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2nd June 2023
Alan Wake 2: Behind the Scenes [Video Series]
Chapter 1: Introducing Saga Anderson

Marketing for Alan Wake 2 has kicked off strong following the PlayStation Showcase. In the past week, we've seen interviews, merchandise announcements, new events, and details on when we can expect more. It's certainly not been boring, and it's not slowing down either!

As we speed towards the Summer Game Fest, Remedy has begun a new behind-the-scenes video series, starting with a look at our new protagonist, Saga Anderson. 

In the five-minute video, we hear from new and familiar names including Kyle Rowley (Game Director), Sam Lake (Creative Director and Lead Writer), Clay Murphy  (Principal Writer), Molly Maloney (Principal Narrative Designer), Melanie Liburd (Actor, Saga Anderson), Anne-Lynn Sottas (Senior Environment Artist), and Ciara Creagh-Peschau (Foliage and Photogrammetry Artist). We also get a glimpse of Ilkka Villi, the physical actor for Alan Wake, which hints at some exciting discussion between the two actors. 

In this piece though, Saga is firmly in the spotlight. It's through her fresh perspective that we explore Bright Falls, but she is also her own character, bringing compassion, humour, and her unique professional insight. Learn more about her in the video below...

Alan Wake 2: Behind the Scenes, Chapter 1: Saga Anderson Transcript

Kyle Rowley: Alan Wake 2 is a psychological survival horror game. And the player takes on the role of two different hero characters. The titular character, Alan Wake.

(In-Game) Alan Wake: This story, is a monster.

Kyle Rowley: And a new character, Saga Anderson.

(In-Game) Alex Casey: Glad you’re on this case with me, Anderson.

Sam Lake: Alan Wake 2 has many twos in it. Two narratives; we are exploring two worlds. It's not just Alan Wake this time.

Clay Murphy: We have this theme of duality and echoes in Alan Wake 2. So we needed a counterpoint, like another perspective in the game, that was a play-off of Alan's. As well as having a character located in the Pacific Northwest, so we could have both of those worlds present in the game and playable for the players.

Sam Lake: Even when we are not playing him there are a lot of things that tie the story to him and there are other ways how he is present in those moments as well.

Molly Maloney: The character of Saga, she's an FBI agent and relative newcomer to the Bright Falls area. She is a really capable investigator, she is a mum, she's a teller of bad puns. What's not to love?

Clay Murphy: She’s enthusiastic about her job she really enjoys what she does. But I think her most defining quality for me is her kindness. She's a very empathetic person and she brings that into her work and it makes her a better detective and profiler. These two different professions that are similar but different. The artist is looking for inspiration, the detective’s looking for answers. You can see the parallel there, but there's different approaches to those things.

Kyle Rowley: We're obviously quite aware that the first game came out 13 years ago, so we wanted to make sure that we had a hero character who would bring the perspective of new players. We wanted to make sure that new players of the experience would be learning with her through the story.

Sam Lake: We wanted to make absolutely sure that we find the right actor for the role. And we were looking for quite a while, for Saga.

Melanie Liburd: Hi, I’m Melanie Liburd and I’m playing Saga Anderson in Alan Wake 2. This is my first time working in this medium and doing a game. It's just nice to learn something new. The voiceover part of it can be very intense when you get in the booth, but I've learnt so much.

Sam Lake: All of us have been working with Melanie and because of the writing process being ongoing there are always new ideas and writing it more and more specifically to her as a role.

Melanie Liburd: I'm excited for the world to see Saga because I think she's a brilliant role model and just to see a woman in this role, a woman of colour being a protagonist in a game that we don't see that often and just to have a lifestyle that she has doing her best to balance work and a family and I just think that’s really relatable for a lot of people.

Kyle Rowley: While we wanted to create one cohesive experience, we wanted to give each playable character and their world its own style and mood.

(In-Game) Alan Wake: Something’s not right.

Kyle Rowley: In the setup for Saga's experience,  she's investigating these ritualistic serial killings. When we were looking from a narrative and tone perspective, looking at things like ‘True Detective’, we actually have a lot of like nineties references in terms of like things like ‘Seven’.

Clay Murphy: The events that bring her to the Pacific Northwest are a series of murders and they think there might be a serial killer somewhere lurking in the area.

Sam Lake: Part of this experience taking place in the Pacific Northwest is centred around our fictional small town of Bright Falls. This idyllic, slightly quirky small town that clearly then under the surface has shadows and darker things waiting and a mystery waiting.

Anne-Lynn Sottas: In the first game you didn't really get to explore the environments, but now you will be able to walk around the streets, discover the town a bit more and revisit existing locations, like the diner, for example.

Ciara Creagh-Peschau: Quite a lot of research was done to prepare for this project. I spent several weeks reading research papers, gathering data on forest surveys, learning about key species of the area to properly do justice to the Pacific Northwest. The photogrammetry side of it means that we can actually scan trees on-site ourselves. The trees that we are seeing in the game are literally the trees that are from this area in the Pacific Northwest.

Kyle Rowley: The player will be going back to Cauldron Lake, which is obviously a key part of the story, be exploring all the forests that are around there and because we are more slightly open area based, the player can freely explore, the player can go back and revisit locations, as part of their playthrough.

Sam Lake: Saga Anderson, she's not just any FBI agent coming into this case. There are elements to this that very much tie to who she really is and a journey, a mystery to be discovered there as well.

(In-Game) Saga Anderson: First things first, what’s your name?

Sam Lake: So where has Alan Wake been these 13 years? He went missing at the end of the first game. That is the question.


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