Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Reason Why the Silent Hill HD Collection is Broken




Well, the saga of the "Silent Hill HD Collection" debacle continues. Last month we received word that Konami was working with Hijinx Studios to fix the bugs that have made the "Silent HD Collection" all but unplayable.

Now we have the reason why there are bugs present in the supposedly up-dated HD versions of "Silent Hill 2" and "Silent Hill 3."

Apparently, Konami didn't keep the final versions of the game code for either games and Hijinx Studios used the beta versions (an unfinished version of the game code that still has bugs in it) of "Silent Hill 2" and "Silent Hill 3" to make the "Silent HD Collection."

The decision to create HD versions of video games without the final game codes has created a total nightmare of a monster scenario to fix including missing textures, frame rate issues and a whole mess of other bugs that now plague what were once near perfect survival horror games.

But hey, at least now I know why they changed some of the soundtracks in the new versions of Heather's dialog in "Silent Hill 3." It wasn't an artist choice to change the music, they lost the damn audio files.



In an interview with 1up.com, Tomm Huelett stated that the source code used for the Silent Hill HD Collection, the code that Konami kept on file for "Silent 2" and "Silent Hill 3," wasn't the code used in the final, polished versions of the games that were released for the PS2.

"We got all the source code that Konami had on file -- which it turns out wasn't the final release version of the games! D'oh! 


So during debug we didn't just have to deal with the expected 'porting' bugs, but also had to squash some bugs that the original team obviously removed prior to release, but we'd never seen before. A lot of assets such as textures and sound had to be taken out of the compiled game, and that brings with it a host of unique issues, especially taken on top of the tricky coding workarounds at play in the original games. We certainly had our hands full. I think at one point Heather was blue."

And that is why there are so many bugs in the "Silent Hill HD Collection," they used beta versions of the games to make the code which still had bugs in it, and not the finished versions, which were polished and did not have the bugs in them.

The lesson here: Don't use old code, especially from a beta version of the game, to port an old game into a new gaming console. Use the finished game and reverse engineer it and format it for a newer gaming system.

"Ten years ago, a lot of game companies assumed the games were 'done' once development finished, and that they wouldn't need to use that data ever again. Now it's clear that having all that data in an easy-to-manage format is important. Many consumers don't realize you can't just buy a copy of SH2 and then open up its code in a usable state."

According to 1up.com, Hulett is just as angry about how Silent Hill came out as we are, and he is currently working alongside Hijinx Studios to make sure an upcoming patch fixes as many of the bugs as it possibly can.

"After our initial patch, I played through Silent Hill HD Collection armed with righteous indignation and Internet complaint threads. I made a list of every issue I could find. Hijinx is hard at work addressing as many of those issues as is feasible given our resources."

Meaning, we'll do what we can to fix it, but we only have a certain amount of money available to fund the programming of the patch codes. *Sigh*

When the new magical patch that will fix all the terrible bugs in Silent Hill HD Collection will be released is still up in the air. The April 25th announcement that they are currently working on the patch stated that it will be released in the coming weeks, which could mean next week, or two months from now.

All we can do now is wait.

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