Killzone HD Dev: “This Is Killzone As It Was Meant To Be Played”

The original Killzone title on the PS2 is now getting a HD version on the PS3 on October 24. It has taken the game nearly eight years to be remastered in HD and fans of the franchise can’t wait to add it to their PS3 library of games.

In a developer interview posted on the PS Blog, Michiel Leeuw (Technical Director) and Frank Compagner (Senior Programmer) talk about some of their experiences during the conversion process.

Leeuw said that the decision to bring the game on to the PS3 was discussed many a times.

Internally we had talked about bringing Killzone to PlayStation 3 before – Killzone fans frequently asked us about it, and we knew from other developers that such projects could be a lot of fun.

The conversation process was not at all an easy task since eight years ago Guerrilla’s working methods were a bit different.

The biggest challenge we faced with regard to obtaining the assets was that Guerrilla’s whole way of working was different back then. The assets had been backed up to tape at one point, but that was almost eight years and two tape robots ago. So we needed an archeologist, someone to dig into the depths of our backup archives and unearth whatever they could.

The archeologist was Compagner and he explains what the two major problems were that he faced immediately.

The first issue we ran into was that we no longer had a machine to read most of the tapes. And the second issue was that the tapes were stored, uh, offsite…

On probing he mentioned that they were stored “in a shoebox in the cellar of one of our IT support staff members, without a list of contents of any kind.”

It took considerable time locating the right tapes and then having IT support transfer the data for them. Then came the problem of naming conventions in the code.

The challenge there was getting the source code to compile. Owing to the different standards and naming conventions we followed back in those days, that was quite a puzzle in and of itself.

Compagner cited an example for this:

A simple example would be the code and header files pertaining to Rico Velasquez; most of them referred to him by a different name, because he started out as an Asian character during development and we never got around to changing it to Rico in the source code.

Leeuw concluded by commending the conversion team for a job well done. The game, he said is running better than ever on the PS3 and that “this is Killzone as it was meant to be played.”