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Giant Bomb Presents: Lorne Lanning Isn't Giving Up on Oddworld

Mar. 19th 2014

A graphical overhaul of Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey is only the first step in the designer's big plans for the future of the beloved series. If people buy it, of course.

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Giant Bomb Presents

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CaLe

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CaLe • 

What a dapper fellow. I can only hope to ever be so dapper.

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RE_Player1

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RE_Player1 • 

Happy the series is seeing a revival with all the digital releases. Very underrated franchise.

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Cretaceous_Bob

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darkstorn

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jacksukeru

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Edited By jacksukeru • 

The first two Abe's games are really good. What I've seen so far of the remake though (which isn't much, or recent) has me sceptical. I'm afraid of how the change from screen by screen to scrolling will affect the puzzles and that the animations aren't snappy enough. I really want it to be good, though, and I feel like I'm likely to pick it up either way.

Edit: From what Lanning said in the interview they seem to be very dedicated to making the game feel as good as possible. It felt pretty reassuring.

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Fat_Tomato

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Edited By Fat_Tomato • 

I've always felt like I was one of the few people who actually remembered these games. Abe's Exoddus was literally what got me into video games and Oddysee is still responsible for me misspelling the word.

When Lorne Lanning was on-stage at E3 I freaked out more than for anything else . . . and I already knew the remake was coming! Can't wait for New N' Tasty!

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GuardianKnux

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I think the world needs Lorne Lanning and Tim Shafer to do a hot collab

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RazielCuts

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RazielCuts • 

Lorne Lanning could totally be a Bond villain in this picture. I'm looking forward to playing Abe's Odyssey on my Vita, Odyssey and Exodus were some of my favourite PS1 games.

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Cold_Wolven

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As game that I loved when I was young I'm really hoping New n' Tasty sells well as this series deserves to be played.

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thatdutchguy

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I will buy the game when it comes out, i've never played the original on the ps1.

I love the oddworld universe, it's so weird.

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Itwastuesday

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Edited By Itwastuesday • 

Releasing a 5mil budget indie game re-imagining of a PS1 game, at digital download for 30$, in hopes they can make more oddworld games. lorne lanning is NUTS. i'm gonna buy the game and I love oddworld but i'm pretty sure he's crazy. really hope it works out for him, as he seems to believe in it, which is good enough for me. I WANT TO BELIEVE, LORNE

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LarryDavis

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Edited By LarryDavis • 

I will buy every Oddworld game. I already have been, why not continue?

@fat_tomato: I am convinced it was Lorne's intent to fuck up an entire generation's spelling of Odyssey. I feel like I only finally figured it out for good a couple of years ago.

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nickhead

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nickhead • 

Abe's Oddysee was one of the first games I ever played on PC. It actually came with the first desktop we had.

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ripelivejam

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wow almost thought lorne lanning was leaving oddworld :(

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csl316

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csl316 • 

I like Lorne, I like Oddworld. When Adam introduced him on stage at the PS4 conference I was super excited, not even knowing what he was there for.

Can't wait to play New n' Tasty.

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Pudge

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Edited By Pudge • 

To this day, this game never clicked with me. My hopes are misplaced with a new Stranger's Wrath, that game was great!

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RuffleMyRidges

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So is Lorne Lanning officially giving up on the movie making business? After Stranger's Wrath I thought he quit games for awhile to do that.

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BBQBram

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Edited By BBQBram • 

New 'n Tasty will be the first game I buy when I get my PS4. Getting it on Vita in the meantime.

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Lazyaza

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Lazyaza • 

Lorne Lanning is one of the coolest guys ever, absolutely brilliant man and this interview was great, nice stuff patrick! SO hyped for New and Tasty but if they can make a new-new Oddworld oh my god yes.

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Eaxis

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Edited By Eaxis • 

Hell yes Lorne Lanning. Videos from his earlier career in making oddworld is worth watching.

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utternyms

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utternyms • 

He seems not to understand today's indie market and its pricing system. He implies/says outright multiple times in this Dumptruck that current indie games are lower quality so that they can be cheaper or because they are cheaper. Sure, there are many, many janky, deeply flawed indie games, but also some of the best games of the past few years were indies. Games like FTL and Hotline Miami were developed on much smaller budgets than the big AAA titles, and they're much better games--forgetting their status of "indie"--than most of those AAA games. Did I misunderstand him or does he really think indie gems are just decent games that people have been like, "Well, you've got major problems, but I forgive you, since you're an indie"? Super Meat Boy is a fucking tight game, no matter its budget, son.

And the pricing system: most consumers don't want to buy non-AAA games at price points above $20 in today's market. Indies don't price their games at $10 or $15 because the games are low quality and thus worth those prices. They do it because they'll make more money selling, for the sake of explanation, 1000 copies for $15, making $15,000, instead of selling 100 copies for $30 and making just $3000. I'm afraid Lorne will end up very disappointed when he tries to sell his "AAA indie" remake for $30 (and it's an HD remake to the consumer whether or not Lorne considers it to be one).

It'd be interesting to get Patrick's honest take on interviewees' statements in a sort of post-interview monologue. Anyway, apologies for the long-winded post. I felt like I needed to defend my beloved indie games.

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General_Mapache

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If this does well then maybe the stranger will ride again.

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EuanDewar

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buzz_clik

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Edited By buzz_clik  Moderator • 

That guy looks like Cary Elwes

I'm not seeing that at all; to me, he looks like old James Marsden.

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BenRoyTurner

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AssInAss

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AssInAss • 

Man, this was a super enlightening interview.

5:05 "We announced the price yesterday and I was looking at NeoGAF last night and was like, 'WOW I had no idea it would be this eruptive'. But what's great is we can hear the audience."

"The original Abe was a $4 million game, and that was in 1994-1997."

"We are trying to achieve AAA indie...it should be a common vernacular. Why does indie have to mean it's a $10-15 price point?"

"I see conversation going: 'This is an HD remake'. No, it is not. This is built, ground-up, all-new. You played it. It's something we can do, rebirth Abe in this new gen."

"The success of Stranger HD, Stranger Vita, and the games we have put up, they've enabled this to get paid for...We're not borrowing money for this stuff anymore. The games are paying for new games."

On Stranger: "We got smoked by Halo [referring to Munch which Microsoft wanted as competition to Mario before Halo showed that console shooters were the trend]...at that time, people were clearly showing they wanted more action combat, POV. As puzzle games, we can't compete with that. Especially in retail, and this dictates a lot of the choices. If you don't sell fast, you're off the shelf, you're never gonna sell. If you're off the shelf, there's nowhere to buy it. That was the old reality. Retail, in many ways, was designing a lot of games indirectly just because of what would stay on the shelf and what wouldn't. And now it's a different world. That led to Stranger. People want a shooter. How do we make Oddworld a shooter without losing the soul of what makes Oddworld special."

26:30 "We're self-financed and we like it that way. People are annoyed with us because we're not saying a specific date. The longer we delay, it costs us more money. That's a team, food's on the table every week, they need to be paid. Shipping earlier is desirable. But what look what happened to Battlefield [4]. Somebody made the decision that their shareholders and timing was more important than their audience. That's it. That's why that game shipped before it was ready. And I'm sure the team had felt their heart was cut out because you can't have a game that great where the team doesn't notice that it's crashing...Specific dates can bite you. The audience will forgive us for being a bit later than expected, but they're not going to forgive us if it's not a great-playing game."

29:30 "The audience is going to decide if this is going to be worth the price point, that they're talking about over at NeoGAF last night. It's a little higher than people are expecting, that $10-20, but why can't indie games can't be higher quality? We are going to see more and more of that. With the success of indie companies, their buffers grow, as their coffers grow, they'll be able to invest more. And if they get validation that they don't have to sell at $10-15, if the game is worth it. The game has to be worth it. Our model now is: Great value at a great price."

30:50 "If we want to do Fangus, we're at minimum more than double price point. Because a lot of the budget going into a new game that's trying to be innovative in different ways; like Stranger innovations would be it controls first and third [person] camera system, live ammo, those are really difficult problems to solve. They take a lot of time and they cost a lot of money. They delay the rest of production when they're not right. So, new games are harder and they cost more. If the audience likes this enough, we'll be financed to start building that new IP. If they [audience] like it OK, if it's positive but it didn't go like that [probably making some arm expanding

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AuthenticM

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AuthenticM • 

I'm sorry, but it's 'Lorne "Fucking" Lanning'.

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Reisz

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Reisz • 

Jesus christ that's a beautiful man.

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utternyms

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utternyms • 

@sccdemir: It made complete sense :) My issue is that it seems (to me) like he was saying that the current indie scene produces games of a $10-$20 quality (low quality) only, and he wants to make "AAA indie" that is of a higher quality and therefore is more expensive.

Besides that, yeah, maybe his game will be worth $30, and maybe we need indies to start pricing their games at levels they're worth so that the consumer will begin to look at games as being worth those prices, but one sole indie developer making games at a higher price won't change how consumers see the value of indie games. Instead, he'll probably sell far fewer copies than other indie devs, especially since it's just an old game prettied up and redone in certain ways.

I don't wish him ill, but I'm still doubtful a $30 side-scrolling puzzle game will sell too well, especially when its primary audience is a small group of relatively older gamers (came out 17 years ago) who have already played it. But I guess if a group of, being optimistic, 500,000 extremely dedicated fans all bought it, then you've made $15,000,000 (minus the various cuts from middle men), so, at the very least, it'd make back the cost to develop it.

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utternyms

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utternyms • 

@assinass: From what angle do you find it enlightening? I was hoping for some commentary after your highlights :P (which were interesting to read nonetheless).

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alishcra

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alishcra • 

I wish Lorne Lanning well in all his endeavors but you can't come back after breaking a 13 year old girl's heart with that stupid munchee game. His dapperness and sexy indie charms don't work on me.

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Dan_CiTi

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Dan_CiTi • 

Cool, hope he can make new stuff going forward of the quality and creativity of Stranger's Wrath.

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Yesiamaduck

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csl316

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csl316 • 

Yep, he's still passionate about stuff and straight-talking.

Almost seems like time away from the industry has done him some good, at least in terms of approaching the business in a different way.

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MattyFTM

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MattyFTM  Moderator • 

Man, when you get Lorne Lanning talking, he just keeps on going, doesn't he. Patrick hardly got a word in. Really great to see someone so passionate about a thing.

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MattyFTM

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MattyFTM  Moderator • 

Man, when you get Lorne Lanning talking, he just keeps on going. Great to hear someone so passionate about something.

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AssInAss

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Edited By AssInAss • 

@assinass: From what angle do you find it enlightening? I was hoping for some commentary after your highlights :P (which were interesting to read nonetheless).

A bunch of stuff! Being self-financed so the advantages of not needing a shareholder-appointed shipping date that can bite you like it did with Battlefield 4. Microsoft wanting competition to Mario. The stuff about retail dictating what kind of game design, so that's why the follow-up to Munch was Stranger, a shooter. "AAA indie". Why does indie just have to mean $10-15 price range.

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AMyggen

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Edited By AMyggen • 

Really interesting talk (more of a talk than an interview, since Patrick got about 2 questions in - I'm not complaining though!). Good on Patrick for just letting him talk, Lanning always has interesting stuff to say if you let him just speak freely.

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drummand

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drummand • 

Fascinating interview. I was always a fan of the Oddworld stuff. Munch was a little boring, but I played the hell out of Oddysee and Exoddus and Stranger's Wrath. Looking forward to taking this one for a spin on PC, I guess .... Is it just me or does it seem like he feels really burned by doing business with MS? I mean, this new one is slated to release everywhere except Xbox. That's got to mean something, right?

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JermainJuniorMartinez

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mancopter

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Edited By mancopter • 

As hype as I am to play an HD remake of Oddysee, there's no way in hell I'm paying $30 for it.

I would say "I'll wait for a Steam sale," but I think the price will still be too high. So, can't wait to play your game in a couple years once everyone has forgotten about it and you finally price it somewhat reasonably, Lorne.

And personally, I find the term "AAA Indie" HIDEOUS. Doubly so if you're applying the term to a remake from 1997.

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RobertOrri

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RobertOrri • 

The modern indie landscape seems more suited to sustaining something like the games Oddworld Inhabitants wanted to make.

Here's to hoping we finally get to see more of whatever Citizen Siege was. And maybe Hand of Odd... or some other fresh stuff.