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19th May 2022
A Beginner's Guide To The Alan Wake Series
[Remedy Connected Universe, Prototype, Live Action, Community]

This month marks twelve years since Alan Wake first launched on Xbox 360. In that time, we've seen the Remedy community grow tremendously with follow-up releases such as Quantum Break, CrossfireX, and Control. Last year, we also celebrated the launch of Alan Wake Remastered, which helped introduced newer fans to the series.

Admittedly jumping into a community with over a decade of backstory can be a little... weird. 

I certainly remember when I first signed up to the Remedy Forums just after The Writer DLC pack was released and felt like I was behind and feeling a little out of place. Technically I was since the game was announced in 2005 and so much had happened then. But I soon learnt that when it comes to the Alan Wake community not being there at the start doesn't matter that much. It's not that kind of community. Simply, if you like the game, welcome!

Of course, there was a lot of cool stuff that you might have missed if you joined recently, and we'll try to share retrospectives of some of that as we get closer to Alan Wake 2's launch. To kick things off though, here's a brief overlook at some of the origins of things that are being developed upon now...

Alan Wake's Place In The Remedy Connected Universe

In August 2020, Sam Lake (Creative Director at Remedy) announced the long-theorized Remedy Connected Universe which has been the subject of forums, servers, and subreddits. 

In an open letter on the studio site, he wrote that "for over 10 years, we’ve had a crazy dream. The idea that the tales told in some of our games would be connected to each other, a connected world of stories and events with shared characters and lore. Each game is a stand-alone experience, but each game is also a doorway into a larger universe with exciting opportunities for crossover events." When Alan Wake first launched back in 2010, there were some references to previous games. The protagonist's books feature hard-boiled detective Alex Casey, a mirror to Max Payne, and a Death Rally arcade cabinet that could be found in the projection room in Alan Wake's American Nightmare. The original adventure had easter eggs and in-jokes to past titles, but nothing that solidly tethered Bright Falls to other games.

In Alan Wake Remastered, that changed. Remedy went back and added some extras which altered the player's perspective on things. QR codes that once redirected to the Alan Wake Facebook page and gifs in the PC version (released in 2012) were changed featuring a series of post-game live-action scenes with the writer furiously typing away, similar to the recorded scenes in Control. There are also greater connections between Sarah Breaker, Frank Breaker, Emil Hartman, and the FBC. And from Control, we now know that Cauldron Lake is a specific focus of interest for them.


You can actually watch the original Alan Wake 2 Prototype 

Back in April 2015, Remedy worked with Polygon to showcase the Alan Wake 2 that we wouldn't play. At that point in time, Quantum Break was a year away from being released, and maybe it was partly a way to bring the series back into the minds of gamers and potential publishers. While the article's title, Introducing the Alan Wake 2 you will never play, could be a little sad to fans hoping to play the sequel one day, the interviews included in the story were much more hopeful.

The piece talked about a specific prototype created in the hopes of continuing Wake's adventure directly after the first game had launched. Speaking years after the prototype had been made, Remedy talked about how ideas would develop over time. Some of those initial prototype ideas went on to inspire parts of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, whereas others would be reshaped for Quantum Break. In the interview, Sam talked about the possibility of Wake's return one day, "I would love to do that ... it feels that time has only refined the ideas of what the sequel would be, which is great. It’s almost, in some ways and on some level, that all of this extra time to think about it has made it tastier and more exciting."

Ignore the title, but definitely check out the interview and video on Polygon. As for Alan Wake's American Nightmare, we'll come to that later.


The Bright Falls Mini-Series

Recently we heard exciting word that AMC has bought the rights for an Alan Wake TV series. While a collaboration between Remedy and Contradiction Films was announced in mid-September 2018, it's not the first time that we've seen a live-action Alan Wake series. In 2010, Microsoft teamed up with production company, Little Minx, to create a six-part live-action show taking place before the events of the original game called Bright Falls. While separate from the events of the game, the series was a mood piece for an upcoming game and includes a number of familiar names including Emil Hartman, Rose Marigold, and in a short scene, Alice and Alan Wake. 

The show centred around a reporter called Jake Fischer, who travels to Bright Falls to escape ordinary life for a while and to interview Hartman about his latest book, The Creator's Dilemma. You can watch the entire series, HERE!

How To Be Involved In The Community

One of the weirdest things about joining a new community is figuring out where people tend to post and how to get involved. Over the past decade, Twitter feels like the best way to find new friends and get involved in conversations, especially if you do anything creative. Tagging the official channels, @ControlRemedy, @RemedyGames, @AlanWake  or any of the community-run hubs such as: @PayneReactor@TheSuddenStop@RemedyControl19@RemedyINTEL@RemedyUniverse in any projects you've created or joining conversations through there is a good way to find mutual friends.

If you're interested in virtual photography, @CaptureControl runs an AMAZING channel and a support community with regular events.

If you're looking for information on the story or how things connect, there's no better resource than the Alan Wake Wiki which is packed with articles on everything you need. And if you need to check in with other fans or want some feedback on your theories, there's the community-run Alan Wake subreddit!

Tumblr and Instagram can be a solution, and there are wonderful community hubs there, including FBC Breakroom. ArtStation and DeviantArt are also great places to host your work, and while it is harder to have conversations and find friends there, the community-run Remedy Entertainment group can be a great place to start! If you're more interested in Discord servers, the developers have two: the Official Control Server and the Official Remedy Server

The Spin-Off, Alan Wake's American Nightmare

In 2012, Remedy published a smaller, spin-off titled called Alan Wake's American Nightmare which is set in an episode of Night Springs, complete with live-action cutscenes. In the adventure, Wake must track down his evil doppelganger, Mr Scratch. Developed in just eight months, the title was accompanied by a horde mode where the writer has to face waves of Taken across new locations. 

While the game was not included in the Alan Wake Remastered edition, it's still available to purchase and play on Xbox and PC. If you're interested in learning more about what went into the game, a few years ago, we wrote a retrospective about the adventure. You can read it, HERE!


Formerly "Vanguard"

The Crossfire Series

The Control Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series



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