Dear Alf #2

I sure had fun this month! Gotta lotta great questions from folks around the world about the X Box. I gave those to Sherry McKenna and Lorne Lanning, Co-founders of Oddworld.   Read their answers about the X Box in Oddworld’s Inhabitants. Keep those questions coming!

Until next month…

Q: I love all the artwork and renders on the site and in the games, does Oddworld have any plans to bring out an art book? I know several people who would buy one instantly!

Alf: But do you know anyone besides the mothers of the OW staff that would buy one, too?

Q: I have always wondered why Abe never cut the stitches from his mouth? I mean I can understand in Abe’s Oddysee but after he got out of RuptureFarms why didn’t he get someone to give him the snip? 

Alf: Abe says the stitches are both a reminder and a badge of honor. Me, I think he’s been hit in the head too much.

Q: I have been reading through fact files of Abe, and it says he has no…manhood. HOWEVER, in Abe’s Exoddus, when he is shot out of the mines, he lands on a kind of pole. He acts as though he busted his u-know-what. Why??? 

Alf: It’s not the size; it’s the motion.

Q: And since Abe has no sexual organs, does it mean Abe isn’t male or female? Why does Abe wear a loincloth then?

Alf: Because otherwise, he couldn’t justify wearing a belt.

Q: What I actually want to know is what part of your odd universe will become open to us in Munch’s Oddysee?

Alf: In Munch’s Oddysee you’re going to be seeing a lot of the Vykkers and their weird way of doing business. While the Glukkons were the natural resource barons of Mudos, the Vykkers are the scientists and doctors. The Vykkers have impeccable credentials, but are seriously lacking in any spiritual wisdom. They’re like those classic Harvard PHD’s that then go off to be vicious third world dictators or researchers for tobacco companies.

Geographically speaking, the Oddworld Quintology takes place in the territory of Mudos. As we get closer to the end of the Quintology we get closer and closer to the heart of consumerism; which means the more densely populated areas of Mudos. For Munch’s Oddysee we’ll be visiting several places that we’ve yet to see before. Many of which are various types of factories scattered across the landscape.

Q: Please.. gimme more info on the species of Oddworld (the ones coming out in Munch’s Oddysee). Oddworld Inhabitants still haven’t filled the ‘Oddworld Universe’ section up with ALL the characters. Like Queen Maggie, Khanzumers, Queen Skillya & Interns.

Alf: Well, the Interns are these kinda dopey guys with heads shaped like canoes. They file stuff, and kind of hover around. They’re a low-grade pain in the neck. The only thing I’ll say about Queen Margaret is that nobody—and I do mean NOBODY—calls her “Maggie” to her face. Not more than once, anyways.

Q: How many employees at Oddworld Inhabitants sold their soul to the devil in exchange for this beauty? 

Alf: We’ve had a full team of programmers working on this engine for a long time. It started with a tremendous amount of time being spent designing it on paper and working with the game design team to make sure we were building something truly special. We’ve also been working with an out of house team of programmers that build core technology (not a game company). When the game is fully running we’ll be talking more about this other team, but not before.

The images that you see are really a result of an extremely talented real-time art team that is here at Oddworld. The databases that they’ve built have, in many ways, driven part of what the technological performances of the engine need to be. Always, the balance between art and programming is critical. The best engine in the world can easily look lousy if there are not creative artists building databases for it and constantly trying to push the image quality.

The technology development for Munch’s Oddysee is the backbone for many games that Oddworld will build over the next several years. Squeek’s Oddysee will also benefit from this technology.

Q: Fleeches have two heads, correct? And Slurgs eat Fleech dung, right? So my question is, if Fleeches don’t have an (ahem) anus, then where does the excrement that the Slurgs eat come from? Does one head puke, or what?

Alf: I sent a guy to find out, but he never came back. Tell you what: if you get close enough to a Fleech to solve this one, let me know.

Q: Who is Squeek? What kind of creature is it? 

Alf: I can’t tell you. But I can give you a hint. It’s nothing you’ve seen before, and also nothing you haven’t seen before. Nyah-nyah!

Q: Can you tell us more about the Khanzumers?

Alf: Sure! But we don’t want to spoil the suprise and show much of the characters (species) that have yet to appear in games.

Q: Yo, in Oddworld do you guyz listen to music like rock or rap?

Alf: We can’t hear music over all the screaming.

Q: We were brave enough to visit RuptureFarms and feel the smell of Paramite pies, enter SoulStorm Brewery and drink a brew made of bones. What gourmet food or drink are we supposed to taste now? 

Alf: The more games we get the scarier food or drinks become. Sometimes reality is far more strange than fiction. Processed food is definately one of these examples. We love using food as the backbone to reveal the corruption and greed of some of the forces of Oddworld. It’s very reflective of what’s happening today on earth.

For Munch’s Oddysee there are a lot of new food items coming. There is Gabbiar, which is a delicacy of Gabbit Eggs (Munch is a Gabbit), there are Blitzpacker, Lungbuster, and Snuzi firearms… there are also Stoggies (cigars) and other goodies. Many of these new products will be in factories that you’ll have to deal with in the game. But this time, factories are something that are much more interactive than the backdrops that they’ve been for us in the past. This time you’ll be able to load a factory up with workers (or empty it of workers) and get it to actually start making goods and profit.

Q: Will a Meech ever be shown in Oddworld like a flashback or anything?

Alf: I heard a rumor about a pack of Meeches being discovered on a lost plateau, but the Glukkons scooped ’em up and dumped ’em into one of their hunting preserves. There may be more, but I’m not sure.

Q: Does Shrykull appear in Munch’s Oddysee? 

Alf: Oh, yes, and all sorts of other Mojo Mayhem, too!