Enhancing Alan Wake 2: How Remedy Leveraged Antidote for Gathering Crucial Playtest Feedback

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The Company

An image showing Alan Wake 2 logo and gameplay


Remedy Entertainment is a world-renowned game studio recognized for its expertise in narrative-driven and visually stunning titles.

One of these titles, Alan Wake 2, was released in the fall of 2023 and subsequently received multiple accolades at The Game Awards 2023, including Best Narrative, Best Game Direction and Best Art Direction

The game builds on the foundations of its predecessor, delving deeper into the eerie and supernatural world of Bright Falls. The story continues the saga of the troubled author (Alan Wake) trapped in a world of darkness and mystery.

Alan Wake 2 challenges players to navigate through diverse and spine-chilling environments, pushing the limits of the genre and offering a rich, immersive experience.

The Challenge


The team at Remedy aimed to conduct two separate research studies for Alan Wake 2:


The primary challenge was identifying the right player profiles to provide targeted and valuable feedback.

Additionally, it was vital to ensure that the participants signed the required documentation, attended the full duration of the studies and received the rewards after the playtest.

Remedy partnered with Antidote to recruit ideal participants from our active and diverse player community to achieve this.

The specific demographic requirements for both projects included:

FTUE Player Profile

A table showing the player profile requirements for FTUE study

Full Playthrough Player Profile


Therefore, the main objective was to find the ideal playtesters matching these desired profiles. 

This would enable Remedy’s team to conduct two research studies with their target players and gather valuable insights before the game’s official release.

In addition, Antidote’s team was tasked to manage the logistical aspects of player recruitment, ensuring that participants attended the sessions and signed the necessary documentation.

The Solution

An image showing a quote of what service Remedy used

Player Recruitment


The first step involved designing and curating recruitment surveys for the two projects: one for the FTUE and another for the full playthrough.

Our in-house UX team constructed surveys incorporating the demographic requirements the Remedy team specified.

The main challenge centered on the specificity of participants’ profiles (mentioned in the previous section), with each study having its own unique recruitment criteria.

For example, for the FTUE study, we needed to identify players who would fit into two distinct groups:

  • The first group consisted of 8 players who had previously played Alan Wake 1 and were familiar with the game’s universe.
  • The second group consisted of 8 players who had never played Alan Wake 1 before and were fans of the survival horror genre.


An image showing Dot handing out docs to the players

Meeting these conditions was pivotal, as the UX Research team at Remedy aimed to analyze how these diverse profiles interacted with the game and their initial impressions during their first playthrough.

The next step involved inviting our player community to complete the surveys, which resulted in hundreds of submissions.

Following this, our team filtered through the submissions, selecting the most suitable participants that met the study requirements. 

Player Coordination


Once Antidote identified and recruited the target players, we managed the following logistical elements:

  • Having the players sign custom NDAs before participation
  • Ensuring the players joined the dedicated Discord server
  • Monitoring the initial onboarding process and offering ongoing support 
  • Finding player backups in case of no-shows 
  • Distributing the rewards after the playtests 


To maintain the security of the playtest, all participants were required to sign a custom NDA, which prevented them from revealing any content related to the game. Antidote distributed the documentation to each player before they joined the official playtest server.

Additionally, our team was present during the initial stages to ensure that all participants successfully joined the Discord server for the playtests.

An image of Dot coordinating the playtest


Furthermore, Antidote recruited backup participants to address any potential no-shows, ensuring that the study could proceed without significant delays. 

In this case, the research team at Remedy chose to conduct and moderate the playtests themselves using the players recruited from the Antidote community. During these stages, we provided additional assistance for any questions from the participants or Remedy.

However, at Antidote, we also offer help with session moderation and execution. Our experienced UX team can handle the playtest elements such as game distribution, live monitoring, player communication and creating a stakeholder-ready UX report

After completing the playtest, we distributed rewards to each participant, which was facilitated through our dedicated Game User Research (GUR) platform.

The Result


We asked Alex, a UX Researcher at Remedy, about the outcome of working with Antidote:

“Following this playtest, we uncovered new issues and got an overall better understanding of some of our remaining obstacles. Overall, it allowed us to strengthen the feedback we gave to the team.”


By collaborating with Antidote, Remedy’s UX research team was able to deliver crucial findings to their developers, informed by feedback from their target audience. 

These insights helped refine the game design and mechanics of Alan Wake’s 2 before its official release, laying the groundwork for its future success.

Furthermore, when asked about Antidote’s support throughout the research process for their two studies, Alex replied:

“We had a couple of meetings and quite smooth communication along the way to identify our needs and answer our questions. We had some specific requirements for this test and Antidote managed to answer it.”


Effective communication with Remedy’s team enabled Antidote to fully grasp the research objectives and requirements. Understanding these specific needs, Antidote provided tailored support by identifying the right player profiles and managing the logistics for the playtests.

Why Remedy Recommends Antidote


We asked Alex why he would recommend other game studios to work with Antidote:

“Their big gaming-oriented database, allowing any studio to probably find what they would be looking for, and Antidote staff who’s always willing to help and find the best solution to answer their clients’ needs.”


In summary, the key reasons to choose Antidote include:


If you are looking to playtest your game with your target audience, partnering with Antidote grants you access to an active and growing player base. 

You can delegate time-consuming tasks like survey design, recruitment and documentation to us, allowing you to focus on gathering valuable insights to enhance your game’s UX.

Moreover, we can manage the playtesting sessions for you, fully streamlining your user research process and ensuring you meet your looming deadlines!

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