Oddworld’s Stewart Gilray – Exclusive Interview

Oddworld’s Stewart Gilray – Exclusive Interview [Hosted by Worlds Factory]
Date: 7 April, 2014
Interviewer: Alessio Palumbo
Interviewee: Stewart Gilray

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20140708065539/http://www.worldsfactory.net/2014/04/07/oddworlds-stewart-gilray-exclusive-interview

Last week we released a couple of small teasing excerpts of our interview with Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray. Today you can read the whole thing below, including his thoughts on the PlayStation Plus program and the possibility of using Kickstarter to fund a new Oddworld project. Enjoy!

Worlds Factory: First of all, Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty will be available on PlayStation 4. How was your experience developing on Sony’s latest console, and how are you going to use the DualShock 4 touchpad in the game?

Stewart Gilray: The machine is just a dream to work with, you know we didn’t have problems with PS3 as some did, but damn is the PS4 slick and easy to work with. Right now we’re NOT using the touchpad but we have some ideas that could well pan out.

Worlds Factory: Did you manage to reach that 1080P@60 standard for this version and if so, what resolution can we expect for the other console releases – PS3, PS Vita and WiiU?

Stewart Gilray: We’re not really talking about resolutions and frame rates at the moment, but if we say PS4 is 1080p/60 and the aim for the others is 720p/30 that’d be our target.

Worlds Factory: Will the game be “crossbuy” enabled for PlayStation platforms?

Stewart Gilray: Great question, but not one I want to answer at the moment, as we’re working hard to come up with the best deal for both us and the gamers.

Worlds Factory: Would you consider adding New ‘n’ Tasty to the Playstation Plus program, as many indie developers are doing with their games?

Stewart Gilray: As a part of the “Instant Collection” ? no, it’s NOT something I’d suggest to anyone to do at launch of their title, as chances are you WILL lose money over time doing that. Unless of course offered us a good 7 figure sum that is.

Worlds Factory: I know that you’d like to bring the game on Xbox One as well, but you are still in talks about it. Does that mean that you are already developing the game while waiting for the greenlight, or would you start afterwards, possibly with a delay into 2015 for the Xbox version of Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty?

Stewart Gilray: By using Unity we can add the game to other platforms relatively quickly, so right now we’re NOT working on Xbox One and won’t be until we have clarification from Microsoft on the Parity/sim-ship side of things. So far there’s been NO movement in that area that works for us.

Worlds Factory: Lorne Lanning recently said that he thinks there isn’t as much of a gap between PS4 and Xbox One, mainly due to improvements in the dev toolset by Microsoft. Still, the hardware specs seem to clearly favor PS4 – do you agree with his assessment and if so, does that mean that developing for the two platform is equally easy now, whereas previously most developers gave the edge to PS4?

Stewart Gilray: Actually that is NOT what he said. I spoke to Lorne afterwards and what he meant when speaking to that guy was that budgets, schedules and perceivable differences would narrow, NOT that the Xbox One performance is improving to align with PS4, that is just physically impossible. The PS4 has MORE COMPUTE units, and faster memory and a whole bunch of things, that would make that physically impossible to happen.

Worlds Factory: What kind of differences can old players of Abe’s Oddysee expect to see in New ‘n’ Tasty?

Stewart Gilray: Well the obvious switch from 2D to 3D and all that that brings. A few changes in controls, we have more buttons these days. Expanded upon and extra cut scenes. A whole raft of things actually. I think we’ll discuss some of these closer to release.

Worlds Factory: Lorne also mentioned that you’d need 500K units sold of Oddworld New N’Tasty to create a new IP. I’m wondering if you are willing to use Kickstarter in order to finance your next project – did you consider it?

Stewart Gilray:
It’s something we’ve spoken about, but I don’t think we really need to right now. With any type of crowd funding there’s an element of, what I’d call, “The publisher effect” where your backers feel they should be telling you what THEY want to see, or indeed you could get complaints etc if there’s issues or differences from what was expected.

Worlds Factory: Unity just released their newest version of the engine. What do you think of it? WIll it be able to create games as graphically intensive as Unreal Engine and CryEngine now? It always seemed to lag behind a bit in that regard, although I’m sure it had to do with the small budget that most indie have to deal with as well.

Stewart Gilray: To be honest with you, whilst we’ve been in talks with Unity for a while now we’ve not actually had time to play with Unity 5 as we’re just too damn busy finishing up on New ‘n’ Tasty.

Worlds Factory: Since I mentioned Unreal Engine and CryEngine, I’m sure you have heard of their new pricing plans, aimed to be more competitive with Unity even for indie studios. What do you think about them, and is there any chance that you could switch in the future?

Stewart Gilray: Well, we still don’t know what Unreal and CryEngine’ console pricing plans are. You know we do do desktop titles, but we are a console developer first and foremost, so until I know the costs there I can’t really commit or even think about the potential of switching in the future. Unity on console IS massively cheaper than Unreal and CryEngine were historically, I can’t really see that changing to be honest. But we’ll see. 😉