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Tomm Hulett looks WayForward, and looks back on Silent Hill


Speaking to Joystiq, former Silent Hill producer Tomm Hulett has confirmed his move from Konami to developer WayForward. He also told us the nature of his new job.

"I'm a Director, which means I set the creative vision for the game, and then work with everyone else to make sure we surpass it!" Hulett said. "In layman's terms, I get paid to talk about games all day." As for the specific games he's talking about all day, or working on: "Ha! Nice try."

Hulett was drawn to WayForward (with whom he'd worked as a producer at Konami on Contra 4, Silent Hill: Book of Memories, and others) because of its tendency toward "old school" gameplay. "Additionally," he noted, "when the Konami teams of yore left the company, they gravitated toward Treasure – and I've long considered WayForward their western equivalent – so I'm keeping tradition alive." Hulett also looks forward to being "even more involved in game development – my calling, you know."

The new Director is happy, as most would be, to be free of Silent Hill for the time being. "While I do hope to get back to horror someday in the future, I'm an avid fan of most genres," Hulett said. "During my time at Konami, I spearheaded Rocket Knight, and of course Contra 4 – with WayForward! – so I'm looking forward to escaping Silent Hill for a bit and exploring the rest of the gaming landscape again."

Having left Konami, Hulett considers himself part of the Silent Hill "fanbase" once again. "The Silent Hill fanbase is quite varied, and most of them truly love the series and just want to know the people in charge of it love it too," Hulett said. "It was always a joy to interact with them."

Well, maybe not always. "Obviously I was disappointed that a small segment of fans disliked me enough to dedicate several hours of video to slander and discredit me. But! Now I'm back to being part of the fanbase; I know I'll be optimistically looking forward to whatever is next for my favorite horror series."

Looking back at his work with that series, Hulett finds a lot of accomplishments to be proud of. "Overall I'm proud that we could retain Silent Hill's unique focus – away from action and more toward atmosphere and mystery – during my tenure at Konami," he said. "In a time when most horror franchises started depending on loud Hollywood-style action, Silent Hill held onto its Lynchian/Jacob's Ladder roots."

In more specific terms, Hulett highlights Silent Hill: Shattered Memories as a noteworthy accomplishment. "It tells a mature story with a great ending in a unique way, all without bludgeoning monsters with a pipe. It really takes horror back to its point-and-click roots." Conversely, he's pleased with Downpour's development as a "traditional" Silent Hill game. "Of course I couldn't have done any of that alone, and so I'd like to thank the development teams for pouring their hearts into the games and putting up with my annoyingly detailed fix lists."

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