Select Your Difficulty – Asylum UI/UX + Livestream!

Dear Insane Children, 

Woo it’s busy around here. In the last week, I’ve been to the hospital for migraines and the dentist for a painful tooth; Yan’s been to the hospital for pregnancy checkups; and Yan’s mom is off to see her brother in the hospital – meaning increased Lucky duty for myself and Yan and Lulu. I’ve had a bunch of meetings related to Alice (TV series); Akaneiro (more on that later); and Oz: Adventures. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week!

But fear not! TONS of progress still happening even if I can’t find the time to share it here on Patreon. 

For example – check out the main image above! 

Alex is working on design and UI/UX for Asylum. That includes defining things like Difficulty Selection, Gameplay Balance, and Combat Loops. 

He’s sent me a bunch of documents to review… 

And while I’ve not had time to fully review and comment on these ideas… I thought we could open this up to Crowd Design!

So I’ve ATTACHED the ZIP File Alex sent me to this post. You can download it and examine all the design materials contained within. Then send your feedback to Alex via the Comments below!

Of this material, Alex says: 

1. A Full First Pass on Resource, Economy and Weapon Attack Data 

This contains a few PDF Spreadsheets containing;
1. Full Ammo, XP, Health, Pickups and Resource Economy for Alice: Asylum.

2. Full Outline for all primary and secondary firing modes for all weapons in Alice: Asylum.

This information is presented as data at this stage, but will be typeset and placed in the “Pause Screen/Inventory” pages between the Narrative along with visuals.

I’ve included an early pass on the Vorpal Blade using this information and structure. 


2. Conceptual Layouts for Selecting “Hysteria/Inferno” Special States

I’ve made some Conceptual Layouts and some Animated UI mockups that explore;

1. Using Alice’s Necklaces for Different Abilities we’ve outlined in the Narrative. (Rage/Inferno & Hysteria).

2. A new concept that I wanted to explore that uses; The Alchemy Symbols/Runes on Alice’s Dress Pockets, as Gameplay Modifiers that can be equipped by the player to adjust playstyle.

This allows for 2x different Equippable Alchemy Symbols for a player to mix n’ match secondary abilities. These abilities could enhance, or lean into their preferred attacks, weapons or abilities. 

Struggling in combat? Buff Alice’s Combat with a Rune.
Want to focus on Ranged Weapons and Sniping? There’s a rune for that too.

The idea is to build on Alice’s ToolBox, and offer these runes in the Gameplay areas as items that can be found in secret areas or unlockable via challenge spaces in one of each of the 12 worlds.

They’re not game-breakers, and the idea is a very skilled player could finish Alice without ever equipping one, but these offer some fresh versatility and open up the experience largely with the different combinations available. 

It also adds practical meaning and gameplay purpose to something that has been a staple of Alice’s look since 2000. These symbols I’ve chosen and abilities could all be edited, and changed to suit their true “Alchemical Meaning” but I’ve had a solid crack at finding that balance in the first pass.

The Content I’ve attached, will all link up and reference one another when looked at in detail.


3. Difficulty Settings and Intended Gameplay Experience

See page layout and content attached that explains these in the DB.
Any edits required, let me know.


4. Game Design Ethos / Soft Gates and Hard Gates

Another DB layout that explains a scenario and how a player might tackle a situation in game. Flexibility and encouragement to get creative with Alice’s abilities in Soft Gated areas.
Focus and objective-based achievement to progress in Hard Gated areas. (ie: Kill a boss, defeat all enemies, solve puzzle etc to proceed.)

Any edits required, let me know.


Gameplan moving forward is to wind most of this supplementary Game Design content in the earlier chapters and the content for the “Pause Screens” near finalized by end of March. I’ll continue typesetting the Narrative and pages as I go.

The next DB update I expect will be a PDF snapshot of all of this coming together in the DB layouts alongside Narrative Content and Script. So a WIP sample of the real deal.

Thanks, Alex! 

There’s a lot to consume and comment on… and that should keep you busy until the Live Stream later this week. 

That’s right! We’re back with another Live Stream this week. Usual time and place. 

And we’ll have plenty of time to discuss Alex’s design proposals (and your comments during the stream. 

You can find links to Twitch and YouTube via: 

See you soon!

From Shanghai with Medium Difficulty,


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