Tattoos on a Caterpillar

Dear Insane Children, 

Whew, somehow the recent days really got away from me… and it seems I’ve not posted anything since last Thursday-ish when we did our Twitch Livestream. There was a LOT of information covered in that stream so if you missed it, be sure to check out the recording over on YouTube. You can do that via THIS LINK

We are heading into the home stretch on prep work before we make our presentation to REDACTED for the investment towards a new studio and series of games. That’s taken up a bit of my time recently – along with tasks related to Alice: Asylum writing, and a ton of housekeeping tasks (read signing, packing, and shipping things). 

Still LOTS of work getting done across all of our projects… and it feels like most of the work effort is once again focused on Alice: Asylum. We’re making a big push to flesh out the complete story with the final narrative (writing) and the art to accompany all the major scenes. Out of that is flowing art like this latest Dress concept from Omri for the Slumber scene at the start of the game… 

Of which Omri says (as we discuss the design for what she’s wearing in these scenes): 

 i think it’s a balance. the world is still wonderland, so perhaps she doesn’t have powers but i don’t think she’d “imagine” herself wearing something that is plain. so Yes a “simple white gown” but still designed and still purposeful. something that is “trying” to look real instead of an outfit that looks like a cheap slip.

i made her seem like a white moth, because in some twisted way in Slumber she’s attracted to the light, she tried to run away from it’s Darkness/smoke so i think it makes sense. 

We also have a Room Design from Joey – a place where a very critical scene will play out around the 2/3rds mark of the game story. 

And there’s also a mix of level building and game design going into our efforts these days. 

Which is linked to the writing I’ve been doing lately, an excerpt related to this design idea is contained here: 


[The following is The 1st Part of a musical sequence sung by a full cast of characters inhabiting The Circus]

Turtle: “The show is starting! We must not be late!” 

Alice opens her eyes to watch as Turtle pulls a Giant Lever ejecting her from bed and into a Circus Dress. Makeup is plastered onto her face by autonomous arms. A mechanical hand shoves her towards a Giant Slide where a White Rabbit Doll is preparing to jump.

We PLAY as a confused Alice begins her descent down the Slide after the White Rabbit. Turtle follows closely behind as we weave through turns hurtling towards the ground. All around is a surreal Circus World of tents, rides, carnivals, animals, performers… as far as the eye can see.

Turtle SINGS as The Music plays. His lyrics explain: “It’s a new day, a new show; we must not miss our mark, we can not forget our lines; the Tweedles may be half Dum but they view these things as crimes.”

Alice SINGS: “But I don’t want to play your games, I don’t want to say your lines. If being here requires those things then I’d prefer to commit the crimes.”

What follows is a sequence where Alice is alternately pushed and pulled through The Circus Realm with White Rabbit leading the way. Turtle pleads with her to hit her marks and say her lines. The sequence is split into “on track” and “off track” areas. On track – there’s full lyrical and theatrical sequence playing as we’re pushed along. Off track – the lyrics take a rest and The Music fades to a background beat allowing for moments of free exploration.

This serves as the Second Tutorial for Basic Movement – walking, running, climbing, and jumping. It also adds ledge grabs, swinging, double jumps, and dress gliding.

Key Points delivered as Exposition in the lyrics: Alice is a prisoner of The Circus. The Moon makes escape impossible. Alice should just give up and enjoy The Show. Alice hates it here.

At one point the White Rabbit hops off track and leads Alice towards a Fortune Teller’s Tent. The Music fades. Within the tent, Alice stares deeply into a crystal ball as it transforms into a Snow Globe. Hypnotized by the falling snow, Alice returns to Slumber Realm and an audience with The Caterpillar.

Turns out I’ve managed to insert a bit of Musical into the opening section of Asylum. I wrote to Chris Vrenna about this and he said he’s 100% on board to make that idea a reality and thinks it’s something that’s never been done before… should be interesting! 

Dario is working on “Key” images… 

These link into the Chaos Symbol “collect the keys” concept that Alex came up with. 

In short, we are back at Full Steam Ahead on Alice: Asylum work. And I really like the work that’s getting done. Some excellent art, creativity, and design going on here. 

Let us know in the comments below what you think of everything! 

From Shanghai with Love, 


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