If you think back to many years ago you might remember that Alan Wake was originally supposed to be a multiplatform game that would launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. As development of the game chugged along, the PS3 version was the first to get the cut, with the PC version being lopped closer to release. While speaking with CVG, Remedy CTO, Markus Maki, gives a small amount of insight as to why the game ended up only on Microsoft’s console, as well as a few other big decisions that had to be made during development.
For starters, Markus revealed that Alan Wake was almost another product of the Unreal Engine but Remedy decided against it due to the technology being so young at the time.
“We looked at Unreal and other technologies out there, but this was actually before the PS3 and Xbox 360 were ever even released. At that point, we didn’t dare commit to shipping a game on third-party tech until the developers of that tech had shipped a game on each of those platforms. Five years later, [I’ll admit] that the reasoning wasn’t solid because these guys beat us to the punch easily.”
Markus went on to talk about why there was no multiplayer included, as well as how the decision to go platform-exclusive really boiled down to a “technology risk”.
“We needed to be top notch in some areas, but we knew we couldn’t do everything better than some developers out there. For example, this meant there was no multiplayer. That wasn’t in our core set of skills and it would have been a huge effort.
We also took the approach to license middleware that made sense, even when we didn’t end up using it all for one reason or another. And then, the big deal – to go with Microsoft and take one big technological effort, the PS3, out of the equation. That then changed the technology risk to a business risk – but that’s a subject for a different talk altogether…”
Definitely some interesting tidbits in there but perhaps the most interesting thing Markus told CVG was that Alan Wake’s engine was built from scratch by only eight programmers. I’ll admit to being highly uneducated on what it takes to create an engine but eight people seems very low. That may also explain why the development cycle for Alan Wake was so lengthy, despite lacking multiplayer and only launching on a single platform.