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.
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.
Here’s an interesting story – according to a post on the forum NeoGAF, Abe may have been planned as an upcoming character for PlayStation 3 game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The post’s source is a screenshot of a tweet from Stewart Gilray, which reads “we were to get Abe in DLC in April or May, but they cancelled us.” The original tweet no longer appears in Gilray’s timeline, so we can’t verify if the screenshot was faked; however, the Just Add Water CEO has responded to a few inquiries about the post in a noncommittal manner, which suggests it is be genuine.
On October 26th, Oddworld Inhabitants’ ran its first livestream – for roughly an hour and a half (the first of two videos starts at around the 35-minute mark), Stewart Gilray entertained viewers through Twitch.tv by playing through the first few levels of Munch’s Oddysee HD.
The playthrough confirmed a number of interesting changes and additions to the rerelease. The game’s controls have been altered to more closely match those of the original PlayStation games, with Gamespeak commands now taking two buttons and the “action” button no longer sharing space with the “jump” button. To help players get to grips with the Gamespeak changes, a new UI has been added to the game which displays a list of available commands when holding down the Gamespeak buttons. And fans will no doubt be pleased to hear that several sound effects—Munch’s “bounce” in particular—have been swapped out for more realistic or muted sounds.
Gilray briefly discussed some of the details of Munch HD’s release. The game will be released on PlayStation Network first at $10 in North America, €8.99 in Europe and £7.99 in the UK. The Vita version will have to be purchased separately, and the PC port of the update is estimated to be released around three months after the PlayStation 3 release.
Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water CEO and Oddworld Inhabitants’ Development Director, has been interviewed by website Einfo Games. The video interview has Gilray speaking about his career, how he got involved with the Oddworld franchise and how he and his team have handled the series so far. He also speaks about the upcoming Stranger’s Wrath port for PlayStation Vita. The most notable new details revealed are some of the changes made to the controls and that online leaderboards will make an appearance for players to compare bounty times and overall completion times (among other things). The Vita version is currently expected to soon move into its final round of internal testing before being sent to Sony QA, which is expected to take around six weeks. Munch’s Oddysee HD is also mentioned, with Gilray estimating that the PlayStation 3 version will be sent to Sony QA in around six or seven days. A quick mention of Hand of Odd confirms that the game is still in the works, but that JAW have put the project to one side for now. Gilray says that he “made a mistake” by announcing the project back in GameCityNights due to the early state the project was (and still is) in. Finally, of course Abe’s Oddysee: New ’n’ Tasty is discussed, and Gilray says that after Stranger HD and Munch HD are done, the team’s main focus will shift entirely to New ‘n’ Tasty.
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.
The possibility of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD being released on Xbox 360 has been in the gaming news over the last couple of days following a comment by Alf on the official Oddworld Inhabitants website. Eurogamer quickly noticed Alf’s comment with a story declaring that Stranger on 360 had been completely ruled out.
Alf’s message, a response to a commenter asking when Stranger HD would be published on Xbox 360, originally read:
The boat has really passed on that one. We’re winding up development on Stranger’s Wrath HD and Munch’s Oddysee HD. Blame Microsoft for not letting us publish on Xbox 360.
However, it has subsequently been altered to read:
The boat has really passed on Microsoft publishing it. We’re talking to third party publishers about publishing Stranger’s Wrath HD on Xbox 360.
Eurogamer’s article sparked a number of gaming news sites to carry the story, including Shacknews and G4.
However, speaking to both Eurogamer and VG247, Stewart Gilray clarified that Just Add Water is still talking to two US publishers who could potentially publish Stranger HD on Xbox 360.
While far from confirmation of a 360 port, both follow-up articles mention that an Xbox release now would require additional content exclusive to Microsoft’s platform, content Gilray says is “already mapped out.”
Stewart Gilray of Just Add Water has been discussing his team’s work on the Oddworld series in an article posted on IGN today.
The article focuses on two things: firstly, the issues surrounding the PC port of Stranger’s Wrath from last December, and its subsequent HD re-release. According to the article, the backlash from the initial PC port’s issues caused Gilray no small amount of worry:
“Rightfully so, we had our arses ripped a new one,” Gilray says. It got under his skin. He didn’t sleep for two weeks.
“I was terrified I’d killed Oddworld.”
The second part reiterates some of the previously-discussed difficulties the JAW team has had with getting the game published on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, including the limitations of the Xbox Live Arcade platform and the requirements of Games on Demand.
Stewart Gilray of Just Add Water is appearing today at Platform 2012, a gaming expo being held at the University of Hull.
Gilray will be appearing as a speaker, giving a presentation titled “Oddworld: Past, Present & Future”. The presentation will look at the history of the Oddworld franchise and what its future has in store.
He will then appear alongside Jamie Sefton of gamerepublic.net in a panel about getting into the games industry.
There’s a new interview with Stewart Gilray, CEO of Just Add Water, by Christian Donlan at HookShootInc.com
He talks about 3D and Move support for Stranger HD, continuing struggles with the Xbox port, and what’s next for Munch’s Oddysee HD.
Read about it here.