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#1 8/1/08 0:48

steveabe
Member
Registered: 8/1/08

Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Hi All,

My name is Steve.  I worked on Oni as the animator of the project.  I recently contacted Ed because I saw some great Oni movies on youtube.  I was interested in getting some of the source files and he blackmailed me into posting on the forum!!

OK, he didn't blackmail me.  But he asked if I'd post here to see if anybody had any questions about the development of Oni.  Hope I can provide some answers.

It's amazing what's being done on this site.  Can't believe how far Oni has come!

Steve

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#2 8/1/08 5:01

geyser
Member
From: beyond the veil
Registered: 14/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Whoa, well-forgotten old people. Hi!

We might have a few questions about the animation system, but I'd hate to rush/numb you.
We know Oni's animations happen to be intertwined with AI behaviour, collision detection, etc.
So apart from simple questions related to animations and lookups per se, we'd ask things like:
Did the AI ever use the sprint variant? What parameters affect a character's collision sphere?
Was the prediction-related animation data generated automatically from the motion tracks?

Personally, I think "this site" would rock a lot more if there was more to it than the forum.
Harry, where art thou? Why not bring OC back? Or do you resent the wiki's "competition"?

And as for the way we've been pimping up Oni, we're still marginals at this point, heh.
Consistent modding could gain us some more attention. The wiki is rather messy, too.

Sergey

EDIT: Two more questions from our hacker-in-chief, Neo. The first he came up with was 'why the hell the code looks like it was "fixed" over and over', the obvious answer to which is "because it was".
Now he asks a somewhat wiser question. On a side note, we can't praise you enough for having created the best set of character animations to date (I'm especially impressed with basic character movement, more than with the combos), and my own question would be: were you the only character animator for Oni? if so, then the animation god has a name.
Neo's question is whether you or anyone involved in the creation of Oni's animations practices martial arts. I suppose it took a great sense of detail to design the combos, even with IK to the rescue. What was your source of inspiration? Action movies, or live actors (thinking capoeira club or something)? Who are the Street Fighters credited in Special Thanks?

Last edited by geyser (8/1/08 9:06)


Behold the power of that which is yet unborn! For the swirling images that flow forth from the Chrysalis are only a shadow of the sleeper's true power.

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#3 8/1/08 11:34

EdT
Moderator
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 13/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Steve: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us on the forum.  I hope you will be a regular contributor to the discussions.
Blackmail indeed!!! If I really wanted to blackmail you, I would have asked for the early version of Oni that had the multiplayer, the Iron Demon, the missing levels.  Wait a minute... I haven't sent you the files yet... lol

For everyone's info, here is a question I asked Steve and his answer:

My basic questions are how did you create those scenes such as
rappelling down to the aircraft in Airport Cargo Hangers or when she
hangs on to the crane and jumps into the acid pit at the end of the
Science Prison.

Steve's answer

The cutscenes in Oni consisted of a few elements that were brought
together for the final product.  First storyboards were drawn that
outlined the basic action and camera angles.  From there, artists could
create the necessary environments as well as any objects or vehicles
that would be needed for the scene.
To animate the specific scenes I would basically animate all the
characters and objects in 3DstudioMAX, then export each asset as a
separate animation file (not sure how much detail you want here).  Once
in the build version of the game I used an action script to call each
animation and event.  The action script was basically a text file with
basic scripting commands.  It was linear for the cutscenes to I would
just call commands as I needed them.

For the Rappeling sequence, I animated Konoko, the rappelling device,
and the cable as separate objects.  They were all activated at the same
time so they would sync up in-game.  Something you might find
interesting is that the cable was just one loooong skinny box about 40
feet high.  You'll see that between the time when she's attaching the
rappelling device and the time where the cable is visible, she is off
camera.  The camera pans down before she leaps into view.  This is to
hide the long skinny cable box I was telling you about.  We had to do a
lot of these off camera tricks because our cutscene tools weren't as
fleshed out as they would become for something like the Halo series.

The jumping into the acid pit is set up in a similar way.  Konoko and
the big hook were animated in one file so they'd sync up in-game.  The
only thing different would be the addition of the splash.  Calling an
effect in scripting was another thing we could do.  So we just put an
emitter at the surface of the water and called it to activate at the
same frame where she hits.

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#4 8/1/08 11:47

Iritscen
Moderator
From: NC, USA
Registered: 22/10/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Welcome.  It's very cool to hear from an Oni staff member, particularly an animator since the melee fighting is such a big, fun part of the game.  I bet geyser could ask lots of technical questions based on discussions I've seen where Pierre was trying to recreate the engine from scratch and they were haggling over averaged frames or hip gyrations or something.  If you haven't seen the Konoko Payne project yet, you must check it out.

Btw, were you responsible for the Fury doing the head motion when she says, "WhatEVER."  That just cracks me up.

Another question I just thought of: were there any animations that were left 'on the cutting room floor'?  Unused characters or movesets or cutscene animations that you would have liked to see the light of day?


byproducts are fine, but where's the beef?

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#5 8/1/08 13:40

geyser
Member
From: beyond the veil
Registered: 14/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

"Unused characters or movesets or cutscene animations that you would have liked to see the light of day?"
Hehe. And while we're at it, we should go nag Mr. Hughes for hi-res textures and hi-poly models, shall we?
Seriously, though, I'm really interested in "minor" pre-beta content, such as the nicer-looking Muro (Alex's?).

About missing anims, we can tell there are quite a few duplicates, and a few actually unused animations/combos.
Concerning Konoko's "super kick": were there more of those planned/done for other characters, but discarded?
Concerning corner hiding/shooting: was such stealthy gameplay ever implemented? do the animations exist?
Concerning the stripping animation: can you tell us what the blam was supposed to happen in those cutscenes?
(we can guess that there was a shower scene, and some kind of prison cell... how would that fit with the rest?)
Concerning the BGI bomb planting: can you tell us if BGI was an alternate ending or fit in the story we know?
And while we're at it: maybe you can tell us where the blam you made Konoko fall from in the final chapter? smile
And finally, concerning the Iron Demon: were you the one who animated him? if so, did anything go wrong?
(it is claimed that the Demon was scrapped mainly because of anim issues, even though it looks OK in the trailer)
(and since we're planning to bring it back SoonEnough(TM), we'd certainly like to know more about those issues)
One more question about the Iron Demon: does its walking have anything in common with Mutant Muro's?

Last edited by geyser (8/1/08 13:43)


Behold the power of that which is yet unborn! For the swirling images that flow forth from the Chrysalis are only a shadow of the sleeper's true power.

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#6 8/1/08 17:34

steveabe
Member
Registered: 8/1/08

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

I'll try to answer as many questions as I can.  I'm an artist so I don't have the technical knowledge to answer a lot of the specific AI stuff.  And honestly, I've forgotten a great deal of how our engine was set up.  It's been a while!  But here are some responses:


Did the AI ever use the sprint variant? What parameters affect a character's collision sphere?
Was the prediction-related animation data generated automatically from the motion tracks?

The AI didn't ever use the sprint variant.  They all had a sprint for the multiplayer version (RIP).  The other thing all characters had were disarm animations.  Towards the end of development things got cut and this was one of those things.  It would have been simple to implement, but would have completely changed the balance of the game and made it more difficult.  I think all the disarm anims shipped with the game....maybe not.


: were you the only character animator for Oni?

Yeah, I was the only animator for that project.  It's one of the things I'm most proud of.  Thanks for the compliments on the anims.


Neo's question is whether you or anyone involved in the creation of Oni's animations practices martial arts. I suppose it took a great sense of detail to design the combos, even with IK to the rescue. What was your source of inspiration? Action movies, or live actors (thinking capoeira club or something)? Who are the Street Fighters credited in Special Thanks?

I didn't practice martial arts at the time.  Since then, I've gotten heavily interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (which is nothing like capoeira).  http://youtube.com/watch?v=VN6PvPCrStI   basically grappling and submission fighting.  It's become a passion of mine and I wish I had started it sooner in life sad  Although I don't think it would have made it into Oni.  The moves were mostly inspired by Hollywood style fighting or videogame fighting.  Most of the kicks and punches are flashy moves that you wouldn't necessarily use in real life.  I watched a lot of Jackie Chan, Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, and WWF.  I was also a huge Street Fighter fan and there are definitely influences seen in Oni.  Not only the animations, but the fighting dynamics that we set up.  I'm not sure exactly who the Street Fighters in the credits are, but it could be paying homage to the Street Fighters game.  Just one of the many things I can't remember.

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#7 8/1/08 17:47

steveabe
Member
Registered: 8/1/08

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Another set of answers:

Are there any Unused characters or movesets or cutscene animations that you would have liked to see the light of day?

Like I said above, there's a whole set of disarm animations.  Every character has a way to take away your weapon from the front and the back.  If those aren't in any of your builds it would be a shame.  That was a lot of work!  But now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure those shipped.


Seriously, though, I'm really interested in "minor" pre-beta content, such as the nicer-looking Muro (Alex's?).

As far as content goes, we don't really have the rights to those assets.  Take 2 got those and paid a lot of money for them.  But if I run across any Oni stuff made outside of the dev cycle, I'll let you know.


About missing anims, we can tell there are quite a few duplicates, and a few actually unused animations/combos.
Concerning Konoko's "super kick": were there more of those planned/done for other characters, but discarded?

Since multiplayer was scrapped, there wasn't the need to make complete move sets for all characters.  super kick and super punch are 2 examples.


Concerning corner hiding/shooting: was such stealthy gameplay ever implemented? do the animations exist?

There was never any corner animations created.  the extent of the stealth gameplay was crouch walking.


Concerning the stripping animation: can you tell us what the blam was supposed to happen in those cutscenes?
(we can guess that there was a shower scene, and some kind of prison cell... how would that fit with the rest?)

hahaha....That was actually going to be a scene in the airport I believe.  There's a place where she was going to change outfits.  This scene was supposed to happen behind a translucent door where you'd just see her silhouette.  That animation shipped?


And while we're at it: maybe you can tell us where the blam you made Konoko fall from in the final chapter?

She falls out of a plane!  She's quite the badass at this point.


And finally, concerning the Iron Demon: were you the one who animated him? if so, did anything go wrong?
(it is claimed that the Demon was scrapped mainly because of anim issues, even though it looks OK in the trailer)
(and since we're planning to bring it back SoonEnough(TM), we'd certainly like to know more about those issues)
One more question about the Iron Demon: does its walking have anything in common with Mutant Muro's?

I animated Iron Demon.  I think it only got a walk cycle, firing anims, and possibly turning anims.  It was scrapped because it would take to long to create a custom AI, and gameplay for it.  We had to cut a lot of stuff to get it shipped, and cutting that one sucked.  If you're planning on bringing it back you'll probably run into the same challenges.  Such a large character created AI pathfinding problems as well as issues with object interaction.  They're not impossible to overcome, but we didn't have the time to tackle it.
I don't think the Iron Demon walking has anything in common with Mutant Muro.  Mutant Muro can turn 180 degrees in a few frames and it looks ok.  That's not true for Iron Demon.  He would take a few seconds to rotate around and couldn't turn around tight corners either.

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#8 8/1/08 21:34

EdT
Moderator
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 13/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Steve: This really shows that Oni had much more potential, if only they didn't rush to finish it.

Every character has a way to take away your weapon from the front and the back... But now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure those shipped.

So its possible those moves are hidden in Oni?  From my limited knowledge, the animations aren't part of the melee profile, but perhaps we're just missing the commands to activate them...

But if I run across any Oni stuff made outside of the dev cycle, I'll let you know.

Please look through your files, hopefully you will find something that we can use.

Thank you for your answers and the "insider" information about Oni.

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#9 9/1/08 5:25

geyser
Member
From: beyond the veil
Registered: 14/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Short note: Ed, the front/back disarms did ship. 16 animations in all.
They kick so much ass it's a wonder that Steve forgot they shipped.
But it's even less normal for you to forget you ever saw them smile
http://wiki.oni2.net/Gameplay/Combat_mo … ol_disarms


Behold the power of that which is yet unborn! For the swirling images that flow forth from the Chrysalis are only a shadow of the sleeper's true power.

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#10 9/1/08 6:28

ItemfinderDeluxe
Member
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 12/11/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Wow, it's a great deal to hear from a person who worked on Oni. Whilst new members like myself have joined the community, there's something...I'll get the rest of it later.

Altough I have to ask: we know of some animations that you did but didn't really get used (the strip animation for instance). Did you create any animations that didn't end up making the final cut?


TCTF SWAT: Striker, you're under arrest.
Striker: H4h, y0u c4n'7 570p m3!!!
TCTF SWAT: Damn it, learn to spell!!!
CURRENT PROJECT - 'Nemesis' V1.0 Released

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#11 9/1/08 10:00

Iritscen
Moderator
From: NC, USA
Registered: 22/10/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

the nicer-looking Muro (Alex's?).

What was this about, anyway, geyser?  What nicer-looking Muro?

geyser wrote:

Concerning Konoko's "super kick": were there more of those planned/done for other characters, but discarded?

steveabe wrote:

Since multiplayer was scrapped, there wasn't the need to make complete move sets for all characters.  super kick and super punch are 2 examples.

As things stand, there's only a scattered few super moves like "Rising Fury" and "Devil Spin Kick", and the Furies' impressive "Ten Shadow Punch".  So, you're saying there would have been more of those types of anime-style (or Street Fighter-style) attacks?

That animation shipped?

It's in there somewhere.  Reow.  I guess you couldn't get the translucent door part working (to show a silhouette only, you mean, right?)?

She falls out of a plane!  She's quite the badass at this point.

Awesome.  And that goes along with the Daodan boost that she's got starting off in that level; she's not super all the time, but she is when she falls and lands.

It was scrapped because it would take to long to create a custom AI, and gameplay for it.  [...]  Such a large character created AI pathfinding problems as well as issues with object interaction.

Finally, an answer!  And I have to say, that explanation makes a lot of sense.  Wasn't Konoko supposed to fight the ID in the lobby of the manufacturing plant or something (where she walks into a trap)?


byproducts are fine, but where's the beef?

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#12 9/1/08 11:31

m2
Member
Registered: 22/1/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Take 2 got those and paid a lot of money for them.

Um... how much is "a lot of money"?

Yeah, I was the only animator for that project.

Wow.

It's one of the things I'm most proud of.

Rightly.

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#13 9/1/08 11:35

EdT
Moderator
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 13/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

For those interested in the strip animation, Loser found it:
http://loser.oni2.net/Videos/KonokoUndress.wmv

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#14 9/1/08 12:03

Iritscen
Moderator
From: NC, USA
Registered: 22/10/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

...Did she just take off her underwear???


byproducts are fine, but where's the beef?

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#15 9/1/08 18:03

EdT
Moderator
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 13/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Steve: A few more questions.

How was multiplayer?  What features did it have?

Do you know the storyline of the missing levels?

Were you involved with the making of the Oni trailers such as this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxJ8vp3vTW0

Were you at E3 when they were demoing Oni in Apple's room at the Los Angeles Convention center?
I was there at that time, but I don't remember too much that was demonstrated... :-(

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#16 9/1/08 18:51

geyser
Member
From: beyond the veil
Registered: 14/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

"What nicer-looking Muro?" The one towards the start of the 1999 trailer. He has a different jacket, and a much more handsome face.

"Do you know the storyline of the missing levels?" More specifically, BGI and Airport Part Deux (although I suppose this one also affected the two Airport levels we know).

"Finally, an answer!  And I have to say, that explanation makes a lot of sense." Well, Mutant Muro is not much smaller than the ID, so I personally am not convinced the ID wouldn't have managed in a large, empty room with a few sparse obstacles.
"Wasn't Konoko supposed to fight the ID in the lobby of the manufacturing plant or something (where she walks into a trap)?" The 1999 trailer shows him in two levels (an early stage Regional State Building, where it doesn't really fit, and what looks like Crossing Zone, whatever it is). As for the storyline, it was almost certainly supposed to appear in the BGI chapter, either before or after Mai bombs the place (pieces of scripts for BGI were shipped with the beta).


Behold the power of that which is yet unborn! For the swirling images that flow forth from the Chrysalis are only a shadow of the sleeper's true power.

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#17 10/1/08 9:22

Iritscen
Moderator
From: NC, USA
Registered: 22/10/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

geyser wrote:

I personally am not convinced the ID wouldn't have managed in a large, empty room with a few sparse obstacles.

Yeah, but with a few sparse obstacles, what would Konoko take cover behind?  It's hard to see her taking it on out in the open.  If they were inspired by Major Motoko's fight with the tank-mech at the end of Ghost in the Shell, as I always imagined they were, the important points are that Motoko had lots of stuff to hide behind, and the mech never moved, because it was guarding the car.  A boss battle where the boss never moves wouldn't be thrilling, exactly.  And if you could simply duck behind something like the pillars in the lobby areas in Oni, then it wouldn't be very challenging.

I think the key word in all this is "time", as Bungie simply didn't have enough of it.  Otherwise they might have been able to solve all the problems the ID posed.


byproducts are fine, but where's the beef?

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#18 11/1/08 13:02

geyser
Member
From: beyond the veil
Registered: 14/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

"Yeah, but with a few sparse obstacles, what would Konoko take cover behind?"
My point was just this: the ID would have managed fine in Chapter 14, SP 4.
One large pillar is already enough for Mai to avoid heavy machine gun fire.


Behold the power of that which is yet unborn! For the swirling images that flow forth from the Chrysalis are only a shadow of the sleeper's true power.

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#19 11/1/08 13:29

Iritscen
Moderator
From: NC, USA
Registered: 22/10/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Yeah, but then the battle becomes "Peek around the corner, fire, duck back behind the pillar, repeat", which is boring.


byproducts are fine, but where's the beef?

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#20 11/1/08 15:20

steveabe
Member
Registered: 8/1/08

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

EdT wrote:

Steve: A few more questions.

How was multiplayer?  What features did it have?

Do you know the storyline of the missing levels?

Were you involved with the making of the Oni trailers such as this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxJ8vp3vTW0

Were you at E3 when they were demoing Oni in Apple's room at the Los Angeles Convention center?
I was there at that time, but I don't remember too much that was demonstrated... :-(

Multiplayer was so much fun.  If broadband had been available at the time we would have shipped with it.  But most people were on dial-up and we just couldn't get the combat system to function properly over such slow connections.  There's a bigger impact with lag on combat than on shooting.  We didn't have too many features on multiplayer because it wasn't developed for too long.  It had all the same basic functionality as single-player with shooting/fighting/disarms but we only had one gametype...deathmatch.  Oh...and Oni soccer.

I don't remember the storyline for the missing levels.

I did the animation for that trailer that you mention.  It was my first try at animating since I was hired on as an environment artist.  I'm not really proud of my work on that trailer....but it was a start.

I was at E3 when we were demoing Oni.  But I was at the Bungie booth, not the apple room.

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#21 11/1/08 15:22

steveabe
Member
Registered: 8/1/08

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

Iritscen wrote:

I think the key word in all this is "time", as Bungie simply didn't have enough of it.  Otherwise they might have been able to solve all the problems the ID posed.

You got it right.  The ID problem would have probably only added a couple of weeks.  But we didn't have that much time at the end.  I remember us having the conversation to drop it.  At the time we were all for saving the extra few weeks.  The crunch for Oni was pretty absurd with 70+ hour weeks for months on end.  2-3 weeks of extra work seems like a killer in that state of mind.

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#22 11/1/08 15:26

steveabe
Member
Registered: 8/1/08

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

ItemfinderDeluxe wrote:

Altough I have to ask: we know of some animations that you did but didn't really get used (the strip animation for instance). Did you create any animations that didn't end up making the final cut?

There were lots of animations I did that didn't end up in the game.  Mostly because I didn't like them.  kicks, punches, throws, etc...  Sometimes if something was looking crappy it was easier to just scrap it and start from scratch.  Also, some moves didn't work once they were put in-engine.  Konoko's slide (run forward + crouch) was tried as a somersault and also a lunging sweep kick.  But the baseball slide seemed to work best for combat and movement.

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#23 11/1/08 16:30

Phydur
Member
Registered: 13/1/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

I have a question:
if someone decided to hire some/all of the original team to remake Oni or make an Oni 2, would you take it?
if you did take it, what would you do diferently, and what things would you want to add, if you could?


I intentionally spell dang, dange, FYI.

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#24 11/1/08 16:51

Gumby
Member
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: 30/8/07

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

D: How did I miss this topic?

Anyways...

@anyone: what is the animation name for the stripping?

@steve: Ehh...I don't really have anything to ask...but you rock!

Oh! And to see that nice long box, freeze the camera at the beginning of the cutscene


Iritscen: roll
Iritscen: it's amazing this program even works
Gumby: i know
Iritscen: and that statement applies to my code, not just yours

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#25 12/1/08 4:53

geyser
Member
From: beyond the veil
Registered: 14/1/07
Website

Re: Hi Everybody - Nice site!

" I think the key word in all this is "time", as Bungie simply didn't have enough of it. "
Heh, if everything was as "simple" as the word "time", we wouldn't have this topic smile
Thanks for the details, Steve, although it's a shame you don't remember the Airport.
(really, can't you even remember what Konoko changed her clothes for and tell us?)
@ Gumby: The "stripping" TRAM is called KONOKOlev4_undress

"Multiplayer was so much fun.  If broadband had been available at the time we would have shipped with it."
OK, so it wasn't buggy, they just didn't place their bets on LAN and future development of broadband. Sucks.

@ Steve: There are a few questions up there that you ignored completely. New one: how much did you use IK?


Behold the power of that which is yet unborn! For the swirling images that flow forth from the Chrysalis are only a shadow of the sleeper's true power.

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