Remedy attempted to make Alan Wake a sandbox game - before scrapping the idea during development for a more linear approach.
Speaking to CVG at Microsoft's X10 event in San Francisco last week, Remedy writer Sam Lake said that the developer "constantly tried new things" during the game's creation.
Microsoft confirmed at the event that the Alan Wake release date is May 18 in North America and May 21 in Europe.
"We were constantly trying different gameplay elements to see which would end up in the game and which would work well together," said Lake.
"Certainly, there were prototypes we tested and were not happy with that didn't end up as part of what Alan Wake is.
"For example, early on we tried out sandbox elements. With them we were constantly running into situations where we had to [endure] big compromises in our thriller pacing and our thriller storytelling. At the end of they day we decided it wasn't worth it. We wanted to do a story-driven game - that's what we feel Remedy games are supposed to be.
"[Sandbox] was one thing we decided to abandon and go in a different direction. Some of these things look good on paper, and then when you try them out they don't work as well."