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March 31, 2000
New poll

Wow, the last poll generated a huge response, gathering 402 total votes. 76 people liked the full-contact action in Oni, followed by 62 people who liked the anime influence and 26 of the people liked the graphics. 238 of you liked all of those together.

Time again for a new poll, so head on over and cast your vote on an all-important question!

March 27, 2000
Best action games of 2000? Oni is one have a small article on action games in 2000, where Oni is a popular game among some of the people asked. Go check it out and vote for Oni in the poll there!

Reader mail

I received this from Robert Eckdale who got an e-mail from about his pre-order of Oni:

Greetings from

We have contacted the software vendor by phone concerning the status of our order for "Oni."

The representative that we spoke with indicated that this item has not been published and is expected to be released in October, 2000. Release dates tend to fluctuate, however, so there is a chance that this will change. If we receive additional information about this, we will let you know.

Thanks to Robert for this.

March 24, 2000
New poll

It's time for a new poll here at Oni Central. Last time I asked what system you will be playing Oni on, the majority of people voted for the Mac, followed by Windows, then by PS2. A few people didn't know yet.

The new poll asks what it is that you like most about Oni. So head on over and vote!

Rockstar to publish Oni "in September"

The news section of Rockstar's site states September as a time for publishing Oni on the Playstation 2.

IMG has more details on Oni/PS2

IMG posted news that they contacted PR dude Doug Zartman at Bungie concerning Oni on the PS2, here is a reply they got:

Basically, one part of the deal we struck with Take 2 Interactive is that they will publish our games on various console systems. Oni for PS2 is the first one that we've announced. (Technically, all PS2 Oni press inquiries need to go to Rockstar, which is owned by Take 2, but since you're asking about our decision...) There's a Rockstar PS2 team working with the Oni team. Besides that - there isn't much more news than what's in the release. We don't have any PS2 screenshots yet.

March 17, 2000
Bungie posts press release

Bungie have posted the press release for Oni on Playstation 2 on their homepage.

Matt Soell on Oni and the PS2

Matt's doing his forum reading again and answered a couple of questions made by Maestro:

> How long has bungie been working with Rockstar before this announcement?

Not that long, actually. They took our code and got it running on a PS2 in pretty short order.

> Is this a reason that Oni has gotten off sceadual, and will Oni take more
> time to devlop?

No and no. :-)

> Will the Playstation version differ from the pc/mac version?

It's possible there will be differences, but it's too early right now to guess at what they would be. The Rockstar guys work pretty autonomously but we have the final say in all decisions.

> Will there be multiplayer on the PSX2 version, is that up to bungie?

I haven't heard anything about this yet one way or another. on Oni has a small article on yesterday's announcement that Oni will be on the PS2. Notable is what is said in the last paragraph:

Rockstar will develop the game in conjunction with Bungie Software, so the different versions will be virtually identical. The anime style, fast action, and mysterious storyline are unique for a PlayStation2 game, so this game should be hot. The only issue is that the PC and Mac versions are buggy and have control issues, and the game will certainly slip its release date until the end of the year, possibly further. Bungie and Rockstar plan to bring out the PS2 version simultaneously with the PC games, but it's doubtful we'll se any one of these versions this year.

March 16, 2000

Poll ends, new one opens

The first poll at Oni Central closed. I asked when YOU thought Oni will be out, here are the results:

Spring: 32 votes
Summer: 99 votes
Fall: 43

The new poll concerns the question of what system you will play Oni on. Go vote!

New Oni preview

NG Network posted a preview of Oni, here are some snippets:

This action won't happen in a vacuum, either. Oni is a pretty populous game. There are at least eight and perhaps as many as ten major character classes, each of which possesses about ten major variations. There is some suggestion that this supporting cast will be involved in the gameplay in guiding and helping Konoko. Co-operative AI characters in games have always lent a greater depth to the experience of the game, and with Oni's style of play, we feel confident that the extra characters can only increase the energy and enjoyment of gameplay.

Bungie is out on a bit of a limb here. Soul Reaver tried to bring console-style hand-to-hand combat to a PC platform. It was not a well-executed effort. Pushing this boundary is a useful direction for the gaming industry: the energy and style of console combat games is an achievement worth bringing to PC gaming. The jury is out, but with Bungie's track record of solid achievement, we have to confess that we're anticipating Oni's hand-to-hand gameplay to be a success. This faith is shored up by the probability that Oni's controls will be based on first-person shooter layouts, with only a few additional keys.

Read it here.

Oni is coming for the PS2

Bungie has confirmed Oni is coming for the Playstation 2 on their homepage, and Computer Games Online writes the following:

Rockstar Games announced today that they are developing Bungie Software's third-person perspective, anime-influenced action game, Oni to the PlayStation2 game system. Rockstar is developing the title internally in conjunction with Bungie Software. Bungie is developing the title for release on PC and Mac formats. All three versions of the game will be released at the same time.

[Thanks to Steve for this one!]

And from a press release:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 16, 2000-- Rockstar Games, Take Two Interactive Software, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TTWO - news) high end video game publishing division, is pleased to announce it is developing Bungie Software's critically-acclaimed, ONI for the PlayStation¨2 computer entertainment system. Rockstar is developing the title internally in conjunction with award-winning Bungie Software who are developing the title for release on PC and Mac formats. All formats of this highly anticipated game will be released simultaneously and will benefit from a high impact marketing campaign that effectively combines the budgetary and creative resources of both companies.

Bungie CEO Alexander Seropian said ``Oni and the PlayStation 2 were made for each other. The remarkable speed and power of the PlayStation 2 is the perfect complement to the vast environments, cutting-edge technology and wide-ranging action of Oni. Oni's blend of martial arts and gunplay is unique, and its anime setting makes it perhaps the most stylish game we've done yet, so bringing it to console involves many challenges. Fortunately, Rockstar has it all. We're as impressed with their sense of style as we are with their talent for game design, and can't wait to see the result of our mutual effort to bring together this excellent game and excellent platform.'' Sam Houser, president of Rockstar Games, added, ``We are extremely excited to bring the groundbreaking action of Oni to the PlayStation 2 in conjunction with Bungie Software. The development teams at Bungie are some of the most respected in the industry and they have successfully challenged the accepted limits of traditional game development. They understand what it takes to make great games and we at Rockstar's internal development teams have the talent and experience to maximize the PlayStation 2 development hardware. Oni will challenge and change the face of traditional action games on PlayStation 2.''

[Thanks to Chris Barker and Mojo for the heads up]

Ask Bungie West cancelled

Sadly Alex Okita had to inform me that the webcast Q&A session had to be cancelled due to internal reasons. Hopefully we can do this some other time.

March 13, 2000
Positions filled?

I found this small GDC article at Gamespy containing the following:

Bungie, which is working on high profile projects Oni and Halo, also had a presence and had a steady stream of people handing in resumes.

Diane Donohue, director of operations at Bungie, said the company enjoys coming to these shows so it can put a more personal face to the jobs process.

"Recruiting on the web is not that personal," she said. "This is a unique way of working. We like to show people that we work as a small tight team and we aren't a sweat shop."

Donohue said they were recruiting for all their projects, including Halo in Chicago and Oni in San Jose. They had done two interviews and received 20 resumes only an hour after the fair opened.

Hopefully they chose people for Bungie West's team!

Brent Pease's presentation

I was lucky enough to obtain Brent Pease's full presentation from Brent himself, and I was given permission to post it here at Oni Central. Although it may not interest all, it certainly is an interesting read for those who are programmers and the like.

Many thanks to Brent for providing his presentation.

March 10, 2000
Brent Pease at GDC

It seems Brent Pease, who used to be the project lead of Oni, is still holding a lecture this Sunday at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC). Here is what he will be talking about (as seen on the events page for Sunday):

The oct tree data structure, when used correctly, can be a very powerful and efficient mechanism for discarding polygonsthat are not visible within a large 3D environment. An additional benefit is that it provides a very fast and accurate method for doing collision detection in large 3D environments. The use and implementation of oct trees within Bungie's 3rd person action game are presented.

If anyone is attending the GDC this Sunday, and wants to listen to Brent lecture on this subject, he'll be on from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Please e-mail me if you plan to go or have gone and want to share anything of what you heard there.

Many thanks to Hamish Sinclair for passing this info to me.

March 9, 2000
More Matrix

Remember when I posted about the news that Shiny won the rights to do the Matrix game rather than Bungie West (and Konami)? Well, Nijhazer informs us that has a small poll on who you think should do the Matrix game. Like Nijhazer says, "none of the above" is leading with Bungie coming in second. Show your support and vote for Bungie!

The Forum

Wow, the forum here at Oni Central is busy with long threads discussing all sorts of things on Oni. One good read can be a response Matt Soell of Bungie posted to some questions a Oni Central reader asked.

March 7, 2000
New addition to Oni Central

As you might have noticed the main page has a new little image - a button - that will take you to the brand new Oni Central poll, where Oni-relevant questions will be asked and you are given the choice of 3 answers. Kudos to Claude Errera for doing the poll for Oni Central!

Click the link below to vote!


Thanks to Louis Wu of for letting me know of a small interview with musician Marty O' Donnell (of Total Audio), who is known for doing music for Bungie's Myth and now Halo and Oni.

Not really much mention of Oni in the interview, just good to know Total Audio will be doing music for this game. We can expect fast, hard, block-rockin' beats by Power of Seven and orchestral music by Total Audio.

March 3, 2000

I know what you're thinking: Matrix? What the hell?

Well, I just read this small article on the news that the Matrix game will be made by Shiny. Why is this important? Well, one of the developers that was asked if they wanted to do this game was none other than Bungie West! Yes, it's true, it might have been their next project after Oni (and imagine a Matrix game using the Oni engine!).

Reader mail

I receive e-mail from Oni Central visitors, usually with attachments, and also sometimes e-mails with some interesting info or thoughts on Oni. One such e-mail is from Chris Doak who wrote in concerning release dates, and I felt I should reprint it here:

I can't think of any time when Bungie has ever actually broadcast a release date. To memory this was because if they didn't have a deadline to stick to, they could spend more time making the game and less time worrying about wrapping it up by The Big Day.

The only exception to this rule was Marathon Infinity, which was a few months late and full of all the usual problems people face with deadlines, such as bugs, glitches, tension and coffee stains, not to mention being a little under par as a sequel for Marathon 2: Durandal (don't get me wrong tho, I still loved it).

Bungie have always teased us about release dates without actually handing them over until the end, and annoying as it may be for the public/fans/whoever, it means they release a better product without disappointing people over missing some half-assed release date, which, after all, is only an estimate anyway....

So why don't we just put away our pens and paper and have a little more faith in what Bungie's bringing us - after all, given their track record, we're pretty much guaranteed it's going to rock!

I agree with Chris, why are we so worried about Oni's release date? Why can't we just wait for this kick-ass game? Bungie puts in a lot of work into their games, and always turn out quality products. I'm sure that when Oni is out, it's, like Chris says, going to rock.

Another e-mail I received from Fenris was an e-mail he got from Amazon:

Greetings from!

We have some news concerning your order for "Oni." We are sorry to report that the official release date for this item has been pushed back to 06/30/2000.

We are very sorry for the disappointment.

We have left your order in place and will ship this title to you as soon as it becomes available, but we will certainly understand if you wish to cancel the item from your order.

You may cancel any unshipped items yourself by clicking on "Your Account" at the top of our homepage and selecting the link that says "Cancel orders that have not yet entered the shipping process." Next, enter your e-mail address and password to access the "Order History" page. Here, you will be able to cancel your order for any item that has not yet entered the shipping process.

Again we apologize for the delay with this title.

It's interesting to note that quite a few previews on the web have stated June as a (tentative) release date, and even Take 2's site does so. But please remember, it's not from Bungie, so don't rely on June being the release date for Oni. We'll have to wait and see...

March 1, 2000
Concerning dates...

Charles George sent in this e-mail where he had written in to Doug Zartman of Bungie and received a reply:

"I just fired off an email to Mr. Zartman of Bungie asking about why in Macworld Interviews bungie said that it would give some more info on Oni release dates in febuary. Mr. Zartman responded with this email,"

(Charles' text is in italics and Doug's in bold)

Anyway when I read through recent interviews Bungie keeps hinting at anounencements. For example in the IMG interview with Joeseph Staten Mr. Staten stated that, "we haven't released a release date about that yet but we'll be making some news about that in about a month or so." Furthermore in a recent interview with Mr. Zartman he said, "In about a month (February 2000) we are able to tell when the people can expect Oni. The game is done only when it's stable enough to be produced. "

Hmm - I'm trying to think of what English phrase that strangely translated construction came from - most likely I said "it'll be done when it's done".

So friends as we now enter the last day of February I ask, can you tell me, and the rest of the gaming world when to expect Oni? you can be assured that I would act as a conduit to the people, posting it all over all the forums. Of course if you asked me to stay quite I would do that also. So how bout it, can you give this info starved fan, and every other one of us something to grab hold of? Thanks dearly.

Yeah, at Macworld we figured a month was ample time for us to nail a date. Well, it wasn't. We're going to be making a big announcement about the game and when we do, there will be a date involved. When that announcement will come, I don't know yet - probably oh, say, a month ;-)

PS. could you please send some response of any kind, even if it just says, "we don't give release dates so F off." Thank you so very much.

Aw, that's what I should have said! ;-)

Got news? Send it in!

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We are NOT Bungie. Oni is © Bungie Software
Oni Central is maintained by Harry Al-Shakarchi (aka TomeOne)