interview

MOM Interview: Elodie Adams

Today we were able to ask a few questions to Elodie Adams, Australian neo-gothic rock artist, best known amongst Oddworld fans for having her song—entitled “Born To Love You”—featured in the credits of New ‘n’ Tasty. We want to thank her for taking time out to answer our questions.

Elodie-Adams

Magog on the March: We’ll start off with an easy one: What is your favourite game in the Oddworld franchise?

Elodie Adams: My fondest memories are of playing Oddysee. The environments were incredible back then and of course still are today even though we’re talking 90s graphics. I’m a very terrible gamer buy I absolutely love immersive fantasy environments and the gameplay was/is so fresh and original.

Magog on the March: You once said in an interview that your were introduced to Lorne Lanning via a friend on Facebook. Could you please tell us more about your relationship with Lanning and the conversations that led to your involvement with “New ’n’ Tasty”, perhaps for the benefit of those who would like to work with Oddworld Inhabitants one day?

Elodie Adams: Ah. It was a very once in a lifetime sort of thing. Chance. Unfortunately the music industry is a cruel beast and I was just fortunate Lorne heard my voice. A friend told me Lorne had a Facebook account so I sent him a link to my YouTube demo and he actually listened to it. That never happens! He replied and told me he felt the lyrics were about Abe’s journey and his relationship with the Mudokons, which I felt was such an honor. It’s interesting as a songwriter, when you compose music with one intention and those listening hear something entirely else.

Magog on the March: What’s the story behind the song “Born to Love You”? Could you also give us your interpretation on how it relates to Abe, Oddworld and “New ‘n’ Tasty” itself?

Elodie Adams: Well I wrote the song about my relationship with the music industry. How it is sort of evil and tears you apart from the inside out without a care in the world but you keep going out of love for the music. I am sure Lorne can answer this question much better than I can. Actually he never discussed with me what his interpretation of the lyrics were… just that he had one.

Magog on the March: Some hardcore fans of the Oddworld franchise have voiced criticism at the inclusion of “Born to Love You” in “New ’n’ Tasty”, believing the atmospheric ode of that tied off the original game suited the atmosphere of the world better. What is your response to this?

Elodie Adams: Lorne created Oddworld and he loved the song that I wrote so his opinion is the only one I really pay any attention to. I have an incredible respect for Lorne. What the fans don’t know is that we also went through… maybe 10-15 or so revisions of the song so the final product is the one that Lorne himself responded very positively to.

Magog on the March: Did you get a chance to play “New ’n’ Tasty”? If so, what did you think of the final product?

Elodie Adams: Yes of course I did. I had to hear my song in the credits. I felt the developers did a wonderful job!

Magog on the March: What is it like to work with Lorne Lanning?

Elodie Adams: It was a life changing experience that I felt I was a bit too young for at the time. He really taught me what it’s like to work on a large scale professional project and the importance of creating a sound that is appropriate for the overall vision. Before that I was making music on my laptop on my bedroom so I definitely wasn’t prepared for anything of that scale! I definitely put my everything in to working as hard as I could and creating the best sound that I could. I grew up from being involved in New ‘n’ Tasty.

Magog on the March: Feel free to answer: Were you once an Oddworld “Fan of the Month”?

Elodie Adams: Yup that’s me as a kid! How embarrassing!

Magog on the March: Will you be playing “Oddworld: Soulstorm”?

Elodie Adams: Absolutely. How could anyone resist giving it a spin!

Magog on the March: What are you working on next in your professional life?

Elodie Adams: I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious health issues since then. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which doesn’t have a cure and means I’m constantly in chronic pain and… well you know, life sometimes throws challenges at you that break you before making you stronger and I feel that I’m just coming out the other side. I wouldn’t recommend getting an incurable illness.

Regardless of that, music will always be a part of my life whether I like it or not since it sort of follows me around like a stalker. I can’t stop melodies and lyrics from talking to me. It’s always been that way.

Honestly… I have no definitive plans for my life right now so we’ll see what happens. Life is funny like that.

interview

MOM Interview: Stewart Gilray

It is a big day for us at Magog on the March, for we finally take our own place in the annals of the Oddworld Archives with our very first interview. Today we were able to ask a few questions to Stewart Gilray, CEO of JAW Ltd., the man responsible for bringing the Oddworld series back from an extended period of hibernation with the well-received HD Remake of Abe’s Oddysee. Gilray was gracious enough to answer our questions, and we want to thank him for his time and willingness. It was very gracious of him.

stewart-gilray1

Magog on the March: We know that you’re an absolute fan of the original Oddworld games. Fans, however, have noticed that there’s quite a difference in the atmosphere between “New ’n’ Tasty” and the original “Abe’s Oddysee”. We believe this was a deliberate choice, and would like to know if this was an aesthetic decision made by JAW or under Lanning’s advice.

Stewart Gilray: Oh all the changes were directed by Lorne. We put some stuff forward, but the look, feel was definitely driven by Lorne.

Magog on the March: Do you believe that “New ’n’ Tasty” is what “Abe’s Oddysee” was supposed to be if the technology was available at the time?

Stewart Gilray: I don’t know to be honest, it wasn’t something Lorne and I ever spoke about. But I can’t answer for him.

Magog on the March: What do you think was the greatest success of “New ’n’ Tasty”? Conversely, where do you believe the final game could have been improved?

Stewart Gilray: I was pretty happy with the game, I think the greatest success was that the game was as well received as it was, bearing in mind the development team was only 13 or 14 people at JAW, with a couple of other externals. So a very small team. In terms of improvement, I would have loved it to run at 60fps all the time, but that’s just a personal preference.

Magog on the March: What was the origin behind Alf’s Escape? Was it a planned addition to “New ’n’ Tasty” at conception (the rumoured “Alf’s Oddysee”) and a necessary part of the Oddworld story or was it designed to take further advantage of the new assets and engine?

Stewart Gilray: It came out of various conversations, whilst it wasn’t planned at the start, the intention was to have some DLC levels post-release, and that’s what the guys built.

Magog on the March: Where is the special slig that you spoke about in “New ‘n’ Tasty”? Is it, perhaps, the slig boozing at Alf’s Bar, that may or may not be albino? The lighting makes it difficult to tell!

Stewart Gilray: It might be. You know who the albino slig is, don’t you?

Magog on the March: Lorne Lanning has spoken previously about a deleted scene from the original “Abe’s Oddysee” that depicted the Mudokon Moon being formed by a meteor shower as Abe escapes RuptureFarms. Was there ever a discussion to include this scene in “New ’n’ Tasty”?

Stewart Gilray: Not that I can remember, but bear in mind our first discussions on NnT or “Abe HD” were in 2011.

Magog on the March: Feel free to respond to this question: What happened between JAW and Oddworld Inhabitants?

Stewart Gilray: We’d worked with Oddworld for 4–5 years and really wanted a change, a chance to work on something different, and Oddworld wanted to move future development closer to “home” for them. It was a mutual decision.

Magog on the March: We don’t know if you’re aware, but it has recently been announced by Oddworld Inhabitants that the original source code for “Abe’s Oddysee” has been found and a team is currently working on it. Both yourself and Lanning spoke about the abysmal state of the source code in the lead-up to “New ’n’ Tasty”, and we we’re hoping you could share your own experiences trying to crack the code. Additionally, do you personally believe that a version of Abe HD, using the original assets, could ever be possible?

Stewart Gilray: We spent months going through archives and by the time we’d finished we had the source to Exoddus, and the assets for Oddysee, but not the source for Oddysee or assets for Exoddus… If they have found the source for Oddysee, I’m glad and can’t wait to see if they manage anything with them. In terms of an HD version of the original, I really don’t know to be honest. We had 640×480 assets for some of it, but nothing above that resolution.

Magog on the March: With the announcement of “Soulstorm”—a direct sequel to “New ’n’ Tasty” and retelling of the original “Abe’s Exoddus”—the future of the original Oddworld Quintology seems uncertain. We know that you had hoped to see the Quintology finally completed. As both a fan and the man responsible for the rebirth of the Oddworld franchise, what is your take on “Soulstorm” and this new altered Quintology?

Stewart Gilray: I know nothing about Soulstorm other than what’s public, so like you, I’m equally excited to see it and play it. It’ll be fun to play a new Oddworld release that I’ve—we’ve—not been a part of. As for the Quintology, no idea. I WOULD love to see it finished, as a fan.

Magog on the March: How serious were the discussions to finally develop “Hand of Odd” and other abandoned Oddworld games, such as “Fangus”?

Stewart Gilray: Lorne and I spent a lot of travel time talking about Hand of Odd, and we had some ideas for it. I’m not sure if it will ever be un-shelved. As for Fangus, having seen the assets and the project, I would LOVE to have seen it finished, no idea if it ever will though.

Magog on the March: Based on your close relationship with all of the Oddworld archives, out of all the games that never saw the light of day, which one would you love to play the most? Why?

Stewart Gilray: Right now that’s still Fangus, as it was the followup, NOT the sequel to Stranger, and I love Stranger.

Magog on the March: Who is Squeek?

Stewart Gilray: If I told you, I’d have to kill you.