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Alan Wake

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Alan Wake reveal story is “100% true,” expect more on Friday

 

A Finnish source has told VG247 this morning that a Pelaaja story claiming a new Alan Wake trailer is to be shown at the Finnish premiere of the Max Payne movie is “100 percent true”.

 

We’ve also been told that Pelaaja is to publish more on the game this Friday.

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Alan Wake: has it been found?

 

It seems after a year or two of nothing, Alan Wake is about to step out of the gaming wilderness. We find out what's what...

 

It was only recently that we questioned what had happened to one of the most promising looking games of recent times, Alan Wake. Had it become another Duke Nukem Forever, disappearing into a cauldron from which the occasional screenshot would emerge, and not a lot more? Or was it just that developer Remedy was keeping to its promise to keep schtum unless it actually had something to say? Whichever, what was certain was that nothing had been heard from the game – billed as a psychological thriller – for a couple of years, in spite of occasional rumours that new footage was to be shown.

 

And yet we may have, finally, had some kind of breakthrough. Remedy’s previous games, the Max Payne titles, have just about completed their journey to the big screen. The Max Payne movie (from which we have some concept art here) is set to be released from the middle of October (the UK gets it a month later), and rumours emerged from Pelaaja – a Scandinavian gaming site – that a trailer for the game would be attached to the cinema release of the film in Finland. The translation of the rumour read along the lines of “It's our great pleasure to announce that, after two years of silence, Alan Wake is going to be showcased by Remedy in the form of a new trailer”. ‘Super Moderator’ Morry than chipped in with “The only event we can confirm is the trailer at this point, consider everything else a rumour”.

 

As with most Alan Wake rumours, this was generally acknowledged yet dismissed. But that didn’t stop there being levels of interest in the story, and this has since been followed up by the website Videogaming 247. Quoting a Finnish source, the site reports that the rumour of an Alan Wake trailer is “100 percent true”, going on to suggest that further news on the game is set to be published in Pelaaja by the end of the week.

 

Furthermore, over at the Alan Wake forums, the Forum’s Tech Director has posted that “I know I'm not a Remedy Staff member but I can confirm this story. Plus Pelaaja (more specifically Thomas Puha) have good relations with Remedy and are quite trustworthy.”

 

It could be, after long, empty months of nothingness, that Alan Wake is shortly to make his first steps in some time towards the world. Because you’d have to logically suspect that if a trailer was being shown at in front of a major blockbuster – even if it is one based on a videogame, and thus playing to slightly more of a niche audience than usual – that the game is nearing some kind of finished state. After all, what’s the point of promoting something in this way to a broad market if nobody is going to be able to buy it for a year or two yet?

 

Nonetheless, the mere appearance of something new from the game does go some way to dampening speculation that it had run into trouble, or disappeared off the radar altogether. For now, though, we can’t help but side with the commenter at Videogaming 247, who succinctly notes “About bloody time. It’d better not be sh*t!”.

 

Quite.

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Remedy explains why Alan Wake is taking so long and confirms new trailer for this month

 

The site of Finnish mag Pelaaja is about to publish a 50-minute podcast which includes an in-depth chat with Remedy lead writer Sami Järvi on the current state of Alan Wake, why it’s taking so long and a proper confirmation that a new trailer is to be shown in Finland on October 15.

From the podcast:

  • The reason it’s taking so long is simply that it’s a small team and building an open world game is very tough. They just want to take their time with it, but it’s definitely making progress.
  • The reason for a new trailer is simple. The team mostly came up with it on a whim due to the release Max Payne movie. Also, the company just wanted to show something new on the game.
  • Remedy’s using some of its old Rockstar contacts for the title’s development. Navid Khonsari who handled most of the mocap and VO directing in Rockstar’s games prior to GTA4 is apparently working on voice directing.
  • Remedy owns the Alan Wake IP, so the firm’s able to take its time with it, though Järvi admits in the interview it’s taking a long time to make. Remedy insists that it’s not that it won’t ever be happy with the game, but the team just wants to make it as good as it can be.

We’re assuming the interview’s in Finnish, but you will be wanted to keep that URL in mind…

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Alan Wake Comes Out of Hiding

 

No, it's not canned. It's still coming.

 

After two years of silence, Alan Wake developer Remedy is gearing up to release a new trailer of its game in Finland to coincide with the release of the Max Payne movie (Remedy also developed Max Payne). Remedy granted us an exclusive interview with Sam Lake, the developer's lead writer behind both Max Payne games and the Microsoft exclusive Alan Wake. Sam's been at Remedy since 1996, and besides lending his jacket to the character, he also lent his face for the first incarnation of Max Payne.

 

1UP: Was releasing a new Alan Wake trailer in Finland your plan for a while or was it more of a spur of the moment thing with the Max Payne movie coming out? What are your hopes with the trailer?

 

Sam Lake: Honestly, a spur of the moment thing. At Remedy, we make cinematic games that draw inspiration from TV series and movies, and we started to talk about how cool it would be to see Alan Wake on the big screen. In Finland, with the Max Payne movie, it proved out to be an easy thing to arrange. We have been silent for a long while, concentrating on developing the game, and it felt good to remind everyone what Alan Wake is all about.

 

1UP: How does it feel to see something like Max Payne the movie, which is based on something you've written and created, on the big screen interpreted by somebody else?

 

SL: I haven't seen the movie yet, but I certainly look forward to it. It's fantastic and flattering to think that something you created and worked on for many years is strong enough that others want to take it and make their own interpretation out of it. That's one side of it. On the other hand I feel a bit nervous, as this is the first incarnation of Max Payne I have not been involved in at all. I'm sure it will be a surreal experience for me to see the movie. And I'll try my best not to be overly critical about it. [smiles]

 

1UP: It's been a long time since you've shown the game. What has been going on in the past few years -- has the game design changed along the way?

SL: It's natural for the design to go through changes. With the first Max Payne, we were only a couple of months from the release when the bullet-time found its final form. We always knew we wanted something like that in the game, but we went though many different iterations until we found the final design. Alan Wake remains true to the original vision of the game, but we are still fine-tuning different elements, making sure that this will be a best possible realization of that vision.

 

1UP: What would you say are the key ingredients in a Remedy game, and is there something specifically Finnish in the game?

SL: We want to entertain. Remedy games are all about a strong story, a strong lead character and cinematic action. I think that the quirky, idyllic small town setting we all know from a few very good TV shows has something very Finnish in it. You don't have to drive that many miles from Helsinki to find yourself in the middle of it. Truth is always stranger than fiction.

 

1UP: Can you talk about the themes of the game and more about the television show/DVD box set inspired story-telling? How is this evident in the actual game?

 

SL: The game is a psychological action thriller, and as such, everything revolves around the mind of the main character -- the things that lurk in the depths of his subconscious mind. How an artist transports what's inside him, in this case his fears, to the outside world through his art. Themes that many writers have explored -- Stephen King for one, Paul Auster, Bret Easton Ellis, and so on.

 

We think of Alan Wake as Alan Wake season one; the game is the DVD box of a season of a television series turned into a videogame. The experience is divided into episodes with cliffhanger endings and there is a supporting cast of characters around Wake himself.

 

1UP: You are in a rare position of owning the Alan Wake IP, which gives you leverage in working on the game. But with such a long development period, how's the morale at Remedy been during the project? Though, we think it's cool that you can work on the game for a long time making its as good as it can be!

 

SL: I love what I do. Sure, there are highs and there are lows, but that's only natural in such a big project. Making games is not easy. Our quality bar is high. The great thing about working with a talented team is that whenever you are feeling tired you are bound to see something someone else has made for the project that gives you a needed boost and drives you to meet their expectations in your own work.

 

1UP: Can you describe your work as a writer on the project? How your role has evolved during the development?

 

SL: First and foremost, if you want to make a game with a story, you need to have a writer or a writing team involved in the project from the very beginning all the way to the end. You can take this with a grain of salt if you want -- this is a writer speaking, after all -- but at Remedy, we start with the high level vision, and that already includes the main character, the setting and the main themes of the story and the game. After that, more people become involved as we figure out the core gameplay and what's possible from the technology side. Then a story synopsis is made with the core gameplay in mind. The idea is naturally to create a story that provides opportunities for the core gameplay as often as possible. After that, we divide the whole thing into gameplay segments. Based on that, I create a scene outline. Detailed plans for each segment are made after that. Finally, a screenplay is written. With Max Payne 2, I wrote the last dialogue lines just two weeks before we went gold.

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What's taking so long?

- We want the game to be good, it takes time

- Relatively small studio even though we have hired more staff

- Our expectations are high and we want to meet them

- Our team is ambitious

- Doing open-ended games is hard

- If everything worked out the first time, it wouldn't take so long (Trial and error)

- Competition is hard

- After Max Payne we thought that it would be easier but for example technologically things have gone forward really fast

 

What was ready when you first showed the game in E3 2005?

- concept, vision, technology, game world, game engine

- actual gameplay in prototype-state

- we were showing people the idea, vision behind the game (they were still looking for publisher at that time)

 

Has the game changed?

-The vision behind the game is still the same

-Gameplay mechanics lives and changes throughout the development cycle as we test and try new stuff

-We are trying different stuff to find the perfect Alan Wake -game

-For example, the bullet time feature in Max Payne was perfected just months before the game shipped

 

Why is the team size so small?

-Control over development

-We want that things work

-Aggressive recruiting while in a big project is a risk, lots of examples of this

-Making the game is the priority

 

Trailer

-The idea of making a trailer to be shown before Max Payne movie started off as a joke

-We probably wouldn't have done a trailer had the movie not came out.

-Remedy's games are cinematic

-Funny idea to see Alan Wake on "big screen"

-The idea of "between friends only" as it's shown only in Finland

-It was easy to work things out with the film's distributor

-The basic idea behind the trailer is to show an atmospheric trailer and a glimpse of how the game looks today and to remind people about the game

-"Hands-on gameplay stuff" coming a bit to the future, we don't want to show it "just yet"

 

Max Payne Movie

-Surrealistic vibe, really cool when you think that we made something that interested Hollywood so much that they have made their own version of it

-I'm a little nervous because it's a project in which I haven't been involved in any way and everything we have done with Max Payne before has been under our control

-We have no idea what's coming

-Mark Wahlberg is an excellent choice for Max

-We sold the movie rights before the first game came out

-We'll wait and see what we want to do with Alan Wake's movie rights

 

Alan Wake's storytelling:

-Lot of cinematic and plot elements to be included as part of the game

-Trying to be much like a modern TV series

-Thriller, atmosphere is a bit like in Max Payne, has it serious side but some humor as well

-Totally different type of story and genre than in Max Payne

-Crazy people and strange stuff going on in the village where the game is taking place

 

Episodic?

-goal: same type of experience you get from a season dvd box of a tv series

-the game is divided into episodes

-pacing, development of plot is structured the same way than in a tv season

-cliffhanger moment at the end of an episode

-we want to have players to get the feeling of "just one more episode and then I'll stop playing"

-the ending leaves some things open for a sequel but ties up the main plot, just like in tv series

 

When is it coming out?

-When it's done

-We have a good vibe about the game and the current development process

 

source

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1. Trailer better not be CG. Which it won't, but just saying.

 

2. It's still in 'when it's done' mode after all these years? Even Heavy Rain has a date damnit.

 

3. Episodic style content is still unproven. That said, this is Remedy we're talking about so I'm sure they'll teach Eden a thing or two at the end of the day.

 

4. FINISH THE GAME!

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Man....:majesty:

Why don't remedy hire more people and get the game out before i.....dunno...just get it out allready.

If it is something similar to the max payne story telling. I'm SOLD!

im guessing this delay has something to do with max payne 3 game -making and release!

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