When it released in 2010, Remedy's episodic thriller Alan Wake found a modest but ardent following.
When the Xbox 360 game was released it went up against Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption, and subsequently only sold 4.5 million copies, not enough for publisher Microsoft to consider financing a sequel, which it turns out Remedy had already outlined and prototyped.
In an unusual turn of events, Remedy has shared that prototype with Polygon.
"For Alan Wake, from the get-go, we assumed there was going to be a sequel and we mapped things further out when it came to character, story, details and focus changes," Remedy boss Sam Lake told Polygon. "We knew we would have to iterate and refine, but there was always a rough road map there."
"Near the end of Alan Wake, we were sitting down and talking about the sequel and where we should be taking it, on a detailed level. More or less straight from getting Alan Wake shipped, we were working on a sequel and planning on a sequel."
Lake also indicated that Remedy had more than one sequel in mind.
"Definitely what we have mapped out is a longer thing than the first game and a sequel; there is more to it," Lake said. "In many ways, we see the universe as a bigger thing. Alan Wake is a very central character, but we have other characters around him like [friend and agent Barry Wheeler] and his wife Alice and Sheriff Sarah Breaker and other characters there."
Lake described the following prototype for "Alan Wake 2" as a "mood piece" that includes "the high-level thematic elements of what's there."
When it became clear that "Alan Wake 2" was unlikely to happen, Lake said Remedy used some of the prototyped elements in 2012's Alan Wake: American Nightmare, a stand-alone story set in the Alan Wake universe.
Lake added that the studio was comfortable releasing the prototype to Polygon because the elements within are so high-concept.
"There are no spoilers in it. That being said, I do hope we get an opportunity to work on Alan Wake 2. I want to do more Wake at some point."
Remedy is now working on Quantum Break, an episodic game that is in some ways a spiritual successor to Alan Wake.