Developer Remedy has their in-house writer Sam Lake introduce the deep, atmospheric backstory of writer's block-heavy protagonist
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Sam Lake: I’m here today to proudly introduce you to a good friend of mine, a colleague, the best selling writer, someone whom I worked together with on a project for a long time, his name is Alan Wake.
He has a problem, he hasn’t to manage to write anything in over two years. Now his wife, Alice, takes him on a vacation to the idyllic small town of Bright Falls to recover his creative flow. When she vanishes without a trace, Wake finds himself trapped in a nightmare. His latest work, a thriller he cannot even remember writing is coming true before his eyes.
The story has a strong pulp culture feel and follows the style and phasing of a modern day TV series.
In the following episode Wake is with his neurotic literary agent Barry Wheeler. Wake believes that Alice has been kidnapped and his missing manuscript is the ransom the kidnappers want. Barry is Wake’s friend and a bit of a comic relief in the story, an example of our supporting cast of characters around Wake himself.
Here we are in Elderwood National Park, the weather and day and night cycle are all part of our simulation, we the control the time of day to get as much drama out of the situation as possible.
The page is of Wake’s lost thriller novel are at the heart of the mystery, they talk about a dark presence that has been unleashed. Wake is trying to find the lost pages to make sense of what has happened. The scene found in the pages has a disturbing habit of coming true. Alice is gone, is she dead? Worst, is he to blame? Is this really happening or has he gone mad? Has he come to a place where fiction turns to reality? Or if so, can he bring her back with his right?
Among Wake’s enemies are the locals taken over by a dark presence. Wake shadowy enemies seem invincible under the cover of darkness. In the game, a light source such as a flashlight is always more important to the player than a firearm. Light reveals things as they truly are, it’s a safe haven in the night, and a combat tool for the player. We also have a few fight weapons such as the flare gun. Alan Wake fights the forces of darkness with light
Light is a key gameplay element but so is darkness. As Wake’s world slides further into a nightmare, darkness becomes the thing to avoid, darkness equals terror and danger.
Alan Wake is a psychological action thriller, it’s a story driven experience. We want to guarantee the player best possible rollercoaster ride through the game, and the thriller story is our way of doing it. To us a thriller means strong atmosphere, mood, and a smart story to give a reason for all the scares.