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Alan Wake

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#91
SchizoidFreud

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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.
What a long, strange trip it's been.

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#92
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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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#93
KrackChap

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new screen

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#94
MarketTantrik

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^^ Holy Mother :shock3:

#95
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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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#96
zen

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oh the screen shot was so beautiful!!

#97
gautham080

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nice


QUOTE
FuNn On ShOut
(Today, 10:51 PM) aman -- pushy use some better welcoming sentence like- oh mere swami aa gaye
(Today, 10:50 PM) pushy -- OMFG Sam is here'z
(Today, 12:16 AM) pushy -- MAN, i stopped being like a MAN, i am a hawas ka pujari now

#98
devil_angel

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the visuals look better and better ..........hope they reveal the confirmed date of release of the game ......can't wait! :bigyellowgrin:
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#99
L33TWiZaRd

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Man....:bandit:
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!

#100
devil_angel

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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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#101
KrackChap

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trailer up

http://download.reme...ailer_1080p.wmv

Mirrors:
http://www.gamersyde...ws_7249_en.html

Stream:
http://www.gamersyde...am_9115_en.html

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#102
KrackChap

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awesome. looks like alone in the dark made by a AAA developer.
btw looks like the gfx got downgraded

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#103
Keyofx

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New screenshots


Edit: What KC said.

Edited by keyofx, 21 October 2008 - 11:29 PM.

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#104
nash

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Sexeh

#105
HundredProofSam

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i never thought id ever post stuff like this, but the cloth textures in the last screenshot KC posted look good



peace
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#106
KrackChap

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screens not from the 360 version :eyebrow2:

Q: Why release a trailer now?
A: The inspiration behind making this trailer was to see it alongside the Max Payne movie premiere on the silver screen, and we wanted a movie feel to it. Thatís also the reason itís in ďCinemaScopeĒ 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Besides, I think we owed it to our fans :love:.

Q: Is this from the game engine?
A: With the exception of title screens (Remedy/MGS/Alan Wake), itís all from the game engine. The depth-of-field effects have been added as a post-process to enhance the visual storytelling.

SCREENSHOTS:

Q: What platform was used?
A: PC. The shots were taken in 1080p resolution (using 4xMSAA) and scaled down to 720p for web release. We are only releasing a few shots, and we wanted these to be usable for print purposes as well, therefore the higher resolution. The game looks very good on Xbox360 too but only runs in 720p.

Q: Thereís cool Depth-of-Field in the Cabin shot, is this real time?
A: That shot is from the Cinematic Trailer. We intend to use DOF effects to enhance storytelling in the in-game cinematics, but (at least at the moment ) it is done as an offline post process. Otherwise that image is fully rendered by the game engine.


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#107
KrackChap

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#108
Keyofx

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btw looks like the gfx got downgraded


I think its just a case of them not being completely honest about their earlier screenshots :P


Its a good thing the setting makes up for the slightly lacking texture detail. MGS this isn't.

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#109
HundredProofSam

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trailer looks awesome...but the game is probably too scary for me :P



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#110
KrackChap

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AW had 4 clear goals for the design:
1) Psychological action thriller
2) Introduces light as a part of the new gameplay mechanic
3) A movie like story, set in a big, free roam environment
4) Must score 9+ from reviews

- No set release date. They'll work for as long as they feel they need to. Quality is the highest priority.

- Remedy consists of only 30 people. (They outsource a lot)

- They couldn't find a suitable engine, so they made their own.

- Their SDK are so flexible that they can test all changes on both platforms as soon as they are made.

- They've taken 40 000 pictures for the game in the northwest US. They might take antoher 40 000 before they are done.

- Story is told like a TV-series, where doing missions advances the plot. Some "episodes" end in cliffhangers, others are slower paced and geared towards character development and showing Alan's past. They want to get that "Just one more episode" addiction in the game.

- The script for Max Payne 2 was 650 pages long (with a page for every mintue of action in the game). The script for AW will be multiple times longer.

- The plot in AW is tied to episodes, but the world isn't. You'll be able to wander around Bright Falls freely and without any artificial rush, but the story won't advance if you just roam the forests aimlessly.

- Lots of exploring and talking to other people can reveal surprising secrets.

- A strong light vs dark theme. A setting sun means bad news for mr Wake. At night you have to find shelter or arm yourself. Light is the only weapon against the shadowy figures, since they are invulnerable in the dark. Too bad Alan is allergic to light (?).

- "What is real and what is just Alan's nightmare?"

- Battles will be desgined with "quality over quantity" in mind. They want the battles to feel special and exciting.

- "The furhter the 'first season of Alan Wake' progresses, the longer the night for the writer becomes"


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#111
Keyofx

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Know what that trailer reminds me of?

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (and The Secret Window SK short story)

small town, small diner, EPIC mystery!



AWESOME TRAILER.

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#112
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Great trailer :P

Whoop! Whoop!


#113
Harsahil

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its just too sad that this game is developed by MGS which means it won't be ported over to PS3 sooner or later :P

#114
Keyofx

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Developed by Remedy/Published by MGS.

You can still play it on the PC :D

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I'll show you that a superior mobile suit has its limits when it goes up against a superior pilot!


#115
lastAvenger

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i hope this comes out before the new xbox :D

#116
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this game will compete with HEAVY RAIN on the ps3.

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#117
shockwave

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Yeah, 360 and PC are enough, covers the majority of audience out there.

Great trailer, and I agree, I am waiting for this as much as I'm waiting for Heavy rain. This will be my first horror game. :D (yes I am a phattu :O)

Edited by shockwave, 22 October 2008 - 01:59 AM.

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#118
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Ya I would agree here. Graphics are nothing like promised by first screenhots. To be honest, there is just nothing which isnt done by many other games. Yes the atmospheric feel is there, but thats about it. It gives me DiRT or Pure type feel in graphics, with pine trees and a bit low-texture mountain sides. I know its not an accurate comparison, but it just gave me that feel. The grass and small trees look like from Tomb Raider Legend.

Yes you might laugh on my comparison, but I would leave them at that. :P

I am disappointed. I did see the trailer too and I agree that it looks a bit better there because of the atmosphere but overall its not a graphical achievement. And I suspect graphics were downgraded to better accommodate 360 and older PCs.

#119
Tyler

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As long as I get a game with a great story and atmosphere, graphics don't mean sh*t.

#120
Bulovski

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Agreed. Story looks promising. Setting reminds me of the first Blair Witch game - scared me to no end. If that environment is done through game engine then :shock3:
The character models look good - but not ground breaking.

I will get there





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