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.
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.
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.
Right now we’re just finishing up various PS3 specific elements, then we’ll be at Beta. During Beta we will be optimizing the heck out of the game. Currently it’s running at 60fps 90% of the time, we want to ensure that it’s 60fps ALL of the time. As to what can players expect… It IS the same game it was in 2005, we’ve just polished it, lots more polys, much more detailed textures. We’ve doubled resolutions most of the textures in the game, in some cases even more. We’ve pushed out the view distance in some places just to give a much better view of the vistas in the game.Also, interviewed last week was Michael Taylor, a freelance audio composer and editor currently working with JAW on the Stranger’s Wrath and Munch’s Oddysee HD updates. In the interview with Nerd Vice, Taylor discussed his past experiences in the games industry (where he has previously worked on various Xbox Indie and iOS games), and talked about his work on the Oddworld HD remakes. His work includes converting and recreating the original audio files to the best possible quality (Taylor previously discussed his work on Stranger’s Wrath in a Dev Diary posted on JAW’s website). Taylor also discussed recording some previously lacking female dialogue, the lack of which was brought to the attention of Stewart Gilray by fans; and mentioned that his work was approved by Michael Bross, the original composer for Munch’s Oddysee and Stranger’s Wrath.
Because of the time spent fixing bugs present in the Oddboxx’s original release, the release of Stranger’s Wrath HD has been pushed back until the summer. A small number of higher-resolution characters were showcased, but the delay has allowed Just Add Water to include additional features, such as support for PlayStation Move, 3DTV and automatic uploading of gameplay recordings to YouTube. A mysterious ‘Feature X’ was assured, although its reveal had to be censored last-minute. It is ten letters long, starting and ending with ‘s’. In addition, the game’s menus and HUD have been redesigned to more closely match Lorne’s original sketches for them.
Munch’s Oddysee is also being given a HD treatment, with a number of higher-definition characters showcased at GameCityNights. Set to hit the PlayStation Network in October or November this year, this rerelease of MO will bring all four Oddworld titles to simultaneous availability on consoles, specifically the PlayStation 3. That being the case…
The Oddboxx will be coming out on the PlayStation Network. Just like the PC equivalent, it will feature all four Oddworld games, including the HD remasters of Stranger’s Wrath and Munch’s Oddysee, at the same low price!
Perhaps the most exciting announcement is the reveal of Oddworld: The Hand of Odd as a new title for release on platforms to be determined, although Eurogamer reports they are looking at iPad, Android tablets, Facebook, PC and Mac.
Wielding a large bound copy of the game’s original design documentation (circa 1998), Gilray explained that the modern gaming landscape has encouraged them to imagine Hand of Odd less as a Command & Conquer-style Real-Time Strategy and more like Zynga’s brand of social games.