Jun 222012
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.”
Apr 272012
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.
Mar 172012
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.
Feb 152012
In an interview with the website Near Vita, Stewart Gilray has revealed the first details of Stranger’s Wrath on the PlayStation Vita. The handheld version of the game will make use of the Vita’s back touch panel, may feature exclusive achievements and will possibly run at 30 frames per second (lower than the 60fps console version). Munch’s Oddysee for Vita was also mentioned briefly, with Gilray saying that touch controls were being implemented in a similar way to Stranger.
Jan 292012
Eurogamer.net and Digital Foundry has posted an excellent interview with Stewart Gilray as well as taken an in-depth look into the changes JAW decided to make when remaking Stranger’s Wrath for the PS3. Video and screenshot comparisons bewteen the original Xbox version and the new HD remake are made while Gilray explains the challenges JAW had to overcome in order to get the game running smoothly in 720p and 60fps. It’s a bit heavy on tech, but a great read nonetheless. Other interesting tidbits include the MIA Xbox360 version and JAW’s optimism towards finishing the rest of the Quintology.
Jan 062012
Stewart Gilray has posted a summary of Just Add Water’s progress on bringing the recently released Stranger’s Wrath HD to Steam. The post, made on the official Steam Forums, reiterates the changes made to the game (including the updated graphics, UI, difficulties, and foreign-language subtitles), and also details specifics exclusive to the Steam version of the game. Notably, the game has a tentative release date of March/April 2012, will be thoroughly QA tested (in response to complaints of last year’s initial PC release containing numerous bugs), and will feature new achievements not included in the PS3 version of the game. Stranger HD PC will also use DirectX, instead of OpenGL (likely a result of compatibility issues between OpenGL games and ATi graphics cards).
Dec 152011
San Luis Obispo magazine NewTimes has published a long and detailed article covering the history of Oddworld Inhabitants, from its creation to its current state. Author Colin Rigley has drawn from existing interviews and spoken to previous of the company’s employees to construct a fascinating tale of Oddworld’s commercial history from the perspective of local interest.
Dec 072011
After 15 months of development, Stranger’s Wrath HD will finally be released to PAL regions on December 21st. The date was confirmed today in a post on the PlayStation Blog, written by Stewart Gilray of Just Add Water. Development on Stranger HD was announced as completed last month, when a complete list of all changes, additions and upgrades was posted on the JAW website. Since then, it has been reviewed by Eurogamer, who gave it an overwhelmingly positive reception. JAW also reaffirmed via Twitter that the PC version would be arriving 2-3 months from now. UPDATE: According to the US PlayStation Blog, the North American release of Stranger HD will be on December 27th.
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.