Oddworld Creator Lorne Lanning Talks Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

Oddworld Creator Lorne Lanning Talks Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath [Hosted by Shacknews]

Date: 23 December, 2014
Interviewer: John Gaudiosi
Interviewee: Lorne Lanning

Source: http://www.shacknews.com/article/87594/oddworld-creator-lorne-lanning-talks-oddworld-strangers-wrath


Lorne Lanning is half of the creative team behind Oddworld Inhabitants. The development studio brought Abe and his Oddysee cohorts to consoles like Xbox and PlayStation 2. Now the game maker is working with Nvidia Tegra 4 technology to bring improved versions of these console games to mobile. Lanning talks about Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath in this exclusive interview.

Shacknews: What do you think about Nvidia Shield and its console-style controller?

Lorne Lanning: Oddworld is a self-published indie today, which means we’re going to live or die based on what gamers think about our games. That’s really going to dictate our future. When we look at Shield in particular, that has some unique configurations with the controller. It’s our ambition to always optimize that in a way that really pays tribute and gives respect to that specific device. We try to take the extra care and attention to pay attention to the special features and maximize them in a way that maybe not everyone is. And we’re doing that with Shield. Developer Square One has been a great company to work with. I can’t believe I’ve replayed Stranger twice with just my thumbs, which I didn’t think would work. We brought some innovations to the interfacing of the touch screen that helps first person shooter games. It’s really hilarious the way it unfolds because it’s not the traditional violence fest.

Shacknews: What are your thoughts about the Tegra K1 technology and how fast things are evolving in the mobile space?

Lorne Lanning: It’s really intimidating and exciting. The game industry is so wide and so varying and there’s so many different types of play going on today from card games all the way up through social games through free-to-play games and then through console games. We have this smart device that’s as powerful now as what our previous generations of hardware consoles were, so it’s blurring the line. When I look at some of the latest things that are taking advantage of Tegra, I didn’t expect what Unreal technology is doing with Nvidia. I didn’t expect to see Stranger taking advantage of these particle effects and the layers of transparency and the self-shadowing calculations. What the future is in mobile is very hard to predict because the idea of what an IP is will be something that is more of a nebulous idea that you access through different price points of hardware. At the highest level you might be on a PS4 or the latest Steam Machine, but then you might have the mobile version. Thanks to technology like Nvidia Tegra, things are getting close enough between mobile and the latest greatest console or PC that you’re accessing the same experience just with a slightly different rendering capability.

Shacknews: How are you developing games for these different experiences?

Lorne Lanning: The key is to make quality experiences for each device because the latest Tegra device is not the latest PS4. As long as the designers and the people developing it are building in hooks to really treat each device with care and with appreciation for the audience that has that device, that’s what the future of game development is going to be like. I think we’ll see more of a cloud idea where we’ll have access to games through different degrees of resolution based on how much you’re investing in the hardware to get there.