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19th March 2024
Alan Wake 2's Audio Team Wins Hat-Trick at Game Audio Awards 2024

On March 8th, the ninth annual Game Audio Awards, the biggest awards event for game music and sounds in Europe, took place in Oulu, Finland.

Throughout the evening, four awards were given out alongside honourable mentions to select individuals. For Alan Wake 2's audio team, it was a huge night, with the game performing a hat-trick, taking home three categories in a row; Best Game Music, Firestarter Award for Best Game Music Audience Favourite 2023, and Firestarter Award for Best Game Sound Design Audience Favourite 2023.

The jury included Salla Hakkola, Orvar Säfström, Elvira Björkman, Nicklas Hjertberg, Sam Hughes (former Remedy dev!), Mika Niinimaa, Joonas Turner, and Dave Rowe, with the audience able to pick their Firestarter Award choices over dinner.

Collecting the three awards on behalf of the team was Richard Lapington (Audio Director at Remedy), but we also heard from Koča Kaštavara (Senior Music Designer), Dobrivoje Milijanović  (Music Designer) and Petri Alanko (Composer) during the nomination showcase.

You can check out the full ceremony below! We've also transcribed the nomination showcase speeches and Richard's acceptance speeches which you can follow underneath. 

Sound Design Nominations

Richard Lapington: Hello, my name's Richard and I'm the Audio Director at Remedy Games, and I was also the Audio Director for Alan Wake 2

So, the audio for Alan Wake 2 is tied very closely into the narrative and narrative themes. The way we came up with this sonic vision is that we examined the story and chose elements within there, or the themes within there, that really worked well with it and translated well into the audio. So, a lot of the story is about mirroring and contrasting and we took that idea and implanted it into the sonic vision. So the biggest example of this is, like, Washington State verses the Dark Place. 

So, Washington State is a highly naturalistic environment, it's like hyper real. It's really, where nature is prevalent and you can hear that in the rain and the way we treated the reverbs. On the flip side of that coin is the Dark Place, and the Dark Place is… it's a written reality, it's a dream, it's an imagination. Nothing in there is really real. So we tried to create an environment that's very claustrophobic and very unsure of what you're actually hearing, unlike in Washington state. 

Alan Wake 2 is also a horror game and audio is incredibly important for horror, all those little sounds that you hear that set you a little bit on edge. When we were approaching the audio, one of the mantras we had was that quiet sounds are loud. So we tried to flip this idea of dynamic, and dynamic range, so that all the little things within the environment kind of come out so this perception of loudness and expectation of loudness is twisted. 

Koča Kaštavara: Hello, my name is  Koča Kaštavara from Serbia. I was the Senior Music Designer for Alan Wake 2, who mostly took care of the Washington State side of the game. My job was to edit the range and implement various parts of music that Petri made into the gameplay. My biggest challenge was to really feel every scene and give it a distinct tone, but also to keep everything sounding consistent. I'm glad that the game went so well, and that it was received so well. I had a great time working on it, and it looks like we did a good job. Cheers!

Dobrivoje Milijanović: Hello esteemed college and game music lovers. My name is Dobrivoje, and I worked as a music designer for Remedy's Alan Wake 2. My main task was to support and empathise the nightmarish atmosphere of the Dark Place, in which our hero, Alan, was trapped. 

I was incredibly lucky to work with the wonderful audio team led by Richard Lapington and Anika Neubert. And even after all the challenges and tight deadlines along the way, the creative process was rewarding and quite enjoyable. It's a great honour in being nominated for the Golden Reel, and to see our names shoulder to shoulder with the world's best is a dream come true.  

Game Music Nomination

Petri Alanko: Hello everybody. My name is Petri Alanko, and I'm the composer for Alan Wake 2. It all began in 2004, when they were making the first Alan Wake, and it was clear from the start that there would be a sequel later on. We took… just a little bit of time to achieve that.

During the making of Alan Wake 2, it was clear that we would have two protagonists. Of course, Alan would be trapped in the Dark Place and had been there for a long time. So, it would eventually alter him and his thinking and his behaviour, everything. I did quite a lot of different samples, ranging from just screeching- metal screeching, and bending wood and, y'know, all kinds of different things thanks to Apprehension Engine and Mega Marvin Remedy had acquired. I spent quite a lot of time doing a library of my own and recording that in 192/24 and towards the end, 32 floating. I used those as a basis for instruments and then also as a source for impulse responses and convolution. And that mixture sort of amalgamated and merged into something that truly brought the Dark Place and Alan's hell alive. I think the game needed something that was possible only that way. I felt the game needed something very atonal and dissonance and screeching, screaming, as if the instrument was screaming itself to death. And also used those as a basis for processing proto-sounds, I mean other orchestra instruments. Even played some trombone, some cello, some double bass, and I can't play those, so that's part of the secret, so to speak. 

What drives me as a composer is the fact that Remedy's able to create stories and creating believable worlds, characters and turning it all into a huge emotional hurricane. Which comes in and changes your life, probably for good. I feel like my duty is to decorate the world in an appropriate way, finding the means to decorate the world, and despite it's my face and my name somewhere there, I need to emphasise the fact that this very much was teamwork, despite the fact that it's my name in there, I need to emphasise that this is teamwork. This, indeed, was a prime example of very skilled and honed machinery of individual people who are extremely gifted and gave their devotion to a project they all loved, and that humbles me.

Anyhoo, thanks for bearing with me, and thanks for taking your time, and thanks for having me there.

Acceptance Speeches

Best Game Music 

Richard Lapington: I'm accepting this award, of course, on behalf of Petri [Alanko] and Poets of the Fall, and also Fried Music who did an amazing of putting the game together and putting the music together. But I would also like to say, like Petri said in his video, it's so many people involved in creating this, it's such a complicated mass of… you need such a complicated mass of experience to actually get this where it's going. So, I would also like to thank the audio team as well, the narrative team, and also Sam of course, because he actually wrote a lot of the lyrics for the Fried Music stuff. And, of course, Epic Games and Remedy. What do I say next? I think that's it! Thank you very much

Audio Sound Design (Audience Favourite)

Richard Lapington: I have to do this again now, don't I? This time, I would like to thank the audo team and I can go by name because I know them all very very well. So I know Tazio [Schiesari], Gulli [Gunnarsson], Ville [Sorsa], Pauli [Ondruska], Kit [Challis]… now, I'm going to forget them all. Josh [Bell], Henry [Scott], Thomas [Holmes], and I would also like to thank our partners, Red Pipe and Dynamedion. They really pulled it out for this one. What more can I say? I said it all last time! I can say one thing more, I can say that the world at the moment is not the best place to be, there are lots of things going on, so remember to be nice to each other. 

Best Game Music (Audience Favourite)

Richard Lapington: Happy International Women's Day. I actually realised that I forgot to thank somebody, or some people, I want to thank all of you here for voting for us. I'm really really- it's humbling! I've got such imposter syndrome at the moment. It's incredible. But thank you again! 


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