Sunday, October 10, 2010

Design Reboot one-shot: Oni

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oni is a lesser-known title from Bungie, released in 2001. On a few points it was ahead of the curve: mixed third person melee and gun combat, tentative efforts at real-world architecture, and that ever so popular anime style that the kids all love now, but was quite a bit more niche nine years ago.

Rather than a full design reboot here I decided to only play with Konoko's character design and see what happened. I ended up with a kind of Franka Potente in Run Lola Run vibe combined with the original  Major Kusanagi/Ghost in the Shell riff, while keeping the distinctive haircut. I was less interested in the kind of high tech armor/bodysuit deal she sported in the original (seen below)--a theme you may notice through some of my other character redesigns, I am trying to keep with more moderate, normal clothing for characters while retaining an iconic color palette.

If Konoko is going to be running around in a game doing a lot of martial arts type stuff it seemed appropriate to have her outfit light, sporty, and practical. Pictured is the point early on the game where she abandons her more cumbersome SWAT-style equipment. As for a few comments on the possible gameplay redesign, Oni seemed to anticipate a lot of what would be done later with Mirror's Edge--emphasized speed and agility over traditional shooter action. Certainly a bright, impressionistic rendering style would be appropriate here as well. What do you think?

Be sure to discuss this in the newly unveiled GAUSSWERKS / DESIGN REBOOT forums.

8 comments:

Johnnyburn said...

Nice folds.

Resin said...

I so disliked this game.
I would get rid of her hair before her Ghost in the shell outfit.

Joe! said...

Oni was awesome, I'm surprised I'm not the only one who actually remembers it.

岩倉レイン said...

I still have my disc, instruction booklet and soundtrack for Oni! Major props to you for knowing it!

As for the artwork, the light sporty stuff makes sense, but would there be any possibility of adding some weighted stuff? Punches hurt more with a roll of pennies, so maybe there are weighted bangles (or something) in the future ...

Kojiro said...

I like the army green with the purple hair. But the hair cut is just bad. (I'm not implying the original was better!)

Killah Mate said...

I would say that one of the game's major flaws (and it had several) was giving you actually pretty interesting ranged weaponry (all anime ripoffs, but new for video games at the time) but not giving you enough opportunities to use it, obsessed as it was with its barely mediocre hand to hand combat. I'd go for full-on ranged anime firearms mayhem, but Vanquish apparently got there first. So fix the hand-to-hand, maybe some of the stuff they're doing in the new Splinter Cell.

Another flaw would obviously be the architecture, which inherited all the boredom of reality with little of the verisimilitude. I'd take regular level design any day. Of course these days there's a tendency towards trying for the best of both worlds.

Charles Geringer said...

Oni is an interesting game, and depsite it´s flaws it has a very dedicated comunity still active with some very good mods.

This is the first of your redesigns I really did not like.

She feels very generic without having anything added over the original

I think it comes to this: If Konoko is going to be running around in a game doing a lot of martial arts type stuff it seemed appropriate to have her outfit light, sporty, and practical.

I also feel you shoudl have abbetter comparison image of the charcter n game wearing the outfit that you substituted.
That said I really liek your blog and would love to see more redesigns of ony.
She ir primarily a SWAT like agent, and thus enfasasing lightness and sportness over bodyarmor doesn´t seem a good idea to me.

Charles Geringer said...

I just want to add that I really like your blog and would love to see som,e mroe redesigns of ONI

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