Shattered Secrets

Exclusive SHHF Interview with Tomm Hulett

Hi everyone! I wanted to thank everybody at the forum for coming up with such a wide variety of good questions. It’s very exciting to be working on a game that you folks care about so much. I tried to answer as many questions as I possibly could. In some instances, I combined very similar questions into one answer, so I’m sorry if you don’t see your name below – hopefully I still answer your question.

To start off, I wanted to address two of the questions I received most often. First is the question “Is ______ in the game?” I avoided answering these questions because we’ve packed a lot of surprises into the game (as you can tell from our E3 trailer). By even hinting at the answers to your questions, I’d be taking away some of the surprise and excitement. So please be patient.

Second, a lot of people asked “Why make a non-canon game?” or “can you confirm this game isn’t canon?” or “Will you make a SH1 remake in the real canon?” etc etc. In an earlier interview I stated that this was a separate universe/canon from the PS1 original. However, I regret giving that answer; I didn’t realize the gravity of the question. Silent Hill is very unique as a series, because the games themselves are about a subjective reality. Each game has multiple endings and an argument could be made that each one of them is the “real” ending. This makes it very hard to even identify the “canonical” elements of the series as a whole. We know James went to Silent Hill looking for Mary… but we don’t know how or if he left. Not really. Shattered Memories, like the other games, deals with a subjective reality centered around the town of Silent Hill – I would say it’s just as canonical as any of the games. No, Shattered Memories doesn’t replace SH1 in the continuity. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t canonical. That, after all, is what sets Silent Hill apart from other video game series.

Now, in the words of Dr. K… let’s get started, then.

SYNTHETICLUNG: How often (if at all) does Konami intervene when making a Silent Hill game?

TOMM: This is an important question! I think there is a mistaken belief that Publishers approach a Developer and ask them to build a game – kind of like a homework assignment – and turn it in by the deadline. Then the Developer goes off on their own and makes a game, then turns it in, and the Publisher tosses it on the shelf. However, this is NOT the case!

Konami is involved at every step of development, guiding the vision of the product and making changes to ensure it’s the best Silent Hill experience it can be. The easiest way to think of it is that Konami and Climax are making Shattered Memories TOGETHER, both parties doing different jobs to create a great end product. As Producer, I’m in charge of the game as a whole and nothing goes in without my approval. To be honest this is pretty pleasant on Shattered Memories, because Climax creates such awesome stuff. I don’t have to “fix” anything; I spend most of my time making sure all the cool stuff is as cool as it can be. (But don’t tell my supervisor that.)

Throughout Production, Konami ends up doing a lot of little odd jobs to make sure a Silent Hill game is a Silent Hill game. For example, on Homecoming I helped Designer Jason Allen figure out Pyramid Head’s “purpose,” and I wrote the Bogeyman nursery rhyme which you can find on drawings throughout that game.

I guess a much shorter answer would be “Konami is very involved in all aspects of the Silent Hill games.”

VIXX: How would you describe this game to someone completely new to the Silent Hill universe?

TOMM: Do you enjoy going to horror movies? Silent Hill is a horror movie that you can play. You’re Harry Mason and you wake up after a car crash to find your daughter missing in the creepy town of Silent Hill. Find your daughter and watch out for the twisted creatures that pursue you.

RATIOCINATOR: Will there be an option to disable glowing items, onscreen arrow icons showing me where to look, and blue-glowing icy borders that tell me where to hop the wall? I like to be as immersed as possible and this kills it a bit.

TOMM: We’re still tweaking these elements. However, I think there is a misunderstanding about the “blue ice” – this element does not lead you to safety, or show you the way out of the Nightmare. It merely denotes areas where Harry can interact (open a door, climb a wall, etc). The Nightmare is so frantic and dark, that without adding these indicators, it was impossible for players to escape. I assure you this does not make the Nightmares easy or less scary.

LOVELESS_DOGG: Will any gameplay mechanics differ between platforms?

TOMM: The gameplay features will be the same regardless of platform; every version has exploration, puzzles, Nightmares, the psych profile, etc. The only major difference is that the Wii version will have the immersive control scheme based around the Wii Remote.

RATIOCINATOR: While navigating his cell phone, will Harry still be able to move on the screen?

TOMM: Yes, gameplay continues when Harry pulls out his cell phone.

DROO: Are you able to tell us how long the gameplay will last for Shattered Memories? Will it be relatively short like the original or will it be longer like more recent games in the series (SH4 and Homecoming)?

TOMM: Shattered Memories should be about as long as the average Silent Hill game. Of course, some players will examine every element of the background and take much longer to complete the game than others, so this will have an effect on the playtime as well.

TERMINUS: Will the player be able to sneak past and avoid enemies, or will the enemies always be aware of the player’s presence and be able to find them?

TOMM: Yes, strategically avoiding enemies is a big element of the Nightmare sequences. The Nightmare you’ve seen is from the start of the game, so they get a lot more complex later on. Players can use the cell phone (static) to figure out where creatures are prowling and try to sneak past.

KAIRU: What is the A.I. of the monsters like? Do they follow simple routines, or do they react to the player and his/her actions?

TOMM: The creatures, which are called Raw Shocks, have a very advanced AI. They don’t have any patrol routes that they follow or anything that you’ve encountered in “sneak games.” They prowl about the Nightmare areas sniffing Harry out and communicating to one another, so if Harry is spotted, the other creatures will arrive soon. They’re a lot more agile than Harry and they know the environment, so they can break off from the group and flank him, or follow him through hidden tunnels, etc. They will definitely keep you on your toes.

WW_ANDI: Will there be specific things that you can hide inside or under in the game?

TOMM: Harry can duck inside closets or slide under tables/beds to briefly escape his pursuers. However, if he stays there too long the creatures will become suspicious and sniff him out, and then… well you’ve seen the E3 trailer …

MEPHISTO: We know that weapons aren’t going to be in the game, any chance to use your environment as a weapon?

TOMM: You can see it briefly in the trailer, but Harry can grab objects and knock them over to impede his pursuers.

TERMINUS: Will the player be able to backtrack and explore areas that may have been missed during chase scenes?

TOMM: In general, “Exploration” and “Escape” take place at different times, so players should not feel like they’re missing anything while fleeing. Later Nightmares may require the player to explore their environment to some degree – by carefully hiding and avoiding the creatures, players will be able to sneak back through the area. We’ve hidden little things in the Nightmares which may be interesting to look at – brave players can certainly seek these out if they want.

TERMINUS: Will there be multiple difficulty and puzzle difficulty settings?

TOMM: You won’t choose difficulty from a menu at the beginning like some games in the series. However, if you are having trouble the Psych Profile might recognize it …

SILENT MADNESS: As a person who is hearing impaired, will there be subtitles on all cutscenes, including the parts where Harry responds about the item he’s looking at?

TOMM: There will be an option to turn subtitles on, and these will cover all dialogue in the game.

GREVIOUS GARLAND: Are health items present? If so, in what form?

TOMM: You won’t be finding any Health Drinks or First Aid Kits this time around.

RATIOCINATOR: What methods/items will be used to heal Harry if he becomes injured in any way?

TOMM: When Harry gets tackled, it fatigues him… and when that happens enough, he’ll collapse and the game will end. However, if he can avoid attack for long enough, he may gradually begin to recover.

NANAYASHIKI: I believe it was said that scattered memos and messages (a series staple) have been removed. Personally I am sad to see these go as they were something I really enjoyed, although I admit the memos themselves have gotten significantly less interesting in recent titles such as Homecoming. Yet, they still have always served a purpose of giving glimpses into the lives of other people, or holding some deep significance to the main character or plot that players may not catch on their first time through, while some were just there because they were so odd and interesting. With these memos and notes gone, has the development team taken any new steps to offer something as a replacement with the same effect?

TOMM: The notes and memos are a big part of conveying setting and story/theme to the player in the old Silent Hill games. However, they also don’t make much sense realistically. Sure, “the town” could be manifesting those notes, but why notes? Why not something more direct? In Shattered Memories, Harry will be able to take photographs, and receive texts and voicemails. These will all fill the role that was once played by the random notes. So instead of reading a note about some creepy thing that happened… now you might hear whatever that is while it takes place, or see the aftermath, etc.

DISTANTJ: I’m worried about the running from monsters. Will there still be surprises if the monsters are only in the dark world, and the light world is just puzzles? Will I still feel like something might jump out at me?

TOMM: I’m going to toss this question to Sam Barlow from Climax, the game’s Lead Designer.

SAM: We have had focus testers ask to stop playing because they are ‘too scared’ during exploration. The world of Silent Hill is not a nice place, so exploring it isn’t a walk in the park. Yes there are scares, but in the main it’s about suspense — the atmosphere of dread and not knowing when the nightmare is coming — in this case it’s not always as clear cut as it was in the previous games (where the nightmare would come once you’d ticked off 90% of the map). Also, given the things you will see and hear there, it’s not accurate to call exploration the “light world”. It’s a place where bad things happen; things so bad they have to be frozen.

HARRY’S GIRL: In response to the questionnaire, I pose this question, is there simply going to be a single questionnaire in the beginning of the game or will there be follow up questionnaires/trigger points which try to measure the impact that the game has on the player? The first questionnaire seemed to be a broad spectrum analysis that doesn’t really focus in on any particular points of personality. But I wonder if there will be follow up questionnaire given to Harry by the good doctor to see how he is reacting to the way his memories play out?

TOMM: You haven’t seen the last of Dr. K. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had more exercises for you, either.

NANAYASHIKI: I’ll be blunt and brutal for a moment: Homecoming had horrible puzzles and in that regard let me down greatly. Silent Hill’s puzzles were always a huge part of the gameplay for me. Are puzzles featured more prominently in Shattered Memories than they were in Homecoming?

TOMM: Puzzles are much more of a gameplay element in Shattered Memories than perhaps any previous Silent Hill title. Because of the Wii Remote, there are a lot of real-world interactions that we can let the player experience hands-on, instead of in a passive way like in the old games. Our goal was to use these to integrate puzzles seamlessly into the game, rather than have them as “progress stoppers” that feel unnatural and forced. I think we’ve succeeded in doing this, so you won’t feel pulled out of the game by the puzzles.

LOVELESS_DOGG: How will the player deal with bosses, considering the lack of a traditional combat system?

TOMM: I can’t go into detail about this right now, but I will say you should expand your definition of what a “boss” is. They can be more than a big monster you hit a bunch of times.

MEPHISTO: Will Harry have his own “monster,” like Travis did, or are you guys going to recycle PH?

TOMM: We do it one better and have neither of those things! The Psych Profile will change the Raw Shocks as you play the game, so by the end you are pursued by YOUR own “monster.” This takes the same theme that led to Pyramid Head’s creation and tailors it a bit for each player.

LOVELESS_DOGG: In terms of story what has been one of the major influences the team has focused on?

TOMM: Sam wrote a great story for Shattered Memories…

SAM: The story is about memory and family. Many of the team are parents of young children and we have drawn upon our experiences and our hopes and fears to create a story that explores these ideas. In its essence, family is physical memory — DNA carries its memories across generations — but it is also about non-physical memory: shared stories, aural histories and individual recollections. As is often the case, it is the extreme moments in life — such as a car crash — that bring to the fore exactly what family means. Exploring Harry’s experience allowed us to create what we believe is a deep exploration of these ideas.

CLYDE: Every Silent Hill game seems to have powerful themes that reoccur throughout the game. What theme(s) are we going to be presented with in Shattered Memories?

TOMM: I of course can’t give away too many of the themes, or you won’t have any reason to play the game! But I am really excited. I’m going to have to troll the boards after release just to watch everyone discuss the game. Sam’s previous answer hints at some of the themes present in the game, and you might consider the subtitle as well.

BURNING MAN: You’ve promoted Shattered Memories to have mature themes. Can you tell us what defines a “mature theme”, in your personal opinion, and how you plan to present them to the audience with Shattered Memories?

TOMM: Ever since the dawning of the ESRB, games have featured nudity and excessive violence and touted these as “mature themes.” However the Silent Hill series was always different, and the mature themes had more to do with the storylines – assisted suicide, serial murders, etc. The mature themes in Shattered Memories are the same way; actual issues and plot events for mature players rather than just “stuff kids shouldn’t see.”

ENIKA: When working with the storyline, have you drawn any inspiration from the Silent Hill movie?

TOMM: The movie exists in its own reality outside of the games, so no.

RESTORATION01: Will there be a proper name for Harry’s wife?

TOMM: Yes.

JDNATION: Can you tell us about the voice/mo-cap cast? Have any of the old actors returned?

TOMM: We did not re-use any actors from the original game. I actually chose Harry’s actor the second I saw his character model; I thought it was a perfect fit. We’ve gotten a lot of positive responses from the limited dialogue we’ve released so far in gameplay videos and the trailer, so I’m confident fans will be happy with the end result.

NANAYASHIKI: Sexual themes have been a part of Silent Hill for some time now but have lost any real significance as the series has gone on. Already in Shattered Memories we see that it is possible to have Cybil appear all sexy depending on the player’s actions. Exactly how heavy are the sexual themes in this game? Will we see monsters with clear sexual symbolism going on? Do they hold any significance or are they there simply for the sake of having sexual themes?

TOMM: As you’ve seen, your Psych Profile can affect a lot of different aspects of the game. This isn’t just for show, but also alters the storyline and themes presented. So nothing is just there for shock value. At this time, that’s about all I can disclose.

KAIRU: Are all characters affected by the evaluation at the beginning, even Harry?

TOMM: Everything is affected by the Psych Profile, yes. But I need to stress that the psych profile is not “that evaluation at the beginning.” The game is constantly watching every single thing you do. The evaluation is just a starting point. For example I can choose the “sex” answers, but still end up with hardass Cybil. Anyone thinking there is a 1 to 1 correlation between the evaluation answers and what they see is going to be surprised.

FUTURES: Will monster symbolism be quite as deep with this whole psychological evaluation aspect of the game?

TOMM: They are likely to be deeper, since they’re tuned to you the player.

HARRYS GIRL: Why did you choose to change the plotline so that Harry and Cheryl live in SH? Doesn’t making it Harry’s hometown take away from the fear of being in an unknown area and alone? How can you tell the original story, of Alessa calling Cheryl to the town, if Cheryl has lived there the entire time? And by the age/physical appearance of Dahlia, the new plotline seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the original SH, so why not just make it an entirely new game, instead of tramping about on an already existing plotline? Was it to bring in old fans while still targeting old fans, or some other reason?

TOMM: Silent Hill is about characters who realize that reality is not what they thought it was at the start of the game. James thought his wife died of illness 3 years earlier. Heather thought she was a regular girl. Henry thought he’d bought a sweet apartment with low rent, a view, and convenient shopping nearby.

By reimagining the original game, we can place fans directly into Silent Hill. You think you know what “reality” is, and you think you know what to expect … but you don’t, because you’re in Silent Hill now. You’re part of the experience on a level that newcomers can’t be. When Dahlia showed up in the trailer, you didn’t think “I wonder what role that character will play.” like you did when you first saw Angela and Eddie. You probably thought “That’s not Dahlia! What’s going on!?” You probably felt a bit like James when he first met Maria. This is at the core of why we chose to reimagine the original.

FUDGESTIX: I don’t know if this has been cleared up elsewhere, but I’d quite like to know the reasoning behind choosing ice. Obviously you wanted to differentiate the game from previous canon, but is there a more in depth reason?

TOMM: In Silent Hill 2, there is a scene with Angela in the staircase (my favorite scene in the series actually). Everything is on fire, and something she says reveals that this is her “otherworld” just like James’s had been kind of dark and moldy and wet to that point. This has huge ramifications across the series, that each person has their own personal hell.

However, everyone seems to have forgotten this and picture Alessa’s Nightmare as the only otherworld: red, rusty, off we go. Ever since I saw Angela on that staircase, though, I knew that if I was in charge of a Silent Hill game, I would make sure to explore this theme. Here we are.

KROD: Will you guys try to answer some of the mysteries left in the original SH1 game?

TOMM: What mysteries might those be?

ALONE IN THE TOWN: The dichotomy between what we call “foggy Silent Hill” and the “Otherworld” is one of the most fascinating recurring aspects in the Silent Hill series, but little is ever revealed to us as to how this actually works. Is it possible that some secrets about this process may be revealed throughout the course of the game?

TOMM: I think a lot of the ongoing mysteries are the most interesting parts of Silent Hill (like, are there really monsters? Or is Heather beating up real people?). It’s these things that keep fans discussing the games years after they’re off the shelves. So naturally there will be some clues, but I can’t guarantee hard answers – just lots of food for thought.

FLOWN: what is making the town turn icy?

TOMM: Nice try! You’re just going to have to play the game, my friend.

DAMIENPALES: Will the soundtrack be re-dos of old Silent Hill songs in keeping with the re-imagining theme, entirely new compositions, or a mixture of both?

TOMM: Akira is composing all new songs for the soundtrack, however, some may reference older songs from the series history.

HARRYS GIRL: I noticed on one of the first doors that Harry enters through that there was something written in red paint. Upon looking at it more, I deciphered: “DEAD DOG” then a small dog-like figure. I assume that it is a reference to the dead dog in the alley at the beginning of the original game. Can we expect a lot of references to the original?

TOMM: Very good eyes! There will be a lot of subtle references if you know where to look.

KAIRU: Apart from Akira Yamaoka, has there been any contact, questions, or help of any kind from people who worked on previous Silent Hills?

TOMM: Early on, yes.

SAM: We had a couple of calls and Q&As via translators with the remaining team members from SH1 still at Konami. They answered all our questions (or those they could remember the answers to) regarding the original game, its secrets, and their original intentions. Some of the answers were surprising, but we’re sworn to secrecy!

KAIRU: Are you pleased with the new angle the team is taking with Silent Hill, or dissatisfied with it in any way?

TOMM: As I explained earlier, Shattered Memories is something that Konami and Climax are making together, with Konami ultimately directing the overall vision. Naturally, everyone involved is very excited about the game, and it seemed to get a lot of positive attention at E3.

DROO: In one recent interview, it seemed almost as if your team was dismissive of Double Helix’s Homecoming instalment. How do you feel about Homecoming?

TOMM: I think that was a misunderstanding. Nobody is dismissive of Homecoming (after all, I worked on it). The question you’re referring to was about Pyramid Head specifically, and I commented that if he were to appear in a later game, it would need to be an appearance that tied centrally to the game’s plot (like in Silent Hill 2) rather than a cameo. PH is an awesome, recognizable character, but that doesn’t mean he should be trotted out in predictable ways – that’s a sure fire way to ruin his impact and lose what makes him great.

ARSONIST: In 0rigins, team Climax clung to the original Silent Hill. Why did you choose to cling to the same game once again, rather then writing your own, original storyline?

TOMM: With Origins, Konami wanted to explore the details leading up to the events of the first game. This seemed like a great way to bring the classic Silent Hill to a portable system. This gave Silent Hill fans on the PSP a new view of one of their favorites, but allowed newcomers to enter into the story without needing to have any prior knowledge.

In a similar way, there are a lot of Wii gamers who maybe haven’t played Silent Hill before. It wouldn’t be fair to throw them into the game after Homecoming and expect them to understand what was going on. So starting “at the beginning” makes sense for them. At the same time, we need to keep it compelling for long time fans like you guys. So by reimagining it, there’s a reason for you to go back and see if Silent Hill is really at all like you thought it was.

ARSONIST: What sources, other then previous Silent hill titles, have you used as an inspiration for SH:SM? (other games, movies, books and such)

TOMM: I personally get a lot of inspiration from non-horror games and movies. It’s helpful when you’re trying to think outside the box to look outside of that box for inspiration. But I imagine the guys at Climax have their own sources, too …

SAM: Here’s an excerpt from our design doc listing reference materials:

Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques, Boileau & Narcejac’s “Who was Clare Jallu?”, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Brood, The Machinist, Bunuel, David Lynch, Hitchcock, Max Ernst, Edward Hopper, Troy Paiva, Jim Thompson, Gene Wolfe, Kobo Abe, Georges Bataille, Freud, Eric Berne, Baudelaire

BISHOP SASARAI: Will you continue to produce more titles for the Wii that are for mature audiences? Be it horror or not, the Wii needs to grow up some and hopefully Shattered Memories will help in that need.

TOMM: If they’ll let me! I think there are a lot of adults playing the Wii, so it makes sense to have more mature titles.

KENJI: This being the third Western Silent Hill game, how have the last two changed your opinions about the franchise and/or the process of producing games for it?

TOMM: I’ve been extremely lucky, and gotten to work on all three Western Silent Hills. I’m a huge fan of the series, so it’s been a great honor. I can also say that everyone who worked on Origins and Homecoming had the utmost respect for the series and its fans.

Coming in as a fan, of course, I had my own ideas about what Silent Hill meant and what it should be like – but being a part of it for years now, I’ve changed a lot of my opinions. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that Silent Hill is a place of subjectivity. The moment you know something “for sure” is the moment you’re wrong. Of course this makes sense, because the best way for something to be un-scary is for it to be known and predictable. Silent Hill is the ultimate horror because it can NEVER be known. There’s an intangible quality in the best Silent Hill games, and if I had to guess at what that is, I’d say it’s a level of ambiguity.

Since Shattered Memories is the first Silent Hill that I’m in charge of, I hope it meets your expectations and is one of the most memorable times you spend in our favorite town.

KRYSTA: The SH1 universe has been exploited to the limit already (Origins, movie, comics, play novels, SH3). I’m tired of SH1 … will you do a reimagining of SH2?

TOMM: It seems like reimagining SH1 was dangerous enough… would you guys really want us changing what is arguably the fan-favorite of the series?

CLYDE: Are there any elements of Shattered Memories that you’re afraid may turn-off fans of the series?

TOMM: I hope not. We really tried to go back and focus on what Silent Hill “is.” I know it seems like we changed a lot, but none of those elements are things that defined Silent Hill. Personally, playing SH1 and then Shattered Memories might be the ultimate Silent Hill experience.

ENIKA: What inspired you to give Silent Hill a more modern feel and give Harry use of modern technology for the game?

TOMM: Interesting question …

SAM: The game is set in the modern day, so this made sense. For us, putting a story in a historical setting is only worth doing if there’s a reason, if the setting provides some extra layer or contrast to the story. There was no need for that in this game, so it takes place in the modern day — making it accessible and more resonant with the audience who will be playing it.

GREVIOUS GARLAND: How do you personally see Lisa’s character? Do you agree with how she was portrayed in Origins?

TOMM: Lisa is one of my favorite characters in the series. What interested me about her was that this “damsel” type character turned out to just be another part of the town. At the same time, it was hinted that the “real” Lisa was a troubled individual. This is a cool dichotomy, because even the people in real life we think are sweet and innocent might have darker sides as well that we don’t let ourselves see. I think in Origins, we get to see this darker side and maybe it’s not pleasant for everyone…but that is still something “real” Lisa has to deal with, and maybe she dealt with it by never revealing that side to Alessa. Then again, since this is Silent Hill, maybe Climax saw a “different” Lisa than you did, and maybe I saw a third Lisa when I played the game.

ENGULFED IN FOG: This is a really simple question: do you feel that this game will scare and disturb players?

TOMM: You might be onto something with this “scare the player” idea … ;)

KAIRU: Have you and the team enjoyed being given another opportunity to work on everyone’s favourite fictional lakeside town Silent Hill?

TOMM: It’s been an honor, but I already kind of answered this for Kenji… How does Climax feel, Sam?

SAM: We have absolutely enjoyed it. We’re all passionate about the things that make Silent Hill special and there’s no other franchise like it as far as storytelling and atmosphere goes.

NANAYASHIKI: Not including Shattered Memories, what is your personal favorite game in the series?

TOMM: My favorite is Silent Hill 2, and I already rambled about why. I think it’s the game that most “explains” Silent Hill, using a very personal story.

SAM: Silent Hill on the GBA.

Only joking. Probably a tie between Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 1. I’m a big Hitchcock fan, so Silent Hill 4’s Rear Window thing got me really excited, but the game didn’t quite gel for me. Silent Hill 3 wasn’t to my tastes. Silent Hill 1 was fresh and exciting when it hit and the atmosphere is still potent, whilst Silent Hill 2’s story and memorable flavour went a long way to make up for its gameplay shortcomings.

KLIMAT: I wonder how big the Team Silent documentation legacy is. There is a Homecoming guide that lists what years each game takes place in. Are these endorsed by Konami as official dates? Or are developers free to do what they wish with the timeline?

TOMM: Konami definitely has information and dates that we work off of, but an important part of Silent Hill is keeping those things secret. (Just part of that ambiguity.) So, the writers of that guide were probably just giving context to the events of the games, but those should not be considered “canonical” dates. Also as I mentioned earlier, Konami is still in charge of all the games, so nothing a developer does is ever just for the heck of it.

JDNATION: Will the PSP version be available on both UMD and digital distribution through the PSN store?

TOMM: We’re still evaluating this possibility.

CHIA2141: What is the psp release date? ^_^

TOMM: We’re aiming to launch the game on all platforms at the same time.

VIXX: We all know that the Silent Hill fan community is one of the most protective ones out there.:P But how important is fan reaction whilst developing a game? Have you or would you make changes to a game on the basis of fan reaction?

TOMM: By the time the game is available for fans to see, it’s usually too far along in production for anything major to change. One exception was during Homecoming – we did change Alex’s hair and voice, but that had less to do with petitions and was more because we’d been planning to change those things anyway. It just so happened the fans and Konami wanted the same thing!

Fan feedback is always appreciated though, because it shows us people actually care about what we’ve spent years of our lives working on. I must say, we were expecting a lot more negative reaction to Dahlia’s reveal … Seems like you guys are ready for anything!

VIXX: Sell this game to us in three words or less!

TOMM: Three words? Um … “Silent Hill’s back!” Does that work? Thanks again, everyone!!!

A massive thank you to Tomm and Sam for their time and patience in trawling through our loooong list of queries, and, of course, thanks also to all of the forum members who took the time to submit such challenging, interesting questions!

Do Tomm’s answers just throw up more questions? Want to talk with other Silent Hill fans? Visit us at the SHHF forum and join the discussion!

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