The Looking Glass Railway + Asylum Patient Tags

Dear Insane Children, 

Live Stream Info is down below! Don’t miss it!

All aboard! We’re taking a ride through Wonderland aboard the Looking Glass Railway. 

Pictured above is Omri’s updated render of Joey’s original Wonderland Map for Asylum. Along with this image Omri sends a series of questions which will help us define important details regarding the layout and navigation of Wonderland in Asylum. 

Let’s go through these points and provide some feedback…

 1. do we want 2 stations for each area, that is the Entrance and Exit? personally, i don’t think we need that, i think for each area we should “open” the tracks to the next area, in that way the player will go to the edge of the map and come back, very exploratory. you won’t be able to visit somewhere you didn’t visit before.

Each area can have more than one station. And these don’t need to be “entrance” and “exit” … we might have “Depression Gardens” and “Vale of Tears” as stations both located in the area of “Depression.” The order in which we access these or how we arrive at them… we’ll have to decide as we flesh out the narrative and Alice’s overarching journey. She might arrive in an area like Depression via some route other than the Railway – dropped off by Gryphon flying overhead, launched out of a circus cannon… endless possibilities. 

For now, you can place a single station in each domain and we’ll expand on these as needed. 

2. Did i forget an area? can you think of something? “Vale of tears” can appear on Depression/ but places we already “know” but we don’t have “wonderland woods” for example… where should it appear? or should it?

Yeah, we can define these but let’s get the big pieces in place first. As for the big pieces… looks like they are all there. I am a bit concerned about the idea of our “hub” being in the 6th area and not visited (presumably) until pretty far into the game. We should kick this around a bit and think about how that will feel to the player. Maybe it’s OK to leave out the hub until around the middle of the game? 

3. Overall 9 large areas not including smaller areas like: “water areas” between Bargaining and Depression, (as Vale of tears can be the opening for Depression) but that place for instance doesn’t have to have a station, but could.

9 large areas but there can be smaller stations within each area… depends on how big we make those areas. For the larger castle-type levels, perhaps there’s a simple linear progression through from point A to B… so we only need a station at the start/end. For other, more open-world type areas, we might need multiple stations. Again, large chunks first, and then we can start thinking about this aspect of the layout. 

4. Shock should have a station? do we even want people to re-visit there? Perhaps we need to conciser having Alice “Fall” from shock to Denial, like in the book. Having the Denial station at the edge of denial. I still don’t understand how the Moon merges into the storyline but she should visit there after the circus theme.

Shock is special and I don’t think we’ll revisit it. In my mind, it’s highly linear, likely to contain quite a lot of scripted/canned/cinematic moments. 

5. i don’t want the stations to be compared to Level select.

To avoid that, we’ll need to make good use of repeated travel between the areas. 

6. i think for now i have enough data to design each of the stations, as you said, they will be a building in an area, i think for each one there will be a puzzle in the theme of the area. the Hud will be grand but the rest of them will be smaller. we need a Tram pass, elements specific to opening the tracks and fixing them along the story.

Sounds about right! 

What say you, Insane Children? 

Sonny also sent over a rough draft of an interior shot of the Main Station. You can see the Mock Turtle keeping an eye on the scene. The building is constructed of books… and filled with normal humans? Hmmm… can’t have that! 

This is a good start but I think we want to capture a more cathedral-library-station type of feeling. I’ll ask Sonny to think about how to revise this. And we’ll also see Omri’s version of this soon. 

Omri also produced this exterior view of the Main Station as seen in the realm of Depression. This area contains the Toy Store (run by “Bumby” in an earlier form), the Vale of Tears, and perhaps a link to an underwater graveyard. Once the player accesses this area we’ll be able to quickly re-visit other areas of the game. But we might want to think about a ticketing system which we can use to limit travel based on where we want the player to be and when. 

As a way of prompting the player to get to the next area/mission in a timeline manner… the train station could be where we find a schedule of trains and hear announcements that certain trains are waiting for “Passenger A. Liddell” – a nice prompt to get on with it! 

Shaping the World

This is an exciting step in the process of developing the structure and design of Asylum. It comes as a result of Omri organizing tasks and deliverables for our art and design team. With Omri, Alex, Joey, Norm, Sonny, and other artists contributing towards the Asylum Design Bible, it’s important that tasks be properly distributed and scheduled. I’ve been doing my best to manage this process but find myself falling behind more and more – so it’s great to have Omri on board helping with this! 

Celebrating Our Insanity – Patron Reward!

A while back we sent out Inmate Certificates to our first ~500 Patrons. Now with over 3000 Patrons, I was thinking we should do something special to celebrate our little Asylum full of Insane Children. 

We could do another Inmate Certificate… but I feel like “been there done that,” plus we saw some of those cards get really bent up in the mail. So I had this idea…

We can produce individually numbered Patient Tags and mail them around the world to all of our Insane Children. The tags themselves don’t cost much to manufacture but shipping, taxes, and fees make it so we can only offer these at the $15 Tier and above. ($14 is our COST on manufacturing, taxes, fees, and shipping (to the US) so this is as close to “free” as we can get!)

If you’re already at $15 (or above) you’d get this automatically, without having to change a thing, BTW. Those of you at a tier lower than $15 could bump up for the month if you were interested. Anyway…

Do you all want to make this happen? We can do it this month if you’re interested. 

Let me know in the comments below! Yay!? Nay?!

Btw, I would love to have individual names on each tag – and that is technically possible – but it creates the nightmare of sorting through thousands of tags to find a name and attach it to a shipping label for that person. Based on experience we know this sort of thing would result in great sadness and possibly death. You don’t want to kill me and Font Lord, do you?

Live Stream Fun Time With Font Lord and Stick Boy

Another week, another live stream! Join us at the regular time over on my YouTube Channel.

Hit THIS LINK to set a reminder and join the fun. 

There will be prizes, Font Lord, Lulu, and more!

Be sure to get all your SUGGESTIONS and QUESTIONS into the comments below!

See you there!

From Shanghai with Choo Choo, 

-American (and Loolooooo!)

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