There are places in our world where fiction and dreams can come true.

Community Spotlight: Carla's Quantum Break Fan Art

Over the past few weeks, Carla (aka TotecTripled and Toteczious), has uploaded dozens of amazing Quantum Break-inspired sketches across her Twitter, deviantArt and Tumblr pages.

Remedy's State of Studio Address

Thomas Puha (Head of Communications at Remedy) published a statement on behalf of the company which looked at Remedy's current projects and plans for the future.

Community Spotlight: Kristy's Alan Wake Tattoo

Kristy's Alan Wake tattoo is not only beautiful but is a compilation of things which motivate and inspires her. Photo by Kristy.

Exclusive Interview with Cam Rogers

We recently spoke to Cam Rogers, the author of Quantum Break: Zero State. Photo by Mikko Rautalahti.

The Sudden Stop Cosplay Week 2015

With convention season approaching I spoke to three talented cosplayers about their tips and experinces. Interviews with Sara Croft, Emme Gray and StevenCojo.

Alan Wake 2 Prototype Revealed

Remedy recently released the prototype video for Alan Wake 2. The video was posted on Polygon's site this afternoon and was accompanied by a lengthy interview with Sam Lake.

Exclusive Interviews

Over the past four years, I've had the pleasure of interviewing some individuals involved including Kathy Tong, Fred Berman, Ilkka Villi, Christopher Forsyth and Brett Kelly.

22nd August 2016
Community Spotlight: Charlie's Quantum Break Fan Art

Community Spotlight is a regular feature which highlights amazing fan projects in the Remedy community. This week I wanted to write about Charlie's incredible Quantum Break fan art. 

This one has been a long time coming and it's about one of the most dedicated fans in the Quantum Break community, Charlie. In addition to drawing dozens of pieces of fan art under his username CMDonovann, in his spare time he also co-owns a Quantum Break blog on Tumblr called monarchsolutions, which he runs with eight other moderators. His enthusiasm for the game and novel is contagious and his passion for the series and the characters is clear to see. 

While Charlie tends to upload photos of fan artwork which has been drawn traditionally with pencils and ink, he also has experience creating digital pieces. What makes his artwork unique is the level of detail he puts into the character's facial expressions. Colours are also taken into careful consideration with each piece, with chosen tones intended to complement the game's colour scheme. There's a obvious sense of passion and affection behind his work.

For him, Quantum Break takes on a special meaning, with his own experience and interpretation of the game and its characters forming personal role models. I realised after contacting Charlie, that we haven't really focused that much on headcanons before on The Sudden Stop. There wasn't decision behind that or anything, it just never really came up before with Community Spotlights, but I do appreciate them. Charlie's one especially is really sweet and I like he's found them to be supportive. 

As it is a personal topic, it felt a little weird to speak for him about his relationship to the game. So I asked Charlie if he would be interested in writing a little bit about how he got involved in the community, and what the characters mean to him:

Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m Charlie, aka CMDonovann. I’m a trans guy, and I’d like to fancy myself a semi-professional artist despite the fact that I technically work in retail. I do all kinds of creative stuff; I make art, play a few instruments, and occasionally make videos on YouTube. Mostly I spend a ton of time on the internet admiring other creators and looking for inspiration and ways to improve my own work.

How were you introduced to Quantum Break?

Hah, that’s a long and weird story. I got interested in the game soon after it came out when I watched Jacksepticeye play it, but I never expected to be able to play it myself since I could never afford it. However, I was invited to help run the Quantum Break fan blog monarchsolutions on Tumblr when the blog’s main mod noticed that I drew some art for the game, and Gwin, one of the other mods, became one of my best friends. Then they bought the game (and an Xbox!) for me as a housewarming gift when I moved into my apartment! Honestly it’s one of the nicest things anyone has done for me, and I’m forever grateful to them.

You mentioned on your blog that your experience and interpretation of the game and of its characters has created personal role models for you. Can you tell us a little about that?

I suppose you’re referring to the fact that my personal blog title and my Twitter display name are both “Jack Joyce is trans,” huh? I guess an explanation is due here. I have talked about it a lot on my blog, but yes, I absolutely think Jack is a trans guy. He has a lot of personality traits that I relate to and which, in my case, are intrinsically linked to the fact that I am trans, so it just makes sense to me.

Jack’s an incredibly interesting and well-written character, but his defining point to me is his stubbornness. This is a trait which I have also developed, as one is wont to do when they grow up being told they are a girl despite feeling like they really aren’t. I also think his line to Beth about how he’s “never been a great listener” is painfully relatable because when the whole world is telling you that you shouldn’t be who you are, you sort of have to learn not to listen to people. Jack’s stubbornness, his clear distaste for authority, his tendency to act on gut instinct and emotion— these are all traits that I have and which I can trace back to the fact that I’m trans and the way I’m viewed and treated because of it. Plus, it’s kind of nice to have a character that I look up to who I imagine has gone through a lot of the same things I have. It’s kind of comforting, in a way.

Why are your headcanons important to you?

For a lot of people, having characters that you can look up to is really important. You can look at a superhero like Spiderman and think, “Spiderman got bullied in school and he still saves the world, so even if I get bullied, I can be a hero too.” And I think it’s really important that everyone can have characters who they can relate to and look up to, which is why I care so much about representation in stories. There are so few transgender characters in movies and games that headcanons are really all we’ve got, until popular media becomes more inclusive.

It’s important to me personally because honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, I think about this kind of stuff when I’m feeling bad. When I have a crappy day at work because customers keep calling me “ma’am” instead of “sir,” I tell myself, “Look, if Jack Joyce can deal with people hating him for being trans and still end up a total badass, I can too.”

Over the past few months you’ve drawn dozens of pieces of Quantum Break fan art. Where did you get your passion for art and why do you enjoy sketching QB inspired pieces?

Well, I’ve been doing art since I was in about 6th or 7th grade, and back then I did it mostly because I got bored in class and didn’t want to take notes! Nowadays my desire to do art comes from the fact that when I see beautiful things, I feel the need to make even more beautiful things for other people to see.

A lot of my inspiration to draw art for Quantum Break comes from the fact that it’s such a visually stunning game. That’s really what drew me to it initially. It’s so aesthetically pleasing to me that I feel the need to recreate the things about it that I find appealing. In particular I love the visual effects related to the fracture, like the glass-shatter effect and the distortion and the eerie stillness when time stops. There’s also a noticeable change in the color of the world during stutters, where everything goes slightly greenish-blue with the occasional spark of warm yellow, and it makes that part of the game so visually distinctive that I always associate those colors with Quantum Break now!

What would you like to see in possible future sequel?

Well I don’t think I can get my hopes up for Jack being trans, can I? Heh. Actually, I’m very curious about what happened to Paul. I’d like to see what became of him and if he can be redeemed. The Zero State novel offers a bit more insight into his fate, but not into what can be done about it, and anyway the novel isn’t exactly canon. And I’d like to see if Jack can save Beth. All the internal mechanics of the time travel narrative say that what happened can’t be changed or prevented, and that’s definitely corroborated by the game’s ending, but if anyone can do it, it’s Jack. His stubbornness could move a mountain. I’m also curious to learn more about the Shifters, and if Jack becoming one can be prevented.

Evil question buuuut, Jack Joyce and Paul Serene. Whose side are you on?

That’s tough. Logically speaking, I’d probably side with Paul. Despite everything that can go wrong with the paths you take, he was right about The End Of Time and his plan would have worked if everything went right. His intentions were definitely in the right place, although depending on how you play, he may stray a bit far and let his determination obscure his rationality and empathy. Morally speaking, they both have good intentions; Jack’s desire to save his brother, to set things right, and to ultimately save the world definitely come from a good place. Paul clearly has similar motives with the Lifeboat to save people and eventually fix the fracture, even though he is, after everything he’s been through, much colder and detached about it.

Thank you for talking to us, Charlie! 

You can follow his adventures via Twitter and on Tumblr.

16th August 2016
GDC Europe 2016 / Remedy Speakers

Today marks the second and final day of GDC in Cologne, Germany, before the start of Gamescom on Wednesday.

Two speakers from Remedy will be doing lectures this afternoon about building Quantum Break. The first is Towards Cinematic Quality, Anti-Aliasing in Quantum Break by Tatu Aalto with the second being D: Using An Emerging Language in Quantum Break by Ethan Watson. Both will be recorded on video for the GDC Vault.

D: Using An Emerging Language in Quantum Break
Speaker: Ethan Watson (Senior Generalist Programmer, Remedy Entertainment)
Time: 13:15 - 14:15
Location: Europasaal, 1st Level

Can you use D to make games? Yes. Has it been used in a major release? It has now. But what benefits does it have over C++? Is it ready for mass use? Does treating code as data with a traditional C++ engine work? This talk will cover Remedy's usage of the D programming language in Quantum Break and also provide some details on where we want to take usage of it in the future.

Takeaway: Knowledge of a realistic alternative to C++, real world usage, enthusiasm for the language and wondering what the possibilities could be for your own usage.

Intended Audience: Targeted towards programmers, both gameplay and engine. Knowledge of C++ is required, C# knowledge desirable (as D has more in common with C# than C++).
For more information, click HERE.

Towards Cinematic Quality, Anti-Aliasing in Quantum Break
Speaker: Tatu Aalto (Senior Graphics Programmer, Remedy Entertainment)
Time: 15:05 - 15:30
Location: Congress Saal 3, 4th Level

'Quantum Break' was shipped with a light pre-pass rendering engine, where geometry buffers are drawn with 4xMSAA. In this presentation Tatu will go over how to first reduce geometry data using clustering, then calculate lighting on smaller amount of samples, and lastly how to scale back to MSAA image. In addition, this talk will go over Remedy Entertainment's approach to temporal anti-aliasing, where previous four frames are combined for upscaled final image and how this leads us to using sequential noise patterns in sampling volumetric lighting and reflections.

Takeaway: This talk will give attendees fresh new ideas for implementing good quality anti-aliasing on their own projects. It also aims to raise a discussion on techniques, aiming for varying sampling, rate rendering in general.

Intended Audience: This presentation deep dives into modern graphics algorithms, so audience should be familiar with rendering techniques used in games. Tatu expects attendees who will gain the most useful information to be graphics programmers, or generalist programmers that are familiar with rendering techniques.

For more information, click HERE.

12th August 2016
Tero Virtala is Remedy's New CEO

Yesterday Remedy announced that Tero Virtala will be taking over as CEO at the company.

Virtala replaces Matias Myllyrinne who left the company back in June 2015 to become Head of Development at WarGaming in Cyprus. Taking over his responsibilities was Markus Mäki, co-founder and board member who now returns to overseeing studio operations.
In a statement on the Remedy site, Virtala says
“At the core of Remedy are truly talented and passionate people, and their proven ability to create unique, world-class gaming experiences. As the company moves towards multiple simultaneous game projects, it will offer more opportunities for the gamers, our people, partners and us as a company”,

”Shifting gears into a new production model like this needs to be managed well. In such a talent-filled company like Remedy, one important part of this evolution is to continue empowering our people and project teams more and more. I am excited and honored to be part of Remedy”.

A familiar name in the games industry, Virtala has over 12 years experience working as a CEO at RedLynx until his departure from the studio in 2014. He has been working with Remedy as a consultant since Spring.

Source: Official Statement from Remedy.

10th August 2016
Quantum Break Collector's Edition & Steam Version Announced [Published by THQ Nordic]

Huge news for PC Gamers today!

Today Remedy announced that Quantum Break will be heading to Steam next month. The game, originally being sold on PC through the Windows Store, will be branching out and joining all of the developer's previous games on Valve's library. The title will have Steam Achievements and full controller support. In their announcement, Remedy stated "This DX11 version of the game includes all updates released for the Windows 10 version since launch."

The announcement also includes a return to an old partnership with Nordic Games, a familiar name to anyone who owns the PC physical copy of Alan Wake, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, or Death Rally. Microsoft, Remedy and Nordic Games will be releasing a special "Timeless Collector's Edition" of Quantum Break and the bundle is looking fantastic. Confirmed in the pack is a Steam copy of the game, "making of" Blu-ray, soundtrack, two posters, a quick start guide, and a behind the scenes book.

Both versions will be priced at $39.99/€39,99 and will be released on 14th September 2016.

[12th August 2016 - Recently Nordic Games announced a merge with THQ, the publishers are now operating under their new name, THQ Nordic. For more information, click HERE.]


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