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#26 4/6/15 8:32

paradox-01
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 14/1/07

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

A bit yes. I hope it's part of your plan of getting the document.

"EDIT: Please have a look at "petition" discussion from the Oni Shots Archive I collected."
When I'm home .. maybe. smile
Edit: too sleepy.

Last edited by paradox-01 (4/6/15 23:47)

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#27 4/6/15 9:39

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Some comments on the old "petition" thread:

The reasons for this were that making levels for net games would delay Oni even more and due to latency issues TCP/IP multiplayer was not going to be in Oni anyway.

We already know of a number of MP arenas that were designed for Oni, which the Pre-beta content page shows were relatively complete (and which were being played on the floor at E3 and Macworld).  The better excuse is that Internet latency in Oni's time was worse than it is now.  At that time, it did not seem practical for a latency-sensitive game to be played over the Internet, but hopefully now conditions have improved enough to make it practical.


I'm up for it after all they left out the Iron Demon (a giant mecha) as well as key config support, multiplayer, some guns, 17 models, 24 levels, 12 soundtracks, etc etc etc.

I think some of this information is more or less made up.  Some guns were changed or removed, as documented in Pre-beta content's "Cut weapons" section, but I doubt we're missing anything important.  I have no idea where "17 models" or "12 soundtracks" comes from.  There were almost certainly never 24 levels; fans were confused by the fact that some levels were broken up into more pieces at one time, and were rearranged, producing odd numbering in the level data files.  I don't see any evidence that more than about 1 1/2 levels were cut from single-player.


I spoke with one of the Bungie West Team (shared an office with him for a bit), and he told me that multiplayer had been scrapped due to latency and sync issues. Basically, he said, they would play multiplayer on a network with a gigabit backbone, and would still lose sync all the time.

To be blunt, this indicates that their code just wasn't very good.  No network code should have latency/sync issues over LAN.  If they'd had more time to work on it, perhaps things would be different.  But in the state that the code was at the time it was cut, it's probably no loss that it was never released.

Both Gumby's Flatline project and my own Zukai project have always had successful Internet play as their goal, because LAN-only MP is hardly useful to many people.  If Oni's code had shipped with LAN-only code, it probably would not have been able to work over the Internet at all, even if fans tried to improve it with patches.

It might be nice if someone were able to release the cut content from Oni's development, but clearly the old MP code is not worth anything when we already have Windows and Mac fan-made MP that works (crudely) over the Internet and pretty much stays in sync (well, I have a few small bugs to work on in that area, but basic sync is already done).  However, I assume you realize that a former Oni dev doesn't have much say in what gets released, considering that Oni is in Take Two's hands now.


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#28 4/6/15 13:44

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Iritscen, thank you for talking to me (well for whatever reason, just gives a positive vibe). smile
The code was bad, and the scenario at Macworld... oh I know it. But saying that it was "probably no loss that it was never released." is not right according to me. Even if they provided the functionality, we could at least make some use of it and create dedicated 0 ping 0 latency servers (from the server end, that is), and make optimisations at our end (PC-end or client-end) and at least have some competition rather than having a stupid CPU AI.
As with the "x levels, y guns, z etc.", there were 19 levels, 5 out of which were removed and now what we have is 14 levels, and that can be deduced by any stupid person who sees level numbering inside Oni "level" folder.
There were few guns really significant, like the machine gun and the gun with the Iron Demon, which Konoko later takes in her hands (which later formed the basis for the much smaller Scram Cannon).
And Iritscen, another wrong statement that you make is this:

... However, I assume you realize that a former Oni dev doesn't have much say in what gets released, considering that Oni is in Take Two's hands now.

Rather it would be right to say that he can't modify or change code that Oni is made up of, but he can reveal the stuff that was removed and which we still don't know (a great possibility I think of).


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#29 4/6/15 15:09

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

HCthenemesis wrote:

Even if they provided the functionality, we could at least make some use of it and create dedicated 0 ping 0 latency servers (from the server end, that is), and make optimisations at our end (PC-end or client-end) and at least have some competition rather than having a stupid CPU AI.

Perhaps, yes.  And at least we would have had that functionality from 2001 instead of having to develop it ourselves years later.


there were 19 levels, 5 out of which were removed and now what we have is 14 levels, and that can be deduced by any stupid person who sees level numbering inside Oni "level" folder.

You need to read more about Oni's history.  As I just said, "fans were confused by the fact that some levels were broken up into more pieces at one time, and were rearranged, producing odd numbering in the level data files."  As an example, the Airport level was originally three pieces.  Part of it was cut out and it became two pieces.  That's why I said that maybe 1 1/2 levels were cut: part of Airport, possibly a small part of ManPlant, and the BGI level.


And Iritscen, another wrong statement that you make is this:

... However, I assume you realize that a former Oni dev doesn't have much say in what gets released, considering that Oni is in Take Two's hands now.

Rather it would be right to say that he can't modify or change code that Oni is made up of, but he can reveal the stuff that was removed and which we still don't know (a great possibility I think of).

Yes, well I was talking about releasing data; I guess I thought that was what you wanted, not just information.  If you just want to ask him what was cut, that's different, but I think you are underestimating how much time has passed since anyone worked on Oni, and overestimating how much was cut.  Fortunately we talked with Hardy about all of this 15 years ago on OCF, and he explained the missing levels and other development issues.


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#30 4/6/15 15:23

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Okay fine. You guys talked to Hardy *coughs* loooooong time ago.
I have seen quite a lot of Oni's history, apart from just the wiki.oni2.net . That includes an insight into the talks on the old Oni forum (a great way to know what all were centric issues and important Oni stuff back around 2000) and other places where Oni has been talked about (eg. Bungie threads on Oni).
So you could call it 13 1/2 levels or 14 1/2 or whatever, but for sake of easy recalling we call it even. 14. (Pun intended)
You said this:

... but I think you are underestimating how much time has passed since anyone worked on Oni, and overestimating how much was cut. ...

This is a possibility that I am overestimating cut parts volume, but the possibility lies the other way round too. And the centre of my discussion (don't feel insecure, forum is yours wink) revolves partly (well, mostly wholly) around the underestimating of cut parts volume.
Hardy's reply is still a thing to wait for, and once I get complete responses, I will tell you all. Till then I have given you guys some fodder to chew on.


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#31 4/6/15 15:48

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Okay, well I'll be interested to hear what he says.


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#32 17/6/15 7:41

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

This is the continuation of post #25:

Harsh,

Oni's development process was a rocky one. The team was originally founded by Bungie around Brent Pease, a talented programmer that Alex and Jason met while working with Apple. They lured him away from Apple with promises of giving him his own studio, which was the basis of Bungie West.

Brent built the underlying engine for Oni. Michael Evans built the animation system, working in close collaboration with Steve Abeyta, our animator. Working without a designer, the team muddled along for two years evolving systems and creating assets without a hard plan for the final game.

Eventually I was hired to give the team and the game some structure. When I came aboard, my first task was to sort through all of the intentions of people on the team and try to understand what they wanted to achieve with the game. After a process of two months of sitting and talking to everybody on the team and reviewing the assets that had been created I produced a detailed design document. Shortly after that, the team staged a coup led by Michael Evans and insisted that Bungie get rid of Pease as the project director. Michael was placed in charge and we started building my design. Following that change, several people left the team as well, including one of the senior programmers and one of the senior environment artists.

There was one final factor that had a huge impact on the development of the game - the sale of Bungie to Microsoft. When the sale was proposed, Take Two had bought a vested interested in Bungie. They took the news of the buyout badly. In exchange for not blocking the sale, they insisted on keeping all of Bungie's intellectual property, excluding Marathon and Halo. And since Oni had been slated to make their next quarterly release, they gave us an ultimatum - we had to release the game on time, or they would block the sale of Bungie to Microsoft. That meant that we had to go from a muddy mess of features and content to an actual shipped game that we could be proud of in a ridiculously short period of time.

There were a number of things that fell by the wayside once the team had a clear plan. Brent had been trying to add things into the engine, but we determined that, given limited resources, we should focus on the core features of the game in order to ship. Things that you and the other fans have listed like the decal system (blood and bullet marks) or dynamic lighting (what you call light mapping) were cut in favor of supporting the core gameplay systems like weapon aiming and boss battles.

The biggest and most painful cut was multiplayer. We had a working version of multiplayer, but the latency issues of the internet made it impossible to accurately detect when hand to hand combat was happening, and who was supposed to be winning. Often the outcome of fights was random, as two players would get into close range and press their inputs the computer would arbitrarily decide who input first. After discussing the technical hurdles with Michael, I insisted that we cut multiplayer as a focus for the team. We had limited programming resources and plenty of work to do to make single-player happen.

Some other features were cut because of those same constraints: the Iron Giant for example, which was the mech battle featured in early trailers of the game. There simply weren't enough people available to make a one-off fight like that happen.

As far as story, there really wasn't one before I joined the project. The Bungie West team had some vague notions about Konoko as a secret agent / member of the police, but there was no villain, and no underlying reason for the action sequences of the game. I framed the plot, and then tried working for a short time with a freelance writer to flesh it out. But he was so unhelpful that I fired him and pressed on by myself. So everything was me.

The environments for the game were an interesting challenge. Before I joined the team, Bungie West had hired a number of architects, each of whom were building futuristic, architecturally correct buildings at different size scales. But none of the spaces were designed for gameplay at all. So part of my process was to figure out how to create a dynamic flow through a futuristic world by chopping up the buildings and making cool gameplay sequences.

Oni was interesting because, given the number of possible distractions that we had, I chose to keep the team focussed on the core gameplay experience. For example at one point, the Wachowski brothers stopped in to our offices to discuss using our game engine for their Matrix PC game. This was shortly after the release of the Matrix movie, and senior management spent an entire day discussing the possibilities with them. Ultimately we didn't do a Matrix game. Instead we never stopped improving the game itself, and I think that's the main reason that it still creates fond memories in players today.

I hope this is interesting for you.

- Hardy

You know - as I think about it - it was the Iron Demon, not the Iron Giant. The Iron Giant was a movie.

- h

Hardy,

Certainly I must thank you for giving quite an insight into the things that your team went through. The sale of Bungie to Microsoft and issues in rights plus the removal of features due to less dev time left is something I know very well about. Some things like the addition and removal of devs was not really new but led to getting a bit more insight.
Strange fact is that the Oni dev team did not have a plot to use before you (well everyone's got ideas, but someone's gotta get them in order - it was you).
Multiplayer is something that gives us less of Oni to cherish. Wish you and the team had got more time for dev work. Companies' politics... ugh!
Apart from the decals, lighting, multiplayer, rigid body physics (moving balls, kicking chairs) and inverse kinematics (usage: melee disarm), I want to know about other missing features, if any (even if insignificant). Please, I request you this one. Take your time remembering; a day or two or three is fine.

Thanking you,
Author,
HC Tech Byte

Harsh,

Sure, if I think of anything else I'll let you know.

- h

Hello Hardy!

It's been about a week since I asked you of anything about the deleted scenes. Don't worry. I won't nag you repeatedly. Just once. This time. If you remember anything else PLEASE *beg* tell me about it.

Cheers,
Author,
HC Tech Byte

----------- -------- -------- --------

Hope that is something we can talk about. Hardy did not reply after this. If he replies I will tell you guys about it.


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#33 17/6/15 10:04

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Thanks for posting the exchange, though I hope that Hardy is okay with his email being posted publicly (did you ask permission?).  I think giving him "a day or two or three" to reply further is a bit unreasonable; I'm guessing you don't have a full-time job? wink  Notice that he said he would let you know if he thought of anything else, so perhaps silence is the answer to that question.


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#34 18/6/15 5:08

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Hardy's "let you know" made sure there was a stone cold silence on further discussion. So I made the begging reply. I did not ask for permission so save this webpage if you like. I will remove my posts in 2 days from now on. (you're the mod, so... *please*) smile

EDIT: I check my mails, Filehippo updates, 7Zip and WinRAR homepages and Oni Forum everyday.

Last edited by HCthenemesis (18/6/15 5:10)


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#35 18/6/15 10:33

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Well, you could still ask him for permission.  It's just that a couple details of his email that concern other devs might be considered a bit sensitive, so I want to make sure he intended this to be public knowledge.


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#36 18/6/15 16:39

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Hardy gave a thumbs up. YEAH! See this:

Harsh,

Yeah, you can absolutely make stuff public. I can't imagine that any of that information would matter much anymore.

It seems like you're curious about cut features, but as you likely know, the process of building software is more about what makes it in rather than what doesn't make it. Cut features become part of a backlog list of ideas for sequels or other games.

If you're curious, I could tell you about what the Oni team planned to make as a ....

-h

------------------------------------------------------------

With the [...] it is a suspense for you guys. YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! wink


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#37 18/6/15 16:53

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Okay, thanks for checking with him.  I'm guessing the "..." is "sequel"?  Anything else would be surprising wink


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#38 26/6/15 3:47

tokenoftime92
Member
From: Sopron, Hungary
Registered: 10/12/11
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

HCthenemesis did you reply presenting yourself as curious? :-)


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#39 26/6/15 20:58

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Well tokenoftime I am curious to know about the cuts apart from what we know. Now what?


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#40 1/7/15 19:58

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

So it seems Hardy is not keen on telling anything more since there has been no response since 12 days now (or more!).
He was telling something about how One would've had a spiritual plot instead of cyberpunk. I'll post the full email copy (without the ... if you were wondering Iritscen wink) tomorrow. It's 6 am in the morning. Time to.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


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#41 3/7/15 8:03

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

In the past, Hardy indicated that he wanted to have a Mad Max-style setting for the sequel, so I guess between his rewrite of Oni's story, and his ideas for Oni 2, it's clear that he wasn't that interested in mimicking the cyberpunk setting of Ghost in the Shell.


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#42 3/7/15 9:37

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Here is the email copy without the ... :

Harsh,

Yeah, you can absolutely make stuff public. I can't imagine that any of that information would matter much anymore.

It seems like you're curious about cut features, but as you likely know, the process of building software is more about what makes it in rather than what doesn't make it. Cut features become part of a backlog list of ideas for sequels or other games.

If you're curious, I could tell you about what the Oni team planned to make as a spiritual sequel before we got pulled onto the Halo project. I remember more about that than features we cut ;-)

- h

---------------------------------

So ... ugh! The contact is broken now.... but we can discuss ideas to be added to Oni here as it would be convenient to continue this thread or a fresh new thread in Ideas sub-forum with this thread URL as a continuation.


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#43 3/7/15 13:04

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

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Hmm, I'm confused by his use of the phrase "spiritual sequel".  Normally that would mean a sequel that is only similar in spirit to the original.  It sounds like he's saying that after they gave the Oni IP to Take-Two, they were going to make an Oni-esque game with new characters and situations.  But supposedly the Oni engine was also, by then, owned by T2, so they wouldn't have been able to use it again unless they licensed it from T2.


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#44 4/7/15 15:08

paradox-01
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 14/1/07

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

HCthenemesis wrote:

but we can discuss ideas to be added to Oni here as it would be convenient to continue this thread or a fresh new thread in Ideas sub-forum with this thread URL as a continuation.

Now then what are your ideas or hopes, HC?

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#45 5/7/15 2:44

HCthenemesis
Member
From: India
Registered: 24/5/15
Website

Re: Some discussion about the non-Halo project news

Hmm... a difficult one. Before I was banned I created a storyline which according to me was quite good. I have a difficult time remembering it. ..........................................*waited for 4 mins*

Well, the story is not this but a new thought:
Konoko was saved because of the Chrysalis. But she was not the lone survivor. In the underground headquarters, a special forces team of 100 is created by Barabas, each having enough Chrysalis to survive under extreme conditions. Each is strong as hell but has a weakness: their cognitive thinking was affected before they obtained Chrysalis, owing to prediction of opponent's moves and fast execution which can have some errors because they mugged up everyone including Muro's moves but not Konoko's (something like Dead Or Alive).

The catch is that Barabas was beaten not killed. He managed to survive and could foresee the future of Muro since no contact with Muro has been shown in-game or as a rumor documented in the Oni wiki.

Anything to add?


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