Bargaining Position

Dear Insane Children, 

Happy Off With Turkey Head Week! How’s everyone doing? Lots of people traveling home for the holidays? Looks like a “weather bomb” about to hit the USA. Everyone stay safe out there. Here in China, we’re planning a small family dinner – and, yes, we have turkey! – which will be Lucky’s first Thanksgiving. Awww. 

Creative Dissolve

My work on defining the how-what-why of Hatter’s Domain continues. In terms of words on paper, it’s mostly there… but I’ve spent hours thinking about the narrative implications of Hatter’s experiments – and findings – and how those work into the overarching stories for Young Alice and Regular Alice (Old Alice? Modern Alice? She needs a better name!). 

I’m almost ready to present what I have in mind (maybe later today) but in the meantime, there’s a conversation with Omri (and art!) I’d like to share. Omri writes… 

we are going into the Hatter’s realm and we did already show this a while back. but i think we can show it again because it’s still kinda unresolved.

I redesigned then the dress from that look of that gray shirt thing because it wasn’t detailed/styled enough in comparison to the other outfits that Alice wears before and after that realm.

it looked like a cheap version of an outfit and also we already used something similar in the actual Asylum.

this “outfit” is like a dress made from rags. i think you can repost these and if people won’t like it, this is the time to redesign it. i think that for Queensland it seems that people love the red dress we created and for Denial, the Yellow one, Shock Bunny onesie. Only slumber’s outfit needs to be designed.

To which I replied: 

Good to revisit this. Back when we were initially working on the dresses and thinking of Hatter’s realm as reflecting Alice’s pleading/bargaining stage… a dress like this made sense. Now that I am re-working the meaning of the Hatter’s (Bargaining) Stage and what it means to the overall narrative of the game I think it would make sense to redesign this dress. 

We need to add this new thinking into the mix: The basic concept I’m working with is that Hatter’s discovered through his experiments that there’s something working to destroy Wonderland from the outside. He’s mapped out the nature and shape of Wonderland as best he’s able – with his last experiment causing an explosion that destroyed his lab (and most of his domain). And in the process, he’s become aware of a dark (Chaos) force which seeks to undermine the foundations of Wonderland, kill all its inhabitants, and kidnap Alice. 

In this scenario, it’s Hatter who is the avatar for Bargaining since he’s the one who is imploring Alice to help fight against the external force working to destroy Wonderland. He’s trying to maintain the status quo. 

We might consider a couple of possibilities for her dress in this context: 

First, a “status quo” dress would simply be the Classic Blue Dress. 

Next, an “alchemy dress” might represent Hatter’s realm and the method he’s used in uncovering the threat. 

Or we could represent the broken nature of this realm with a patchwork “blown apart” dress? Nah…

I dunno… looking at your timeline of dresses… I am kinda leaning towards the Classic Dress. It would be the first time we’ve shown that to Player in the current story. And it certainly carries a lot of “status quo” meaning. 

A bit of a reveal around what I have in mind for Hatter’s Domain – and the game narrative in general. 

And a question as to redesigning a new Bargaining Dress or going with the Classic Dress for this stage. 

Have a think and let us know in the comments below what you think!

From Shanghai with Gobble, Gobble,


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