Alan Wake Used To Be An Open World Game

In another sign that maybe it's time for developers to stop aggressively chasing the Grand Theft Auto style of game, Matias Myllyrinne, managing director of Remedy Entertainment, revealed today this his team's game, Alan Wake, used to be, mistakenly, open-world.

The developer was sharing the story here at the DICE gaming conference of the several-year development cycle for the may-dated Xbox 360 thriller. The game is now a linear, tightly-paced thriller. But it was, for six months of its development, an open-world, sandbox game. Bad idea, he said today. "When a player turns up in a monster truck to a love scene, you know you're doing something wrong," he said. Making Alan Wake open-world — giving players freedom to go anywhere and be able to avoid following a specific, prescribed path — defied Remedy's ability to control the flow of their game and convey the tension and mood they wanted to.

Six months and a few million dollars' worth of work was discard and the game was re-shaped to be linear. (Read a spoiler-filled preview of the game's first chapter.)

Earlier this year, No More Heroes 2 proved to be the rare sequel to an open-world game that didn't itself have an open-world. The GTA style of sandbox game may work for the GTA folks themselves and some others, but lately there are signs that the sandbox, open design is something some developers are recognising isn't for them — or the people playing their games.


Comments

    Originally I was disappointed when I heard that Remedy had moved away from the 'open world' style of gameplay, but now it seems like it was for the better.

    Here's to Alan Wake finally being released after 5 years of development!

    Just a shame that Max Payne 3 looks like crap... Maybe Rockstar will take it back to New York after 6 months of development...

    Personally, I'm getting tired of open world games... IMO it's ruined a lot of good series recently. For example, Far Cry 2... it wasn't an absolute abomination of a game, but it could have been so much more than, you know, drive for fifteen minutes, shoot a guy, blow this up, etc. The open world structure really has to suit the game, and you find a lot of times where a series might go free roaming, the gameplay and variety gets horribly restricted.

      Ahem.

      http://www.kotaku.com.au/2009/01/kotaku_au_games_of_the_year_-_1/

        Hey, I said it wasn't an *absolute* abomination of a game :p

      Sure it had its flaws but I really enjoyed Farcry 2.
      That is until all my save games somehow got corrupted after 30 hours or so of play, freezing the console every time I tried to load.

      I really wanted to see how it ended...

    This is old news.

    I don't think it was so much OPEN WORLD like GTA, but much larger space to explore for clues etc... rather than chapters and missions. I guess when they changed it, thats where they got the TV-type thing they're going with.

    But they changed it to chapters and each chapter you have a task and a path.

    Open world can be a bit tedious, sometimes it's better to steer the player to keep the writing tight.

    Open world for me anyday, i hate being forced and pushed in a direction. I want to go to wherever interests me, and do what i want, when i want.

    Still going to be a great game, but would have been a lot more enjoyable had it been open world

    I love Linear games - Half Life 2, Portal, Halo Series, Gears 2, and so-on. Scripted events are great in the hands of Pro's. Open-World non-scripted events are great in the hands of Pro's too - Oblivion, Fallout 3, GTA4, Far Cry 2, Deus Ex series, Thief series, Bioshock series, Mass Effect, Dragon Age (although a couple of those are Pseudo-open-world, still open I say). So yeah, always room for both!

    One thing about open world games (to me at least) is that they don't really tend to be very repayable.
    If you are like me and do every side quest, explore every area and find most of the collectibles, by the time you are finished you are both greatly entertained and never want to see that world ever again.

    Thank god. It looks like the open world fad is starting to fade away.

    Open world games are all well and good, providing there are actually interesting and unique things to do in that world. Thing is, loads of them don't. Even inFamous wore thin after about a week or so.

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