Both Alan Wake and Quantum Break, developed by Remedy Entertainment, are known by many gamers as great story driven games, but Remedy believes that making them linear was "a lost opportunity".
It was revealed in a rather long interview with Polygon that the Finnish studio actually thought that the linearity was a missed opportunity and that the games could even have been better if they were if they were more open. Game Director Mikael Kasurinen said that they had created deep and rich worlds, but players never really got to explore them.
"If you go back and look at Alan Wake ten years ago you could see us talking about it about how we dabbled with the idea of driving around in a car in an open environment. You could see even then that desire to go in that direction.
One way to tell a story is to create a rich world you can get to explore. When you look back at Alan Wake and Quantum Break, you can see we spent a lot of time looking at the shape of those worlds, the cities, towns, neat characters, maps. We spent a lot of time in crafting those universes, if you will. The gameplay is actually a linear story through those amazing, complicated worlds. In one way, it’s a bit of a lost opportunity.
I think they could have been bigger [games] easily. Alan Wake had a long history of development, but it was through years of events that it took the shape it took. A lot of concepts were created through that journey. It felt like there was this world of concept and complex storyline that was left aside. The key point that we learned from that experience is that the world building we do needs to connect with the gameplay. Gameplay needs to enable organic experiences and interactions with the world.
We still want to create strong worlds, but the game should be crafted in such a way that allows this exploration."
Not only is Remedy interested in making bigger and more open and explorable worlds, they also want to make more multiplayer oriented games, something Kasurinen also talked a bit about when explaining Remedy's approach to their upcoming game with the codename: Project 7, and the games after that.
"The game is cooperative. That fits within the theme of the game we are creating and supports it, makes it even stronger. This is our first step toward shared experiences between players.
The games coming after this game will feature bigger multiplayer than this."
But fans of previous Remedy games don't have to worry too much, according to Creative Director Sam Lake, Remedy won't forget their narrative roots.
"We announced earlier that we are exploring multiplayer elements for our future games, but that doesn’t mean those games wouldn’t have a strong narrative. Like Mikael explained, I feel that co-op offers interesting opportunities for storytelling in games. Also, the multiplayer is part of the long-term exploration we’re doing, not the main focus of the games in the making right now."
Seems like future Remedy games will be a bit different than what fans are used to and that they will be both more open for exploration and will feature multiplayer and cooperative play. Now we just wait and see how Remedy introduces these features in their upcoming games.