Dear Insane Children, 

One of the ideas we’re working on for enemies in Asylum is a type of machine called a Manipulator. They are Illusion Engines – capable of shapeshifting and scene building. And we’ll encounter them right at the start of the game in the Circus (Denial) Realm. 

Omri sent over some sketches (main images Above) for early designs to which I replied: 

Sorry to tell you but the design of the steampunk wheeled arm-whirling enemies in AMA… is among my Least Favorite of all enemy designs in all of the games. Why? 

First, I hate the idea of enemies or creatures with wheels. I prefer legs, flying, etc. The wheeled enemies in AMA were not from the core design team – they were done by some rogue artists at Rogue (rogue-ception). 

Second, I am not a huge fan of humanoid looking robot/enemies in Wonderland. So the top hat, the eyes… don’t really work for me. And the honk-honk horn nose… also not doing it for me. 

What I do like… the spider arms. Which has me thinking… something more akin to a spider – something that weaves a web of lies and deception. 

Perhaps a handful of multi-legged insect bots? A spider, a centipede, and a fly? All designed to help create an illusion (like flying, moving holographic projector type enemies)? 

We then got some ideas from Alex… 

To which I replied: 

I like the Spider/Cup thing but not the top hat part of that design. Can we try a couple of these without the hats? It makes them look goofy and not-at-all-scary. These things are supposed to be evil.

I like the *concept* of the hand (man = hand) but I am not a huge fan of the execution. Feels like there’s a version where the hand + spider design turns into something interesting. Maybe a direction to explore? 

Please, god, no, NO tread/wheel creatures. Make It Stop.

And treads + hat = No^No 

At the same time, the team is working on concepts for the Chaos Monsters… 

This would be the Chaos Powered (inspired?) “stuff” that’s taking over Wonderland. We previously wrote about how these creatures, which are basically made of fractal tentacles, will infect and control host creatures (friends and foes). 

I wrote these notes on the topic: 

My preference here … any of the designs with HEAVY emphasis on the tentacle aspect of the enemy design. The other elements confuse the message. 

 Imagine we develop a procedural engine (in-game) for the creation of tentacles branching out from “infected” enemies. Early on in the transformation the enemy is still clearly visible inside – and just sports a couple of tentacles popping out here and there. But the longer its allowed to transform… the more it becomes just a mass of tentacles. At some point the tentacles take over in locomotion – so that a Card Guard (as an example) is swept off his feet and carried around inside the mass of writhing tentacles. At this point, the thing becomes as much a threat to other Card Guards as it is to Alice. And it is able to consume (and grow from) anything it snatches up in its grasp. 

The idea here is that the faster Alice kills these things the better. Wait too long and a single Chaos Tentacle Beast can grow to consume everything in sight. 

And I think the tentacle beasty concepts provided by Omri (above) do a good job of capturing those ideas. In direct response to Omri’s concepts I wrote: 

This works. It’s a bit too orderly. Needs to be more fractal and Chaotic but it is in the right direction. It would be helped by smaller tentacles and tendrils growing in connection with the larger ones. 

 I like it! 🙂 

Dario is continuing his work on the interior of The Moon.

Good looking stuff! 

And Joey has updated the Alice model reference image based on your feedback. 

We’re going to send this to Roman (the 3D Modeler) to get him started on the 3D Model. 

Lots more art, design, and production going on. And we’ll have a Live Stream later in the week to cover everything. 

Also… we are making progress on Business Development – but I sadly can’t say more than that! 

From Shanghai with Tentacles, 


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