Exclusive Interview: Devin Shatsky Talks Silent Hill: Downpour, Shattered Memories and HD Collection
By Amanda Dyar
March 19th, 2012
Silent Hill is one of the most beloved gaming franchises ever, and March 2012 will see the release of three different Silent Hill games in one month! It’s almost too much for fans to handle, but we’re going to go ahead and give you even more goodness!
Dread Central recently sat down with Producer Devin Shatsky for an interview about some of the upcoming and newly released games in the Silent Hill series.
Devin Shatsky has been in the video game industry for over 15 years, and he has lent his talent to well over 25 different titles during that span. Just a few of the titles Devin has worked on include The Suffering, Area 51, Silent Hill Shattered Memories and, of course, Silent Hill Downpour (review here). He was also an important part in the recreation of the Silent Hill HD Collection which is scheduled to release on March 20, 2012.
Interview with Downpour Producer Devin Shatsky
PlayStation Blog recently sat down with Producer Devin Shatsky to discuss the combat, environment, enemies and a return to the series roots in Silent Hill: Downpour. Check out the interview and info about HD Collection and Book of Memories in the jump below!
Guy Cihi’s Meeting with Producer’s Devin Shatsky and Tomm Hulett
"Here is an update about the dinner in L.A. with Tomm and Devin of Konami.
At the dinner: Tomm and Devin were circumspect and reserved. Monica was mysterious and beautiful. Dave and I had been partying for two days so we were already in sync and tight. We talked about our families and other personal goings on. We had a good time! At some point I got the feeling that if I didn’t ask, they weren’t going to volunteer information. So I asked Tomm about the HD Collection voices and release date. Here is what he said:
The HD Collection is on schedule for Jan 2012 release. The deadline for releasing the masters to the duplicators is like, this week. All major actors for SH2 have signed releases and so the SH2 game will offer players both voices - original and new. One SH2 actor was unwilling to sign, or had unreasonably delayed signing, but he has only two lines in SH2, so Devin and Tomm decided to use the new voice for those two lines. SH3, however, is a problem. Konami people have been unable to locate/contact Heather Morris so they cannot get her to sign a rights release. I have tried to find Heather but I was unable. If you know her contact information, please tell me ASAP otherwise SH3 will not have the original voices.
I plan to do a podcast with Dena Natali at the end of this month. I will also do an interview with Luis Ricardo de Barros later this month for Brazilian fans. Please look forward to those. My next SH2 related project will be to record a Let’s Play. Wish me luck!
THANK YOU ALL (even haters) for causing such a big stir about the SH2 voice actors. Twin Perfect’s Rosseter and Twin Perfect’s Fungo, you guys rock and deserve a special shout out. The voice comparison video definitely helped tip the scales! (Plus, my kids love it - they mimic it often.)
SH2 Fans, you have touched our hearts (Me, Dave, Monica and Donna.) You make us feel special and very happy.
We all did it together!”
Source: Guy Cihi
Interview with Downpour Producer Devin Shatsky Presented by Silent Hill Experienced Coming Soon!!
Any last minute questions?
We’re looking into doing one vocal track with Mary Elizabeth and Daniel Licht combined for opening track of the game.
Downpour producer Devin Shatsky talks DLC for Silent Hill: Book of Memories
We don’t want to hamstring in Pyramid Head and nurses for fan service, and we wanted to stay true to the ideology of the character’s mental projections.
E3: Silent Hill: Downpour in 3D?
"Silent Hill: Downpour Producer Devin Shatsky rocks the E3 demo in the 3D. Stay tuned this week for exclusive Silent Hill: Downpour updates from E3!"
Multiplayer Silent Hill Rumor Shot Down
Devin Shatsky, producer of Silent Hill: Downpour stopped by our forum today to let us know that there is no such thing as a mulitplayer Silent Hill title. A multiplayer mode was considered early in development for Downpour, but that was shot down as well for resource management.
Devin states that either the interviewer misinterpreted Marek’s answer, or the true meaning got lost in translation.
“Whoever that Italian interviewer was either took Radeks comments completely out of context, or it was lost in translation. As previously mentioned, we were (many moons ago) investigating a separate Multiplayer mode, but that was quickly extinguished when we costed it out and determined how much resource time it would detract from the core singleplayer experience.” states Shatsky.
While the internet went aflame with this multiplayer rumor, we spent some time contemplating just how it would work. A versus mode would be out of the question. If multiplayer ever touched Silent Hill, it would have to be an intimate co-op affair with a huge emphasis on team work and frequent, but momentary separation from your partner. Perhaps in the future something like this will come to fruition.
Source (Hell Descent Forums)
Silent Hill: Downpour’s Subway System Explained
Devin Shatsky, producer behind Silent Hill: Downpour explains how Downpour‘s subway system will work. There has been a misconception among fans that the subway system will actually be operational and Murphy will be hitching a ride on the H train to Hell. This is not the case. Devin clarified that the subway system will not involve sitting on a train, but rather wondering the subway tunnels for shortcuts. The subway system will indeed get you places faster, but at a greater risk of attack.
While we did expect a larger system, this makes much more sense. But don’t expect us to use those shortcuts much on our first playthrough. We’ve been dieing for an open world Silent Hill game, and we are spending as much time as possible exploring the town.
Be Buried in Silent Hill
KONAMI today launched the “Be Buried in Silent Hill!” promotion on Facebook giving fans the opportunity to submit concept art of their own original spine-chilling burial sculpture for the possibility of being included in the graveyard of the latest installment of the Silent Hill franchise, Silent Hill: Downpour. Since this is a new chapter in the Silent Hill saga, sculptures must be original works and not based off of existing characters or creature designs (ex. no Pyramid Head or Harry Mason). The most ideal submissions will be hellishly original designs players would want to see in Silent Hill: Downpour. KONAMI will hand-select the top six submissions and post for public voting on Silent Hill’s Facebook page on February 10, 2011, and will conclude on February 16, 2011 when the top three contenders will be revealed.
Staying true to the franchise’s original roots, Silent Hill: Downpour returns with another third-person horror experience and an all-new thought provoking storyline. The game begins after a prison transport vehicle careens off the road and leaves lone inmate Murphy Pendleton stranded in Silent Hill. Gamers must conquer mind-bending puzzles, horrific creatures and other-world terrors using everyday objects from wooden chairs to glass bottles. In addition to the main storyline, players will also be presented with variable side quests and unknown evils that can change depending on their play style. Throughout the game, players will unravel a dark, thought-provoking storyline that will appeal to fans of the classic Silent Hill series and psychological horror.
To enter the contest, please visit Silent Hill’s Facebook Graveyard tab here. Silent Hill: Downpour is the eighth installment in the Silent Hill franchise and is scheduled to launch on the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360® in 2011.
click the link below to view Devin Shatsky’s video
Source: Silent Hill Facebook
Interview with Downpour Producers Tomm Hulett and Devin Shatsky
It’s official, Silent Hill 8 is now known as Silent Hill: Downpour, and fittingly videogamer.com got a flood of new info about the game direct from Sr. associate producer Tomm Hulett and producer Devin Shatsky. Click the read more link to see interview!
Q: The story of the game follows Murphy Pendleton, a convict. Was this a deliberate attempt to move away from more sympathetic main characters?
Tomm Hulett: At the start of each game we try to consider “what would be an interesting thing to see in Silent Hill.” Other games have touched upon normal people who have done bad things, or innocent people stumbling on events much bigger than themselves. But a prisoner is a person you would expect to have a lot of baggage for Silent Hill to exploit. We felt this was an interesting premise that fans could speculate on as they awaited the game. I wouldn’t say it was a deliberate attempt to “play a badguy” necessarily, but we did have discussions around whether or not people would/could relate to such a character.
Q: What to you is the key element to making a good Silent Hill game?
TH: Having a compelling story is the key element to a good Silent Hill game. It’s what set SH1 apart from the other early survival horror games, why SH2 is so fondly remembered, and so on. Of course, an important aspect of this is how the story ties into the horrific things the player encounters. At the core of Silent Hill is that interplay between “scary stuff” and “what it all means”.
Q: Can you add some more details to the little we know of the story so far? Is Murphy linked to Silent Hill as previous game heroes were?
Devin Shatsky: That all depends on what you mean by “linked.” There’s always a reason for someone who ended up in Silent Hill to be there, so the short answer is ‘yes’. The full answer will be released in 2011.
Q: Will any of the classic adversaries be making a return? Pyramid Head?
TH: The thing about Silent Hill is that everything you encounter appears for a reason (in that game). So things like Nurses and Pyramid Head are tied to the storylines of their respective games. Since Pyramid Head was linked specifically to James Sunderland’s experience, there is no reason for him to appear in a game about Murphy Pendleton. For us to see ol’ PH again, there would have to be some extraordinary reasoning behind his appearance.
Q: Silent Hill 8 apparently features a number of side quests. Can you give us an example of how they fit in with the unfolding narrative of the game?
TH: In previous games, in order to progress the plot you might have to do some elaborate fetch quest puzzle involving artifacts or photographs or what have you. And the clues involved might tell some side story that had little to do with the actual story (except tying in thematically perhaps). The side quests could be viewed similarly.
DS: We’ve basically taken that notion that Tomm described above , and expanded it upon it exponentially. We have this huge city at our disposal, yet in the past, it was comprised primarily of locked doors . We wanted to give players a bit more incentive to search around, and check those doors without facing a constant barrage of discouraging locks. This gives the player a greater sense that they are “exploring the town” and then rewarded with these mini-stories. We’ve been very careful to keep these immersive enough to make the player feel like they’re still a part of the main story, yet separate enough that they aren’t forced into completing all of them in a linear fashion to reach the ending.
Q: Silent Hill Shattered Memories make a concerted effort to do away with the fighting elements of the game to raise the feeling of terror and helplessness. Silent Hill 8 has done away with this and Murphy has access to bottles, etc - do you feel weapons are integral to the game in some way?
TH: Fear is a tricky thing to get a handle on. Shattered Memories provided a very important experience in a genre currently dominated by the ability to stand your ground and gun down monsters: helplessness. Our goal with Downpour is to then take what we learned, and fold it back seamlessly into a “core” Silent Hill experience. A standout feature of the old SH games is that you could choose to run from confrontation. However, in most of the games (I’m looking at SH2 here) the enemies were very very easy to dispatch, so I never ran. It made more sense to kill them all instead of worrying about taking damage later. So perhaps in Downpour the stakes might be higher and running at times would be a wise strategic choice.
Q: Apparently, there is a book detailing key elements of Silent Hill which previous development teams have had access to. Have you had a look at it? And did it influence your path for the game?
TH: You’re probably referring to the Book of Lost Memories, which was a pre-order item offered in Japan.
Q: Are there any elements from recent Silent Hill games that you have incorporated and expanded on for the new game.
DS: Yeah, we’ve borrowed elements from just about every past Silent Hill game in some form or fashion. During pre-production we did (and still do) a lot of research in the fan forums, review sites, etc. for each game in the series, and we apply what we’ve learned from those past games into certain areas of Downpour as well. The main goal being to do it in a way that pays respect to the past games and what we’ve learned from them, as well as trying to innovate where appropriate.
Q: How daunting is it to be charged with creating the latest instalment in such an iconic series?
TH: It’s incredibly daunting, even after working on 3 games in the series. Silent Hill has possibly the most devoted/vocal/serious fanbase in all of gaming. The amount of arguing back and forth on even the most minute details is astounding (and all documented online), so naturally any part of any game could upset a chunk of the people you really want supporting it. It’s scary for sure, but we have to be confident in our decisions and continue to expand and develop the game universe. The last thing anybody wants is endless rehashes of the same game over and over.
Q: Tell us a little about your team – how big, where they are located, and what they have worked on before.
DS: Vatra is Czech developer that is highly proficient with the Unreal Engine. They are a new studio, but most of the team is comprised of seasoned veterans, the majority of which came from studios like 2K and Illusion Softworks, having worked on games such as Hidden & Dangerous, Vietcong, and Mafia. From the Konami side, it’s primarily myself and Tomm Hulett. The most relevant games I’ve worked on with respect to Silent Hill are The Suffering, Area 51, and of course Shattered Memories. Tomm has been involved with Silent Hill Origins, Homecoming, and Shattered Memories.
Silent Hill: Downpur is scheduled for release this autumn for PS3 and Xbox 360.