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30th October 2023
Alan Wake 2: Behind the Scenes [Video Series]
[Final] Chapter 6: Horror, The Remedy Way

With the release of the highly-anticipated sequel, we have come to the final episode in the Alan Wake 2: Behind the Scenes video series.

Over the past few months, these videos have been our insight into how the game was developed and the challenges of taking on such a monster project, and the final one is not to be missed. 

With the game now available in the hands of players worldwide, the sixth episode delves into Remedy's approach to creating their own game in the survival horror genre.  

In the episode, we hear from Sam Lake (Creative Director), Kyle Rowley (Game Director), Petri Alanko (Composer), Vida Starčević (Senior Community Manager), Janina Gavankar (Actor, Kiran Estevez), Nathalie Jankie (Level Designer), Clay Murphy (Principal Writer), Marko Muikku (Gameplay Lead), Nazareno Urbano (Principal Environment Artist), Gulli Gunnarsson (Senior Audio Designer), Teemu Huhtiniemi (Principal Level Designer), Richard Lapington (Audio Director), Ilkka Villi (Physical Actor, Alan Wake), Melanie Liburd (Actor, Saga Anderson), and Anssi Määttä (Film Director). It's a really good one, check it out below!

If you missed any of the videos, you can watch the full series, HERE.

Horror, The Remedy Way Transcript: 

Sam Lake: Alan Wake 2 is a horror game. In horror stories, we only have victims and monsters.

Kyle Rowley: We've come up with a new take on the Dark Presence, which is more dangerous and terrifying than ever.

(In-Game) Taken: Show me the terror!

Petri Alanko: Horror, for me, is something that connects my basic primal fears with reality.

Vida Starčević: I love things like atmospheric horror, psychological horror, haunted houses.

Janina Gavankar: I like it because the genre of horror has the guts to look at the things that you are too scared to look at yourself.

Nathalie Jankie: I think a good horror can stick with you for days, sometimes even years. And I think if a good horror manages to give you that feeling, they've really captured something elusive and almost intangible and traumatise the audience in a really, really good way.

(In-Game) Alan Wake: I don’t want to be in this story. Just write me out of this story.

Clay Murphy: I really like writing it because I don't have to be surprised by it in a way. I'm setting up a surprise for other people. I can scare them. I don't scare myself. I'm in control.

Kyle Rowley: Alan Wake 1 was very much known for its narrative, and it was telling a horror story, but then there was a bit of a dissonance between the story, trying to have this slightly more slow burn feel to it, and the kind of fast-paced action gameplay. So we just felt that there was much more of a cohesive fit between the genre [of] survival horror and the kind of story we wanted to tell for the sequel.

Marko Muikku: It’s not so much about the body horror. It's the everyday weird. Things that look just perfectly fine, and then a twist comes, and you’re like, "Okay, what's going on here?" Like using Dark Place as an example, every single shadow or moving piece, I'm looking at it. 'Okay, what was there?'

Nathalie Jankie: The flashlight only illuminates a certain part of the scene, so it very easily focuses your attention in a certain composition. Having the lighting and the shadows dance around the environment quickly incites your brain to play tricks on you.

Nazareno Urbano: Essentially, what makes the environment scary is the atmosphere. So when you add the lighting and the music, that's when the fun begins.

Petri Alanko: Horror tends to be quite a, you know, personal perspective towards the issue itself. At times, I've noticed that I felt unease, even anxious. It's really interesting to bring yourself towards that edge musically.

Gulli Gunnarsson: We've done a lot of sound design experimentation. For example, with the Dark Presence and Dark Presence roar, what is that? How do we make that so evil? And we've listened to an enormous amount of different people screaming and animals, trying to find  the correct scream to fit the Dark Presence.

Teemu Hutiniemi: I think we managed to make it feel like it's a place with a personality, with a pretty unique feel.

Richard Lapington: We're trying to avoid a lot of the cliches; we’re trying not to fall into those traps. So, the sense of dread and anticipation is really there.

(In-Game) Alan Wake: Get away. Get away!

Sam Lake: The live-action elements are part of the horror for sure. We are using blended video on top of the game footage for these very strange, nightmarish visions.

Kyle Rowley: Alan Wake as a franchise is very much supernatural, very dreamlike. So it allows us to kind of lean on that and then utilise live action in a way that doesn't feel disconnected from that kind of overall experience.

Sam Lake: Using live-action film footage in our games comes from several different directions. Our games are set in a version of present-day, and there I feel that building the world using the mediums that are present in our lives is important and makes it more believable and is just a very logical choice. We are almost like shifting through layers of reality. So we are falling into these live-action bits that you see on the screen and experiencing that, and then falling out of them again.

Ilkka Villi: Doing more live-action is very exciting for me.

Melanie Liburd: Yeah!

Ilkka Villi: I love doing motion capture and all that,  but being with you in the same room...

Melanie Liburd: I know, this is our set for the day.

Illka Villi: ...it’s fantastic.

Anssi Määttä: Each shot and each scene feels different, like a different story, and it's been great. I've never done anything like this. It's been cool.

(On Location) Anssi Määttä: Cheers. Kippis.

Kyle Rowley: You always have an idea of what the game will be when you start out, and then more creative people who are better at your job than you are come on and do cool stuff. This idea I had is kind of not exactly as it was when we started out, but it's become this thing which is even better than what I thought it was going to be.

Sam Lake: I feel lucky that I have been able to stuff all kinds of crazy, experimental things into this experience. Atmosphere and horror and interactive storytelling and mixing of different mediums together. All of that combines into what Alan Wake 2 is.

Kyle Rowley: Fans of the original game and people who may have not experienced Alan Wake, be afraid. Be very afraid.

-- CONSOLE & PC GAMES --

The Crossfire Series

The Control Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series

Additional

-- MOBILE GAMES --

-- LIVE ACTION SERIES --

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