Lorne Lanning Hates Abe’s Farts and Weed Inspired Him to Create Games
In an interview, Oddworld Inhabitants co-founder Lorne Lanning reveals he hates Abe's farts and that cannabis inspired him to create games.
Lorne Lanning, the co-founder of Oddworld Inhabitants revealed in a printed interview that’s exclusively available in the new Oddworld: Abe’s Origins art book how he got into creating video games, and it was through the help of cannabis. He also reveals that he hates Abe’s farting in the games.
In an interview with Indie by Design, Lanning explained how he worked as a photorealistic painter, then progressing to a military job in creating satellites and high-tech weapon systems by lying about his experience. He also worked on visual effects for commercials and some movies. At one point, Lanning started to feed his creativity through painting, and around that time he wasn’t as invested in video games as he is now he explained.
The painting he had created was 9 feet long and was a large dinosaur swimming underwater and surrounded by sharks. It wasn’t until he describes a night where he was “smoking a joint imagining this painting hanging on the wall” that he sees something on his shelf that looks like an Atari joystick. He explains that, in his mind, “I go over and grab the joystick, I move it and the dinosaur in the painting moves with it. ‘Oh my God, video games are going to become supercomputers that sit in the living room,’ is what’s going through my mind.”
“It must have been some good weed,” He continues to explain, “I didn’t get it before but now video games are there at the front of my mind and I didn’t fully understand why,” he mentions. Since then, he focused on video games, eventually starting up Oddworld Inhabitants with Sherry McKenna in 1994.
In the interview, Lanning also details how he hated the fart in the Oddworld games while explaining how leaving his comfort zone had affected his design principles for Oddworld: Soulstorm. “One of the things we promised when we first started talking about Soulstorm is that it’s going to be a lot more serious and intense.” He continues describing how they wanted to keep the humour, but then uses the fart command that’s available to use through the game’s GameSpeak system.
“I always hated the fart. I never liked it because I didn’t like the cheap humour of it but the team really liked it, and then the press loved it and so I went with it,” he explains, “Still, I felt it took a little bit away from the integrity of what I was trying to achieve with Abe.”
The Oddworld games have been a classic hit over the years since the launch of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee in 1997. More recently, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD has been ported to the Nintendo Switch and there’s a new Oddworld: Soulstorm on the way.