Sapphire’s report on GDC ’04
In March 2004, Sapphire had the opportunity to attend the Game Developers’ Conference at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, California, and was able to view at least part of the opening sequence of the then‐upcoming Stranger’s Wrath, take home the Outlaw Character Cards that were handed out, and even meet with Lorne Lanning. She kindly allowed OddBlog (then the only part of TOL) to report on her experiences, and this report is replicated below (all block quotes are from Sapphire).
Opening CGI Movie
The opening sequence starts in a Salamander graveyard, with Stranger crouching nearby, soon taking off from the scene. We cut to a Fuzzle baring its teeth at a Bolamite, but Stranger knocks them both out with a rock, and grabs the Bolamite. He then bumps into Blisterz Booty, who takes chase.
They made it seem like there was some sort of connection between Stranger and the sals.
After some hard‐to‐describe chasing, we cut to several Salamanders standing around some unidentified large‐eyed creature. Stranger runs past, grabbing this, and is followed still by Booty. At one point Stranger swings through a giant ribcage.
Booty ran more like a biped, and heavily. Stranger moved very fluidly, like an ape swinging on branches, or Tarzan.
Eventually, a pack of Fuzzles approaches and attacks Booty, slowing him down enough for Stranger to snag him in the Bolamite’s web. Stranger then stands over him holding a ‘Dead or Alive’ poster with Blisterz’s face on in, then looks down at the outlaw, who first growls, then shakes his head pleading, ‘Aw, no, nonono!’. The Steef puts his crossbow to him and fires.
Stranger’s voice was deep, and serious… And he definitely screamed Clint Eastwood. Booty’s voice was deep, but in a dopey way. But I couldn’t quite tell all he said, due to the noise around.
We cut to Blisterz being thrown in a jail cell saying, ‘Aw… this sucks&hellip’ and a Clakker pushes a paper across the desk towards Stranger while saying something like, ‘You can getcher Moolah at the…’ We only see the Clakker’z wing, but we hear he has a hick drawl.
The only creature from any previous games I recognized were the fuzzles… they looked healthy, so it was obvious they’d probably gone wild.
On the second day of the Conference, Sapphire was lucky enough to meet director of Oddworld Inhabitants and founder of the Oddworld universe, Lorne Lanning. She describes the experience herself:
Meeting Lorne was a wonderful experience for me, and I only wished that I had stayed and chatted with him longer. He was very amiable and encouraging towards me, and he seemed open to talking. There wasn’t really anything that the fans don’t already know that we talked about; we just chatted a little about the quintology and I showed him some art. I also found out he had majored in the same thing in college as I am right now (design), which was cool.
Every year at the GDC, the human resources staff organise a prize drawing for industry insiders. On top of seeing the opening movie from Stranger and meeting Lorne Lanning, Sapphire was also able to take away an amount of Oddworld merchandise that she won—this included:
- an XL Zap T‐shirt.
- an XL sweatshirt with the OWI logo.
- a copy of March’s Polygon Magazine.
- four old‐school pictures on postcards.
- stickers of Munch’s Oddysee and Magog Cartel logos.
- an iron‐on OWI logo.
- an Oddworld logo pin.
- sour watermelon Gabbit Juice.
- a big metal box with the OWI logo on top.
And, of course, a pack of cards featuring the names and likenesses of the outlaw bosses appearing in the next game.
The bosses, I can’t tell if they’re all one species or different, since they have different facial structures, but there are a lot of similar features, like teeth outside their mouths, brown skin, and beady eyes. There almost seem to be three species, two of each, though I could be mistaken.