OddChat with Paul O’Connor [2000]

OddChat with Paul O'Connor

Date: 21/12/2000

Description: A group of Oddworld fans mingling in OddChat were surprised when Paul O'Connor, Senior Game Designer for Oddworld Inhabitants dropped in to have a chat with them. Towards the end of the chat, Paul kindly offered to answer some questions. Here's the transcript, courtesy of Abe Babe of Oddworld-Web.

Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20010720234942/www.oddworldian.net/features_chat_transcript2.shtml

Q: What will the game be like. Will it have levels???

Paul O’Connor: Yes it will have levels. I can’t say how many just yet.

Q: What will they be like?

Paul O’Connor: They are structured into indoor and outdoor areas with some being a mix of both. Indoor and outdoor areas require slightly different means of assembly.

Q: I hope we will see Paramonia and Scrabania again.

Paul O’Connor: I don’t know if you’ll specifically see Paramonia and Scrabania, but you’ll definatley see Scrabs and Paramites again. We had a Paramite running in the game just the other day. The biggest difference between indoor and outdoor play is the camera system we use. It’s more structured inside, and more free form outside.

Q: Will the game be hard or will it be the same as the last game???

Paul O’Connor: Difficulty: We want to make a game that everyone can play…we’re sensitive to the face that so many people found our previous games to hard. So we’re trying to make MO’s controls as easy as possible. The game its self still should be a challenge.

Q: Actually… I have one question…. In the first 2 games, Scrabs are territorial, yet in the MO videos we have seen them in heards… why does this occur??

Paul O’Connor: Scrab question: The Scrabs you saw in previous games were “Alfa Scrabs”. Basically no pack can have more than one “Alfa Scrab” as you have seen what happens when “Alfa Scrabs” get together. But “Alfa Scrabs” can lead lesser packs of Alfa Scrabs. Which is why you see them in heards. There are 2 types of Scrabs… Alfa Scrabs, which you have seen in previous games, are territorial, and will fight each other to death. “Lesser” Scrabs aren’t so territorial and live in Packs. Individual Alfa Scrabs take command of packs. The more powerful the Alfa Scrab, the bigger the pack.

Q: Kind of like the leader of a Lion Pack, but just more fierce.

Paul O’Connor: Yes, basically like a pride of lions. It’s also linked into Scrab re-production… Maybe think of it as s single bull and a heard of cows…

Q: ummm… My mind is still being blown away from just being here with you. Oh! Will you still use Elum bells in MO? And will you get to keep him in longer?

Paul O’Connor: We’re still working on the specific means of summoning Elum. Bells are a possibility. I suspect you’ll be able to keep Elum longer. In the previous games, we were up against memory restrictions that required we use Elum in very limited circumstances. … that’s why you’ve never seen Elum on screens with more than Abe and a Slig. More characters just wouldn’t fit. On our new platform, there will be room for more characters, so we won’t have to restrict Elum to just a few areas as before.


Paul O’Connor: Elum has fans here in OW… I’m sure we’ll put more stuff as it comes available. We still have to be careful where we let you have Elum, as we don’t want the player to be able to jump into places that break the game or invalidate puzzles. I have designed one outside area that depends heavily upon Elum, and I suspect we’ll do more. Keep an eye on this site… and now back to Munch. My Mudokons aren’t following me the way they should… have to check their brains…