All posts by American

I live in Shanghai, China. I make video games.

Alice Otherlands Files


The Alice: Otherlands Kickstarter ran between Jul 16 2013 – Aug 5 2013 and raised over 222kUSD. Project funds went towards The Pitch as described on the Kickstarter page:

The Pitch

With the acquisition of the film rights to the “Alice” property, we will begin work on animated short films inspired by the “Alice: Otherlands” concept. Our long term goal will be the development and production of a feature length film version of Alice’s story.

If this campaign is successful you will receive, at a minimum, an animated adventure into Otherlands. Beyond that, the success of this campaign will bring us one step closer to seeing Alice on the big screen.

A 12-month option on the film rights was acquired for 100kUSD. Remaining funds went towards the creation and shipping of physical rewards to over 3000 backers around the world, animation production expenses, overhead, development costs, and legal fees. For a detailed breakdown of income and expenses you can check out this graphic.

On October 31st, 2015 links were provided to all the finished digital content from the project. And by March 14, 2016 all of the physical rewards were sent out to backers.

Otherlands hit all goals and delivered all promised content and physical rewards.

In the years since the Otherlands download links were originally posted, they’ve grown old and died. That’s partly because hosting large content for fast download isn’t free. I’d hoped that after some years the content might end up spread across the Internet such that I’d no longer have to personally pay for hosting it. But judging by the daily requests I receive for download links it seems a single point for storing these files is still needed.

Providing Files Costs Money
If you backed the Kickstarter please read this Backer Only Update for details on downloading the Otherlands files.

If you did not back the Kickstarter please consider purchasing something from Mysterious, ordering “Out of the Woods” or donating via PayPal to support my creative efforts and hosting of this content.

You can grab the Otherlands download link and password HERE (subscription to this site required).

Out of the Woods – A Roaring Success

Thank you! 3,771 of you helped make “Out of the Woods” a reality. We’ll now get busy creating a beautifully twisted tabletop card game, illustrated book, coloring book, and collection of art prints (among other things). Want to learn more?

Check out the campaign page on Kickstarter.

Keep up to date via my blog’s OOTW Project Page.

And find OOTW products (as they become available) at Mysterious.

A Message to Fans of Alice

American here with a special message to Alice fans: I know we’ve been spamming you hard with notifications about my new project, “Out of the Woods.” But with only 10 days remaining in the campaign, I really need YOUR support. Why?

First, because I need the freedom to make NEW things unrelated to Alice and not controlled by EA. New projects allow me to remain independent, to run my own small studio, and to hire other creatives to output art, animation, music, and design. We can use that output for new projects, but also to revive the Alice franchise. I can’t do that if I’m working for someone else. I can only do that if I’m working for YOU.

Second, because if another Alice is going to happen it’ll likely be through some form of crowd-funded development. If I can show EA the fans will get behind a crowd funding campaign in a big way, I can make the case that a new Alice game could be funded in that way. Trust me, they are paying attention to this new campaign and its outcome is CRITICAL to Alice’s future.

My future and the future of Alice is in YOUR HANDS. If just 1% of the people who follow the Alice: Madness Returns page supported “Out of the Woods” at the lowest tier level ($35) the campaign would fund instantly. I could get to work on new projects and on building a campaign to take Alice on another trip down the rabbit hole!

Don’t just sit there thinking “other people” will read this and lend their support. YOU are the key. YOUR action will make the difference. If “other people” haven’t lent their support yet, that means they are reading this thinking the same thing, “someone else will make it happen.” That someone else is YOU!

Please, fans of Alice, supporters of my work, back the Out of the Woods Kickstarter today. Right now. Because my future and the future of Alice depend on YOU. Thanks.

Live-streaming “Out of the Woods” and American McGee AMA

At 7PM PST on August 2nd, 2017 I’ll present a live-stream on YouTube. You can set a reminder or watch the stream by hitting:

THIS LINK

During the stream we’ll discuss the “Out of the Woods” Kickstarter which is at 75% backing with 16 days remaining. Myself, Martin, and Lulu will play the card game, discuss the illustrated book, and talk about all the unique add-ons and stretch goals we have available.

You’ll be able to interact with us, ask questions, and provide feedback in real-time.

Hope to see you there!

Facebook Puritans

With my latest Kickstarter for “Out of the Woods” I’ve had to invest significant time, creativity, and money into a large-scale Facebook ad campaign. Kickstarter campaigns live and die by their ability to attract eyeballs.

We began pre-campaign marketing on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram nearly two months before the Kickstarter launch. We grew the “Out of the Woods” Facebook page audience from 0 to 16,000 in that time, doubling our mailing list audience, and growing our other social channels similarly.

During the campaign, we’ve constantly run a series of Facebooks ads which feature artwork from the game and illustrated book. Among these images are illustrations from some of the most violent scenes in fairy tale lore – for example, the severed heads of the “the wives” from Bluebeard:

Facebook has accepted these advertisements and happily taken their fee for impressions and click-throughs. In the background, their advertising platform analyses ad performance and automatically promotes image/text/audience combinations which perform best.

Well-performing ads are good for everyone in the advertising equation – Facebook likes ads which engage and excite people while delivering a high CTR; advertisers like ads which maintain a high CTR and low CPI; while audiences like advertising which appeals to their interests and gives them an entertaining impression.

With all this going on I find it amusing when Facebook rejects an advertising image because a person (or automated review program) finds it offensive on the ground of being too sexually explicit. Even more amusing is when this happens in relation to an image which is relatively tame. This is a good case in point:

Game industry media have picked up on this story and found it similarly amusing. But there’s also a sad statement made when a platform like Facebook embraces violence and gore while rejecting the human form and any hint of sexuality. People often try to blame video game content for (mis)-shaping the minds of adolescents – but what of the near-constant barrage of messaging (or messaging by omission) presented in advertising?

I think Facebook has a fine system in place for automatically giving advertisers and audiences what they want. That system should be allowed to determine what works and what appeals. It’s not Facebook’s place to nanny us and filter the content we consume – any more than it’s their place to filter the news we read. Build a platform which caters to what people want to consume – and let the people decide!

Do you want to send a message to Facebook and tell them you’ll decide what sort of content you consume? Consider backing “Out of the Woods” and show your support for independent creativity and artistic expression of the human condition.

Hit this link to learn more —> “Out of the Woods” on Kickstarter