The Oddworld Forums is an Internet message board for fans of Oddworld. They are unofficial and have never been owned by Oddworld Inhabitants. The Oddworld Forums currently contain over 20 thousand threads, 625 thousand posts, and 14 thousand registered members. Among the members are past and present Oddworld Inhabitants employees and other Oddworld videogame developers.
The Oddworld Forums were founded in by Sydney Cander, who co-administered the site alongside Abe Babe until he left the community in . Its owners since then have been Abe Babe and Alcar. For a while, they identified the site as a component of OddNet along with their respective fansites Oddworld-Web and Oddworld Universe, and the IRC channel OddChat. Oddworld Forums is the only remaining on these sites.
The Oddworld Forums is divided into a number of individual message boards or forums, each one dedicated to a specific (albeit broad) topic, so that users' posts are organised according to subject matter. For instance, Oddworld Discussion is where most posts about Oddworld are made while Forum Suggestions & Help contains posts about the Oddworld Forums themselves. Moderators will move posts that are located in the wrong forum. Users can begin a discussion by creating a ‘thread’ inside a forum, to which other members can reply with their own posts. Each thread thus becomes a sequence of posts ordered by the time they were published. The forum software does not allow for branching conversations, so when the topic of a discussion changes, a new thread must be manually created and posts moved into it.
Message boards can be nested for organisational purposes, with user priviledges such as moderator powers being inherited by those boards contained within others, although user content within each forum remains independent. The highest levels of boards cannot be posted in and exist purely for organisation. On the Oddworld Forums these are called ‘Zulags’, named after the fictional areas dividing up the factory RuptureFarms in the game Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
The current forum structure of the Oddworld Forums is as follows.
|Zulag One||Oddworld Discussion||Talk about things such as upcoming games, paramite pie recipes, evolution of different Oddworldian species etc. Anything you wish.|
|Oddworld Mods & Hacks||Discuss how to backwards-engineer the Oddworld games, extract their assets and create editing tools and new levels.|
|Oddworld Let's Plays and Speedruns||Share your gameplay videos and discuss how to shave fractions of seconds off your runtime. May contain spoilers.|
|Citizen Siege Discussion||Discuss this new intellectual property from the creators of Oddworld, currently planned as a feature film and video games.||Hidden and inaccessible to non-staff members|
|OIPT Oddlympics||Here you can participate in the Oddlympics, an extension of the famous OIPT. You can win points by placing bets on characters in different events.||Hidden|
|Spoiler Forum||Threads that may contain New 'n' Tasty spoilers should be made in this forum. Please see our Spoiler Policy for more information.||Hidden|
|Oddworld Help||Stuck in the game? Need technical help? Here you can post questions and receive answers from others.|
|Zulag Two||Forum Suggestions & Help||As a member oriented forum, we welcome suggestions and feedback from members to make OWF a place for all. Please post forum help questions and banner requests here also.|
|Welcomes & Birthdays||New here? Post a welcome thread to let people know you are new. Or if you want to wish fellow members happy birthday, do it here also.|
|Off-Topic Discussion||Post your off-topic threads here. This is the place where you can talk about miscellaneous things that aren't related to Oddworld.|
|Non-Oddworld Gaming||Discuss all your non-Oddworld gaming related topics, from the latest first person shooter to how to pass that last level on your favourite adventure title.|
|Zulag Three||Fan Corner||Like to write Oddworld fan fiction? Enjoy making fan art? Here is where you can view or post fan fics & art to receive feedback.|
|Non-Oddworld Art & Literature||Showcase your non-Oddworld related art and literature, or provide feedback on the work of other members.|
|Oddworld RPG||Join in the fun of the Oddworld Role Playing Game. Take on a character and transport yourself to the world of Oddworld.|
|Info (temp)||New 'n' Tasty. Coming Soon!||Hidden and inaccessible to non-staff members|
|Zulag Four||Employee Lounge||A seperate forum for Administrators and Moderators to discuss forum related issues.||Accessible only to current and former staff members|
|Necrum Burial Grounds||A forum where old topics come to rest. Please note that archived topics are for viewing only, and new topics can't be created or replied to.||Posts can't be created|
The Forums' current administrators are Nate, Wil and Xavier. The staff also includes Super Moderator JayDee. There are currently no moderators below this rank. Abe Babe and Alcar retain the highest administrative powers but have the rank of ‘Owners’ to distinguish themselves from active moderators. They are the only two members of staff to have server access.
Sydney first created the Oddworldian Forums using ezboard on to accompany her Oddworld fansite, Oddworldian. Later Super Moderator Pilot would claim this was an act of vengeance against the administrator of the older Oddworld fan community, Exoddus Club, a private Yahoo! Club. Sydney contended that this was not a motivation in the Forums' creation, which pre-dated the disagreement.
Fan Corner was opened on to accomodate fan fiction stories. Some time between and the message board was renamed Oddworld Forums. Sydney made Abe Babe co-administrator of the Forums at the start of in advance of the opening of her fansite, Oddworld-Web.
After receiving a number of complaints about the increased number of adverts appearing on the Oddworld Forums, Sydney, Abe Babe and Elum decided to create new Oddworld Forums powered by Ultimate Bulletin Board, an ad-free system. These were opened on .
In the server that was hosting the Oddworld Forums (along with Oddworld-Web and Oddworldian) emailed Sydney and Abe Babe to inform them that they were undergoing a merge, but that because of the size of OddNet (at the time 150 MB), they would have to switch to a more expensive hosting plan in order to continue on the service. In order to avoid paying these costs, Sydney and Abe Babe accepted an offer by Pilot to host OddNet on his personal server at no charge. The internet connection used by Pilot to hosts the Forums and fansites cost $175 USD per month.
On , Sydney disabled member registration to prevent the user Havoc from creating multiple user accounts to spam the forums. Following the Havoc incident, new members required manual activation by an administrator before being given posting priviledges.
On , Abe Babe removed administrative powers from Sydney, resulting in what was later referred to as the Oddworld Forums–Glass Asylum schism. During this time, a number of members—including staff members—left the Forums, necessitating the installation of a number of new moderators. This was done via member voting, establishing a precedent for this process. In retaliation for having her admin rights revoked, Sydney deleted the original ezboard Oddworld Forums.
On , Abe Babe released the new Industrial style for the Forums, which became its default; users could still choose to use the Native style by selecting it from the control panel. Alongside this, new profile fields allowed members for the first to specify their gender and favourite films and games.
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Fan of the Month 10’, interview with Sydney and Abe Babe by Alf. Alf's Rehab and Tea. Official Oddworld website. Archived by HTTrack Website Copier/3.x (). Odd Wide Web. Oddworld Archives. Oddworld Library.
- Pilot (). Post 81 in ‘A sad day today’. Off-Topic Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Sydney (). Post 85 in ‘A sad day today’. Off-Topic Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Fan corner’. News item on Oddworldian. Archived by the Wayback Machine (). Internet Archive.
- Abe Babe (). ‘Oddworld Feature Film’. Message 2485 on the Exoddus Club. Yahoo! Groups.
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Fanart section’. News item on Oddworldian. Archived by the Wayback Machine (). Internet Archive.
- Cander, Sydney (c. ). ‘Introducing our new Forum Administrator...’. Thread title only on p. 13 of Necrum Burial Grounds. Oddworld Forums. Archived by the Wayback Machine (). Internet Archive.
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Oddworld-Web opens and new fanart’. News item on Oddworldian. Archived by the Wayback Machine (). Internet Archive.
- Abe Babe (). ‘Oddworld-Web goes Online’. News item on Oddworld-Web. Archived by the Wayback Machine (). Internet Archive.
- Abe Babe (). ‘Announcement: Oddworld Forums is Moving!!!’. Off-Topic Discussion. Oddworld Forums. Archived by the Wayback Machine ().
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Welcome to Oddworld General Discussion’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Announcement: Oddworld Forums' New Look’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Abe Babe (). ‘Announcement: Private Messages Enabled’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Cander, Sydney (). ‘Important Oddworld Forums Announcement’. Forum Suggestions & Help. Oddworld Forums.
- Sydney (). Post 16 in ‘Spam#3’. Off-Topic Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Sydney (). Post 86 in ‘The Odd Tour Gallery’. Off-Topic Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Sl'askia (). Post 92 in ‘The Odd Tour Gallery’. Off-Topic Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Xavier (). ‘new desing!’. Forum Suggestions & Help. Oddworld Forums.
- Abe Babe (). ‘Oddworld Forums New Layout’. Forum Suggestions & Help. Oddworld Forums.
- Abe Babe (). ‘New Layout’. Forum Suggestions & Help. Oddworld Forums.