HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

It's true: Bloober Team is remaking Silent Hill 2. Talk about it in here to keep Remake talk separate from the original!

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jdnation
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HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by jdnation »

"Before working on Silent Hill: The Short Message, Konami planned to have an internal team remake Silent Hill 2 instead on a smaller scale than the current Bloober Team remake. Some proof-of-concept footage of this appeared in a recent interview.

Oh, this wasn't "an internal team", it was HexaDrive working on this, who had previously remastered Zone of the Enders for Konami at this time (after another studio totally botched it and HexaDrive had to re-do all their work, which was then given to owners as a free update)"
https://twitter.com/manfightdragon/stat ... 7389221093

"My understanding was that Hexadrive was approached to port the series, and they pitched a SH2 remake to them instead. It does make me wonder what Bloober brought to the table that made Konami go forward with them for the concept."
https://twitter.com/PrCat88/status/1754359280629645385

You can check out the proof-of-concept video at the link of what Hexadrive was doing, taken from a recent interview from The Short Message:
https://youtu.be/3iLPupH_UNU
(Starts at 1:08)

Key points:
- Konami initially contacted Hexadrive about porting the SH series.
- Many at Hexadrive were big fans of the SH series
- They didn't mind doing ports, but began thinking remaking the series would be more ideal and liked the idea.
- They created a production-quality mock-up playable proof-of-concept demo using SH2.
- They then returned to Konami with that pitch instead of porting.
- Unfortunately Konami rejected it.
- Half a year later, Konami came back to them about making The Short Message.

Image

I... think I actually would've preferred this more faithful-looking version!
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Chris Sunderland »

I don't really think it looks more faithful? Bloobers version nails the aesthetic really well, it looks like the Silent Hill 2 in my head. Honestly that's their jam really Bloober really is good at creating a detailed environment. It's just they've never had combat and their previous game left alot of people with a bad taste with their subpar writing and lacking gameplay. They already have the story and I just hope they get the right people to make a combat system that feels modern but not necessarily becoming an action game.

On the topic of Hexadrive I'd love to see the so a remake of SH1 or 4. Or even a new full length game, really enjoyed TSM. They seem to be a good up in coming team.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Klimat »

jdnation wrote: 07 Feb 2024"My understanding was that Hexadrive was approached to port the series, and they pitched a SH2 remake to them instead. It does make me wonder what Bloober brought to the table that made Konami go forward with them for the concept."
The state of the classic games preservation is not optimal to say the least. SH1 is not officially on PC at all and on consoles as far as I understand it is only availible on PS1 and PS3. SH2 and SH3 have old PC ports, but those are not availible on any digital platforms, so you only options are bying overpriced CDs from e-bay or go pirate. Does anyone even have CD-ROMs on their PCs in 2024? On consoles SH2 and SH3 are either stuck on PS2, either availible on PS3/X360 as a terrible HD collection. At least SH4 is on GoG on PC, but not on Steam...

Point is, proper complete ports of the classics easily availible on modern platforms would have been godsent, but I guess we can't have nice things.
jdnation wrote: 07 Feb 2024You can check out the proof-of-concept video at the link of what Hexadrive was doing, taken from a recent interview from The Short Message:
The only thing we can deduce from the video is that Hexadrive's version of SH2 would have been in the same over the shoulder camera perspective as the Bloober Team's version. Everything else is a proof of concept placeholder material never meant for a potential final version and can't really be judged. Hexadrive's SH2 could have been good or could have been bad, we can not really tell and will never know.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Skele »

Eh, I like how much James looks like James here, but aside from that, I'll take Bloober's version. Bloober really just needs to fix the animations and make James less blocky looking and I think it'll be fine. sigh.. At least I was never super hype for this.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by leftshoe18 »

It’s interesting to look at another studio’s SH2 remake pitch. I really enjoyed The Short Message and would be down for another Silent Hill entry from Hexa Drive, whether it’s a remake or another original story.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by jdnation »

What I prefer about Hexadrive's pitch, is the more 'retro' feel.

The item displays, and the fact that James model here is closer if not more spot-on to the original, and in what feels like a twist, the environments, lighting and aesthetics are not overly as realistic or as detailed as Bloober's, everything aside from the camera feels like the PS2 original, and that tickles my nostalgia in just the right way as a balance between the original and a remake. It has a stylization that works!

Just watching James running around the apartments and examining items is doing a lot more to sell me on Hexadrive's pitch than Bloober showing me an entire trailer of James going Leon Kennedy on enemies.

I don't like the trends where remakes have to "modernize" everything. Retro products should preserve some of the qualities of their time.

If Konami gave me the opportunity to remake a Metal Gear game, I'd choose to remake the classic MSX titles in the style of MGS1 from the PSOne. Top down camera, classic movset and tools, but with modern animation, a seamless wide linear level design, and push the lighting, environment and character graphics to feel like a photorealistic diorama. I'd also direct the cutscene story moments as similar to the Ac!d series with pantomime and artistic character portraits with voiced text boxes, saving fully animated cutscenes for a handful of significant story moments.

I feel a similar approach would also work for SH, even with a modern 3rd person camera. Though I would have the options for the classic fixed camera and also first person included. Why not?

I hope Hexadrive gets a shot at remaking SH1. If Bloober's SH2 is successful, they can try 3.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Skele »

jdnation wrote: 08 Feb 2024 What I prefer about Hexadrive's pitch, is the more 'retro' feel.

The item displays, and the fact that James model here is closer if not more spot-on to the original, and in what feels like a twist, the environments, lighting and aesthetics are not overly as realistic or as detailed as Bloober's, everything aside from the camera feels like the PS2 original, and that tickles my nostalgia in just the right way as a balance between the original and a remake. It has a stylization that works!

Just watching James running around the apartments and examining items is doing a lot more to sell me on Hexadrive's pitch than Bloober showing me an entire trailer of James going Leon Kennedy on enemies.

I don't like the trends where remakes have to "modernize" everything. Retro products should preserve some of the qualities of their time.

If Konami gave me the opportunity to remake a Metal Gear game, I'd choose to remake the classic MSX titles in the style of MGS1 from the PSOne. Top down camera, classic movset and tools, but with modern animation, a seamless wide linear level design, and push the lighting, environment and character graphics to feel like a photorealistic diorama. I'd also direct the cutscene story moments as similar to the Ac!d series with pantomime and artistic character portraits with voiced text boxes, saving fully animated cutscenes for a handful of significant story moments.

I feel a similar approach would also work for SH, even with a modern 3rd person camera. Though I would have the options for the classic fixed camera and also first person included. Why not?

I hope Hexadrive gets a shot at remaking SH1. If Bloober's SH2 is successful, they can try 3.
The counter is, if a retro feel is what you want, then simply play the original. We 100% agree on the character model, but I think a remake should attempt to improve upon the original in every way. I don't want the exact same experience with updated graphics (that's what a remaster is for), I want improvements across the board. I think the other thing we would probably agree doesn't need fixing, is the story.

Lastly, I played through the medium, and I remember fixed camera angles being one of the things some raved about with that game. As someone that loved fixed angels in classic RE and SH games, I absolutely hated it in the medium. I don't think I'd mind it being used a couple of times to set the scene, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only player to hold L2 to keep the camera behind James in SH2.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by jdnation »

I see what you're saying. But it again depends...

Moving SH2 to OTS or 3rd person camera is a big change, but it doesn't inherently change the essence of the game which is exploration of the town or enjoying its environments. So I don't have any issue with that.

I think Downpour did fairly well switching between camera control and fixed camera during certain instances pretty well for the most part.

Whereas, the action focus of an OTS shooter, specific hit detection and other modern conveniences of a good TPS does change the feel of things. Though I'd agree that that is more of a perception thing that we bring into the game due to the shooter market than just the game itself. A person with no experience of what's on the market may not even feel that way about SH2's new action style. But there is a different feel between the awkward shooting of the classics where characters tend to be fixed in place while aiming, with those of modern shooters where you have range of movement and can move around like a trained action shooter. Then we have this kind of dissonance between who the character is supposed to be and how we are actually playing.

For all the criticisms Homecoming received, the devs understood that aspect, and rationalized it in a way that having better action mechanics with a character who was a soldier would make sense.

Naturally there are players who can really git gud with even the classic SH games and play them like action pros, but that's not the average experience.

When I say I want a 'retro' feel, it doesn't mean I'm against modernizing some aspects of it. I just think there is a certain charm lost by going too far in the other direction. It depends on what our goals are... Do we want to preserve the original experience as much as possible while beautifying it up and making it as accessible to modern audiences as possible? Or is this just a product where entertainment comes first by catering to what's popular on the market, but with the skin of the original? There's definitely a good middle ground.

In my opinion, I believe the market is mature enough to appreciate a more 'indy' approach that's a bit throwback as well as modern. And if SH is a series whose core is not capable of being the multi-million dollar seller that is the Resident Evil market, then a 'AA' instead of a 'AAA' budget and approach would be more ideal.

It's one of the reasons that I'm intrigued by whatever Townfall ends up being.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by The Adversary »

What I especially like about these renderings is the DOWNPOUR-style notebook and that the map is hand-drawn, rather than a physical copy that would just get tossed the second James exits the building he's in. That's a nice touch I'd like to see more of.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by jdnation »

Yeah, good point. James is not just taking a whole map off the wall. But copying it down, and updating it as he goes as he did in the original.

The subtitle 'Letter from Silent Heaven' was also the title of James' scenario versus Maria's 'Born from a wish', from the director's cut version of the game. They also dropped the 2, so they figured marketing it without a sequel number would be more ideal.

I also do feel like the more stylized gamey graphics and non-realistic lighting here make it feel more surreal. More dream/nightmare-like as well as deliberate.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Skele »

jdnation wrote: 08 Feb 2024 I see what you're saying. But it again depends...

Moving SH2 to OTS or 3rd person camera is a big change, but it doesn't inherently change the essence of the game which is exploration of the town or enjoying its environments. So I don't have any issue with that.

I think Downpour did fairly well switching between camera control and fixed camera during certain instances pretty well for the most part.
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Well to be fair, the original SH2 was already in 3rd person. Actually, SH games have been in third person since the original, it's just that fixed camera angles were implemented a lot in the earlier titles. People are assuming Bloober has done away with fixed angles altogether, but I honestly doubt that's the case. I think there'll definitely be less of it, but I expect them to be used in the remake.

I get what you're saying about the retro feel, and view it as simply capturing the essence of the original. I hope they can manage this as well! Yeah, hopefully Townfall and f turn out to be good. I'm more excited for f than anything.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Tuniko »

Well. This looked so much better for me. The lights, the environment, James being James, (and not Leon).
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Chris Sunderland »

The Adversary wrote: 08 Feb 2024 What I especially like about these renderings is the DOWNPOUR-style notebook and that the map is hand-drawn, rather than a physical copy that would just get tossed the second James exits the building he's in. That's a nice touch I'd like to see more of.
I'd LOVE this in an original games. I'd love a game that made you interact with the map/notebook more. Like adding your own check marks and points of interest. Mabe evolve that into you creating the maps themselves...hmmm
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Chris Sunderland »

Tuniko wrote: 10 Feb 2024 Well. This looked so much better for me. The lights, the environment, James being James, (and not Leon).
His face is more James, but he actually looks more Leon to me here(lol he looks jacked). Also I'm not seeing it with environments. They look very BRIGHT and lack atmosphere. That's probably due to it being a technical demo, thrown together quickly. The Bloober remake just nails the look of Silent Hill 2 if nothing else too me.

Honestly I'd love to see these guys create a new Silent Hill, TSM was great. Give them a budget and give me a new experience. Or hell remake SH1.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Skele »

Chris Sunderland wrote: 12 Feb 2024
Tuniko wrote: 10 Feb 2024 Well. This looked so much better for me. The lights, the environment, James being James, (and not Leon).
His face is more James, but he actually looks more Leon to me here(lol he looks jacked). Also I'm not seeing it with environments. They look very BRIGHT and lack atmosphere. That's probably due to it being a technical demo, thrown together quickly. The Bloober remake just nails the look of Silent Hill 2 if nothing else too me.

Honestly I'd love to see these guys create a new Silent Hill, TSM was great. Give them a budget and give me a new experience. Or hell remake SH1.
I think the environment looks awful tbh. It looks like a game that might be nintendo exclusive. I agree, Bloober's game looks great in just about every area besides the character model for James.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Jonipoon »

Looking at this proof-of-concept video, I think HExadrive would be more suitable to direct a SH3 remake. Their aesthetics remind me much more of the third game's darker, higher contrast environments.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Burning Man »

The interview doesn't make it clear what happened to the porting project after HExadrive proposed their SH2 remake concept to Konami. I get the impression that they weren't offered the porting project afterwards or the plan was shelved in favor of more remakes in the future.

It's hard to tell from HExadrive's prior works if they're capable of working on AAA-level games. Konami may have tried to test the waters by giving them a smaller project and with relatively smaller risk compared to a full-fledged game.

SH:TSM sounds somewhat successful based on some reports. There's reason to be optimistic. On the other hand, the scenario and overall plot direction seemed to have come from either Konami or other third-party. It was nice to know that the Level Designer read "No Longer Human" to apply the core theme to the game.
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Re: HExadrive pitched remaking SH2 before Bloober

Post by Chris Sunderland »

I like TSM because it basically the opposite of what PT was. PT was trying capture the blood curling horror of SH condensed into a demo. TSM was more atmospheric, melancholy and slow burn. It's flawed but great none the less. I'll take it over Homecoming or Downpour for sho'.
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