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Remedy Entertainment’s creative director talks about work on Alan Wake Remastered

Remedy Entertainment has unexpectedly brought back the cult classic Alan Wake to its fans by adding its stories to Control and updating the game’s visuals with Alan Wake Remastered. More than 10 years after its initial release, the remaster is also making Alan Wake available to a new audience – both younger players and PlayStation console owners for whom it has never been available before.

While the update work at Alan Wake Remastered mainly focuses on the graphical update for the game originally released for the Xbox 360 and PC, it also gave Remedy a look back at what it created. For the creative director of Remedy Sam Lake, who was the lead writer on Alan Wake, going back to the story and adding Control to it didn’t get much of a sense of what it could have been, but instead sparked excitement about what Remedy had accomplished.

“Time is a funny thing. When you leave a project, after you’ve been so focused on getting it done, trying to get everything, you often see a lot of problems or miss out on what you didn’t achieve, ”Lake said. “Going back to the older work, luckily all of this has disappeared, and you can look at the work with a fresh eye, appreciate it in general and not miss out on these details. So all of this is positive. I agree and we are very proud of Alan Wake. I’m very happy. And many of the elements invented there are still part of the Remedy game formula, which, for example, are refined in Control. “

When played on PC, it’s amazing how well the original Alan Wake can handle even the gameplay and visuals. Much of what makes him such a powerful experience more than a decade later, besides his story, is his oppressive psychological thriller vibe. Scenes throughout Alan Wake’s film are marked by swirling darkness, billowing mist, and a thin, thin light shining through the shadows.

That atmosphere needs to be maintained, according to Remedy and his remaster partner. Technically speaking, the remaster provided an opportunity to update the lighting technology in the game, but it also meant taking care not to lose what made Alan Wake seem so creepy.

“Alan Wake’s vibe is a big part of his visual identity and was essential to us to keep the original feel he created.” – Anthony O’Donnell “The classic version of the game had localized volumetric lighting, but also created the ‘tension-filled’ atmosphere we all loved, using a mixture of fog and fog particles in the environment. They have been preserved in a remaster to maintain their original aesthetic appearance; however, we have introduced a new global volumetric illumination solution to further enhance these elements. This meant that the original features had to be reconfigured to be adjacent to the newly introduced lighting. ”

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The result of this effort is impressive – Alan Wake Remastered is a pretty nice update. Improvements to its lighting work to enhance its oppressive atmosphere, especially since the interaction of light and shadow is so prevalent throughout the game. Other improvements mainly concern textures and playable character models, especially those that appear in cutscenes. In the original Alan Wake, the differences in character models between gameplay and cutscenes are a little annoying, so Remedy and d3t have been working on improvements to make the characters more realistic and expressive in the remaster.

Alan Wake Remastered also marks the first time a game was made available for the PlayStation. Remedy Community Director Thomas Puha said that developing a remaster of Alan Wake for both the current generation and the latest generation platforms was “quite a daunting task in itself,” so the developers couldn’t rely too heavily on the PlayStation’s features. However, they did have the opportunity to add some PS5 accessories to improve the game on this platform, including activity maps and certain features of the DualSense controller.

“We have carefully selected DualSense support,” Puha said. “For example, you can feel the thumping sound when Alan is inserting bullets into the chamber of a revolver, and the tension on the right trigger differs depending on the weapon. Using a flashlight is also better on modern controllers with higher trigger sensitivity. It would be great if we could do Deathloop or Returnal level DualSense support, which would really help the immersion. We and our development partner d3t had to focus on making the game great on all the platforms it ships on in the first place – that came first. “

PlayStation support, current-generation console updates and improved visuals mean more players now have a chance to play Alan Wake than they could in the past. Thanks to Easter eggs and DLC, Alan Wake is now linked to Control as part of what the studio calls Remedy Connected Universe – so playing for the first time or returning to Alan Wake Remastered now offers fans more ways to see how these stories are connected each other with a friend

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They can also see how Alan Wake’s story has developed over time. For Sam Lake, revisiting Alan Wake through Control changed his outlook on character and story.

“Going back to write more about Alan Wake at Control was very easy and natural, like going back to an old friend,” Lake said. “And yet it made me realize that I grew up as a writer, and my perspective on certain ideas and themes related to the character changed and evolved. This is, of course, very natural, but without this possibility I might not have realized it so concretely. It made me feel grateful for the opportunity. And I really love the fact that now that there is a new audience that is introduced to Alan Wake through Control, we can bring the original game back into a new reworked form that these players can experience as well. And, of course, also for the old fans who have tirelessly asked for it. “

Alan Wake Remastered Released In October On PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and PC

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