Journalists GamingShop talked to the lead producer Mace Glomb and head of production Bloober Team by Katzper Michalski about the upcoming projects of the studio – a remake Silent Hill 2 and Layers of Fears.
According to the developers, they have come a long way, starting not in the best way. After a succession of games for mobile platforms, Nintendo DS and PS3, the team took on the horror genre for the first time with the project Basement Crawl for the PlayStation 4, which turned out to be one of the lowest rated games for the platform. On the aggregator Metacritic it has only 27 points out of 100 with zero positive reviews.
Less than a decade after that failure, the Bloober Team is preparing to release a remake of one of the most iconic horror games in the history of the industry, all thanks to the reputation that the authors have managed to earn since the release of Basement Crawl.
Remake of Silent Hill 2
According to Maciej Glomb, for the development The Medium the work on the remake of Silent Hill 2 was not affected in any way, since the information that the studios gave the green light to the production of a new version of the horror came at the final stages of creating the game. However, representatives of the Bloober Team have never hidden the fact that the cult Japanese series had a significant impact on the work of the studio.
Glomb points out that Konami did not offer his team to immediately sign a contract to create a remake of Silent Hill 2. Instead, the publisher talked with various developers, trying to find the studio that has the greatest passion for the game. Over time, Konami executives realized that the Bloober Team employs a large number of people who know the cult horror by heart.
According to Glomb, his team does not intend to change the storyline of Silent Hill 2. The writers will only tweak small details, change the way certain elements are presented, or make some aspects easier to understand for a new audience, but changing the original story is not included in their plans.
Maciej notes that after signing the contract for the production of the game, the studio spent about a year discussing the project with Konami, which only strengthened the publisher’s confidence in the right choice – as a result, they were entrusted with more control over the direction of the project.
As for the participation of the artist Masahiro Itowho created the images of most of the original monsters, as well as the composer Akira Yamaoka, their presence on board shocked the Bloober Team. The developers did not expect that they would be able to work directly with the authors of the original. More importantly, Ito and Yamaoka were able to clarify many things that had been discussed in the fan community for twenty years – apparently, we are talking about numerous theories and subtexts embedded in the game that fans were trying to find.
Ito and Yamaoka were actively involved in the development of the game. The artist prepared concept art for the updated locations of the remake, and the composer recorded music for it. Glomb, however, did not say whether the musical accompaniment is a rearrangement of the original tracks or whether Yamaoka created some new compositions.
The developers planned to recreate the gaming experience of the original, adjusted for new technologies. A different camera position is due not only to prettier graphics and a desire to give players a better view of the environment, but also to reworked AI, as well as new level design and a different combat system.
The Bloober Team wants fans of the original to experience a fresher gaming experience while maintaining the original atmosphere and spirit of Silent Hill 2. However, anything new that was introduced in the remake was discussed with the authors of the original source.
Glomba claims that so far the studio does not have any agreements on further cooperation with Konami, but he does not deny such a possibility.
Layers of Fears
According to Katsper Michalski, Layers of Fears is a smaller project than the Silent Hill 2 remake, but it took a lot of work to get the concept to work.
The game is being developed jointly with another Polish studio, Anshar Studio (creators of the role-playing game Gamedec). The project is seen as a kind of crowning creation in the series that made the studio famous.
Layers of Fears intertwines the stories of the two games in an interesting way, adding a new storyline and complementing the mythology of this universe. According to Michalski, they didn’t want to do Layers of Fear 3. Instead, the developers, having gained knowledge and mastered new technologies, wanted to retell the original plots using them, especially since some new elements could fill in the gaps in the plots of both parts.
The same applies to the gameplay – it will be more diverse. The developer claims that new gameplay mechanics will appear in Layers of Fears, which will be a pleasant surprise for fans.
As for the duration of Layers of Fears, Michalsky was not ready to voice this information – according to him, it is still too early for this, but new “juicy details” will appear in the very near future.
The remake of Silent Hill 2 and Layers of Fears are scheduled for release in 2023, but release dates for both games have not yet been announced.
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