An Audience with The Queen (of Anger)

Dear Insane Children, 

How far would you go to assuage your anger? To punish those responsible for your pain and loss? To exact revenge upon a world of broken rules and shattered expectations? 

This isn’t about recovering what’s lost – it’s too late for that. This is about retribution. Retaliation. Payment. 

But no point raging ineptly. First you must prepare. 

Denial is a perfect playground in which Alice will learn to sneak, explore, interact, collect, fight, and overcome. Guided by her White Rabbit Plush and in a relatively “safe” setting – at least until she burns the place down and runs away – Alice is given a chance to prepare for the fight ahead. 

Denial is our training ground. What comes after is the battleground. 

Working Through Anger

So I’m working on the concept and content for The Realm of the Queen of Hearts (which represents Anger). And I’ve filled in little bits for Concept.  

Anger is the Third Stage of Grief (Chaos > Denial > Anger) Alice confronts and is represented by the Queen of Hearts who resides at the heart of The Realm.

From here, the Queen of Hearts is attempting to regain control of Wonderland through use of anger, violence, and power.

She commands The Jabberwock and uses him to terrorize and incinerate her foes.

The Queen of Hearts believes the Red Queen is responsible for the destruction of Wonderland and that Alice is one of her allies.

She agrees to spare Alice’s life on the condition Alice will help her defeat the Red Queen.

This necessitates Alice acquiring an Inner Compass (to navigate Wonderland) and meet with The Mad Hatter (who can weaponize/repair The Jabberwock).

And also filled in some outline of our Story (or perhaps better defined as missions and “story beats”). 

Alice reaches the Realm of The Queen of Hearts through the Haunted House from The Circus Realm. She travels from Denial to Anger.

Alice is filled with Anger and must direct that emotion at someone or something. Anger at the destruction of Wonderland and the loss of her sanctuary. Anger at Change (at Chaos). This realm offers Alice (and player) the first chance to really unleash Anger and violence.

Upon arrival in the Realm, Alice discovers Chess Piece Soldiers engaged in a battle against the Card Guard Soldiers of the Queen of Hearts. Chess Soldier Commander explains that the Queen’s Castle remains impenetrable and that her Card Guard Army appears to be infinite. It’s a standoff which they cannot win but must continue lest they lose.

Alice is tasked with (self assigns herself a task of) breaching the castle and confronting (killing?) the Queen. That task breaks down into discrete chunks:

  • Navigate the outer realm. Sneak under/over the castle wall (mote?).
  • Navigate the inner realm. Through the hedge maze and surrounding buildings.
  • Breach the castle wall. Sneak through dungeon levels into the castle interior.
  • Navigate to the Throne Room. Sneak, fight, and infiltrate.
  • Confront the Queen of Hearts.
  • Queen of Hearts Boss Battle. Alice loses.

At the end of the stage, Alice will be captured. The Queen of Hearts will keep the White Rabbit hostage until Alice completes the task she gives her. Alice must first acquire The Inner Compass, which will guide her across the wastelands to her goal (Queen of Hearts domain). The Queen of Hearts knows this item is with the Mad Hatter and sends Alice there to retrieve it. She gives Alice a gift and commands Alice give this to Hatter. Asked if it will kill him – “No, it will ensure he lives forever, even if he’s blown to bits like our Wonderland…

Add Your Voice

This is a minimum framework. We need characters, color, twists, and turns. And I’ll be working on ideas for those over the coming days and weeks. 

If you have ideas to share – please drop them into the comments below or head over to the Asylum Wiki and try out the comment system there. You can also head over to our Discord Server and chat with other Insane Children about your insane ideas. 

I always run into the Chicken and Egg Problem when sketching out design, missions, and narrative. I know the general arc of Alice’s journey but find decisions made early in crafting the narrative need adjustment based on events taking place later in the story. 

For those writers among you – is this a problem you also confront? How do you overcome it? Or is it just part of the process? 

Shanghai Update

For those of you curious about the pending arrival of Lilium or Lucky McGee… 

Yan’s mother is here. We’ve finished (I hope) all the pre-arrival prep – baby room, hospital “grab bag,” paperwork, name selection, and more. Yan has another appointment with the doctor Saturday morning but it’s looking like she’s still on track for a natural birth and a due date of the 2nd of September. So… there’s a betting pool going on here. 24 hours? 48? 72? 

What do you think? Any guesses on when the baby arrives? 

From Shanghai with Money on 72,


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