Category Archives: Alice Sequel

Alice: Asylum and Patreon

I recently re-launched my Patreon page around the pre-production efforts going into Alice: Asylum. If you’re interested in having early access to all the art, design, and production documents we’re generating, consider becoming a Patron. You get Early Access for as little as $2 per month. That means you’ll see awesome artwork like this before everyone else…

Check it out here by clicking the Patreon logo below…

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).

Alice: Otherlands – Updates & Status Post

The “Alice: Otherlands” Kickstarter campaign is CLOSED.

If you are a Backer and need to change your mailing address for Backer Rewards, please do so via Backerkit.

If you were not a Backer, but are interested in the physical Backer Rewards, please read the following:

Due to legal restrictions we are NOT able to offer physical items (Backer Rewards) for sale outside of the Kickstarter campaign. That means if you missed out on the opportunity to back the campaign you cannot buy the physical backer rewards.

If the the situation with the legal restrictions changes, I will post an update via Kickstarter and here in this post.

Please note that the digital content (animations and art book) WILL BE released to the public, for free. It’s the physical items we cannot sell outside of the Kickstarter campaign.

Current estimated release date for physical items (Backer Rewards) is sometime around October 2015 (yes, we are late!). Digital assets will be released, for free, around that same time. As soon as we know how/when we’ll be releasing the digital assets, an update will be posted here, on Kickstarter, Facebook, etc. Please, do not write asking about timing for release of the digital assets. All info on this subject will be posted to the KS page.

A final note regarding physical rewards: We cannot sell them, but there are no restrictions on giving them away for free. I will try to find ways to link these items to other things you might purchase from Spicy Horse or Mysterious. Keep on eye on my Facebook, Twitter, and this blog for details on future offers.

For more info on the project and its progress, please read the campaign updates on Kickstarter.

Here are the post-campaign updates that have been made for 2014, 2015 (and some of 2013):

October 20th, 2015 – Arrival of Physical Rewards
September 16th, 2015 – Mid-Production Update
August 22nd, 2015 – Pulling the Trigger
August 4th, 2015 – Off to Manufacture-land
July 7th, 2015 – July and The Final Stretch
June 9th, 2015 – Animations Complete!
April 15th, 2015 – The Art of The Art Book
March 24th, 2015 – The “No Update” Update
Feb 11th, 2015 – Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Sheep
Jan 8th, 2015 – Happy New Year 2015!
Dec 24th, 2014 – Happy Holidays
Nov 10th, 2014 – Quick Update
Aug 5th, 2014 – One Year!
July 11th, 2014 – Noble Pursuits
Apr 17th, 2014 – Eyeballs, Tentacles, and Monsters
Apr 17th, 2014 – My Apologies
Feb 21st, 2014 – Missing Posters Follow Up!
Feb 18th, 2014 – Progress and Possibilities
Feb 10th, 2014 – Time to Find the Missing Posters!
Jan 23rd, 2014 – Dude, Where’s My Poster?!
Jan 9th, 2014 – 20,000 Leagues into Otherlands
Dec 16th, 2013 – Get Those Walls Ready!
Nov 15th, 2013 – A Night at the Opera

There are additional posts, going back further in 2013. To read them, please follow THIS LINK.

If you have additional questions not covered by this post, please send them to me via Kickstarter.

To everyone who backed the campaign and has expressed interest in Otherlands, Thank You!

24 Hours Remaining – Alice: Otherlands

Just 24 hours remaining in the Alice: Otherlands campaign. A few days ago it might have looked like we weren’t going to make it. We were all freaking out, right? This morning (in Shanghai), with 24 hours remaining, the outlook is MUCH MORE POSITIVE. At the current rate we’ll hit our funding target and then some. Yay!

Thing is, we’ve got to keep freaking! The most important thing you can do RIGHT NOW is spread the word. Tweet, post to Facebook and wave the flag.

Tweet this: RT @AliceOtherlands, Less than 24 hours to go #Kickstarter

Facebook this: Less than 24 hours remaining to make Alice: Otherlands a reality. Support Alice’s next adventure down the rabbit hole –

Our directors are getting excited too. Troy wrote me this morning to say he’s been dreaming about exploring the mind of composer Richard Wagner while Tsui Hark is working on ideas for an adventure into the mind of Van Gogh. The success of this campaign is going to quickly enable these brilliant directors to take us on some very wild rides.

Meanwhile, my talks with various financiers, distribution platforms and other people who want to help continue to advance. This is shaping up to be something really special. And in another 24 hours we’ll know if we’ve done it or not…. what am I talking about? Failure is not an option! Let’s do this thing! 🙂

Today I’m going to give you with a couple of promotion images. If you’ve not done so already, swap out your Facebook cover image (banner) with either of the two provided here.

And if you’ve not yet done so: BACK THE PROJECT.

“Best Art Direction” for Alice: Madness Returns

MSNBC Tech has awarded Alice: Madness Returns a “Best Art Direction” award for 2011. Alice had some serious competition for the honor, going up against some of the year’s biggest and most beautiful games, including:
* Rage
* Batman: Arkham Asylum
* El Shaddai
* Skyrim

Landing this prize speaks volumes about the continued rise in high-quality AAA game development being seen here in China – and specifically in Shanghai. For years, Western developers and publishers utilized China as their outsource art asset factory. And over time the artists, animators and modelers here increased their capability and creativity – with a game like A:MR being wonderful testament to the sort of surreal, imaginative and detailed work the Chinese game industry is now capable of.

Large-scale AAA console games often spend 50% or ore of their budgets on art alone. Alice:MR was no different. Of a 65 person internal team, nearly half were working on “art” (animation, 3D, concept, effects). Another 45 artists spread between 4 different outsource studios contributed the bulk of 3D asset production for the game. This “near sourcing” of 3D asset production meant we could outsource 98% of all 3D artwork for the game to local outsource teams.

Not only did this model produce impressive results, it was reliable, cost-effective and creatively engaging for all involved. Geographic proximity meant that the outsource teams felt like a true part of the larger art department. And one of the shining examples of effeciency and creativity was outsource shop “China West Coast“.

Kudos to Spicy Horse’s internal art team must be shared with outsource groups like China West Coast. Without the seamless and effective integration of the internal and external art pipelines – and the beautiful work being produced by all – the game would never have attained placement among the year’s other AAA titles.

Awesome work by all involved. Thank you, Spicy Horse art team and all the outsource groups like CWC who did the creative heavy lifting!

If you’re interested in using CWC on one of your AAA projects, you can learn more about them HERE.

Bigger Budgets != More Quality

Read on today of an interview with Romuald Capron, COO at Arkane Studios of his views on budgets and team size as they relate to the creation of quality games. He says of smaller teams and outsourcing,

“I think that’s a good way to maintain reasonable budgets, and I think a lot of companies are coming round to this way of working right now,” he continued. “They’re realising that having 200 people in a studio – okay, it can work for ten months of scheduled development, but is it the way to make a triple-A game?

“Maybe they could re-organise and say, okay, let’s keep to a three-year schedule again, but with less people – and more polishing at the end? At some point I’m not sure the markets can follow as fast as the development costs.”

From where I’m sitting it’s great to hear solid developers touting a method of production that we’ve been utilizing at Spicy Horse for the past 4 years. All of our 3D asset production is outsourced (nearly 99% of it) to nearby outsource shops like China West Coast and Nuke. These guys become a virtual extension of our team (greatly benefiting from the fact that we’re all in the same city) – allowing us to produce and wrangle content like a 150+ person team while maintaining an internal core size of less than 65.

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity in production teams – higher communication, accountability and quality output being the three most obvious benefits.

As 2nd-hand sales and piracy continue to threaten the viability of larger-budget games, this sort of thinking will become more and more critical to publishers and developers alike – the simple fact is that cheaper games (which maintain AAA quality) are better able to survive the drag placed on them by things like 2nd-hand sales and piracy.

Read the full article HERE.