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16th February 2012
Remedy Chat Q&A Transcript

Yesterday evening at 5pm GMT, a group at Remedy took part in a Q&A session with fans, regarding the PC version of Alan Wake. A transcript of the conversation was put together by Pete (Community Manager at Remedy) who posted it on the Alan Wake forums.

For those who couldn't make it to yesterday's event or if you just want to check details, the Q&A session is below.

Alan Wake is due out on PC via Steam today (16th February) with physical versions of the game hitting stores on 2nd March.

ADM: Alright guys, lets get this show on the road. First up lets introduce ourselves. My name is Peter Papadopoulos and I'm the Community Manager at Remedy. I go by ADM or @sidetwo on Twitter - FOLLOW ME!! FOLLOW ME!.. erm yeah.

MarkusRMD: I'm Markus Maki, CTO at Remedy, been with the company since ... 1995, gosh, that is from the very beginning, and been involved with shipping all our games.

AJRMD: Hi folks. I'm Aki 'AJ' Järvilehto, EVP and a management guy at Remedy.

MikkiRMD: I'm Mikko Rautalahti, senior writer here at Remedy. I wrote Alan Wake with Sam Lake, and I'm sure I've talked to a lot of you online on our forum or elsewhere -- nice to see so many familiar names!

(Oh, and I'm @MikkiRMD on Twitter, too, if you guys wanna follow me and then regret it horribly afterwards.)

visy: and my name is Visa-Valtteri Pimiä and I'm a game programmer at Remedy. Just observing today!

Fuzat: How much will the game cost and are there any Alan Wake items in Team Fortress 2?

AJRMD: Alan Wake PC will cost $29.99 and a little less in euros and pounds. The Collector's Edition will be $34.99 and at launch we'll have a special offer on that.

MarkusRMD: No current plans for AW items in TF2 but would be happy to do something there.

GeneralChurch: How do you guys get the creative juices flowing when you were writing the game and its characters?

MikkiRMD: Mostly, it just takes time, more than anything else. I listen to a lot of music -- but that's when I'm already writing, really. Before that, when we're really planning stuff, I think we mostly get in the mood by talking about it and pumping each other up, more or less -- just brainstorm and workshop, build off each other's answers.

It's very much a collaborative process, so we spend a ridiculous amount of time just talking. =)

edcar007: Is Alan Wake influenced by a real life character?

MikkiRMD: Not really, but there's a lot of "writer" in him, I guess -- that whole "tortured creator" archetype and everything. We aren't actually like that ourselves, though -- Wake's nothing like me or Sam.

niksun: Is there any differences between the PC version and the 360 version?

MarkusRMD: There are a few differences - the engine is basically the same, as is the gameplay, but we've increased the engine quality settings on many areas including draw distance, shadow quality, post processing etc. We've of course included the Signal and The Writer with the game too.

Legitti: Do you think Red Dead Redemption took too much off your sales on first AW launch? Are you trying to avoid this happening again on future releases?

AJRMD: Heh. RDR was probably something that did have an impact on us so it's a fair question. I guess all developers are trying to factor this into account, but at the end of the day there's only so much that can be done about it.

xtrench: Hey guys! Will people purchasing the regular edition be able to upgrade it to the collectors edition later?

MikkiRMD: Yes! (That was easy.)

To elaborate on that a little bit, you can buy the collector's edition content separately on Steam.

nibblemonkey: Hi, I was wondering if it was coincidence that Alan Wake PC is being released so close to American Nightmare or was it planned?

MarkusRMD: Well, it is a coincidence and it is not. We've done AWPC as fast as we've been able since we heard we can self-publish it. On another hand American Nightmare's launch was locked only very late in the process...

When we started development on American Nightmare we had no idea we would be releasing Alan Wake on PC at that point.

yogibbear: What ever happened to Mikki's pink MSI Wind u100?

MikkiRMD: That's your question? Fair enough!

It wasn't really mine, first of all -- it was Jouko's, who's our IT admin. So I don't know what happened to it! It's a real tragedy, and I think about it often. We had a short relationship, and I had a real love/hate relationship with that pink horror.

But I don't know what happened to it, or where it is now. Perhaps it's nearby, lurking. It could do that. It's devious and evil, and pink. Very pink.

(...newcomers, I'm talking about a laptop. I swear to God.)

makke007: Hey guys. My pricing question was already answered so. Will there be a midnight release for us guys in Europe?

MarkusRMD: Steam has a standard time for most launches, so it's 0 CET in here. I think they don't do midnight launches very often as the launches on their part require manual work and the whole Valve team is in Seattle (CET-9 hours) time zone

klown07: Is the Steam LCE limited to a set number, or set amount of time? (PLEASE do include barry wheeler in all future iterations of Alan Wake, he is the definition of awesome)

MarkusRMD: No, it's just "Collectors' Edition", not "Limited Collectors' Edition". We wanted to include things our fans may want. Retail on the other hand may be "limited"

MikkiRMD: We tend to think of Barry as a pretty integral part of the Alan Wake experience. =)

ADM: Yeah calling it a Limited Collectors Edition was my bad. It's digital, we got plenty of copies to give out! ;)

TannosukeGR: Firstly, Visa, first time seeing you here. Nice to meet you. Mikko, I still remember the pink keyboard incident. Just Kidding :P. Now down to the point. What led you to your decision for the announcement and the publication of the PC edition with another publishers(Steam and Nordic Games)?

AJRMD: With regard to the announcement on Steam, well, our heritage is in PC gaming and we always wanted to do the PC version, but it just was not possible at the time. With Steam we finally had the opportunity and that's super exciting for us. This is our first Steam release so we're looking forward to the ride.

With regard to cooperation with Nordic Games we really wanted to have a partner who could help us create the kind of retail package that would be worthy of the title. The guys have done an amazing job and it's been a great experience to work with them.

Yopfraise67: Hey guys ! First of all, i already finished Alan Wake on Xbox so my questions are about achievements : Are they the same as Xbox ? And will i get access to nightmare mode instantly ? And third, i wanted to ask what Markus got for lunch but then i took an arrow to the knee :p

MarkusRMD: That's a few questions in one question :) The Steam achievements are the same as Xbox360. Nightmare mode is locked, but there is a cheat... :) You know I have 25h on Skyrim and I've yet to hear that sentence.

MikkiRMD: As for lunch, Markus eats cheaters, so I don't want to alarm you, but... Or cheats eaters, perhaps. I'm not sure about the details of all that. Markus is very mysterious.

voorhees1979: Hey guys, just wondered since the benchmarks showing MSAA and FXAA both on at the same time did the game get any more optimizations? I do understand normally you would have one or the other and not normally both on at the same time. Thanks in advance :)

MarkusRMD: I think both MSAA and FXAA can complement each other. But 8xMSAA is pretty gfx card intensive. People can experiment with the setting that suits them and their eyes best. 2xMSAA+FXAA is already a good perf/visual compromise. The engine actually REQUIRES MSAA to be on, otherwise some of the alpha-to-coverage tricks we do don't work.

Eversmann: Hello everyone. First of all, I'd like to thank EVERYONE at Remedy for releasing the game on the PC as well, for such a low price of 29.99$ (Lots of games cost 59.99$ these days). My question is what was the biggest challenge to you guys while making Alan Wake?

MikkiRMD: That's an awfully broad question! We had a lot of challenges, obviously, but creatively speaking, I think one of the biggest challenges was one we've often talked about before -- just figuring out what the game is!

We experimented with it a lot, and nailing it down was surprisingly difficult. As you all know, this was not a game we made overnight. ;) It wasn't easy for us, but I think it definitely paid off in the end. =)

imFake: Will Alan Wake PC have increased texture sizes and the such. For example would I notice a big difference between Xbox and Max Settings on the PC? I just replayed it on Xbox for the 4th time last week in prep for American Nightmare and was wondering whether it would be worth re-buying it just for graphical differences and extra realism :P

MarkusRMD: Well, it does look quite a lot crisper and sharper on the PC. The higher resolution rendering, better filtering, higher res textures etc. all amount to a more visually pleasing experience.

It's going to be a different 5th playthrough :) We also felt the mouse and keyboard controls got pretty good, so that will make it feel a bit different than playing on the controller. And naturally if you don't have DLCs they are included. Although I assume you do since ... 4 playthroughs. Wow! :)

Julianne: First of all, hi! :) Can we see Alan Wake 2 (or whatever its name will be, the name 'Alan Wake 2' looks sooo bad tbh) get the same treatment? Or Day 1 release? And please don't use "Alan Wake 2". Please.. :)

AJRMD: We do seem to get a lot of questions with regard to Alan Wake 2 these days. :) Right now it's a little exceptional time for us though as we'll be releasing two Alan Wake games in the next week or so! So we'd like to keep stay focused on those launches.

SD1337: Can you elaborate on the 3D features that will be available in the game?

MarkusRMD: So we've tested it internally on NVISION2 setup, and we felt it worked really nicely. There are some minor issues (light streak flares), but these are mostly invisible in 'moderate' stereo separation. We hope to get AMD HD3D to work too but haven't been able to test it yet. Stereoscopic 3D is really cool, we were really impressed with how Alan Wake looked, but it's still a "niche" feature that only a small part of our gamers will enjoy.

MikkiRMD: Personally, I can confirm that the 3D looks cool, and I'm not even a huge fan of 3D -- but when Markus had it running here, I spent a good deal time just looking at it and going "Ooooh. Ooooooooooh." =)

lorant: Are you guys going to have a "giveaway" for a couple lucky people? As a prize for the new launch

ADM: Actually there will be more giveaways coming up! Keep an eye out on our Twitter feed ( and our Facebook page ( for those as they come up!

JohnQQ: Will it somehow be possible to disable the way the camera turns around and notifies you of enemies that are behind you? Either within the settings, .INI-editing or unofficial mods (yeah, I know, no mod tools, but if it's possible without it...). Greetings from Norway! :)

MikkiRMD: Nope, that can't be turned off. It's an integral part of the game design, and I'll tell you why -- the thing is, we're spawning enemies from the darkness into fairly random (or random-seeming, anyway...) positions. So they can pop up behind you without warning.

And if there's one thing we learned in playtesting, it's that despite what people say, they do NOT want to get attacked from behind without any warning. =)

Note that we don't do it all the time, only when there are no other enemies around -- if you're already in combat, you don't get that warning.

Robersdee: Hey guys, Alan Wake was originally a dx10 flagship, open world mystery game with stunning visuals, then turned into a derp console exclusive. How are you justifying selling this ageing game to some bitter PC users?

MarkusRMD: :) It's a fair question. Exclusivity really wasn't .. our idea. Dx10 - Well, it was supposed to be a Vista "promo" title back when that was floated. That seems like a long time ago. But we have deep PC roots, we've done our best to make a  good PC version and not just a quick port. And our fans have wanted the game on PC. So that's why we did it.

MikkiRMD: As far as the open world thing goes, we've talked about this at quite some length before, but let me just address that: it was not a game that we wanted to make, in the end. We were making a thriller, and the pacing of a thriller and open world gameplay do not fit together very well. That's got absolutely nothing to do with the platform, and in retrospect, our biggest mistake was talking about the open world too soon.

It was a great idea, but it just wasn't what the game was about .

MarkusRMD: (we also said XP wouldn't be supported, but it is ...)

djshauny1: Hi guys. How much will the Collectors edition cost in the uk, will it have the making of videos? And Mikki, Tanno loves you :P

MikkiRMD: Well. Tanno has notoriously bad taste. =)

MarkusRMD: Making of Videos - not included, at least not at launch. We just didn't have time to sort that out. We are not commenting on the prices yet, you'll see them in Steam but I think they are reasonable.


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