Remedy explains why the free camera mode in Alan Wake PC requires a gamepad

A couple of weeks ago, Remedy decided to give PC players something extra with their freshly released patch for Alan Wake and enabled a free camera mode for it. Naturally, a lot of PC gamers tried to enjoy this new feature and were met with an awkward requirement. In order to use this mode, players had to use a gamepad. As you’d expect, some of them went ahead and complained to Remedy about it, and today the company felt the need to explain why this mode requires a gamepad.
According to Remedy’s community manager, the development controls were mapped to the 360 controller during initial development on Alan Wake and it would require us to redevelop the whole controlling schemes to get it working via keyboard and mouse.
As Remedy’s Peter Papadopoulos said:
“Sure it can be patched it. Will it? Doubtful as it really was something we added because we thought it’d be fun to give the community the option and as such it really isn’t worth the time and costs to redev just for one feature.”
Some fans felt cheated and started accusing Remedy for their decision. Remedy’s Mikki then went ahead and said:
“It’s just an extra feature that we knew people would love, so we enabled that, because it was easy for us to do. Unfortunately, doing more than that with it would not be easy. Of course, we could have just never let anybody use it ever, at all, and then we wouldn’t have to deal with accusations like this.”
In our opinion, both parties are partially right and wrong. It’s only natural for PC gamers to want and use keyboard+mouse for the developer mode that was enabled. In fact, most can get it working by using a gamepad emulator for it. However, they don’t have the right to complain about something that was added as a bonus.
On the other hand, Remedy has simply enabled a hidden feature and nothing more. However, it would not take them much time to change the gamepad buttons to keyboard keys. In order to understand what we’re saying, think of the developer code mode as an “if…then…” algorithm. Developers mapped the gamepad buttons in that section so it should be quite easy to find and change the button instructions. Not only that, but if they used global values for them, this change would be piece of cake.
For your interest, global and boolen values are the first things you learn when you start programming, so I can’t believe that Remedy’s programmers didn’t use them for such things. So no, something like that would not take Remedy a lot of time, it’s a matter of an hour or so.
But then again – and as we said – this is something extra so you can’t really complain about it.