Classic – how did Max Payne?

At the end of July 2001, the Finnish Studio Remedy Entertainment has become famous all over the world, and graduate of the Helsinki Theatre Academy Sami järvi (Sami Jarvi) began to learn on the street. Better focus on the history of Max Payne and remember, as a small team of developers changed the idea of the genre of interactive action. At the same time understand, where did the image of a COP in a leather jacket, a lot of authors borrowed from “the Matrix” and whether it is important for the evaluation of the work.

Ride — Now you can shoot

Having sold nearly a hundred thousand copies of Death Rally, the staff of Remedy for the first time felt victorious — time sheer enthusiasm in my father’s garage came to an end. From the house Samuli Suwahara they moved into a proper office, expanded staff and appealed to the American patrons of 3D Realms with a new offering. More precisely, the options were three: another race with explosions, space simulator on the motives of the Virus — their last project for Amiga computers — isometric shooter in the style Loaded from the company Interplay. The representative of the publisher Scott Miller (Scott Miller) advised me to do the action, the benefit of the team already had experience with the genre. Not very good, but still.

Miller pulled out into the light of day at least two cool characters — Duke and max.

After all, in 1996 representatives of Virgin Interactive Entertainment with the Finns signed a contract for the production of Guntech game whose action takes place whether in Moscow, whether in Shanghai after the reset nuclear bomb “Valkyrie”, which turned the population into zombies. The walking-dead and had to shoot the character Alex Casey. During the development period, the project changed its name — it was turned into a Gunkan, Aggression”s Utopos. However, to buyers he never made it. Due to financial problems of the publisher zombie Apocalypse had to be abandoned, and all that is left of it, was just a rumor, Yes a few sketches of musical composition.

There is a silver lining: not only that, the employees Remedy stuffed his hand in the programming and design, they are also adept in three-dimensional graphics. The result was a breakthrough for the time benchmark Final Reality 1997, where she first lit up a poster of Max Payne and the sign of the Corporation “Asir”. Why, you ask, was released after three and a half years? The answer is simple: unlike most of his colleagues, the Finns are first engaged by the hero, not gameplay. At this point they gave Scott Miller.

“We started with finding a suitable character — roughly the same thing happened with our Duke Nukem. Was planning on Max Payne transmedia franchise built around expressive personality. Because if you have no character — you don’t have anything,” — says the Director of 3D Realms. The preparation of the literary part of the Studio co-founder Petri Yarvilehto (Petri Jarvilehto) entrusted to his friend Sami järvi, better known today as Sam lake (Sam Lake). He has helped with Death Rally, but now he had much more serious work.

Outline Remedy with Alex Casey. It is noteworthy that the later so-called protagonist of the books of Alan Wake.

“We had a few ideas for new projects. One of them was called Dark Justice — something like a Thriller about the mafia. Then we brought in the original concept a few small changes — and then there was Max Payne,” — said Sam in an interview with GameSpot. — “The starting point was the image of a tough COP and how this character reveals itself in an internal monologue in a monstrous situation that destroyed his life. It made me think of the legends about monsters, hell, and similar things”.

Lake put on the table all the cards accumulated over the years of study at the Theatre Academy from Noir detectives with Humphrey Bogart (Humphrey Bogart) to “Lord of the rings” and Norse myths. Only with the name of the policeman seeking revenge for the murder of a family, could not be determined. Since the name of Dark Justice was already taken, and the hero definitely should have put in the title, I had to wrestle with. Miller suggested a catchy name is Max, Remedy has added the name of the Hit. For promotion of this brand had to pull 20 thousand dollars, when the consultant-in-arms . Turbine (Ossi Turpeinen) catapulted Payne — similar to the “pain” in English. That settled the matter, and Max Heat made the name of the porn in the universe of action — for a company with the TV show Dick Justice. As you can see, with a sense of humor the Finns in order.

Sourpuss justice

While the lake was Packed in their cultural baggage in 160 pages of script, game designers solved the problem of a different kind. At the request of the same Miller they abandoned the isometric view in favor of the third person — as in the popular Tomb Raider. But openly to imitate the creativity Core Design of steel — instead use Hong Kong militants John Woo (John Woo) like “killers” and “hard boiled”. As noted by the programmer Olli Tervo (Olli Tervo), ” John Woo special action: flying in the air with garbage, shooting with two hands, and similar things — we wanted to adopt his style.” A colleague echoes technical artist games Themselves were Vanhatalo (Sami Vanhatalo): “One of the first things created for Max Payne, was a system of particles — especially cool she looked in drag.”

The image of max is inspired by the movie based on the books of Raymond Chandler (Raymond Chandler).

Production was delayed, and the technology was not in place. To Remedy realized with hand-drawn textures will not get far, and new York, where the action Thriller, you can’t judge only by movies, press Yes. Therefore, part of the team went to the US to photograph nature. The developers checked in to a hotel near Central Park in Manhattan, where he visits disadvantaged areas of the Big Apple, accompanied by Mike and Kevin — bodyguards of former police officers. In addition to a day out, had a few times a day to run up on foot on the 19th floor of the hotel, as the building was out of order elevators. And if we add to this problems with jetlag and revelry in the company of the staff of Rockstar Games, the schedule went truly crazy.

Creative plans partly interfered with the policy of mayor Giuliani (Rudolph Giuliani), started a big tidy of the metropolis. The Finns had to seek out dirt, stench, devastation — this helped the authors of the GTA, for which they were awarded a special “Easter eggs” in Max Payne. Memories of the trip are reminiscent of a scene from a crime show: “Mike with a gun walked in front, and we trudged after him, stepping on syringes and empty ampoules from-under methadone… In Little Odessa, the Russian district, the bandits stuck to us because of the camera, but the guide showed them the gun under his jacket and they leave”.

Finally the boys found what I was looking for — the most wretched high-rise building in new York. “I’ve seen bad places, but this is the worst shit on Earth”, — assured of their guide, inviting favored by drug addicts and blocked by the steel bars, the lobby. A week later, the travelers gathered 10 hours of video and more than 5 thousand photographs, which formed the basis of the scenery. Left to pull off the same trick with characters, put it on computer models of faces of real people.

American photoarchive useful not only for textures but also for plot inserts.

Face all sorts of needs, face all sorts of important — about the motto of designers began photographing everyone who gave consent but did not require payment. For the characters were posing for friends, colleagues, pizza guys, and even close relatives — for example, the prototype of the villain Nicole Horne was the mother of Sam Lake. And the writer is not passed this Cup, because its a sour grimace for a long time fixed for the main character. Although it all started with playful collages on the walls of the office, charisma, a graduate of the Theatre Academy is finally appreciated. By exactly the same half-serious experiments the developers come up with another characteristic feature of action comics, as a substitute for cut scenes.

To draw insertion trusted Illustrator and the author of the logo of the company , Kiia Kallio (Kiia Kallio). And Lake was able to masterfully adapt the pictures with the text to the flow of the plot — including scrapping the so-called “fourth wall”, when Max suddenly realizes that he is inside the game. “Cut scenes — a beautiful but clumsy solution. We would like to deploy before gamers more ambitious story, transcending the works of its era. Initially used hand drawing on top of photos, but was difficult to perform all of the images in the same style. So we went over to the filters from Photoshop,” said in an interview with Sam.

In addition to the creative imagination of the developers were motivated by budget savings. Of course, the boss of 3D Realms didn’t rush authors, but the fate of their investment is still bothered. And the account was in the millions of dollars. Had to report on progress, to arrange a conference with his superiors, to go to exhibitions like E3. Fortunately, the strategy of Scott Miller not too exhausted players: “we had a controlled and a clear marketing plan aimed at all media hype. We positioned Max Payne as leader of the category, but leave room for the speculation of journalists. We have been stingy with the screenshots and news, but teased all unprecedented effects.”

The Apocalypse in new York

“It is very important to have different levels of the plot, such as external action and the internal struggle of the protagonist. I looked at it through the prism of the character Payne and grim of new York- projections of what happens to max in the head. The public can see it from the same perspective. I don’t think someone has done this to us,” recalls lake. By 1999, the way of the shooter really happened: the eternal night, allusions to Norse mythology in the names, the atmosphere of Ragnarok and gangster who considers himself a wolf Fenrir. Rich contexts entourage successfully rests on a simple concept of gameplay. If you believe Miller, as planned. Say, what’s the story? Ex-COP on revenge for the murdered family — motive simpler and at the same time not seriously to come up with. And what do we do? Right, kill all the enemies.

Finns mercilessly edited the work, removing from it all that would be confusing, unduly complicate or prolong the passage. That’s what it said to do Vanhatalo: “Barely it came to the edits, we were very aggressive — for example, we are not fans of that hero back to level for key cards”. On the other hand, carefully polished and brought to mind the shooting, including the famous Bullet-time mode. The deceleration time when the hero dodges enemy bullets and manages to make a couple of well-aimed shots, became the hallmark of the Max Payne long before the release. But as it turned out, the same trick was used by the authors of the film “the Matrix”, published just in 1999.

Looking at the exploits of Neo, the developers grabbed his head — before scenes from the film reminded their ideas. Not surprisingly, given the General source of inspiration. That’s why employees Remedy had to postpone the premiere of the game and come to grips with understanding creativity the then brothers Wachowski (Laurence Wachowski, Andrew Wachowski). And to think there was something.

When you the official Max Payne, you have to play that role even outside of the office.

Let today the dispute about the primacy subsided, and the invention of Bullet-time well established for the Finnish Studio, the fans was plagued by vague doubts. In recognition of the Petri Yarvilehto, in its final form, the regime has issued only six months before release, and “the original idea was to have special rooms where if it would slow down time; the mechanics worked from scratch, but suggested the correct direction of development”. The influence of the “Matrix” does not deny Sam lake — this is what he explains the battle in a skyscraper Corporation “Asir”. However, the rights and Scott Miller, noting in a blog that the shooting of deceleration was the same “trick” Remedylike fast service at McDonalds or safety — cars Volvo.

Doubts have disappeared in the summer of 2001. Then many realized that Max Payne is not only headshots in slow-mo, but innovative for the genre of depth, emotion, storytelling and great music, written, Kartsi Hatachi and Kimmo Kajasto (Kartsy Hatakka, Kimmo Kajasto). And the glory history has shown that Sam lake told journalists.

“One day I was walking home from the office on one of the streets of Espoo. It’s a nice area, but then between me and the machine was empty. The car slowed, and I saw four guys look out of the Windows — they started yelling at me to stop and then blocked the way. I was surrounded from all sides and began to ask Max if I asked for an autograph. Fortunately, this rarely happens because we, the Finns, the people reserved and are in no hurry to tie the conversation with the first comer”.

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