Design Bible Updates – The Alchemy of Construction and Destruction

Hi everyone,
Alex here (Lead Designer, Co-Writer, + misc.) with another meaty Design Bible update. New video content above. I’ve also got some news from the Project Management side of the Alice: Asylum pre-production phase. Plus, we also have a Free MP3 Download at the bottom of this post for all our beautiful Patreon supporters. 

There’s a LOT to cover here, so let’s get into it.

1. Combat and Gameplay Loop – Gameplay Modifier Concept Update
We’re sharing a new video and some stills here that show the Gameplay Modifier concepts in action.

In design, visuals always speak louder than words.
View it on American’s YouTube here.

The idea is to; add optional functionality to Alice’s iconic Alchemy and Astrology symbols featured on her petticoat pockets. 

You might have seen similar concepts in modern games, where “runes” or pickups are able to be mixed and matched to allow for a mixture of gameplay modifiers.

I’m currently working on these concepts in much more detail, (more to share later as they come together in the DB) but for now, you can see how these could potentially be equipped, activated, and examined.

Stills for the loose concepts are below;

Theoretically, more experienced players could go through a whole game without equipping these, but we want the option there for those who want to mix it up a bit or lean into a certain aspect of their own gameplay style.

American and I have recently have had a discussion about Accessibility and Player Choice. A huge design principle to consider, but one we’re happy to elaborate on.

2. Gameplay Design – Accessibility and Customization
When it comes down to a gameplay experience, what we envision for Alice: Asylum is giving you, the player, a TON of viable options and tools.

We want to give you the sandbox and the ability to play how you want.
Weapon choice. Attacks. Difficulty. Gameplay. HUD choice.

Want a chill gameplay experience slo you can enjoy the experience? Sure thing.

Want a hardcore, super difficult, perma-death mode? Not a problem. 

If ever you’ve watched a playthrough or speed runs of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, or more recently the incredible Elden Ring, you’ll notice that every new playthrough, by every different player is wildly different.

While each player will meet the same challenges, the process in how those obstacles are overcome is unique to the player’s journey.

While both these game examples are wildly complex, detailed, and also open-world, a key difference in the Alice: Asylum game concept is that our game experience concept is linear.

An added mix of God of War might also be a more accurate description of Alice’s ideal journey in Asylum.

Meaning, at certain points, the game moves you forward, but how you do that, is up to you. Ay other points, the player will be funneled into a specific door, battle a specific boss, or need the specific key in order to progress.

See these DB excerpts below for more information on Gating;

We think this covers a good middle ground for explaining how the game will take place in a linear fashion while allowing a good level of flexibility in the experience. 

3. Presenting the HUD and Concepts in the DB
The early HUD designs shared previously shared in my last post received a ton of positive and valuable critical feedback.

Thank you to everyone who commented, either here, on the socials, or on American’s YouTube channel.

While I expect these HUD concepts will be tweaked before the DB is completed, (for instance; 8x weapons instead of 12x weapons allocated to the Quick Select Wheel) for now, I am pressing forward on other areas of our work, and putting a pin in these to come back to. 

Here are some updated mockups for how these static versions will appear in the DB as they stand today.

You’ll also notice, we are linking video content to the DB PDF pages via buttons and URLs, so there will be an interactive element to the DB.

I will try and include motion and animated concepts as much as we can to enhance clear and engaging presentations of our ideas in the Design Bible.

4. Scheduling and ETA’s – Incoming
Speaking of the Design Bible; here’s a preview of a full 2022 schedule for the art and design work I’ve just created.

This has been reviewed, approved and greenlit by myself, American and Omri.

We’ll go into more detail on this in another post, (good luck zooming in on that now) but this is another big subject and we’ll walk you through all of this soon so we’re all on the same page for expectations in 2022 for our work within the team.

5. Free Stuff!
If you’ve come this far; congratulations, here’s a free MP3 music download from the song in the latest YouTube video above. (Note from American: I will create a Patron-Only Post containing this track from Alex). 

As we’re creating all this stuff, we want to share everything we can with you all, as you are the ones supporting us, while we all try and work our hardest to make this happen.

Without your financial support this project would not be happening, so if you are supporting us now, know we all appreciate it immensely.

So thank you. Let’s stay the course together.

Mad props to you if you’ve read this far.

Drop any feedback you want us to consider moving forward.

I’ll see you in the comment threads! Back to it,
– Alex

PS From American: I’ve attached the art/video content shared in this post as a .Zip you can download (below). An MP3 of Alex’s music will be shared in a separate Patron-only post. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply