Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ask Remedy...

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: Ask Remedy...

    Quantumwake - Programmers, I think. Mostly because art divides to so many specialty areas. Although if you split programming to tools/core tech/rendering/gameplay then that may change the answer...

    Comment


    • Re: Ask Remedy...

      Originally posted by djshauny1 View Post
      Has it done better than Alan Wake?

      Dont think ill get a reply but its worth asking
      Well, as ADM said, we haven't released any numbers, but this would be a kind of tricky question to answer even if we had, considering that the products are almost as different as two video games can be -- the game type is different, the platform is different, the scope is different, one of them was developed in-house, the other was made in cooperation with our partners... It really gets into the apples and oranges territory, and I'm genuinely not sure how they should be compared.

      I can say that we're pleased with both, and the positive reception they've had, and that people seem to enjoy playing them. On a personal note, I also think it's very cool that we're doing different things, it's just fun!
      Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

      Comment


      • Re: Ask Remedy...

        Originally posted by MikkiRMD View Post
        Well, as ADM said, we haven't released any numbers, but this would be a kind of tricky question to answer even if we had, considering that the products are almost as different as two video games can be -- the game type is different, the platform is different, the scope is different, one of them was developed in-house, the other was made in cooperation with our partners... It really gets into the apples and oranges territory, and I'm genuinely not sure how they should be compared.

        I can say that we're pleased with both, and the positive reception they've had, and that people seem to enjoy playing them. On a personal note, I also think it's very cool that we're doing different things, it's just fun!
        Awsome

        Thats good to hear Mikki
        Watch out. The gap in the door... It's a seperate reality... The only me is me... Are you sure the only you is you?

        Comment


        • Re: Ask Remedy...

          For Remedy: Were there any features, scenes or ideas in Alan Wake that originated from what you read on these forums?
          Remedy's currently known projects:
          Quantum Break - 2016

          Comment


          • Re: Ask Remedy...

            I really have no clue if anyone can answer this, but here we go.

            I'm a writer, actually I like to consider myself a story teller, as I like to explore all forms of it, but lets not get all carried away with this whole "I'm awesome" stuff

            Anyway, I have recently developed a story and script for a game, an indy one, and I am pitching it around right now, only few have shown interest. As I know that MP1 and MP2 were written by Sam Lake, what's it like in terms of the relationship with the story and the game?

            Do you have gameplay ideas or a genre first, and then the story? Are you already thinking of gameplay features and then you implement them into the script, or the other way around?

            Also, how far does the witer actually go in terms of development? Does he just hand the script off and then kinda look over shoulders, or does he have a say in gameplay, too?

            Is the script written with gameplay things in mind, or do you add those in later?

            Basically, if you don't feel like answering those all one by one, how does the story work with the whole entie development process in technical terms?

            Comment


            • Re: Ask Remedy...

              I'm not 100% sure as I'm not a writer but from what I've been involved in here at Remedy it goes like this:

              General overview of storyline written.
              Gameplay design worked out with initial storyline outline.
              Revision.. revision.. revision.. as the story is changed up and rewritten to target gameplay decisions.

              As a writer you'll be there every step of the way of development as things always change. Sometimes the devs might not be able to implement X because it's too time consuming for what it is so Y will need to be done instead. Then this changes a massive part of the story so the game's writer will need to rewrite a lot of dialogue and overall concepts of the story as well.

              Of course this is just a generalisation of the whole process as it can, and does, get a lot complicated over the development time.

              [MENTION=5022]MikkiRMD[/MENTION] will be able to better explain all this, though.
              Last edited by sidetwo; 11-23-2011, 06:58 AM.

              Comment


              • Re: Ask Remedy...

                Hi Helspont!

                There are a lot of questions we get here that I can't answer, because they get too technical, or because it's just not my field -- but being a writer, this one is right up my alley. =) (Also, I'm currently enjoying my second bout with the flu within a month, so what the hell, I have the time...)

                Now, I'm going to be blunt right off the bat: if you have a story and a script for a game and you're trying to get somebody to pick it up, it's very unlikely to happen -- so unlikely that, in fact, that the only reason I'm not calling it impossible is because I have an aversion to putting things in absolute terms like that. I'm sorry, but honestly, that's just how it is. There may be people out there thinking that they want to make a game but they just don't have a good story for it, but they are very few and far in between. You might find somebody who has a story idea and they need somebody to actually flesh it out, but that's the best you can realistically hope for; it's not like the movie business, where scripts are in great demand, and they get bought all the time. (Far more of them get bought than filmed, but the demand is constant.) You kind of need to be in from the ground floor when people are talking about what kind of a game they want to make, and that's not an easy spot to get into if you're not already working in the industry.

                For us (and other companies may and do work differently), we start with a concept, and that involves story elements, absolutely, but we also need to know that it'll make a good game. So for example, with Alan Wake, you can bet that at the time the idea of a writer fighting darkness with light was brought up, the kind of gameplay that might involve was also on the table already. There are certain things that we know from the get-go -- for example, we make third person games, and that immediately has an impact on how we work.

                When we're working on the story stuff, other people are already working on other things, so there's constant interaction -- if they come up with game mechanics that don't seem to fit the story, we bring that up, and if the story stuff doesn't seem produce useful or fun game mechanics, they bring that up. There are also technological aspects to this -- for example, if it had turned out for whatever reason that we couldn't get the lighting effects we wanted, Alan Wake might not have happened at all, because light is so integral to the core concept!

                So it really is a cooperative endeavor. We start by figuring things out in very broad strokes, and the details can change a great deal at this stage. The thing is, you don't really know if an idea works until you try it out to at least some extent and figure out what it really means in practice, so you often have to change your mind. For example, at one point Alice Wake had died in a car accident before the events in the game, and that was changed for a number of reasons, but especially because it was felt that if she was dead, it was very hard to find opportunties for her to become an actual character in the story, somebody Wake could love. We wanted to establish her as a presence in his life before things started happening, so we changed that. Things like that happen all the time. At the same time, the story is also influenced by the developing game design. They are two aspects of the whole that need to support each other.

                I write, sure, but I would say that overall, I only spend maybe 20-25% of my time actually writing. The rest of the time is spent in meetings -- which sounds kind of horrible when you look at it like that. But that's the job. The writing is obviously important, but it's essentially useless if I don't know what others are doing, and if they don't know what I'm doing. I don't work in a vacuum; a lot of my job is just talking to people. On a good day, I can spend the whole day in meetings and feel like I got a lot done -- not because my own work progressed, necessarily, but because I figured out how to get that work done, or helped others do their work. (I also have a lot to do with things like the characters' voices and the audio side of things in general, and localization often needs some support from me, etc. -- I'm pretty busy. So at least at Remedy, the writer tends to be extremely involved with the production.)

                So, in answer to your question, I do get involved in the gameplay, often very much so -- the scenes that involve NPC interaction tend to be especially important for storytelling purposes, so those take up a lot of my time. But it's a two-way street; often I have something written that doesn't make for good gameplay, and I have to change it. The more back and forth like that there is, the better the end result generally is. Obviously, there are things that we can't change -- for example, if you look at Alan Wake, we have the New York flashback sequences, and if our gameplay designers had come to me and said that we need to have some combat in there, I would've had to say no, that's not going to happen. On the other hand, if I go to the gameplay designers and say that hey, I just wrote this sequence where Wake goes blind and the player mustn't see anything either, they're going to tell me to write something they can actually make work. (Note that this doesn't mean that a brand new feature couldn't be created because of story demands, but that's not something you just drop in somebody's lap.)

                Our level designers and environment artists are super cool people, and they often find ways of telling the story better, or new ways of accentuating a story point, which is awesome, and that wouldn't happen if we didn't spend time talking about this. That's the difference between trying to tell a story as well as you can and simply throwing it at the player between action sequences, cut'n'paste style. And I am not exaggerating at all when I say that they're the ones who make the stories come alive -- sure, I think we write good stuff, but they're the ones who implement it. Invariably, the closer we work together, the better the end result is.

                The actual script is definitely written with gameplay in mind -- if it wasn't, it wouldn't be very useful, and it would end up being changed by necessity. But again, it's a two-way street: for example, the stage fight in Alan Wake was something we came up during the writing process, and it ended up being one of the coolest moments of the game for a lot of people. (It's also a great example of how important the gameplay design work is -- in the script, that entire scene is fairly short, consisting mostly of Wake and Barry's banter. When you actually play it and get the light show, the music, the big Taken waves, it feels undeniably epic, and that wasn't something we could just write. There was a lot of creativity there that had absolutely nothing to do with writing, and I think it effectively illustrates the difference between having an idea and actually making it work. Writing absolutely didn't do the heavy lifting in that scene!) On the other hand, the nightmare sequence in the very beginning of Alan Wake was very much dictated by gameplay requirements, because we had the whole tutorial thing to take care of. We must've rewritten the details of that scene a dozen times as the gameplay changed.

                It's also worth noting that what I've outlined above tends to be true for us, but it doesn't necessarily apply to every game studio out there. We take story very seriously, it's one of the things that Remedy is known for, but some companies take a different approach -- it's not at all unheard of for a company to simply hire a freelance writer who produces a script, and doesn't actually get very involved in the production itself, if at all. It generally doesn't lead to a very story-driven experience, but it can still result in a kick-ass game.

                Let me tell you another thing that people typically don't realize: storytelling is expensive, and by that I mean it takes a lot of time from a lot of people. For example, the diner scene in the beginning of Alan Wake seems pretty simple -- you walk through the area, people talk to you, you can play the jukebox and people react to it, etc. But it's actually a very complex scene, because of the way the characters' dialogue is triggered. All of it is custom stuff, and that takes a lot of time to get right, but the end result feels very immersive and atmospheric. It's difficult, and there's no way it could have been accomplished if there hadn't been such a close relationship between gameplay design and writing.

                Hope that answers your questions, it's a pretty big topic.
                Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

                Comment


                • Re: Ask Remedy...

                  Thanks a lot Mikki, for answering my question and helping out. And I do hope you get better with that flu.

                  It's a shame to find out the way I've been approaching things is near-impossible (mustn't be absolute, you're right about that one) but perhaps if I gave a more detailed situation (in a way, I'm asking another question for whoever wants to answer) someone could better help me. Me and my two friends, gameplay and graphic guys, are all pitching it together, looking for a studio and a publisher for this little arcade-like game. The deal is, though, it's supposed to benefit from being a story-driven beat 'em up, something you might not expect, that's why I figured pitching it the way it should be made (or hopefully will be made) was the way to go. Would you think I could benefit from simply pitching gameplay?

                  Again. thanks for the answer, it helped. I really have been wondering for a long time how story works with your games. Anything I've ever done, much like you stated, is freelance in a way, having only worked to make a simple light on the story with more gameplay oriented game with anyone I actually knew from the start, and was called in to do once in my entire life.

                  Also, I noticed that you mentioned a little something about Alice dying in one of the the original Alan Wake stories, so if everybody can humor me one last time and answer one final question:

                  On the subject of game revisions, If one was to look at the first trailer for Max Payne, they would notice some crazy differences, can you guys talk about any of that process and how the game changed in what appeared to be drastic ways?

                  I completely understand if this is not something anyone would want to answer, much like I find it silly to show some one the first draft of a script when the movie has already been released.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Ask Remedy...

                    Well, finding a publisher is definitely a possibility! But just to be clear: publishers don't need ideas, they need projects they can fund. They aren't set up to build external teams around game ideas, it's not what publishers typically do. So you need to be able to create the game -- a publisher can assist you with money and other resources, but you're still going to have to be able to create most of the game yourself. So you'd probably need a programmer in your team, at the very least.

                    And just to get your foot in the door, you'd have to have something to demonstrate; a publisher is extremely unlikely to agree to anything based on an idea, no matter how cool it is, particularly if you're not an established team of developers. They have to see something that convinces them that you can do it, and showing them that you can put together something that looks and feels like a cool game, or at least demonstrates your concept, goes a long way towards that. The good news is, if you do have that, publishers will typically be willing to take a look! If you have a cool story idea, or a way of telling that story, it should absolutely be a part of your pitch, but you're still going to have to show them something that convinces them you're not just a dreamer, that you can actually make a game. But yeah, that's absolutely something that can happen -- it'll take work, but it can happen.

                    As for game studios, well, I'm going to be blunt again: they don't need your ideas. There's no way anybody approaching us, or probably any other game studio, with a game idea is going to get hired to create that game. I can't believe there's any game studio where people are just twiddling their thumbs and trying to come up with an idea for a game, waiting for someone to come along with one. Game studios are full of creative people, and ideas are plentiful. That doesn't have anything to do with whether your idea is any good, of course! It could be a fantastic idea, for all I know. But game studios really won't care, in great part because any big studio is already going to be working on something else, with time and money invested in it, and they're not just going to drop it because somebody else comes along.

                    (I feel kind of horrible saying this, I don't mean to discourage you here, but I don't want to mislead you, either!)

                    Unfortunately, I can't help you with your Max Payne question, as I joined the team for Alan Wake! That said, I just watched the 1998 E3 trailer, which is the one you probably mean -- I hadn't seen that in years, and boy, that just hasn't aged well! =) I think I can make an educated guess and say that most of that stuff just didn't fit the atmosphere, and you have to remember that it was Remedy's first big game -- there was a lot of learning involved, and I think the game simply matured a great deal between 1998 and 2001, when it was released. I think the concept simply became much more focused, and obviously the team was just a lot more skilled by the time the game came out. Markus or somebody could probably tell you more.
                    Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

                    Comment


                    • Re: Ask Remedy...

                      Heck you could look before the trailer for MP1 and see how much it changed from initial concept to it's first proper trailer. Initially it had supernatural mutants and witches, if I remember correctly.

                      Comment


                      • Re: Ask Remedy...

                        Well, first of all I want to make it clear that just being a member on this forum is an amazing experience, and any words you guys are willing to offer are certainly welcomed. I would rather be discouraged by someone who knew what the hell they were talking about if anyone!

                        And yes, so far the only thing I have to pitch is actually(probably strange and out there. Even I knew this was dangerous) is a short film. Some concept art. Basic things like that. The short film is crazy, though! It was odd when one of us was like "Let's do something we're good at to pitch the game... Make a movie" But we just decided to go for it, and I am thankful for that.

                        As of right now, We've only been talking to independent, sometimes even local game studios, and between the time my first question was asked and now, that game studio that was "mildy interested" Wants to actually see a tech demo! Luckily, like you stated, I know a few girls that can do all that stuff, so we have recently welcomed them on board. I am completely and utterly shocked that they would offer us a head start (which they did) simply to produce another pitching item, and they said it was because "It fit well with our direction..." And "The film was a large factor in our decision making...".

                        I was literally so excited about this that I asked if I could post it here, come to find out even they love RMD! Again, thanks for any words or any answers to my questions.

                        In terms of game studios, you guys walk the walk, and for that I am thankful.

                        And witches is Max Payne? Wow! I'll have to hear more about that at some point!

                        Thanks again, Mikki! And if this game goes anywhere, a big thanks will go towards RMD, as I don't think I would be a gamer were it not for Max Payne!!

                        Comment


                        • Re: Ask Remedy...

                          Well, looks like you have the demonstration part down already. =) Nicely done, and good luck!
                          Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

                          Comment


                          • Re: Ask Remedy...

                            Hey guys,

                            So I had a question: What is Max's daughter's name? She was just referred to as 'the baby', which I always found a little odd (though most of the time, kids in my family are named within a couple of days). Did you guys ever internally have a name for her?

                            Just something that occurred to me a little while ago.
                            Time is the fire in which we burn

                            Comment


                            • Re: Ask Remedy...

                              I'm not sure if I've asked this question or not before, but I've always wondered - what is Remedy's stance on piracy of their games such as the Max Payne series? Do you see it as something that is crippling the games industry? Or do you see it more as a way for consumers to try out your games and will lead to an eventual sale, like the developers of Super Meat Boy believe?
                              In a horror story, the victim keeps asking "Why?", but there cannot be any explanation.The unanswered mystery is the one that stays with us the longest, and it's what we'll remember in the end.

                              Comment


                              • Re: Ask Remedy...

                                Well, there's a question that's just waiting for me to answer so I can get quoted, and misquoted, and taken out of context until the cows come home. =)

                                Sorry, no, I just don't have the energy to get into that one right now.
                                Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X