Omni Group releases Cocoa version of Oni for Mac OS X

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The Omni Group -- the same team that makes OmniWeb, and who partnered with MacPlay to produce the OS-X only game Giants: Citizen Kabuto -- announced today that they've released a Mac OS X-compatible version of Oni, the 3D fighting action game released early this year by Gathering of Developers. To play the new version, all you need is a copy of the commercial release of Oni.

Oni is the third-person action game originally developed by Bungie Software. Combining platform jumping and running with weapons use and elaborate hand-to-hand combat, Oni set itself apart when it finally arrived on the scene early this year. The game features Konoko, a purple-haired government agent sent to break a crime conspiracy. She finds more than she bargained for, however, as she discovers conspiracies and mysteries that involve her directly. The game uses a style and sensibility heavily influenced by Japanese animé. Long the focus of obsession from hardcore Mac gamers who had seen, read and heard about the game for years before its release, Oni was ultimately published by Take Two subsidiary Gathering of Developers following Bungie Software's acquisition by Microsoft last year.

When Oni was first released, a Carbonized version was available for early adopters of Mac OS X's Public Beta release. The Omni Group's effort stands apart from the box copy, however, as it is a completely Mac OS X-native application developed using Cocoa -- Mac OS X's own development environment.

The Omni Group made it clear that it doesn't stand to gain financially from Oni's release -- it's charging no money for the new Cocoa version of Oni and it's getting no royalties or other payments from Gathering of Developers. So why do it? Omni president Wil Shipley said that the decision was made because it's one of his favorite games.

"I played it all the way through twice, and still want more. If you haven't played Oni yet, I highly recommend it," said Shipley.

Shipley noted that the Cocoa build of Oni was one of the first ports his company has done of a non-Quake-based game. The company has worked previously on Mac OS X-related projects both with id Software and with third party companies that have developed games based on id's Quake 3 Arena engine.

"Thanks to [Gathering of Developers] for letting us work on this incredibly fun project," said Shipley.

There is one limitation that The Omni Group is aware of: Oni's sound skips in the intro and final movies on faster machines and dual-processor machines. "This appears to be a problem with all BINK movies on Mac OS X. (We've notified RAD of the problem, but they believe it's due to our use of native Mach-O binaries which they don't support)," said the developer.

This story, "Omni Group releases Cocoa version of Oni for Mac OS X" was originally published by PCWorld.

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