.”
The Bitsquid engine is described as “a new high-end game engine, built from the ground up to focus on excellent multicore performance, cache friendly data layouts and advanced rendering techniques.”
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.
Jun 072011
 
Just Add Water has announced that three Oddworld titles will be released on the PlayStation Vita, the successor to the PlayStation Portable formerly known as the Next Generation Portable (or NGP). Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath will be released on the PSVita this holiday season. The developer tweeted and posted on Facebook immediately after Sony’s press conference at E3, which demonstrated the PSVita and its ability to synchronize save games between it and the PS3, allowing players to continue their progress on either device. This feature will be enabled for both Oddworld titles.
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath coming to PS Vita this holiday season, with cross platform cloud saves #E3
The developer also confirmed that Abe HD will appear on Vita in the future. What’s more, since Vita is backward compatible with downloadable PSP games, it will also play Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus. Discuss this story on the Oddworld Forums. Update: Speaking to Eurogamer, Stewart Gilray added that these ports will make use of Vita’s touchscreen.
“In a way that allows the player to play the same game as a full console title or as a handheld title. It’s also allowed us to improve on the design in terms of being able to affect things directly.” Elaborating on this, he added as an example: “Abe can pickup a fellow Mudokon by simply tapping the screen, and other gesture-based input”.