Trials and Transformation

Dear Insane Children, 

First up: There WILL NOT BE a Live Stream this week. Sorry! I have to go to the dentist on the usual live stream day. I have a new crown that’s decided to fail – so that has to be removed and I get to have a root canal. Wee! I’d change the time to allow for the Live Stream – but this dentist is only in that nearby office once a week. So… Yeah. 

Mark your calendar for the 10th of March though. That should be the magic day of the next stream. 

Now…. to some art and updates: 

Sarcophagus of Transformation

This item is seen in Hatter’s Lab throughout Alice’s initial journey to save Wonderland. She’s told it contains The Saviour who will stop the encroaching Chaos. But if you read the Narrative Outline you know… well, just go read the outline if you want to know! 

These sketches by Adam are all beautiful and I think they all look great. But I asked him to go forward on the one marked “A” – as the two bird heads facing off against each other does a good job mirroring the overarching narrative of Alice vs. The Shadow. 

Adam also turned in this absolute stunner – of a scene from early in the game where Alice is being chased by The Moon. Love it! 

Omri also sent over an updated version of the Orphanage Children/Child Dolls – with reference to one of them being a paper cutout doll. 


Meanwhile in Oz

Gareth rendered a vision – of what you’d get if Russell Crowe and Antonio Bandaras had a love child. Woo… be still my beating heart. This is the Spanish Captain – the quasi-main character of the first episode of Oz: Adventures. 

This art and the concept for the Flying Monkey – previously shared here – will be sent to 3D artists who will produce 3D models of both. 

Those models will be pulled into a scene we’re building in Unreal. That scene is designed to test some theories about producing interactive spaces using limited resources. I want to see if we can manage to reduce the number of assets required to convey the narrative and action of a particular sequence of the game. 

One common phrase you’ll hear in the games industry is that modern games are a sort of “asset tourism” – where the player breezes past a TON of very expensive art on their way to a puzzle section, combat box, or narrative scene. Is it possible that we only produce fully-realized 3D spaces in places where they are really needed? Such as combat arenas or puzzle sections? And that some of the connecting spaces could be done with more matte paintings and optical illusions? 

Those are the questions we hope to answer with the current series of experiments. And we’ll share the results (and maybe even some playable demos?) here with you when we’re able. 

As mentioned previously on the topic of Unreal and demos – I really wish we could have produced some demo scenes for Alice: Asylum. Certainly, we have the capability and desire. But EA made it very clear early on that we were NOT allowed to do anything relating to actual interactive game development – not even visual demos. So… that was Red Line we did not want to cross. Doing so would likely have resulted in EA sending a Cease and Desist with regards to ALL efforts of pre-production for a new game. And that would have been sad. 

But with Oz.. well, we’re free to do what we want. And what do we want? To produce some G. D. interactive stuff! 

I hope everyone is staying safe out there – crazy times in the world. A bit scary. A bit depressing. Here’s hoping the elephants come to their senses before the grass gets crushed. 

From Shanghai with Love, 


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