Date: 10/06/2019 Source: Official Oddworld Discord (subchannel:"soulstorm")
Q: Can you by any chance tell us what that weird red vending machine sells with the flame on it?
Alex Carroll: The red vendo is the fire extinguisher vendo.
Q: As I’ve seen your followers’ deeds are on your soul too, right? Because Quarma seemed to go down when the Muds killed, not when Abe shot.
Alex Carroll: Your Quarma goes down when muds are killed, yes. especially so if they’re following you.
Q: Oh that’s not what I meant. I mean when Mudokons kill Sligs.
Alex Carroll: Oh. Er, yes. And if you kill /as/ a Slig, then – well – it’s REALLY not good for your Quarma.
Q: Can you tell us whether Dripik being the checkpoint sign is just a placeholder or not? This is very important.
Alex Carroll: It’s placeholder, afaik. It’s the same mesh as from NnT, so almost certainly to be replaced.
Q: Anyway, so Quarma. Is it a level-by-level thing? I mean, will you start with a “neutral” amount every level and then at the end it gets added to your total? Or do you always carry the total with you? Because I think the former might be more impactful.
Alex Carroll: Your overall “whole game” Quarma will be something you need to watch, for sure.
But I think we want to keep it fairly dynamic level-to-level too. in short, I actually don’t quite know. The system’s nice and flexible though, so as the game evolves in this regard it’ll be subject to lots of playtesting and feedback, like everything else.
It might even be something like a level is designated with your Quarma state, and the overall system just tallies up those binary states. But I don’t know. that’s a higher level call just now.
Q: So if you can make mistakes in one level, it shouldn’t effect your overall Quarma?
Alex Carroll: It will, but I’m not sure as to the degree. And you can always replay a level, right? We’re actively encouraging that.
Q: Yeah for sure. And I’m sure mass murder wouldn’t be a slap on the wrist either.
Alex Carroll: Some Quarmic actions are easier to reverse than others. It’s a sliding scale.
Q: Will you be able to return after you’ve finished it? Or that if you’re already in the level, you can restart it?
Alex Carroll: You’ll be able to replay a level and restart. There’s a lot we’re tracking in each level that we’ve not talked about yet. Lots of reasons to retry.
Q: And when you go back and replay it, will your previous playthrough affect the level or it’s blank slate?
Alex Carroll: I assume it’s a blank slate. it’s a full ‘replay from scratch’. But it won’t be like NnT’s chapter replay. It’ll be per level/area.
Q: Will your abilities be affected by your Quarma? For example, do evil -> your destructive abilities increase in power.
Alex Carroll: Let’s just say there are reasons for wanting to go down certain Quarmic paths. You’ll notice the ‘chant’ icon on the HUD. Probably can’t say any more, but you can maybe infer that L2/LT/whatever isn’t always chant.
Q: I have noticed the other Mudokons chanting alongside Abe.
Alex Carroll: Yeah so the more followers you have, the greater immediate ch’i you have. This enhances a few things, but notably your recharge speed and the possession orb time.
Q: About those Slig posts, what’s the number on them? How many of them are stationed there?
Alex Carroll: Yes.
Q: So if there’s only a low alarm only for example one comes out, but if it’s a high one, it spews everyone out?
Alex Carroll: Bingo. So, again, the more peaceful you play, the less attention you bring to yourself in these situations. Sneak in and out, and you’ll have an easier time. Start pulling mudokons off their workstations, the realtime work output slows, Sligs will investigate, they’ll notice stuff going on, call other Sligs… Chaos. So as a player – what do you go for? Secret infiltration and a low number of rescues, or risk the whole workforce in a pitched battle?
Q: Ah yeah I’d like to ask about that one too. Those workplace performance monitors are surprisingly colored. I mean middle is green that’s okay. But why’s the other end red? Shouldn’t that be peak performance?
Alex Carroll: Orange is over performing. It’s OK, because the stuff is still getting done but the Muds won’t be happy. Red is under. It helps, perhaps, to consider that they’re indicators for the Sligs, not the Muds.
Q: Not sure how much you can speak of this, but are there zones that require you to save certain muds like in AO or AE? Hypothetically, are a lot of these areas completable without saving a single mud?
Alex Carroll: Yes, although your Quarma will suffer. In Comet Depot though there are gated sections that need a certain number of muds to ‘clock in and out’ to open the doors. For E3, these gates are removed.
Q: We’re the health values also tweaked for the demos?
Alex Carroll: Yes, it’s basically SUPER EASY mode. Everything is on super easy. Slig gunfire damage, inventory, everything.
Q: Will the game be easy compared to NNT (which had some tough parts)?
Alex Carroll: I think the goal is to be fairly adaptive. I would like easy to be easier, and hard to be harder, if that makes sense. But the game is hugely open-ended with the player approach system. So you can make things a lot harder for yourself by (for example) setting a section on fire first… OR you can balance a tricky area by looting for stuff to recycle to get moolah to buy some knock-out rock candy, and go Sam Fisher on the Sligs, knocking them out peacefully.
Q: Would you say this game has a similar amount of natural environments to Abe’s exoddus?
Alex Carroll: Yeah, it starts out with more external locations, before getting more internal and industrial towards the end.
Q: “Kill a bad guy to save yourself, and you lose some Quarma, but cruelly kill a helpless and bound enemy, and the hit to your Quarma is much bigger.” There’s also this quote. How’s self-defense checked? If the enemy’s shooting at you?
Alex Carroll: Currently the Quarma system doesn’t track who attacked first, no. It could, but it currently doesn’t. Let’s take this scenario:
1. Abe faces up against a Slig.
2. Abe knocks out the Slig with a jaw breaker. Tries to make his escape. Pacifist, so a small amount of positive Quarma.
3. Comes back around against the Slig for some reason. Slig is pissed. Slig fires on abe.
4. Abe takes damage, escapes, hits Slig with an amped-up crafted can of soda with (spoilers) nails in it. Slig takes damage. negative Quarma.
5. Abe then binds the Slig up. Small amount of positive.
6. Abe then throws another nail/soda crafted combo. Slig dies. Shit loads of negative Quarma…
Q: Are bigface and the shaman the same mud?
Alex Carroll: BigFace isn’t the Shaman, no.
Q: Can Abe heal Sligs to regain Quarma?
Alex Carroll: No comment.