Ashes and Chaos (…and a new dress!)

Dear Patrons, 

I’m really humbled to see so many new Patrons joining our adventure so quickly. Thank you, very much, for your trust and support. 

We’ll continue today with an art update from Joey and my feedback for this new image and the images to come. 

As always, feel free to provide feedback in the comments below. We’ll go through your comments and try to answer your quest`ions during the upcoming YouTube live stream. Make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube Channel and have ticked the notification bell so you’re notified regarding upcoming live streams.

Also, did you know we recently set up an official “Alice: Asylum” Facebook Page? Head over and give it a “like!”

October 1st, 2017

Joey, Thank you for turning around new art so quickly. I hope you’ve got something nice planned for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Looks like it’s going to rain all week in Shanghai but we’re driving south to visit Yan’s parents – hopefully the weather will be nicer down there. 

I am going to work on the wonderland image, Alice would just be a small shadow in this image, so I did a seperate version of her, I did a normal one with blue dress and another one colored in ash as you mentioned. Give me some comment on them.

The two versions of Alice you’ve done are fantastic! I really like the way you’ve rendered her face and stance. The dresses are both wonderful – as is the chaos necklace. The Ash Dress is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind – I think you’ve nailed this one. And I think this is the sort of outfit the cos-players will absolutely love. I can imagine the fiery highlights being made to glow faintly in the game – would be interesting to see her move through dark spaces with this dress providing a constant warm light!
Let’s stick with this dress concept – The Ash Dress – for now. It’s great for exploring the first couple of domains as Alice makes her return to Wonderland.

On the concept image you’ve written some notes – in response I’ve attached the a2_narrative_timeline.xlsx file. You can use this to get a feeling for where we are in Alice’s history. “Alice: Asylum” actually takes place before “American McGee’s Alice” and “Alice: Madness Returns.” While this is the 3rd game to released in the series, it is actually the first chapter in Alice’s story. 

Keep these dates in mind: 1863 – the year of the fire – Alice’s family is killed. 1864 – Alice admitted to Rutledge Asylum. 1865 – Alice is 13 years old – THIS is where “Alice: Asylum” takes place. 1866-1873 Alice in a coma. 1874 – Alice returns to Wonderland in “American McGee’s Alice” – age 22. 1875 – Alice is 23 and ventures into “Madness Returns.” (Check out the 2nd tab of the spreadsheet).

So “Asylum” takes place exactly 10 years before “Madness Returns.” 
Important to keep the timeline in mind when you think about Alice’s physical and psychological state. 

As for wonderland, is there anything different than the one we have in Alice 2(the wonderland she just falls into is not broken, quite bright and happy)? I mean something different or some different toys? This is the wonderland she goes to when she is 13, much yonger than the one we did in Alice2, shall there be toys or typical stuff for a yonger girl? what would those be? Maybe Matryoshka dolls? What are the typical toys for children during that time? And we are still going to have snails and mushrooms because they are the classic stuffs in wonderland, right? 

When we first see Wonderland in “Madness Returns” it looks healthy and alive. This is because of the battles fought in the first game to put things right again. Of course then the Train begins its mission to destroy everything and Wonderland is once again thrown into disarray. But we are going back in time 10 years – to a place before all that…

At the start of Asylum we will assume (for now at least) that Wonderland and its inhabitants are unaware of the turmoil brewing outside. Actually, I want to stress that they are in denial about what’s going on. This is important – Alice knows her family’s dead but she’s still in denial about this fact. That means the characters in Wonderland (Alice’s subconscious) will also be in denial that anything’s amiss. 

As we explore we’ll discover just how broken things are – but upon our first entry the scene should be beautiful, inviting, and safe. 
Why not try Alice in miniature for the first Wonderland scene? You can place her in a forest of flowers – with a giant snail – a rocking horse – a collection of dolls (remind people of the nightmare that was the Dollhouse Level in Madness Returns!) – a toy soldier, etc. Here’s a collection of toys from that era…

I will do some sketches first, and if you think of something, write to me as soon as possible.
If we are not so sure about wonderland, maybe I will start on the cat first? What do you think?

You can work with the cat or Wonderland next. It’s up to you. What do you feel most inspired by?

Also, something to think about over the next couple of days… RJ and I are talking about the story quite a lot these days. And I want to explore the idea of modeling Alice’s journey through Wonderland around the “Kubler-Ross Five Stages of Grief.”  You can read more about this concept here

The basic concept is that we go through five distinct stages when confronted with disaster (the unknown). Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. 

You can imagine that in the first stage of this – when Alice first arrives back in Wonderland – that things look normal and that all the characters she encounters insist everything is “great!” But as we explore we’ll notice there’s always something dark lurking at the periphery of our vision. By the end of the first stage the charade will be up and we’ll descend into Anger.

So… how can we render a beautiful Wonderland where things are also not quite as they seem? Something to think about. 

Look forward to your thoughts and next images!

Leave a Reply