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Alan Wake developer: choose 'playability and intuitiveness' over realism

In a new Gamasutra feature interview, Remedy's managing director Matias Myllyrinne explains how the developer prioritizes gameplay feel over the need to be truly real
In a new Gamasutra feature interview, Remedy's managing director Matias Myllyrinne explains how the developer prioritizes gameplay feel over the need to be truly realistic, with Alan Wake and Max Payne. "We felt that we wanted to have playability and intuitiveness go over realism, and I think that's where we err when we need to make those choices," said Myllyrine, describing the decision-making process behind Alan Wake's flashlight, and other creative decisions the studio has made over the years. "So for example, the flashlight is actually wildly exaggerated. When we had the first iteration of the flashlight, it was modeled accurately: how far the beam goes, and how it behaves. And that wasn't really fun in gameplay, so we took this almost like an X-Files flashlight, which is almost like car lights, or something, and it just feels better and plays better, so that's what we went with." Bullets in the original Max Payne, he says, traveled much slower than real bullets because "they just looked a lot better in the confined spaces. That actually gave you more gameplay, because if they go at real bullet speeds you don't really see much." "So I think that's our design philosophy; we'll go for [gameplay over realism]," he says. "I think it's more about how the player perceives it, and how it feels," he also says, of Remedy's new Xbox Live Arcade title Alan Wake: American Nightmare's destructible environments. The full feature interview, in which Myllyrinne delves deeper into the creative choices the team made with the new game and why they're tackling Xbox Live Arcade with Alan Wake, is live now on Gamasutra.

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