I just played the Alan Wake game (more correctly, for the fourth time) and begin to question whether the town of Bright Falls, around which most of the game is set, and all its mystery is based on anything real? Any good information?
I know this post is old, but I'd figure I'd add to it. I've heard some people say it looked a lot like some of the nothern parts of Washington, specifically the areas heading toward the North Cascades National Park. There's a small town/village/living area called Newhalem, Wa, which is only used by people who work for Seattle Light, but this is one of the pictures of the town I found:
and the Bright Falls Light & Power Company:
The story follows bestselling thriller novelist Alan Wake, as he tries to uncover the mystery behind his wife's disappearance during a vacation in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington
and more specifically about what it's based on:
The game's setting, Bright Falls, draws inspiration from the early 1990s TV show Twin Peaks, which was set in the titular town; both fictional small towns in the state of Washington. Alfred Hitchcock is also cited as an inspiration, with the flocks of birds that often attack the protagonist being influenced by his classic horror film The Birds.
So, the mysteries etc... are NOT based on anything real but have some inspirations in existing popular culture properties.
the game was actually built around a town that does exist in Detroit Oregon. to be specific, the game was based directly on Detroit lake. If you research it further or read interviews with the developers of the game you will find them refrencing this town multiple times along with pictures of existing places like the diner, power dam, gas station that end up appearing in the game looking almost exactly as they look in the actual pictures from the destination. Best bet for you is to use google maps on this location, look around for a good 20 minutes and you will see multiple reference points that they put into the game. really cool stuff if you ask me.
how do i know this?!? I'm a huge alan wake fan, travelled to Detroit 2 times just to explore based on the game. good luck!
Though not directly affecting the game, there are also a lot of towns in Maine (Stephen King's backyard, and the location for most of his works) that, though not what Bright Falls is modeled after, definitely have the same atmosphere, with the bars, diner, trailer parks, and logging mills. King's work is a major influence in the game's lore. Wake says as much at the start. As previously stated by other users, Oregon (where Life is Strange is based) is full of similar town types, as well as Washington state. Inland California also have some towns with the Bright Falls/Twin Peaks/Haven/Secret Circle/Ozark/Silent Hill/Hawkins vibe. Their pretty much littered all across the US, and Canada (specifically Ontario), as a lot of Supernatural episodes are also filmed in the Land of the Mounties.