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June 29, 2000
Two new Oni previews

Two previews of Oni were posted, one by GameSurge (short but good to read) and 3DActionPlanet (a little longer, more focus on different topics). Some good stuff in both previews, including:

Of course, when making a game with as much hardcore action as Oni, one most not forget the environment itself. To be short, everything is "live". You can do anything you would do logically in life, such as kick things over or jump off walls (GameSurge)

The balance between hand-to-hand combat and shooting has caused quite some stir. Say, what's the point of having to fight when you can just pick up a gun and blast everyone to hell? It was a questionable aspect of the fairly recent Urban Chaos after all. It remains to be seen, however, how it'll work out with Oni. (3DActionPlanet)

There will be 17 different environments in the game, with a total of around 20 levels. (3DActionPlanet)

There will be, however, some different single player modes where you can just run in and beat up some foes using Oni's melee combat system. You can even play as different characters, gaining their special moves and abilities. Tired of Konoko? Try a security guard or a boss character. It's up to you. (3DActionPlanet)

Gathering of Developers officially announces Oni to be at their booth

Gathering of Developers announced the 5 titles they will show at MWNY this July, of which one of them is Oni.

(thanks MGL)

June 28, 2000
Matt comments on questions

Matt answered two very interesting questions concerning Oni on the forum.

Pico asked will Oni ship with the ability to saves film files? to which Matt replied It's not in there yet. But I think it's on the To-Do list. It seems like a desired feature like saving films of you kicking Striker ass is something that is planned to be put into Oni.

Another question raised was about the recent scan from PSM where the "stats box" in the lower right corner showed that there is a possibility of 2 players on the PS2 version of Oni. bob the warrior asked about this and Nijhazer added to that asking Has Rockstar expressed any interests in adding a two-player mode to the PS2 version- say, co-op?, and Matt responded with Not to the best of my knowledge. The interest may be there, but I'm not sure the time is. So maybe that was just PSM printing what they thought may be in the game.

Oni in TokyoPop

Another forum item: Ausicka reports that the magazine TokyoPop has a 2 page spread of Oni in their July issue.

June 26, 2000
Oni featured (again) in PlayStation Magazine

Once again, Oni is in the "Coming Soon" section in the July issue of PlayStation Magazine (PSM). This time with some of the latest screenshots (none new though) and the previewer talks about a demonstration he saw. Check out the scan! The scan of the first time Oni was in PSM can be found here.

(Thanks to Bruce Morrison for the scan)

June 23, 2000
What do you think about cheats in Oni?

When I thought about a new poll for Oni Central I came up with the idea of cheats in Oni. I was thinking about what kind of things we could see in a "cheat mode". Nowadays, PC games have cheats where you enter something into the chat field or when you call up a console.

I'm thinking Oni could have a "debug mode", where you call up a console with tilde (~) and enter words like "god" or "allammo" to create certain cheats. I've though of cheats like the typical invincibility or all weapons, but with Oni, you could put in a code where you already know the best martial arts moves, or where you could change character and acquire the moves of that character. It would be pretty cool I think. But I'm not a cheater in games, only if I feel like having mindless fun I call up an all weapon cheat ;)

Back to the poll. This time, the poll asks if you favour cheats in Oni. Head over and vote!

Oni fan site re-opens

Chris Kelly wrote in to inform me that his site Onisource is back, along with a new design and its own domain name. His site will have info on third-party stuff, strategies, films etc. Go check it out.

Take 2 to only publish Oni?

This article at Computer Games Online states the following:

Take-Two Interactive gained the rights to the Myth series and the publishing rights to Oni.

Does this mean Take 2 will only be able to publish the game and that's it?


June 22, 2000
"What about Oni?" asks Macgamer

Corey Tamas, Senior Editor of Macgamer, posted a very interesting article on his opinions and thoughts on Oni. Here is a sample of what he wrote:

The problem is that I am seeing something happening in the way that Oni is meeting the gaming community both in its marketing and in its list of features that worries me. It seems as if Oni is shrinking. Little by little I hear less talk about this game, both from Bungie and from the gaming public. Little by little I hear announcements about what Oni won't have, and how it isn't likely to arrive as originally planned.

Go check out the full two-page article here.

June 21, 2000
Official word on Oni by Gathering of Developers

MacCentral posted news on an official word on Oni by Gathering of Developers today, here is an interesting snippet:

In a recent press release, Gathering of Developers says that the game will be published this October through Take-Two's Jack of All Games subsidiary.

Can you say "release date"? We should be able to expect Oni to be out this October, most probably right after the Playstation 2 is launched on October 26. This is very good news indeed.

(Thanks to Georg Wedemeyer for the heads up)

Here is the press release by Gathering of Developers:

Dallas, TX, June 19, 2000 -- Developer-driven computer and video game publisher Gathering of Developers today announced that it will publish the PC and Mac versions of Bungie Software's highly-anticipated 3D anime action/combat game Oni. The announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft Corp's. announcement today that it has acquired Bungie Software. Oni will be distributed in North America this October through Take Two Interactive's Jack of All Games.

"Gathering and Bungie share similar publishing philosophies and a dedication to producing top-quality titles," said Bungie CEO Alexander Seropian. "We have had a close relationship with Gathering though our partnerships with Take Two, and have seen the company do a great job with its past launches, so we are very happy to be working with them for the release of Oni."

"Bungie has an extremely talented team that has consistently delivered top quality games to both PC and Mac gamers. This deal brings world-class content to the X-Box, and Bungie's independent spirit and gameplay innovations to even more players," said Mike Wilson, CEO of Gathering. "Oni will make a fantastic addition to our fall lineup, and we will launch it with a campaign that matches the excitement level already generated by the game." Oni is a new kind of third person action game that for the first time combines hand to hand combat and gunplay into a single, intense experience. It is the story of Konoko, an elite agent of the Tech Crimes Task Force - a woman whose tough exterior hides a soul haunted by dark secrets in her past. Oni's gameplay transports the player into the midst of an intense anime action thriller. Massive, futuristic cityscapes, indoor/outdoor environments and a huge variety of characters give it the sweeping scale of an adventure game, but the gameplay is pure action.

Oni to be at MacWorld NY

....but not in a Bungie booth. Max from Bungie mentioned this in the Question & Answer session held yesterday:

Oni will be shown by Gathering of Developers, but as today wears on the chance of us showing on the floor diminishes.

So watch out for Oni at the Gathering of Developers booth this July at MWNY!

June 20, 2000
Konoko is a gaming babe has a small feature on babes in the Mac gaming world. Konoko is one of them, and in my opinion, THE babe in gaming ;)

(Thanks for the heads up, Hamish!)

Take 2 talks Oni posted an article which includes commentary on Oni by Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games chief operating officer Terry Donovan. Here are some snippets:

"The Mac and PC versions of Oni will be published through Gathering of Developers," said Donovan. Gathering is Take-Two's recently-acquired PC game publisher -- the company is a strong supporter of the Mac platform. Gathering of Developers has released licensed or released several Macintosh games in the past year and a half.

Is Oni's presence on the Macintosh at all endangered by this change of ownership? Nothing could be further from the truth, according to Donovan. "Everything is still on track," said Donovan. "... I think the idea that Oni and Myth are in safe hands is very much applicable here."

Donovan suggests that Mac gamers were taken into careful consideration by Take-Two prior to the acquisition of Oni and the Myth series. "We take the legacy of Bungie very seriously," said Donovan. "We have a lot of respect for who Bungie are and where they come from. We also know who their fans are."

Even though the Mac is the focus of this article, I'm sure Donovan would have said similar things about the PC version. And on a related note, Macgaming also talked to Alex Seropian:

Will the change in ownership of Oni affect Bungie's involvement in the project at all? No way, says Seropian. "Oni is still a Bungie product," he said.

The third-person combat game is now in the hands of Take-Two Interactive, and is still on track for a fall release. Oni will be published for the PC and Mac this October by Take-Two subsidiary Gathering of Developers, with the PlayStation 2 version to follow shortly thereafter under the Rockstar Games brand.

Interesting that October is mentioned again.

June 19, 2000
Oni out this October?

Since the news of Microsoft acquiring Bungie is out, various sites have posted interviews conducted with members of Bungie, Alex Seropian and Doug Zartman to be exact.

Interesting to note though is that this interview by IMG and this interview by Gamespot have one thing in common when it comes to Oni: October being the time when we may see Oni on store shelves. Here are the direct quotes:

GS: And what about the Oni team? Will they move now or later?

AS: They're going to move when they're done.

GS: Do you know when that will be? Many people have been saying October.

AS: I don't think we're going to announce a date. But that sounds reasonable. We're certainly shooting to be done in the fall. (Gamespot)


IMG: Can you tell us if Oni for the Mac is still on track? Will Take 2 be publishing it?

Zartman: Oni will become the property of Take 2 Interactive and will be published for Mac and PC by Gathering of Developers, and by Rockstar Games for PS2. Oni is still on track for a simultaneous, cross-platform release this October, around the time of the PS2 launch. (IMG)

Please do bear in mind this is speculation on mty part but interesting to note nontheless.

I'd also like to take the chance to wish Doug all the best, hearing about his departure from Bungie was painful, and I will always remember him as the PR guy who'd say "They're Everywhere!" Good luck Doug!!

What does it all mean for Oni?

It is now official: Microsoft is indeed buying Bungie to integrate the developer into it's game section. And what does this mean for Oni?

Firstly, Oni is still on schedule, Jason Jones stated that Bungie West is working on the Game until it's done, after which they will join Bungie in Redmond, WA. Oni will still be coming out for PC, Macintosh and PS2. Take 2 will obtain the rights for Oni when it's done, and will distribute it as planned.

Oni Central is here to stay as your source for Oni information and news. I hope you will join me when Oni is released and we can finally enjoy the fruits of Bungie West's labour.

June 16, 2000
Gamespot previews Oni for PS2

Gamespot posted a Oni preview for the Playstation 2, which consists of text, screenshots and "the full E3 2000 trailer", but the file isn't available for download, and at 3.9 MB is kind of unlikely this is the full trailer. A stream is also available which I have not tried.

The textual part of this preview concentrates on the PS2 side of Oni, intresting to note is this snippet:

Take-Two has scheduled the PS2 release of Oni to coincide with the system's release this September. The E3 demo only contained six of the game's 17 levels, though, and enemies were utterly sparse. With this in mind, it remains to be seen if Bungie can meet a September release date for the PC version, let alone if Rockstar can complete the PS2 port on time.

The Playstation 2 was announced to be released on October 26th in the US, thus September should not be a anticipated release time for Oni because Bungie will release Oni for PC/Macintosh/PS2 simultaneously.

The new shots included are here (check out the expression on the face of that guy :), here, here and here.

(Thanks for the heads up,

Update: The movie file Gamespot has is a combination of the footage IGN has up. (Thanks, Nijhazer)

June 11, 2000
Post E3 tidbit

I found this whilst surfing around on the website of Gamer's Republic: They have their own E3 coverage page, and on this page you can see 2 new shots from Oni along with this:

The game certainly seems to have tremendous potential with its flowing animation, but right now the control needs work, as it requires players to constantly reposition the camera to run straight.

This camera problem doesn't happen when playing with a mouse on a computer, because you certainly have more control over the camera that way. I remember when first playing Oni I had to keep making sure the camera was at a straight level, and not pointing up from the floor (which happened a lot :). It certainly does take getting used to.

Oni reaching beta stage?

News like this really makes one happy. Apparently Oni is close to becoming a "playable beta for the press", Onicore says, who got it from Doug Zartman. Check out the full post here.

June 10, 2000
New fan art

Two new pieces of original fan art have been put up in the fan art section of the archives. The first is a portrait of Konoko by forum regular sarwat, the other is a nice illustration of Konoko in action by Zach "NexusG3" Pearse. Thanks guys!

June 8, 2000
Matt comments on Oni demo

Matt Soell made a post on the forum about an Oni Demo. He commented the following:

Just to clarify: We don't have a definite schedule for a demo right now, so I would take any guesstimates of a demo release date (especially those based around a release date for Oni which we have not confirmed) with a grain of salt.

Knowing Bungie, they might release a demo shortly before the game is released. Oni is rumoured to be released after the Playstation 2 debuts in the US in October.

June 7, 2000
Poll on Oni soundtrack

It's about time that a new poll is up here. After the recent "new" Oni music mp3's people get a more broader choice of what will be on the Oni soundtrack. The poll asks if you will get it or not. You know where to go.

June 5, 2000
New job offers at Bungie West

Bungie's job opportunities page lists two new jobs available at Bungie West in San Jose.

The first is Assistant Game Designer, seems like Hardy and Chris need a hand. Only the tireless should apply.

The second job is Quality Assurance intern, a dream job at Bungie West (that is, if you enjoy playing a game over and over and over again).

The new jobs suggest the team is really going full steam on Oni's development, and that a fall release is becoming more and more real. Good luck to those who apply and get in!

MP3's added to Archives

The three Oni MP3's on the Mac Action Sack have been added to the Archives at Oni Central. They have been lying around for quite a while, and it seems that now was the time to make them available.


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