In a meeting with Lorne Lanning, President of Oddworld Inhabitants, the pres of the company revealed details to NGO of Oddworld’s next two games, Munch’s Oddysee and The Hand of Odd.
The two games, both slated for PlayStation 2 (the company ius handing out brochures on the show floor that say the games are for "128-bit" But that statement is made by a sticker which covers the original wording "PlayStation 2").
Most epic in scope, Munch’s Oddysee has been in development for 2 years, and the company will spend the next 2 years building its design.
Operating under the premise that games are "the most important art form in the history of man kind," Oddworld is seeking to create a complete world with fully defined individual creatures, each of which will be interacted with using the game’s "Gamespeak" function, used in the first two Oddworld games.
Only now, gamespeak will be selected with one of four options: compliment/insult, positive/negative. Unlike in the first two, in which the character only spoke a few rudimentary words, now the characters will speak whole sentences based on the player’s choice of interaction.
The goal is to create a game of social puzzles rather than traditional game puzzles. The kind of challenges the player will overcome (in a world that will be completely 3D, but with traditional 3D games’ camera problems solved, Lanning says) such problems as getting a group of workers to go on strike.
Through careful negotiation, and examination of the environment, the player will discover how to affect change in his or her world. The currency in the game is status, with characters reacting more positively to you according to how cool you are. A slig is more likely to take you seriously if you have a really big gun, etc.
It all sounds pretty far fetched, but so did a fun side-scroller in the days of 3D which tells a satisfying story and flows from place to place. Oddworld Inhabitants delivered on that promise.
The other game, Hand of Odd, is a realtime strategy game set in Oddworld. It pits the forces of merciless capitalism against the forces of ecology – essentially Exxon vs. Greenpeace.
Just as the previous oddworld games had an over-the-top sensibility on this subject, with evil corporate masters making soda out of their workers, so will Hand of Odd. Players will be prompted to decide where to dump their toxic waste, and will use industrial accidents as weapons.
The game is 18 months out, with landscapes in full realtime 3D that Lanning promises is "photorealistic."