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Tool Mode - Edit Particle Class.jpg

During the development of Oni, Bungie West had an in-game editor for real-time adjustment and creation of entities in the game world. The UI for this editor was stored in files called level0_Tools.dat/.raw[/.sep]. The tool files also contain other resources that were used during development as well as textures that are seemingly relics not meant to be released. These files were first discovered in the German localization of Oni for the Mac, but have subsequently been found in the rest of the Mac (E)FIGS localizations, Japanese Oni for both Windows and Mac, and Final Candidate build 7 (Windows, English).

A standard Oni application will not actually load these files (in fact, Oni will explicitly state in its startup log that it is 'skipping the tool files'), but the function of the files was determined from examining their resources. If you're curious, you can download level0_Tools here. OniSplit can be used to extract the data into individual resources.

Here is an overview of level0_Tools' contents:

  • WMDDs that were used by the in-game visual editor, a.k.a. Tool Mode (pictured, right). This mode is not available in a release build of Oni, but Bungie West used a "tool" build of Oni, OniTool.exe, to edit OBJCs and other BINA resources while test-playing the game.
  • Distinct furniture models (OFGAs), instances of which could be placed/adjusted while in Tool Mode. For most Oni versions the furniture was eventually "baked" into Oni's levels, i.e., converted to static quads of the Akira Environment, but for the PS2 version furniture still consists of individual mesh instances.
  • Textures that were used for debugging or for other obsolete purposes. The most notable texture is probably the cartoon cat we have named Hapecat, a variant of the character who appears in a poster in Chapter 2, who has become something of a mascot for the community.

By replacing existing WMDDs in the game with tool WMDDs (and supplying the alternate PSUI intended for Tool Mode), Oni was tricked into displaying the Tool Mode windows, and the resulting screenshots have been placed on the OBD pages of any resource types that had editor window(s). A complete collection of the images in one place is found here. The labels on the elements in these windows were helpful in reverse-engineering the BINA formats.

Back when these WMDDs were discovered in German Oni, it was quickly realized that the localizers had translated some portions of the Tool Mode dialogs into German along with other game resources, not understanding that they were unused by the game. Thus our first look at the editor UI was through the lens of how somewhat-clueless localizers believed the English labels should read in German. Eventually an English-language set of WMDDs were recovered from a final release candidate build of Oni, giving us the original text for the dialogs.