Developer Remedy has offered three cryptic passages of text written by Alan Wake that may contain clues as to the state of the game.
"The amount of pages keeps growing each night," begins the first message, posted on the official forum. "There are also new edits on the old pages. They keep getting more aggressive. The story is rewriting itself. The protagonist is now my namesake, and his wife is called Alice.
"The most worrying aspect: the genre seems to be shifting. It's turning into a horror story. I can no longer be certain whether the hero can succeed or even survive. Apart for jumbled fragments of bad dreams and an oppressive feeling, I can remember nothing of the process when I wake up.
"But this morning, a breakthrough! When I came to my senses, I could smell her perfume on my shirt. I am close. I know it. I must push on," adds the post.
Plenty can be read between the lines: the first section points toward a change in plot, the second part suggests a shift in tone, and the latter hints at an approaching release date announcement.
"Rusty's screams were still ringing in my ears. The tree stump the grove got its name from looked like a severed leg of a monstrous bird. I prayed that the gun would make a difference," adds the second instalment. "Every time I moved the flashlight, I was afraid of the horrors it might reveal. Suddenly a ragged arrow gloved in the light. I followed it."
The third and final post concludes: "I became increasingly afraid to go to sleep. I was convinced that I would wake up changed, darkness having seeped in through the cracks in the floor, crawled up to my bed, and made its way inside, through a nostril or an ear.
"I barricaded the door of the cabin. I kept the lights on at all times. I taped a note on the door (I had forgotten so many things already): 'Don't go out.'"
Alan Wake was unearthed back at E3 in 2005, and has dived undercover ever since - resurfacing briefly at the end of last year in a new trailer.
"Well 'quality' is what is taking so long," explains Remedy's Sam Lake in the updated FAQ. "Well of course something like this takes its time. We're still - even if we've hired more people - a relatively small team when compared to other studios making similar games.
"And when you're doing the game you put the quality standards pretty high and you want to make a good game, of course there is also large ambitions from the whole team in every area and that always takes time."
There's still no release date for Alan Wake, although Remedy is confident of hitting a secretive internal target.
Alan Wake is in development for PC and Xbox 360. Remedy's Markus Maki says the studio is still a registered Sony developer and that system-familiarity was the biggest reason for leaving PS3 out.
"We have absolutely nothing against PS3, far from it, and in fact we are still a registered Sony PS3 developer," he adds in the FAQ.
"It was a big decision for us to go with a console first party publisher with Alan Wake, but looking at it in hindsight I still think it was the right one for the game and for the company. We get a better game for you to enjoy and have less technological risks while making it."
Creep over to our Alan Wake gamepage for all we know about the spooky thriller so far.
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