CVG recently spoke with Sam Lake, who is currently working with Remedy Entertainment as a writer to bring us Alan Wake. For those of you who did not know, Sam Lake is the Finnish multitask-er who played many different roles in the creation of the original Max Payne game. They even built Max Payne's face off of Sam's.
Anyway, good ole Sam had this to say on the game's story.
Sam Lake said:
We really feel there needs to be a satisfying conclusion. But at the same time, it needs to end in kind of a cliffhanger and we need to open doors for a larger story beyond this one.Also, this is another quotation the article had.
Sam Lake said:
How Alan Wake as a whole will end? We have ideas and have mapped out the storyline quite far, but time will tell. I'm sure it will live a life of its own and things will change along the way. We certainly would like to do more, but ultimately if people want more, they will get more.This is all quite interesting, but if you want my thoughts and I am sure you all do, since that is what I tell my reflection when I am psyching myself up in the mirror before I write any articles.
I am both excited and wary of what this episodic format could mean for videogames. Episodic gaming has been around for a while now, depending how you define it. Yet more than ever it seems like developers are going to be using gimmicks, trying to hook you into their franchises so that you come back to spend your pretty pennies on the next episode.
This could mean it will force developers to really work on their games, to make them shine so brightly that when the next one comes out you will stampede over other customers at the videogame shop in order to be the first to get your hands on it. This is a best case scenario, unless you are the one getting stampeded on.
But it could also result in developers trying to pump out episodes at a pace which is unhealthy, in order to maintain people's interest. Which could result in games with more flaws, or games that rely on cheap gimmicks and games hooking you with agonizing cliffhangers, to force you to come back to the game.
When I think of episodic gaming I immediately think of 'Half Life 2' a great series but each episode seems so far apart, that by the time the next one comes out, my memories have faded and my interest has tapered off. But I still have hope that developers will find a happy medium to make this all work. I would also like to think consumers are smart enough not to let the game makers get away with putting out a shoddy product.
Ultimately though, I think when you have a project that has Max Payne on the staff, there is a good chance that whoever does not do their best could get a bullet time bullet, right in the bullet time bum.
P.S. While writing this I had a tendancy to write Sam Wake instead of Sam Lake... oh my... I wonder if there could be a connection! Only time will tell how Sam Lake does with Alan Wake, which may or may not have a Sam Wake by Sam Lake