Mаking of SILENT HILL 3
Profiles of those present
& Creature Designer
Model Chief Designer
1968. Responsible for sound in the first game as well as
in the subsequent games of the series. Also the producer
in Silent Hill 3. In addition to this series, he has
worked on games such as Contra and Beatmania.
1972. Responsible for background and creature design in
the first game. Held the position of creature designer
and art director in Silent Hill 2 and 3.
1970. In charge of character motion in Silent Hill 2.
Acted as chief of character team in Silent Hill 3.
Besides this series, he has worked on games such as
1972. Has had a hand in the Silent Hill series since the
second game. In charge of programming related to effects
throughout. In addition to the Silent Hill series, he
has worked on games such as NHL Blades of Steel 2000.
1972. Responsible for character programming since the
first game. Puts together everything related to fighting
and action. Works he has been responsible for besides
this series include Fairway of Glory (Virtual Golf
1975. Responsible for all event programming in and after
the first game. Also worked on the scenario in Silent
Hill 2 and 3.
Q: First of all, please tell us about how you got started
on the development of the game.
Hiroyuki Owaku: We finished working on our previous project on the ps2 in August of
2001, and then in October we were hard at work on Restless Dreams. We
began working on Silent Hill 3 immediately after that.
Q: It looks like you rarely saw any vacation time. Was this painful for
Masahiro Ito: I felt that it was dispiriting at times, but then if you take a vacation whenever you feel like it, you'll lose your
Owaku mentions that one
reason for starting the game someplace other than Silent Hill is so they
could include locations that wouldn't be found in a small countryside
town, such as an urban shopping center and subway.
that the use of visual noise in the game isn't constant-- it's very
slight at the beginning and increases as Heather gets closer to Silent
footnote #3: In Silent Hill 2, noise was used to express James' delusions. In Silent
Hill 3, one reason there's very little noise in the early stages of the
game is that Heather hasn't yet recovered her memories.
Owaku says that he wrote the scenario in Japanese and then Jeremy
Blaustein, the English supervisor, translated it into English. In order
to breathe life into the English version of the script, many small
revisions were made during the translation process.
He also mentions that one of the reasons for choosing a main character
that was a girl is that he was getting bored with male protagonists.
Making the protagonist female gives players something new, and depicting
the storyline as well as fear and other emotions can take on new
aspects. And of course, a male protagonist can't be the mother of God.
The reason for having only four central characters (five if you count
Leonard) is that the team had planned to keep the story relatively
simply from the beginning.
Yuri says that the overall quality of the character designs benefited
from the fact that there were so few characters.
footnote #8: The development team made a point of including characteristics like
freckles, spots and moles for the character models.
footnote #9: Certain characteristics that members of the development team possess
were also included to make the characters more realistic, such as an
asymmetry between the left and right side of the face, Vincent's
tendency to squint, and Douglas' hair thinning at the back of his head.
Owaku mentions that he feels that the insertion of prerendered movies
disrupt the flow of a game. Part of the reason for animating facial
motion so meticulously was so that prerendered scenes would not be
Yuri says that since certain things such as the movement of fingers and
eyes can't be motion captured, video recordings of the voice actors were
referenced while programming the facial animations for the characters
that the nature of the horror in Silent Hill 3 is a bit different from
2. In Silent Hill 2, this aspect of the game sinks in quietly bit by
bit, while in 3 it's more vivid and intense. For example, the gap
between the "right side" world and the "reverse side" world is more
He also mentions that when he first saw the scene in which the office
building undergoes the shift to the otherworld, this was a point at
which he felt this game would be able to surpass Silent Hill 2 in some
Norihito Hatakeda feels that it's ideal for events to take place in real
time. The shift to the otherworld that takes place in the office
building as well as the shift during the transition from the subway to
the sewers are both examples of this.
Akira Yamaoka mentions that he'd had an interest in including songs with
vocal tracks for a while, but there was a question of finding a vocalist
with a quality in his or her voice that would be suited to the
atmosphere of Silent Hill. Most game music makes use of sounds that are
synthesized instead of using real instruments, and Yamaoka feels that
it's desirable to utilize the expressive power of the human voice.
According to Owaku, the combat in Silent Hill 2 had not been
particularly well-received. The team was careful to include more enemies
in the third game so that players could enjoy devising strategies to
Yuki Mizuochi says that he had decided from the start to include more
enemies and weapons. He was also able to program more specialized
vibrations for the dual shock to correspond to each weapon.
Asked whether he feels that
he has a complete grasp of what happens in the Silent Hill games,
Yamaoka says he wonders if anyone besides Owaku understands it all
completely, and also expresses his shock at having recently heard that
some of it is based in Freud's psychoanalytic theories.
Hatakeda thinks that understanding it all might be impossible.
Owaku says that there are things about Ito's designs that he doesn't
understand himself, and that he actually didn't understand Valtiel's
significance completely until data was being gathered for this book. Ito
says jokingly that he'll be sure to explain it to other people from now
Shingo Yuri jokes that when the book is released, he and other members
of the team will be reading it and saying "Ah, I see..."
Hatakeda mentions that he created a certain effect with the images of
Alessa's burns, fire, and blood in mind, and asks the other members of
the development team what sort of understanding they have of it. Owaku
says that he has the same understanding of it as Hatakeda.
footnote #19: Hatakeda did all the effects that have to do with the real-time shifts
to the otherworld and the moving walls. This effect represents the
intense suffering that Alessa endured as a result of her burns.
Yamaoka is asked whether or
not there will be subsequent games in the series, to which he replies
that he simply doesn't know at this point.
To the question, "What would you like to do next?" Shingo Yuri replies
that he would like to work on something that isn't a horror game.
Hatakeda says that he would like to do something along the lines of Half
Life 2, and suggests that it might be possible to do a game of this type
in the world of Silent Hill in which a different otherworld appears
before each player. Mizuochi says that he would like to do something
more colorful along the lines of a game about an American comic book
hero, since he feels that the fact that the protagonists in the Silent
Hill series are merely ordinary people is a bit restricting. Ito says
that he'd like to do a game with a science fiction theme. Owaku says
that he's always wanted to work on the kind of game that could affect or
change someone's life. He feels that there are novels and movies that
have had an impact on his own life, but hasn't yet had that sort of
experience with a game.
The interviewer suggests
that there are probably people for whom Silent Hill has had an impact
comparable to the impact that books and movies can have. He then asks
each member of the development team to say something to players in
Owaku says he worked on Silent Hill 3 with the intention of giving
players something that would be fun and interesting as well as
frightening, so he'll be happy if he was able to achieve this.
Ito says that he'd like aspiring game designers and art directors to
someday name Silent Hill 3 as having had an influence on them.
Mizuochi suggests going for 100 stars and getting a perfect score.
Instead of simply playing straight through the game, Hatakeda recommends
slowing down once in a while to look around, as there are discoveries to
Yuri says not to be distracted by the cutscenes or subtitles and to look
closely at the characters. (Owaku says, "Huh? The scenario...?)
To anyone who is introduced to Silent Hill by the third game, Yamaoka
recommends playing the first two games in the series after finishing
Silent Hill 3.
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