Alan Wake Was Initially An Open World Game

Alan Wake, the game, what it was, was a genuine mystery for the longest time. A vague trailer was all we had to go on and the promise of something open and unique. So when the game was finally properly unveiled at E3, I remember feeling mildly let down, having gone years expecting something larger in scope.

Of course, that was a completely unfair assumption -- Alan Wake was, ultimately one of the better games released in 2010 -- but interestingly enough, in a recent interview with Edge, Oskari Häkkinen, Remedy’s head of franchise development, has admitted that the game underwent some radical changes mid way through development, which goes some way to explaining why the final product was so at odds with initial expectations.

"The biggest mistake we made," said Häkkinen, speaking to Edge, "was following a sandbox design. It simply did not fit with our story-driven focus."

Alan Wake was initially an open world game, but the team found it difficult to reconcile the challenges of creating an open world with the grand story planned for Alan Wake. Thankfully, the tools the team had developed over the opening years of development were flexible enough to help create the new, more guided experience that Alan Wake became -- creating a world that felt bigger than its boundaries.

'Having flexibility within the environments... gave us the opportunity to make any given path as wide or as narrow as we pleased," Häkkinen explains. "It allowed us to play around with gameplay – narrow stealth areas like when the cops are chasing Wake, and wider areas to allow exploration and that sense of: ‘Oh shit, I’m lost… what’s in the woods?’ So, yeah, it resulted in a much better game and it removed the linear feeling on the whole."

The Making Of: Alan Wake [EDGE]

Thanks VG247


Comments

    I actually heard about this awhile ago. It's evident from the map and some of the driving sections that they had a much more open goal in mind. That being said, I enjoyed the fact it was linear, Alan Wake was easily one of the most atmospheric and story driven games I've played in a long time.

    If it was a sandbox, there wouldn't be any sense of urgency, and a huge part of the experience came from being completely alone for huge portions of the game, and you begin to question reality. If there were random NPC's giving out quests then it would severely detract from the experience.

    Agreed. Leaving 'the path' to look in bushes and behind trees for ammo and batteries was creepy as hell, and looking ahead to see a circle of light off in the distance added pacing and flow to the game. Similarly, leaving those safe areas to traipse further down 'the path' wouldn't have been as threatening if there wasn't a 'path' to follow. Storytelling aside, I don't think every game needs an open world to be immersive.
    One game that pulled it off swimmingly was Arkham City, however, having recently replayed Asylum I found it to be a much more structured and atmospheric experience.
    However, some of the artificial obstacles in Wake intended to force you to solve a puzzle before progressing were illogical and broke the experience a little. Why do I have to smash a crane through a wooden gate when I could just climb over it?

    tbh I found Alan Wake boring, dont think I progressed beyond chapter 2 or 3. That's the problem when you invest so heavily in such a story driven design; if the story doesn't appeal then the rigidly linear game won't help matters.

    I was initially intrigued by the prospect of a sandbox survival horror, so I was pretty disappointed when they copped out for the sake of story.

    Back when it was first announced it was open world with a day and night cycle and everything. Then after they went dark and came back it had been through the redesign and wasn't open world anymore and was much more story-focused. Which for me was just fine.
    Remedy knows how to make a linear game that kicks booty.

    I too was a bit shocked when i heard that they had changed.
    I'm just about to buy this on PC to see how it goes.
    I somewhat liked the idea of an open world survival horror game. If properly done it could be awesome. Totally random monsters, having to adapt.
    Obviously if they did it wrong, it could be horrible. They probably felt that way.
    Ill keep waiting hahaha.

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