Oddworld New ‘N Tasty Feature – Exclusive Interview

Oddworld New 'N Tasty Feature - Exclusive Interview [Hosted by My Games Lounge]
Date: 11 April, 2014
Interviewer: My Games Lounge
Interviewee: Stewart Gilray

Source: http://mygameslounge.com/gaming-articles/oddworld-new-n-tasty-feature-exclusive-interview/

My Games Lounge: Please introduce yourself and what you do at Just Add Water to our readers.

Stewart Gilray: My name is Stewart Gilray, and I’m the CEO and Founder of JAW.

MGL: Firstly, we are old school gamers here on MGL mostly and love the Oddworld Abe games, how much pleasure have you guys taken in revisiting this series?

Stewart Gilray: It’s been brilliant actually. I was a fan first and foremost, and never would have dreamed of working on these titles, never mind remaking the original.

MGL: & being honest, how much “research” was done playing the old versions over and over?

Stewart Gilray: Most of our staff are fans as well, and we had access to the bulk of the original content and assets, so research was relatively easy or light. Not because we didn’t care, but because we mostly know the game inside and out anyway.

MGL: For those not too familiar with this project, what old and new things can we expect from New & Tasty?

Stewart Gilray: Ok, so you play Abe, an employee of RuptureFarms, the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld, and you have to escape, then you rescue your fellow slaves by getting them out of there. What’s changed is the original was a flip screen platform game with 2d art. New ‘n’ Tasty is a 3d scrolling platform game. We’ve added a bunch of stuff we’re keeping secret until launch and we’ve created a title that plays fast, there is still a fair bit of the precision gameplay from the original, however with modern 3d technology there’s no pixel perfect jumping as the original, which does make the game a little easier, but not much.

We’ve expanded some areas, we’ve tweaked some areas and puzzles due to the switch to scrolling. But it’s safe to say if you played the original then you will get it and you will know what to do.

MGL: Are we going to see any special features employed with the Sony systems such as the touchpad or the front & back touch screens on the Vita?

Stewart Gilray: There will be a bit of that sort of stuff, but nothing crazy insane as games like Tearaway.

MGL: One of the things I loved about Abe’s Odyssey was the fantastically nasty humour at times, has this been taken into the new content in some way?

Stewart Gilray: Oh it’s still there and THEN SOME 😉 which is something that made the first game what it was, oh that and some of the gory-ness…

MGL: Is Abe going to gain any new abilities during this adventure and do you plan on adding/altering some of the story elements?

Stewart Gilray: No, he still has the same abilities as the original, what he does have though is better use of his movement. With 3d we’ve been able to make Abe do some cooler moves than the original. As for story elements, no that’s still the same.

MGL: Lorne Lanning recently took offence to the suggestion this game has been classed as a “HD remake”, do you think this underestimates why work you guys are doing in some way?

Stewart Gilray: I think he was right and I think it does. It’s NOT the same as other titles with “HD” in the name. For example, our own “Stranger’s Wrath HD” in that we took the original project and tweaked and added to what existed already, same with Final Fantasy X-HD etc. With NnT we’ve created EVERYTHING from scratch. So it IS a remake, but to stick “HD” on it implies we’ve taken something that existed already and just made it higher-res, which is definitely NOT the case.

MGL: He also was very passionate about not working for big companies like EA, how do you thing being an Indie Developer helps your company and gamers?

Stewart Gilray: The biggest thing is that we’re not product, to make money for share-holders. We’re making product for gamers and fans. If the game wasn’t right, and didn’t play right, then it wouldn’t be finished so we wouldn’t release it. IF it plays fantastically then we’re finished so we release it. Sort of a “it’s done, when it’s done”. Granted we can’t say that forever as you’d lose so much money, and never make anything. But we’re in the position where we can spend a little more time making sure the title is READY for market, which in a lot of cases EA and others don’t they NEED to appease stock holders.

MGL: At MGL we have a great Indie Developer following who are making some very good games, how do you feel indie developers are affecting the gaming industry right now?

Stewart Gilray: Great question, but I think if you look at the number of titles being released, there’s certainly more than ever. And I think you’ll see that the bulk of these are indie based. To touch on this however indie really has two meanings…

“Indie financed”, meaning there’s no Publisher, VC or financer funding your project. Which is where we come under.

“Indie”, as a more left field design avenue, what I like to call “Art house development”, like art house movies, they’re perhaps lower budget, smaller teams, and much more unique.

I think whatever your interpretation of “indie” it’s only doing great guns for the industry.

MGL: Is there any advice you would give to some of our Indie Devs reading this interview on MGL?

Stewart Gilray: Stick to your guns, do what you want to do, and show the big boys what’s possible. Look at FEZ or say Thomas was Alone, who’d have thought those games would have been as a) successful as they have been b) as recognised as they have been. If you have ambition, or determination don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do something.

MGL: Finally, are we any closer to expecting a date for this cool looking game? Are they all likely to hit at the same time or will some come out sooner than others?

Stewart Gilray: Yes we are, but I can’t tell you anything about it… if I did, I’d have to kill you.

MGL: Which game that is out at the moment makes you wish that you had created it and why?

Stewart Gilray: I think… something like Journey, as it’s such a joyous game, very innovative and breathe taking.

MGL: After playing InFamous Second Son we love to debate Super Powers! To add, if you could have one Super Power what would it be and why?

Stewart Gilray: To fly, without a doubt… It would make going home to Aberdeen a lot quicker!

MGL: If you could be any Video Game Character and live in their world, who would you be and why?

Stewart Gilray: Crash Bandicoot, why the hell not? He’s the coolest character there is!