View Full Version : Alan Wake - A long ass article

09-02-2005, 11:36 PM
It's like to start off by bitching at Mr. ADM for even mentioning me writing this article. I mean, writing long articles is not much fun in itself, unless perhaps you wrote it yourself. But, the main issue is me not being a person with English as my main language. No, English is my secondary language. And I am going to have to translate this article from Norwegian to English, just because ADM wanna see it. :p

Second, I'd like to credit myself for even writing this long-ass article down for all ye possible Alan Wake fans. This is an exclusive article written by PC Gaming World, a Scandinavian computer games magazine. This is where I first found out about Alan Wake, and it shook my interest for it so badly, I'm actually about to write down this article for all of you. I'm a great person, aren't I?

So, the thing is, I will cut this article up in several posts. No, not to post-spam, because I've actually matured ABOVE that (or at least I'd like to think so..). But, because it's not only easier to read when it's split up, it also gives me time to take breaks. Hey, I might even write one part of the article, then wait a week just to make you all annoyed before adding a new part.:p

09-02-2005, 11:50 PM
Not incidentally chosen

Just like in Max Payne, the name of the hero in this game is not incidentally chosen, but actually well thought trough. Alan Wake is suffering from insomnia. When he was young, Alan Wake wrote a thriller, in which became a huge success. But no one knew the dark secret behind his inspiration. It was actually his girlfriend that was his muse, and the author got his ideas and impulses on how to scare people from weird dreams that terrorised him at night. But now Wake's girlfriend is vanished under mystical circumstances, and with her also the grotesque dreams that should be inspiration for book number two have gone. And even worse: In his despair he seeks help at a clinic which is located in the little coast town of Bright Falls, on the American east coast.

A small greeting from Stephen King

The little town in the country with about a pupilation of 2,000, is just like one would know it from the King-book Insomnia, and from the TV-series Twin Peaks. A small place that seems really cosy and where everyone knows everyone. Life seems to be going its usual course without anything unusual around it. But under the small idyllic town lurks evil. As time goes by, and the threatment at the clinic proves to work, it is not only the sleep that comes back to Alan Wake... But also the nightmares, which only becomes worse and worse. Soon reality and the scary dreams will cross paths. The hero will walk back and forth between the dimentions, while the darkness will slowly but surely devour the little town.

09-02-2005, 11:57 PM
Cool keep it coming Kahr, glad you're doing this. :)

09-03-2005, 12:12 AM
Small town idyll with awesome details

From the first moment it is not only the expected deam sequences that reminds one of Max Payne, but also the groundbased gameplay. The player mostly directs Alan Wake from a Third Person view trough the insanely detailed small town idyll, past rusty mailboxes, windtorn commercial signs and what not. But there is an important difference between Max Payne 2 and this game. The player is actually not working trough a direct pre-directed one-way game course, but can explore the little town and the area surrounding it completely free. What gives the player a grip in Alan Wake is the clear mission structure. "In an open world, the way I see it, one is obligated to give the player clear guidelines and a goal." - Says Sam Lake. "In a game like Max Payne 2, which basically is a relatively straigh-on corridor seen from the storytellers point of view, one can allow some mistakes when it comes down to the storyline and its progress. One knows either way that the player will arrive at one certain point no matter what, only because there is no other way. In a game like Alan Wake however, one must give the player a clear pointer, and take that into consideration during the entire game."

Working towards a goal

Even though the map and everything is insanely large and consuming, Petri Järvilehto wants to make sure that no one wanders confused trough Bright Falls without being able to orient. "The player must always have a clear, reasonable goal in front of him/her. No one should have problems turning the predetermined goals into action and events that leads to the current mission being finnished." Remedy seems to have plans about some sort of notepad-function where the goals will be listed, but they also have other tools to use that might give the player event-directions.

09-03-2005, 12:19 AM
In his despair he seeks help at a clinic which is located in the little coast town of Bright Falls, on the American east coast.

It should be "west" coast, not "east"... hehehe :p Now i feel special that I was able to point that out.

09-03-2005, 12:47 AM
I had a cigarette break and a conversation with my girlfriend before this part of the article, but now I'm back and continuing my precious work.


"The game will have a questlog, but there are also other possibilities to garuantee a non-stop event process in the storyline." says Sam Lake. "We have plans to controll the day-and-night cyclus, and this affects the current game situation. Days and nights are very meaningful for what is happening in the game world. The idea is that time will only progress when the player is finnished with the mission. Soon the player will have learned that getting to safety before nightfall is the wisest thing to do."
Because Alan Wake haven't been in Bright Falls for long before he runs into supernatural fenomenons and learns how important the light is to survive.

The situation escalates

But in the beginning of the game, everything seems to be going well in Bright Falls. The local bookstore invites the popular author to come sign his books. Wake accepts, but a wicked being also comes there that asks for Wake to sign a book. It doesn't take long before the situation escalates and becomes more and more of a nightmare that sneaks into the little town. To survive, Alan Wake also has to take on usage of weapons, but it is especially the light that is Alan Wake's most precious saviour. "Since Wake's world in an escalating grade turns into a nightmare, the darkness grows and takes bigger and bigger bites off of the natural surroundings." Sam Lake explains. "The nights become longer and the days shorter. Wake's enemies, wicked shadowbeings, are being born out of the night and is therefore stronger in the darkness than in the light. There they are wounurable. This means that the night is the most dangerous phase in the game, while the light becomes the most valuable saviour for the player.".
A certain degree of safety you'll get by driving a car at night. Then the lights of the veichle will lighten up the road and the builings, and cast ghostlike shadows. There has now in other words been intrigrated cars into the game. This has happened for two reasons.
"When the gaming world becomes as big and detailed as it is now, we must give the player the possibility to move faster back and forth between the most crusial points in the surroundings." Petri Järvilehto explains. "But there are also some sub-missions that has to do with veichiles - these will bend pretty well into the game progress."
Otherwise it can be mentioned that the lighthouse in Bright Falls will have a specially important key role in the storyline. Here the hero must as a matter of fact seek refugee from the shadowbeings in one of the missions.

09-03-2005, 12:47 AM
It should be "west" coast, not "east"... hehehe :p Now i feel special that I was able to point that out.
Nope. It says "East Coast" in the article.

09-03-2005, 01:07 AM
Keep it up, Kahr, you're doing a great job.

09-03-2005, 01:12 AM
All the time in the world

The missiondesign does not base upon doing missions under time preassure, something that often proves to be a fatal error in gamedesign. Unlike games like GTA San Andreas, one does not mesk with the mixture of missions and minigames like for instance delivering pizza, but one follows event directions. This, Remedy Entertainment ensures us, is only to control the story. "It's all about a mission based design" Petri Järvilehto explains. "We set up clear goals that the player has to fullfill, but we leave it to the player to decide how these are fullfilled."

Province for explorers

Also outside the storyline's red line there are things to discover in the American smalltown society. "The concept with missions of course does not stop us from intrigrating cool stuff and interesting details that the player can discover within the frames of the story." Sam Lake adds. While he talks, Petri Järvilehto presents the Havoc-engine that Remedy uses in Alan Wake, and that with great enthusiasme. In the large walls of the mountains in the virtual American eastcoast, the gamedesigner releases a large avalanche with the help of an explotion - at first it rumbles and explodes, and then the first rocks and trees come falling down with fascinating physical convince. But how the physical effects will later be realized as puzzles in the game, Remedy leaves open for now.

Changing weather conditions

Järvilehto is much more open when it comes to the building of light and weather effects. "We're constructing a very profound simulation. Weather effects like storm, rain, thunder and sunshine have direct effects on the surroundings, even the water in the bay in front of the lighthouse moves exactly as it should in condition to the strength of the wind that rules at the moment.". The light effects seems very fascinating. Shadows falls entierly and fully realistic, no matter where the sun is positioned. "We think that this might be what really makes that in which will be the next generation of hardware. It does not only revolt around improving the graphics, but also about creating worlds that are more variable, realistic and dynamic than has ever been possible.".
Even though there is only long beings in cuts to see as stalkers in the first trailer, the darkness will also contain more wicked beings that the brave hero has to fight agains.
"Of course there will be more than just one enemy for Alan." Sam Lake grins.

09-03-2005, 01:14 AM
Aight, it's done now. I admitt to not having written everything, but the first parts of the article contained information about the Remedy offices, which I thought wasn't really interesting enough regarding the game.

Oh, and blame ADM for this even being posted. :p

09-03-2005, 02:41 AM
That was a very good read, lots of new info in there.

Big thanks for typing all that out.

Lunar Blue
09-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Good read, thanks for translating!

It should be "west" coast, not "east"... hehehe :p Now i feel special that I was able to point that out.

And all this time i've thought the state of Washington is on the east coast :rolleyes:

09-04-2005, 05:27 AM
Really nice work there, Kahr! I enjoyed the article and it brought to light (pun tastic!) some details of which I was un-aware. ADM, how about adding this to the articles section for future reference? I can edit any grammatical errors if you so wish.

Once again, nice work. :D

09-04-2005, 05:38 AM
I was thinking about doing that but then it's the matter of copyright issues and such. If we got permission from the magazine to have it there I would definitely.

What do you guys think?

09-04-2005, 06:19 AM
Thats a pretty sweet article, this game will be so visually beautiful and ashtonishing I cant wait to play it, or at least sometime in the near future see some new trailers. What surprises me the most is how amazingly real they were able to capture weather effects, or at least it sounds that way in the article. A little campaign sneak peak walkthourgh was nice too read too.

Kudos Kahr!

09-04-2005, 03:18 PM
Thanks Kahr, good job!

This article confirmed to me that Remedy knows exactly how to make a kick ass game. I hope they get a few ideas of ours out of the wishlist though.

09-04-2005, 04:41 PM
I really want this game. Right now. This evening. Tomorow I want modding tools. And day after tomorow I want Max Payne4 develop by Remedy. And...

09-04-2005, 08:12 PM
Great article...thanks for the write-up.

One aspect about the game that jumped out at me from the article was the bit regarding the day-to-night cycles. It sounds like Remedy intends that only plot points and script triggers will advance the time of day. In other words, you can play around and explore Bright Falls all you like, for as long as you like, but the time of day will remain stationary until you progress to a certain point in a mission.

I was sort of hoping that time would progress naturally on it's own timescale so that the player could coordinate their plans and actions based on the current time of day. For example, if they were out exploring a new area in the countryside as the afternoon wanes, they could see that it was getting dark out, and decide to head back into town to hole up for the night or to pursue other activities by indoor electric light. This sounds to me like it would be a bit more fun, realistic and atmospheric. Any thoughts?

09-05-2005, 08:50 AM
Yes I hoped that too but this has it advantages for gameplay purposes.

09-09-2005, 11:01 PM
ADM: Yeah, I'll check for the e-mail to the magazine-people, and I can either write and e-mail to them myself, or I can give the adress to you. I think it'll be better if I gave it to you, as you're the admin of the Alan Wake Community.

Everyone else: Always nice to give something to others, especially when you appreciate it. :)

09-10-2005, 12:19 AM
You can email them if you want, unless they can understand english.. in which case I will :)

09-10-2005, 09:32 AM
Haha, I bet they understand English just as well as I do, if not even better. ;)

09-10-2005, 09:48 AM
Yeah well send their email address my way and I'll give them a mail.

09-10-2005, 09:53 AM
I will look it up and send you a PM when I get home from visiting my girlfriend, prolly on Monday. Meanwhile, have a great weekend. :D

09-10-2005, 11:15 AM
I can edit any grammatical errors if you so wish.
That'd actually be great. I'd be honored if you'd do it regardless if we get to post it on the site as an official review or not. This IS an interesting article, and as a person with English as his second language, I'd like to see it re-written in a more public matter.

09-10-2005, 02:38 PM
Nice article. Great work. :)

09-14-2005, 10:50 PM
Blame ADM? I thank him! That was the best piece of info I've read yet. Congratulations, and much obliged.

09-14-2005, 10:56 PM
Blame ADM? I thank him! That was the best piece of info I've read yet. Congratulations, and much obliged.
Haha. And for reasons like this, I bother writing down everything. :hyper:

Roland Deschain
09-17-2005, 07:56 PM
Just so everyone knows, I live in Seattle and the town Bright Falls is based off of Snoqualmie, WA.

09-17-2005, 08:26 PM

Roland Deschain
09-17-2005, 08:30 PM
Well, this is a "long ass" thread with a bunch of general info about Alan Wake, and I've seen some people list wrong locations as to where the game is based, and such, so I simply thought I would clarify. Nothing more.

09-18-2005, 11:56 AM
And where is it located? Some say west, the article said east...

09-20-2005, 08:52 PM
It is the west coast. For sure. Ive heard Pacific Northwest, Washington, Snoqualmie and Twin Peaks.

09-20-2005, 09:31 PM
Well, if you say so... But it did say eastcoast in the article.

09-21-2005, 02:30 PM
Well, if you say so... But it did say eastcoast in the article.

Sure...there are plenty of articles that also mistakenly report the town name as "Pride Falls" instead of "Bright Falls". ;)

09-21-2005, 08:12 PM
Haha, I see. Noted. :)

03-31-2006, 03:19 PM
Kahr is the man of the moment, for sure ;)

04-02-2006, 02:30 PM
Great stuff

04-15-2006, 06:49 PM
first post here.
Hello everyone !
First of all, thanks for translating the article.
Just wanted to point out that it sounds strange that night/day cycles are linked to events in the game.
The article says the player should seek refugee before the night comes, which wouldn't really make sense if night and day were scripted events.
Maybe "time progresses only when the player has finished a mission" doesn't refer to night and day, but rather events in game's story; meaning there's no time limit for each missions, the quest, and the events' flow will freeze and wait, the story will advance only when you've completed a mission. That's what happens in most games anyway.

04-16-2006, 06:57 AM
But this isn't "most" games. We're talking about Remedy here. :p

Actually, what stated in the article seems to be the truth. That day/night cycles are related to missions. No, I don't say that once you complete one mission, suddenly it's night. But it's related.

On a side note, I did translate most of the article, and included the most vital parts. Yes, there are a few parts that were left out, but that's because I had too much difficulty translating it. But it's nothing big. Just some small graphical details info.

04-21-2006, 02:58 PM
cool read, and nice to find out some actual info on this game at last! :cool:
its my most wanted game at the moment :hyper:

04-25-2006, 12:14 AM
The only language I know is Espanol.:cry:

04-25-2006, 12:14 AM
Besides engish of course.

English* God I cant type today.

Use Edit, rather than posting again ;) - Morry