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Matias Myllyrinne: The Advent Of Alan Wake


April 12, 2010 Article Start Page 1 of 4 Next
 

The game has been in the works for years now, but very soon, Microsoft and Remedy's Alan Wake will finally be released for the Xbox 360. It comes on the heels of Sony's Heavy Rain -- an extremely different game, to be sure, but the other platform holder's major thriller title of the generation.

Matias Myllyrinne, the managing director of Finland-based studio Remedy, seems excited to finally be able to share the game with the world. In this interview, he discusses the preproduction and production process that birthed the game as well as the creative evolution of the medium that helped birth the title.

I think it's nice that we're getting a little bit more of this psychological, mature stuff coming. In the past, the industry dove into that and then came back out again; this generation got very, very shooter-heavy, and now we're getting back to the psychological maturity.

Matias Myllyrinne: Yeah. Modern Warfare 2, for me, was a game I played in two sittings -- the single-player. I had to cancel my Gold subscription for a month so I wouldn't play the multiplayer, 'cause we needed to ship Wake. (Laughs) Everything I hear about Bad Company 2 makes it a game I want to play. But I'm glad that we're also doing different kinds of games.

Being able to deliver more character depth, for lack of a better word -- they're no longer just cardboard cut-outs; they're actually real in many ways -- is interesting. Being able to push the envelope, even if it's just a few inches forward, but just to be able to push that storytelling envelope further... I think we're going to open up new ground on that end.

And for us, what we spent a lot of time and effort doing is to try to build a new, compelling core mechanic with how you fight with light. So that was something that we're really proud of how it worked out, but it took a lot of time to nail down.

We think we're pretty far into the generation, but a lot of teams are really just getting their first game online at this point.

MM: Yeah. There's a few things here: in one respect, I think we're in a golden age of gaming. If you look at the games that have come out last year...Wow. I mean, there are just so many polished, great games. At least, I can't remember a timeframe when I was so pampered and taken care of as a gamer, so I think in that respect it's a great time.

In terms of a console life-cycle, I think we're just in a very good spot. There are things that we can still do on the consoles that we should be exploring. I'm in no rush to move on to the next generation (laughing), and I think at least most folks I've talked to are very happy staying with this gen and trying to build on it.

There's a lot more consoles out there and a healthy install base, especially now with Sony's Move and Project Natal. I'm hoping that nobody rushes and pulls the trigger too early on the next cycle.

I feel like the only way we'll actually be able to get people to move the craft and the art of gaming forward is if the ground stops moving a little bit.

MM: Yeah. That's true; that's true. And, you know, I'm really surprised at how much -- there's an insane amount of potential what we could still be doing on the 360. It's a good piece of hardware, but, if you think back to the previous gen, like if you look at the PlayStation 2 games, it's like the very first games and then the last ones to come out -- you compare the early games to, like, GTA III -- it's like, wow, this is the same piece of hardware?! Teams just get better and better at pulling power out of those things and realizing their vision.


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