JAW revives Oddworld: Hand of Odd

RTS spin-off due out next year.

Just Add Water is remaking shelved nineties game Oddworld: Hand of Odd for launch next year, Eurogamer can reveal.

Hand of Odd, an Oddworld spin-off first announced in 1998 before it was cancelled a year later, is a real-time strategy, Command & Conquer-esque game set in the Oddworld universe.

It features typical Oddworld inhabitants, including Mudokons and Glukkons.

JAW plans to modernise the original design, making it more "casual rather than more intense". It is working from the three-inch thick design document Oddworld Inhabitants created in the nineties.

"RTS games and Command & Conquer don't particularly do well today," JAW boss Stewart Gilray told Eurogamer this evening at the GameCityNights event in Nottingham.

"Why don't we look at it the other way round and say, 'What is today's equivalent?' I hate to say this, but it's the CityVilles and the FarmVilles. We're going to try and apply a bit of that mechanic and see where that takes us."

JAW is "way off" releasing screenshots of the game, but the Leeds-based developer knows the visual style it intends to implement: full 3D - "like your modern Command & Conquers".

Platforms are undecided, but JAW is "looking at" iPad, Android tablets, Facebook, PC and Mac.

A PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 release is unlikely. "It works well with touchscreen interfaces or mouse control direct. On consoles, however, you get analogue sticks or your Move controller. While Move is good for certain kinds of gameplay and it's responsive compared to Kinect, it still isn't that intuitive.

"We've not had experience with Kinect yet, but playing the games already out there for that, it does seem at the moment it's got a lot of work to do before it catches up with that more direct, action kind of game.

"All the games that are out for it, you've got to do huge body movements to get involved in it, which is why it's fun.

"With this, there's a bit more thought involved, rather than flinging your body around a room, which is why we thought if we did direct control through touchscreen, you can put your finger on it, or with a mouse with PC or Mac, and just drag items."

JAW isn't working on the Next Generation portable, which features a touchscreen. But it plans to talk to Sony about the upcoming handheld, and will decide whether it is a viable platform for the game afterwards.

JAW is currently hard at work on a raft of Oddworld games, including Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD for the PlayStation 3.

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