Alan Wake screenshot
Alan Wake screenshot

Remedy made the decision to move Alan Wake from an open world game to something more linear because it felt the world simply wasn't populated enough to be of interest to players, art director Saku Lehtinen has told EDGE magazine.

Speaking about the game's development, Lehtinen said: "We took the effort of writing the story so it was geographically and chronologically 'correct'. Even when we knew we were doing a linear game, we wanted to keep that. I'm in great favour of having the feel of a place, the sense that the world continues.

"Rather than the painstaking work of building the world from scratch and trying to make it look like an open world, though, we went the other way. We said 'Hey, we have a world which is, truth be told, rather empty. So let's find interesting places that inspire us - good starting points - and then mould it in that direction. If there's positive stuff that looks genuine and feels right, then let's leave it there.' And we narrowed it down until we felt it was enough."

He added: "We don't want people to wander about for so long they think nothing's there. People need to be rewarded for their exploration, so we had to find the middle ground."

It was "difficult compromise" to make, concluded Markus Maki, chief technology officer.

Alan Wake finally appeared on PC earlier this year, whilst a spin-off of sorts, Alan Wake's American Nightmare made it to Xbox LIVE Arcade.

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User Comments

Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ Woffls

Absolutely agree with you there, Woffls - had the world been dynamic, with formerly safe spots being plunged into darkness, or destroyed - making them fewer and farther between, that *could* have been something. Just so long as the dev team is not afraid to pick an innvative direction, and stuck to it.
Posted 13:14 on 04 May 2012
Woffls's Avatar


Didn't seem to bother people in Red Dead Redemption.

One of the best things about horror is not knowing, and Alan Wake could really have done with some more aimless wandering. I would have preferred situations where you're dropped in the middle of nowhere with a map, compass, torch and a handgun. Your only objective is to find shelter, and the rest is up to you.

Open world is awesome, but developers need to craft the universe in such a way that it can operate independently, without direction. That's difficult, and even Rockstar are still quite far from it in my opinion.

The only thing a world needs to be full of is atmosphere.
Posted 13:05 on 04 May 2012
munkee's Avatar


Sounds to me like good game design.
Posted 12:20 on 04 May 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 14/05/2010
Developer: Remedy
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Adventure
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 404 17
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