Archive:Back to the Front

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  • Published: 19 October 1999
  • Host:
  • Author: Paul O’Connor

The Designer Diary

Part One: Back to the Front
By Paul O’Connor

The Oddworld Quintology is a series of five games that reveals Oddworld in all its savage glory, complete with amazing new inhabitants, thrilling stories, twisted humor, and hidden pearls of wisdom and social commentary. Legions of Sligs quick-marching beneath the steely glare of implacable Glukkon overlords! Sinister factories belching lethal pollutants into the pristine skies of Oddworld’s frontier! Crafty natives locked in a desperate struggle for survival while brutal, forest-devouring mobile Vykkers Labs stomp across the land, crushing whole ecosystems into extinction with each colossal step! Sounds great! Sign me up! I want to play!

Whoops—I can’t play! I have to make this stuff. Well, me and sixty of my closest friends here at the front lines of game development at Oddworld Inhabitants. After a year’s absence, Oddworld’s Designer Diaries continue with Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, the next game from Oddworld Inhabitants. This monthly column will be your backstage pass to all the secret stuff going on in our next groundbreaking effort—Munch’s Oddysee.

For those who have thus far evaded the hype, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is the next game from Oddworld Inhabitants. It will mark the debut of our new ALIVE2 3D game engine, and while it will feature our signature character, Abe, in a supporting role, it will also introduce a whole new Oddworld hero: Latamire Munch. Our game design melds together the action, adventure, strategy, and role-playing genres in a characteristically twisted fashion to create a truly unique Oddworld experience.

This is a great time to start talking about Munch’s Oddysee. Preproduction is coming to a close, and we’re almost ready to start building game environments. The script has gone through several revisions, and while more are on the way, we have an excellent idea of what the game is about and where it’s going. The production designers have been going like a house on fire, providing a mountain of new Inhabitants, places, and weird vehicles and equipment to delight and torment our heroes. Our programmers are writing foundation code. The animators are churning out visualizations and getting to work on our new game movies. We’re putting the final polish on our design plans, and the whole team is eager to get on with the implementation phase of the production.

In other words, after a year’s preproduction, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and go Back to the Front. Long weekends! Sleepless nights! Eating bad Chinese food from a carton while sitting in front of our computers! Snarling at people who get Columbus Day off from work… slackers! Loved ones putting your picture on milk cartons! Hey, I can’t wait! Production, baby… here we come!