Oni2:Slaves of War/Outline
Oni starts us off with a seemingly controlled situation; the WCG is in charge, putting the world into a kind of stasis. On a more personal level, Konoko has been trained as a cop and has an SLD assistant, and that world's all she's ever known. The end of Oni, however, leaves us with everything being turned on its head. Therefore, I think it's natural to be led to the notion of opposites, for both story-following and story-telling reasons:
Oni 1 => Oni 2
Order => Chaos
Oni 1 was about a seed of chaos growing in an orderly (controlled) world, and Oni 2 can be about a seed of order (control) growing amidst chaos.
Oni 1 => Oni 2
Solitude => Company
Oni 1 was about Konoko working alone, losing anyone that she had left to trust, so let's make Oni 2 about working with others as part of a group ("Someone left to trust"). Plus, I'm inspired by guido's art, in particular this piece, which is my favorite. I really want to see Mai be part of a team like that; even if it turns out that not every member of the group is entirely allied or trustworthy....
With the above in mind, here are the forms of conflict I would like to focus on:
- Man vs. Man; there's going to be plenty of this kind of conflict all over the world -- debates over whether the Daodan is needed or whether it's too risky; how to fight against the Wilderness, potentially with risky countermeasures; fights over land with working ACCs; fights with Syndicate warlords who want a piece of the world for themselves...
- Man vs. Nature; the plot can serve as an analogue to the global conflict between our selfish desires as a race and the needs of the planet; is there no way to co-exist peacefully with the Wilderness, alien though it may be? This is the conundrum that all of mankind is facing, but it is specifically Mukade's agon in the story.
- Man vs. Self; Mai feels badly about the Cataclysm she caused. She's not sure she made the right choices, and after being betrayed by, or at least having to fight, her former agency as well as her brother, she has lost the ability to trust people. Her agon is her inner guilt and her unwillingness to trust others, but she has to learn to trust and work with the other characters in order to prevent more disasters like the one she had to bring about the last time she worked alone. Finally, she's concerned about how her Imago form will turn out (if we don't have her already at that stage when Oni 2 begins). All of these are internal struggles that weigh down on Mai's psyche.
Assuming we had the use of Oni's original engine, or had totally reproduced its behaviors, what areas can we work on for an Oni 2? What areas of Oni needed improvement? The melee combat is probably the area we'd need to focus on the least, as it is the most polished. Our time would be better spent in areas dictated by Oni 2's story, or by criticisms of Oni 1. Too many bullet points on our feature list will result in another Oni project that takes longer than planned, so let's keep it to a minimum. Here's my suggestions:
- Slightly improved melee: now with parrying, grappling, and throw escapes.
- Power tree for Mai; how she uses her Chrysalis (that is, how the player plays as her) affects its development as she goes Imago.
- More communication between AIs, like what Bungie originally planned for Oni. Basically, I just want an AI to be able to call or run for help. No blithely walking past KOed allies when the area is supposedly secured.
- Natural environments; this one could be a stumbling block for the Oni engine. We might need to re-write the 3D engine (or incorporate an open-source engine) in order to do complex outdoor scenery. If Mai and co. are supposed to be exploring the Wilderness, then this is an unavoidable issue. One specific concern I have is interactive flora. If you're in the middle of a bunch of bushes, do they actually quiver if you brush against them? Does the character push palm fronds out of their face as they walk? If the plants just sit there as static models, then we have a problem, especially because the Wilderness probably is a bit more lively than our everyday ferns and flowers and trees.
- Stealth; either the use of disguises, or else simply allowing Mai to sneak up to or around enemies, is a "must" in my opinion. I would like to allow players to do pacifist runs.
Things from Oni 1 that we want to make reference to or develop on, even if trivially.
- More advanced SLD technology
- Bertram Navarre
- Q-31 Railgun
- Deadly Brains
- Theta wave scans
- Funny civilians and general Bungie-style humor
- Flatline zombies
- "I have accomplished everything our father dreamed of doing."
- From the manual:
- "An average family can afford a nice place to live, timeshare on a vehicle and a terminal that links them to the WorldNet."
- "The poor wretches who can't afford to live in the cities get as close to the atmosphere processors as they can and eke out a miserable (and dangerous) existence working on the reclamation teams who beat back the corrosive stain of the wilderness."
- "Biotech is to us what nukes were to our great grandparents"
- "cyber drugs"
- "Others claim a connection between the Syndicate and the remnants of the countries erased by the World Coalition Government's land grab."