Under The Doll House

Dear Insane Children, 

The Alice: Asylum art team continues to crank through images for the Design Bible. And today we have art from Adam depicting a game play sequence Alice will encounter under a dreamlike representation of The Home for Wayward Children – inspired by the Dollhouse sequence in Madness Returns. 

The art brief for this area reads: 

Art Task ?Briefing: ?Render a scene that showcases Alice encountering the “Drowning Spectral Hands” and the mechanic of turning off the Valves in gameplay.

?This scene will also showcase the level design for this particular section of gameplay.

As far as drama and character, in the scene; either show Alice in the process of being drowned by these hands; and/or interacting with or turning a valve.

?Show the threat she faces here, and the level design/exploration in a single key scene.

?Art Task Output:
?Render a scene that captures the “lower half of the building” as described in the narrative excerpt below.

?Design and explore how the “Spectral Hands” look and work in the water gameplay scenes.

?American envisions this scene drawing heavily from the “Dollhouse” sections of Alice Madness Returns. Splintered wood. Nails. Darkness. A description he used, was like a “London ?grimy sewer, but every 8th brick or so was child’s “alphabet block”. Parts of dolls, and toys are blended architecturally into an otherwise grimy and scary Realistic London Sewer scene”.

?We do NOT want this section vibrant and brightly colored. Be careful not to let the toy and childish aspects of the level design override the grim and aesthetic.

?American envisioned the “Spectral hands” like Doll Hands.

Narrative Excerpt:
?We PLAY as Alice jump-floats from building to building, finally arriving at the Home for Wayward Children. The building sits upon its own floating island with the wrecked remains of the nearby neighborhood dangling and floating in the surrounding air.

?The lower levels of the building are flooded while the upper level is on fire. Ghostly visages of children continue to sing, dance, and play inside the area – oblivious to the chaos around them.

he building design forces Alice to enter through a sub-basement area and fight her way up. This section is flooded and the pools of water contain spectral hands that reach out to drown Alice at every turn.

?Here she finds the Valve and turns it – causing the water to drain away. This blocks her ability to exit via the way she came so she continues upward.

Into the main floors of the building, Alice passes orphans, caretakers, and adults in scenes from the past – attempted adoptions; children playing games; etc.

?The second floor of the building, leading to Bumby’s office, is on fire. Alice navigates and fights her way through this to arrive at the door of Bumby’s office.

Entering Bumby’s Office triggers a flashback.

And for this section, Adam produced the following sketches… 

Of which he says… 

Here are my sketches for the flooded basement visual, showing the process of turning the valves and of Alice fending off or dodging the spectral hands coming from the bubbling water. These are compositional sketches, the final version can have more creepy toy details embedded in these surroundings. The metal bars in the corridor are inspired by the similar bars in the old London sewers, and they’re my idea for a gateway that closes behind Alice, forcing her to go up the stairs to the next location.

To which Alex replied: 

Looks awesome Adam.
Love the gate portcullis designs. A & ?C are the ones for me. Super dynamic angles, love the level design too. Only thing, I’m wondering if we can see Alice’s face in one of them, like she’s turning to see the hands coming towards her like in D Either way, incredible, looking forward to seeing it take shape however it needs to.

And Omri added: 

i agree with Alex, A is the best one. personally i don’t need the face, but i would like if the hands would look more like Bumby’s like hinting the place is still under his control. i think you can start working on it, it’s pretty great.

Let us know in the comments what YOU think! 

PS: Due to travel and schedule conflicts, there will be NO live stream this week. But we will be back the following week with lots of art, design, and other great progress. 

From Shanghai with Dolls Heads, 


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