Sam Lake, lead writer on the action thriller Alan Wake, discussed the game, along with other stuff, at the most recent GamecityNights event in Nottingham. It takes more than a volcanic ash cloud to stop this guy!
Sam Lake was due to show Alan Wake and talk about the game at the Screenlit Festival, but then nature decided that this was not going to happen and the volcano in Iceland managed to prevent him from leaving Finland.
However, the guys at GameCity, organisers of the original event, were not going to let something as small as a volcano prevent Sam Lake from talking to the fans in the UK. At their most recent GCN event, where independent developers have a chance to discuss their latest titles, they managed to chat with Sam Lake via the power of an internet video call.
With Iain Simons hosting, Sam Lake started by talking about Max Payne. It was revealed that the movie rights to Max Payne were sold before the release of the first game. It then spent years “bouncing around the Hollywood system” before finally being made into a movie. When asked how he felt about the movie, he answered that it was their (Abandon Entertainment’s) vision of Max Payne and that it differed in a few ways to the original Remedy vision.
On the subject of artistic vision, Sam also explained that he, as a gamer, was looking forward to seeing Rockstar’s vision of Max Payne in the upcoming Max Payne 3. Selling the Max Payne franchise had secured the future of the company for a very long time and, as they were still working on Max Payne 2 when the deal went through, there was plenty of time to say goodbye.
Sam Lake pointed out that the movie rights to Alan Wake had not yet been sold, but they are looking for opportunities for it to cross over to other mediums.
“When opportunities arise,” explained Sam, “we will be looking at the possibilities of movies or graphic novels or TV series or whatever.”
There are, in fact, already a couple of books on the way. One of these books is included with the limited collectorâ€™s edition; the other is a novelisation of the game.
The question on everyone’s lips was regarding a possible sequel and upcoming DLC. Sam Lake gave some insight into this, saying that the plot line of Alan Wake has been outlined beyond the first game and the story is meant to continue. But it all depends on the popularity of the game and how well it is received by the fans.
Will there be DLC? â€œYes,” confirmed Sam, “if you look at it as a TV series. The first Alan Wake game is like the first season of a TV series. Some TV series have special features between seasons; this is how we are looking at the dlc content, almost like a bridge between the first game and the potential sequel. All of the content we are doing for Alan Wake is story driven, there is going to be more plots coming with DLC.”
In reality, we already know that DLC is planned simply because it has been announced that gamers who buy their copies of Alan Wake new will also receive a code entitling them to download the first DLC package for free, when it becomes available. But now we know that the DLC will be story driven and, as Sam Lake confirmed, will not be consisting of new outfits and such.
When opportunities to talk to people integral to the making of a game arise, everyone wants to find out something that they did not already know. Sam was only too happy to tell the audience of a similarity between the character Alan Wake and Remedy. Alan Wake became famous as an author by writing crime novels featuring the fictional character, Alex Casey, a hard-nosed New York cop. I will leave you to make the connections…
And so, GameCityNights Season 1, Episode 3 continued in the usual manner, with the now infamous quiz. Sam Lake was kind enough to ask the first three questions of the quiz and was even brow beaten into providing some rather nice prizes for the winners, even including the t-shirt that he was wearing for the interview. He did, however, draw the line at donating the chainsaw that was used for the motion capture in Alan Wake.
After the quiz, Robin Lacey from Beatnik Games took to the stage to discuss the finer points of suicidal ninja robots, as featured in their excellent game, Plain Sight.
This latest incarnation of GameCityNights was a huge success, with fun being had by all. We all now know a little more about Alan Wake and the game’s future. But what about the future of GCN? What plans have been made for the next nocturnal gathering of gamers in the Nottingham area?
Well, the date has been finalised as May 28th, the venue is Antenna in Nottingham, as before. Headlining this time will be Ben Ward and Chris Downey from Bizarre Creations, discussing their upcoming arcade racer, Blur. It promises to be another evening of epic gaming related entertainment. Stay informed at – http://gamecity.org/events/xa7f2