The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994-2004
The book includes an Inspiration chapter followed by a chapter devoted to each of the game titles released so far: Abes Oddysee, Abes Exoddus, Munchs Oddysee and the brand new Strangers Wrath. There are two brief, interesting forewords: one written by Sherry McKenna and one by Lorne Lanning, co-founders of Oddworld Inhabitants. Rough pencil sketches, refined drawings and many, many paintings, both digital and traditional, are spread throughout the book. Some highlights are the detailed anatomical drawings of each of the creatures, various mood, color studies of environments and numerous high-resolution 3D renders. Interspersed with the beautifully printed artwork is supporting, relevant text. The book works well when browsed for a few moments of enjoyment or read as a whole for a more complete understanding of this crazed universe. The writing is not always on par with the artwork, but then again this isnt a book to buy for the writing.
I do wish the book came with a DVD or CD containing some of the game cinematics and information on their production. Oddworlds cinematics are some of the best in games so their absence is felt. However, the book is not incomplete without such a bonus. Ill be looking for something along these lines in The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The Second Ten Years book that should arrive, hopefully, sometime in 2014.
The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994-2004 gets very high marks from me: Im a sucker for fantasy, sci-fi driven stories and political humor. Oddworld is a rare treat for us genre geeks, as we are usually starved for well-executed material. Its fun, exciting and thoughtful. This book is a strong addition to the brand and a tribute to the artists that have made Oddworld so special. Filmmakers and other storytellers, along with visual effects artists, animators and production designers, will undoubtedly be intrigued with this book and the world within. At more than 250 pages and costing around $40, this full-color soft cover edition is a must have for game fans and sci-fi, fantasy art fans everywhere. There are also more expensive hardcover and limited editions available.
The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994-2004 edited by Cathy Johnson and Daniel Wade; Mylor, SA: Ballistic Publishing, 2004; 256 pages. Softcover: ISBN: 1-921002-03-4, AU$52 (approx. US$40); Hard Cover: ISBN: 1-921002-02-6, AU$63 (approx. US$49); Limited Edition: ISBN: 1-921002-01-8, AU$199 (approx. US$153). Available only at www.ballisticpublishing.com and its resellers.
Fred Galpern is currently the art manager for Blue Fang Games in Waltham, MA. Since entering the videogame field six years ago, Galpern has held management positions in several game and entertainment companies, including Hasbro and Looking Glass Studios. He began his art career as a comic book creator and also has professional graphic design experience. He has created characters and developed stories for numerous childrens television series. Galpern has satisfied his long-standing interest in education by teaching at several New England colleges. He is currently an adjunct instructor at Bristol Community College, where he created the gaming curriculum, and where he also teaches and advises for the electronic games certificate and associates degree programs.