Hello everyone! Welcome to the next entry in The Silver Case devlog! This is Douglas again.
Today I’d like to go over the 3D graphics in The Silver Case as well as the changes we are making in that area.
The graphics of the original game was partially limited due to the ability of the hardware in 1999, but also was partially a result of intentional design decisions by SUDA51 and his team at the then newly-formed Grasshopper Manufacture.
One of the key aspects for the remaster project was to retain the intentional design decisions while also updating the areas that were limited by the PS1’s hardware.This meant that we had to carry out visual improvements, all while retaining the hybrid mix of a late 1990s setting with sci-fi elements.
To accomplish this, we are using a combination of refined original assets, bump and height maps, updated models, and even modern render effects, such as enhanced light reflections. In simple terms, we are taking the original work and rebuilding it with modern effects, all the while keeping the same atmosphere The Silver Case originally portrayed.
The “Typhoon” apartment complex, from the Spectrum chapter shows us how the game has been visually remastered.This is room 402 in the PS1 version:
This was our original version that we submitted to SUDA51 for review:
This was considered to be on the right track, but insufficient. With further guidelines, we revised it, towards this:
See what changed? The height of the wall tiles was adjusted, light levels and contrast were adjusted for the whole scene, but it still needed further adjustments as it wasn’t portraying the desired atmosphere yet.
Here we can see that the corner wall was made flush, so the shelf unit wouldn’t feel as recessed; its small details like this throughout the whole game that we have to pay close attention to.
This also applied to many of the 2D elements throughout the game as well, especially in the mini-games:
For the Hit-and-Blow mini-game, we kept the layout the same, but updated the feeling of the lit elements to enhance the light and made the metal frame feel more metallic. As well as this, we also simplified the number section of the game, to clearly indicate to the player what to do (eg. Shifting the numbers up and down). This also allowed us to remove the now extraneous indicator light from above the numbers.
It is through changes like these and such attention to detail that we are bringing The Silver Case to the desired level. We could go into more detail discussing the game’s evolution, but I would rather save that for another devlog.