The art assets for the original Killzone, needed to remake the game in HD for PS3, were found in a shoebox in the cellar of one of the studio's IT Support staff, Guerrilla senior programmer Frank Compagner has revealed.
"I was asked to dig up the source code and the original assets for the game – things like models, textures and sounds," Compagner told the PS Blog. "Guerrilla used a completely different versioning system in 2004, so we knew direct retrieval of the assets was going to be tricky. By comparison, obtaining the source code was slightly easier, because we found a copy in our current CVS."
Technical director Michiel van der Leeuw added: "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 archaeologist, someone to dig into the depths of our backup archives and unearth whatever they could."
And it wasn't just a challenge from a technical standpoint – simply getting their hands on the data proved a challenge.
"The first issue we ran into was that we no longer had a machine to read most of the tapes," explained Compagner. "And the second issue was that the tapes were stored, uh, offsite...
"By which I mean, in a shoebox in the cellar of one of our IT support staff members, without a list of contents of any kind."
"Like I said, we were young and we used to do things differently back in those days."
The effort has been worth it though, says van der Leeuw.
"I think the conversion team did a terrific job. The original Killzone was a product of Guerrilla's high ambitions and youthful enthusiasm, but at the time we didn't quite have the experience to pack all of those ambitions into the space provided by the PlayStation 2 platform.
"The conversion team has gone in and made sure everything fits and runs smoothly this time, fully realizing Guerrilla's original vision for the game. This is Killzone as it was meant to be played."
You can play Killzone HD when it is released on October 23.