Dear Insane Children,
“Kill it. Kill it with fire!” Well, we tried that and this is the result – at least inside Alice’s mind. Family and home destroyed in a fire. Alice tortured mercilessly by recurring nightmare fragments of their dying screams. Manifest in Wonderland as insect-like automatons which serve to mechanically probe Alice’s psychic wounds ensuring they’ll never heal.
During yesterday’s livestream it was suggested by one of our Inmates that these contraptions aren’t controlled by Alice’s family members but are a sort of articulated mobile cage in which they (or Alice’s memories of them) are trapped. For someone suffering from PTSD this analogy is apt. Memories of the trauma return at the slightest trigger – as if a mechanical button was pressed. The recurring pain is brought back like a song on a player piano. Once it starts playing it often keeps going to the point of exhaustion, collapse, or breaking.
Some of the most insidious forms of trauma are those which include loved ones whose presence or recollection of now serves as the primary trigger for pain. Containing Alice’s family within diabolical mechanical creatures who stalk her through the mental landscape of Wonderland is a perfect analogy for this. The question then becomes… how does one defeat this sort of mental monster?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.
And while we’re on the topic of centi-nopes…
Crawly, the doll-part centipede, spawned more than just horrified reactions. He (it?) also got me thinking a way in which we might present text, UI, manual, enemy descriptions, and other elements in-game… as if through the lens of 13-year old Alice’s way of seeing and labeling these things. Again, this was discussed in some detail during the live stream but the idea is that “Crawly” is exactly the sort of thing a little girl might call this sort of beasty. Another enemy we reviewed is “Itsy Bisty”…
A name inspired by the classic children’s nursery rhyme of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” but misspelled – a misspelling I suggest we hold on to if we decide to go the route of presenting the game’s text and other elements through Alice’s eyes. How far might we take this idea? Could the game interface break or evolve to reveal new elements as a function of Alice’s fear and progress?
Heavy stuff… perhaps it’s tea time?
Yes, the Teapot Cannons are back. Joey suggests these are kinder, gentler pre-Madness versions. Not yet clad in metal armor. Compared to those other horrors these two are downright cuddly!
Speaking of cuddly…
Yet another revision on the White Rabbit Plush design. This time Joey’s adjusted the proportions a bit more… Skinnier, different leg/arm lengths, etc. What say you, Rabbit Design Council?
At this point I think we’ll get this one made as a sample along with the design previously shown. That way we have two to compare side by side. Always a good thing.
Alright, I am prepping for travel… will post another update of story, art, and fun once I’m on the ground in Thailand.
From Shanghai with Nope,