Remedy on Alan Wake and development philosophy

GDC Europe 2009: Matias Myllyrinne details his firm's attitudes on creating great games and managing original intellectual property.

by

COLOGNE, Germany--According to managing director Matias Myllyrinne, "Having the name of the character as the name of the game is important for every Remedy game." That said, this has its problems. For the sequel, half the studio wanted to go with "Max Payne 2," but Myllyrinne preferred "The Fall of Max Payne." In the end, they combined both and went with "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne"--a compromise he rues to this day. "We should have gone with one or the other," he moans at the beginning of his GDC Europe keynote speech. Thankfully, things are back to normal with Alan Wake, the next original IP from Remedy due in 2010.

"With Max Payne, we had a vision of a film noir narrative and mixing it with a Hong Kong action flick. With Alan Wake, we wanted to do a thriller in a small town. Alan Wake will define the action thriller category in games then cross over to other forms of entertainment. It will become a household entertainment brand." These are boastful claims for a brand new title, but Remedy has seven key pillars of new IP creation that it believes will lead it to success.

Myllyrinne explains the challenges of developing with new IP.

"A strong lead character is key," he said, highlighting the first point with pictures of both Max Payne and Alan Wake. Combine this with a third-person viewpoint, and Remedy's aim is to focus completely on the lead character. The next aim is to attract as big an audience as possible. "Our goal is to entertain the most people in the best possible way," said Myllyrinne. The basic concept has to be approachable and something people can easily relate to, with Myllyrinne listing "World War II, dragons, hardcore sci-fi, or women with tight leather outfits" as things Remedy will never do in its games.

Cinematics are also an important part of the mix, with a preference for "movie realism." One example of this is that the guns in Alan Wake are 50 percent bigger than they are in real life, after receiving user feedback that they looked too weedy in standard configuration. That said, real-world believability is still important--the Pacific Northwest setting is familiar to most audiences, and it also has the benefit of being close to Microsoft's head office for research purposes. Story depth and atmosphere are also a key facet of a Remedy game according to Myllyrinne, as is action, which will be obvious to anyone who has played Remedy's previous games.

For more on Alan Wake, including our E3 09 impressions, head over to the game space now. The full game is out on the Xbox 360 next year, with a PC version possibly in the works too.

Discussion

54 comments
AlfaxD_Centauro
AlfaxD_Centauro

@painguy1 Yeah, will be a PC version too. Will be like 10x better than Xbox. And I hope Remedy use DX11 (Windows 7) will be like 20x Better than Xbox.

AlfaxD_Centauro
AlfaxD_Centauro

Just there are 2 Games of psychological action thriller for 2010 (for now) Alan Wake, I will get it for PC and Heavy Rain (PS3 for sure). Hope more psychological thriller games.

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

Every 360 owner should buy or atleast play this game when it comes out Im getting it by the way!! :D

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

painguy1, i think its a fairly safe bet that this will appear on PC.

Excedra
Excedra

Alan...Wake up!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha awesome!!!!!!!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I love Remedy and cant wait for this, i only wish they were doing Max Payne 3.

painguy1
painguy1

I hope Microsoft allows a PC version....i need to talk to my uncle...;)

okassar
okassar

That trailer gave me goosebumps and this game will be SIIIIICCCKCKCKCK!!!

wcw6
wcw6

@Baramos6 U want me to mail you pics of my console system and game cartridges and 5.25 floppy disks I use to boot up PCs just to play my old Dos games, I'll be more than happy to do so. U obviously edited your previous message after I posted. lol making up stuff, now that's creative...... Nah, I'm not making pointless facts, just dispelling crap about PC gaming like I already mentioned and again you're the one who chipped in from nowhere.

Baramos6
Baramos6

@wcw Whatever you say kid, it's obvious you can't read and want to say whatever little thing could come to your mind, so just forget it, you fail at every point you tried making, and asking where i was during the Nintendo days just proves you can't read. NES= Nintendo Entertainment System, so it's obvious your just making up you were around that day. I love PC gaming and I love Console gaming, and you, you just like making pointless facts and not actually checking up what you are writing about, so don't even bother replying.

Red122
Red122

Alan Wake will be awesome reminds me of Silent Hill the way it should have been

wcw6
wcw6

@Baramos6 Lol u call me kid? Where were u during the 80286/Apple II/Atari/Nintendo days? Whatever dude, have it your way. Doesn't seem you have anything to argue with anymore.

Baramos6
Baramos6

@wcw6 Really? You again, read my posts before replying, I'm directing this to "Fan boys." Elitists, get the picture. I can do the whole lol thing too, but really just pathetic if you cant read "fan boys," don't bother replying until you learn to read. School's starting soon kid, maybe once you pass 4th grade you'll actually be able to read posts before replying lol...

wcw6
wcw6

@ Baramos6 I assure you PC gamers jolly well know what exclusives are. By your logic I can say not all console players take exclusivity news well either. Whether their beloved exclusive franchise is about to become multiplatform or another game they wanna play is exclusive to the other console. Irrelevant? I wouldn't call dispelling falsehoods of the PC Gaming made by other posters here, irrelevant. You're the one who chipped in and assumed all PC gamers don't know anything about consoles, lol Cheers~

Baramos6
Baramos6

@wcw6 Really? Calling me a crybaby isn't going to really do much other than prove that my comment did have an effect on you. The crybaby comment was at the PC fan boys that can't seem to realize that there are such things as exclusives, and what irritates me is that they never really confirmed that it is in-fact an exclusive; so just quit crying until they actually say "360 exclusive." Stop trying to bring irrelevant garbage to my posts, I made my point before I don't need to do it again, good day. And, by the way yeah I've been in consoles and PC's since the good old Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy Games on NES, the days of the early Duke Nuken Side scroller days, commander Keen and Labyrinth on PC. I won't name them all, but yeah I've been everywhere you have been. So before you assume anything, read my earlier posts before naming me a crybaby. Good try though.

jazilla
jazilla

How about just finish the game, or don't make games that you aren't equipped to make in a decent amount of time, OR stop giving canned responses as to why this is taking so long and be honest. It would be refreshing.

wcw6
wcw6

@slayersdeath200 I'm just gonna quote what I posted in another GS article earlier on regarding your post: "PC Gaming requiring a huge amount of cash to maintain is a gigantic myth. Anyone who decides on what hardware they want and what hardware is most worthy of cash will get a good workable PC that can last for at least 3 years without spending a fortune. People have said their PCs lasted for 5 years and still are able to play games. Not to mention the many, many other things you can do on a PC other than play games." I don't get the best hardware at all. Just one that can last for years.

wcw6
wcw6

@Baramos6 Don't assume too much before speaking... I've been playing console games since the Nintendo days and spent a great deal of time in arcades as well. Super Mario, Contra, MegaMan, Sonic, Double Dragon, Golden Axe, Street Fighter 2, KOF, Final Fantasy 4-8 etc, etc. To the newer games like Resident Evil series, Gears of War, Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden etc etc. How's about u wiseguy? I'm just responding to the person who doesn't know anything about PC Gaming and claims he knows alot and spreading crap around. You're the one who took offense, assumed too much, spoke stuff that doesn't seem to have been posted here and is ultimately the real crybaby.

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

@pilouuuu2004 With Pc games you have to have the spec on your computer for that game take crysis for example you have to have a High end machine to play it but someone like you thinks that i have a pc i must be able to play it and its going to look awesome. NO! console gamer is someone who doesn't want to fork out more than double the amount of money to play one game so they have the better choice of having a console and being able to play all games for that system and not worrying about have i got enough RAM or my graphics card isn't good enough or my CPU has got enough gigahertz. I play pc and console games and i prefer the console.

qweasd54
qweasd54

@ Baramos6 your absolutely right m8 cheers :)

Baramos6
Baramos6

@ pilouuuu2004 and wcw6 And what do you know about Console gaming? You obviously know nothing as Console exclusives have good stories and nice graphics as well but apparently you both can't see the world of gaming other than the PC. I mean it's sad to see bashing from people that have never touched the machine their putting down... You say Console games have no stories, well the games on pc get some bad ones as well, or are you not aware that the all so famous rip off of a game Limbo of the Lost was a PC only game. So I don't know where you get your information from, but PC exlcusives can be just as bad and at times even worse. Next, you say console gamers can't handle games that are slow paced? Where did you get this from? There's plenty of games that are slow paced on every machine, just because it's not coming to your platform doesn't mean it's going to be hated. You just hate the fact that your not getting your own way, and are blaming it on the wrong people, but too bad, the world doesn't revolve around you and get used to it. PC Fan boys are such crybaby's

lobotomies4free
lobotomies4free

they usually aren't the best GAMES but who doesn't like a woman in a tight leather outfit? Hardcore sci-fi has it's good points too

wcw6
wcw6

@Petri87 Lol, you obviously know nothing about PC Gaming. Maybe you haven't even come across the words: Digital Distribution, Indie game developement and open source game developement. 3 of these terms are bigger than you think. And if you think modern day AAA titles, like Crysis and GOW are everything(which the PC still gets), think again. If people are having more fun and spending more time on a $5 indie game or an open-sourced game than a modern day AAA game, you obviously know something is wrong. Maybe we should just call them graphical tech demos instead of games.

pilouuuu2004
pilouuuu2004

@petri87 lol it seems my comments offended a few console fanboys. I don't intend to bash on consoles, but honestly PC is the best machine. By best graphics I mean support for better resolutions, more AA and better frame rates. When I say that it is going to be a failure it is because Remedy is primarly a PC developer. I'm not sure console gamers will be able to enjoy its games. It is not a fast FPS with little to no story, unless they have dumbed it down for consoles. Well, I'm not completely sure that it will be a failure, but I certainly wish so if only to show developers that PC must be the leading release.

cube-gage
cube-gage

OMG, I saw this game way back when I watched E3 coverage like 5 years ago. I thought it would be XBOX 360 killer app, maybe it will be but damn its a long wait for you xbox guys. This is the game equivalent of Dr.Dre Detox.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I am so pumped for Alan Wake

lamprey263
lamprey263

I hope this game is worth the 5 year wait from it's E3 '05 announcement to it's 2010 release. This game looks really good... which kind of worries me, I just hope it's not so good looking they focused their efforts making cutscenes and it ends up being 70% cutscene just like MGS4; a game should be played, not watched.

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

PC gaming is dieing just because there are limitations on graphics. I'm sorry, but a game running on max graphics with this months technology just ISN'T going to look 10x or 20x better then a console. Graphics are already pushing the limitations of the actual hardware. Haven't you seen that the majority of people are now putting more empahsis on physics rather then graphics? There will always be money in PC gaming, untill the console provides everything a PC can. And honestly, the PS3 is pretty close to doing it. I dunno if MS allows mouse and keyboard on the X360 beyond certain features.

Petri87
Petri87

@pilouuuu2004 - It will be a huge failure if it doesn't come to the PC. Give me a break! Yes, you do get higher res graphics and mouse and keyboard controls. So what. Just releasing a game on PC vs. only on 360 witch makes more money? Crysis forced Crytek to start making multi platform releases vs. Gears Of War thats one of the best selling games on 360 and made an @ss load of money and Cliff could buy his 5th gold Yacht. Halo IS one of the biggest names in gaming. CoD has made more money on consoles since it came there while no one is playing it on PC. Yeah, the best thing from a publisher/developer pov is to make a PC only game. I totally agree. Even Command & Conqure sells better on the 360 then on PC. Consoles don't come even close to the ammount of piracy that the PC has. PC is dead. Get over it.PC will never get an AAA exclusive title anymore since theres no money to be made in PC games. Even Grin didn't bother to change the button pronts for the PC and has the 360 buttons popping up when ever theres someting contact sencitive. Face facts, PC is in the extreme minority when it comes to big games. If it isnt Sims or WoW it doesn't sell. When the Sims 3 came out here in Sweden it stood for 80% of all PC games bought that month, that should be somewhat telling of how dead the market is.

the_sorrow_MGS_
the_sorrow_MGS_

I cant shake the feeling that Alan Wake is going to be one of those games that we spend ages waiting for and it turns out to be terrible. I hope im wrong.

magicalclick
magicalclick

They can make it over to PC all they want. Alan Wake looks like a PC game to begin with. Also the developer is more inlined with PC development and porting X360 game to PC is so easy. I think they should have consider pushing the PC release for Windows 7. So many PC games went to X360, I think MS should be fair to PC fans to.

DEATH775
DEATH775

Lol you said it, I'm with you.

NavIGOtoR25
NavIGOtoR25

I want to buy Xbox for Alan Wake and Forza 3!!!

GtownStripes
GtownStripes

pilouuuu2004, better graphics? hehe, so you think they do a special edition for PC with sharper graphics? That sounds extremely expensive...I think Microsoft is gonna release it on pc. But a while after its been out on 360. 360 need to have it exclusive at first and then they satisfy the PC-players. Marketing 101.

frankcrisostomo
frankcrisostomo

Who cares if this cames out on the PC. PC gaming doesn't directly compete with the Xbox 360. Anybody with a high-end gaming PC will get it for PC. Either way M$ makes money on it.

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

I hope Microsoft doesnt release this game on pc, 360 needs more great exclusives and this has the potential to become another killer franchise for MS....I CANT WAIT FOR THIS GAME!!! :D Why dont you people get a 360 already, its better playing these kind of games on consoles anyways!!

Plaidboy1
Plaidboy1

"World War II, dragons, hardcore sci-fi, or women with tight leather outfits" are just a few of my favorite things!

pilouuuu2004
pilouuuu2004

If this game doesn't get released on PC it will be a big failure. People want better graphics and mouse and keyboard control!

kiblespoop
kiblespoop

Yeah, that's what Microsoft does, Blubadox. Sure wish that they would actually try to get the game out to as many users as possible instead of "make it a 360 exclusive to sell more 360s"

Blubadox
Blubadox

Who wants to play downgraded PC version anyway. There was a time when people used to compare this game to crysis....but that's not going to happen, once you prioritize consoles in your agenda it means you care only about profit.

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

Remedy are good with noir stories and creating dark,grim atmosphere in the game. They showed that with Max Payne series and just see what's happening to Max Payne 3 in the absence of Remedy. It's color palette explosion. Alan Wake seems to be building up to be an interesting game.

eagles_band
eagles_band

@hassy94 Gamespot usually is behind in the news department

SpookyJack
SpookyJack

I appreciate the attitude but Alan Wake better deliver after the wait...

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

I don't think it's going to hit PC, but eh thats MHO.