Mid-Year Design Bible Update – It’s All In The Execution

Hi everyone,

Alex here (Lead Designer, Co-Writer, + misc.) with a big mid-year update on the Alice: Asylum Pre-Production Project.

Important; this post includes a new Design Bible PDF WIP download.

Patreon displays PDF attachments in small, underlined text at the VERY end of the posts, so scroll all the way down and click that link to download it. It is best viewed on your Desktop.

This will be a big post, so I’d ask you to grab a cup of tea, and read through this at your leisure. Lots to digest, lots to cover.

Things I will touch on here are;

1. New Enemy Concept Designs (Chaos Corrupted Executioner)

2. Design Bible Update & Feedback (New PDF Download at the bottom of this Post)

Ready? Let’s go.

1. New Enemy Concept Designs (Chaos Corrupted Executioner)

Firstly, this is an updated design concept I’ve made based on the classic Executioner from Alice: Madness Returns, re-worked for his appearance in Alice: Asylum. 

Some notes within Monday (Our Project Management Software) concerning the design;

?”… the idea is showing the Original Executioner being “corrupted” by Chaos/The Shadow. ?(Running theme in the story, one of the early times we see the corruption process in action.)


?It’s meant to be a visual play in that his Red Tentacles (representative of the Queen) are replaced by ?Black Chaos/Shadow Tentacles, (representative of the Shadow).


?I’ve styled the tentacle overflow to show a transition like a parasite taking over, then resulting in a visual style that resembles a traditional Executioner’s Hood and Cape in the final state.”


This isn’t the last we’ll see of this character.


Both Adam and Norm have upcoming art tasks that explore Alice fighting with the Executioner in a Boss Fight, and also evading the Executioner in earlier high-stakes, stealth/evasion scenes inside the Halls of the Queen’s Castle.

In designing concepts for Asylum, my approach is to give respect to the things that were well-received or iconic from the past installments. We also build upon or further those themes in new ways that tie in with the new narrative experience for Asylum.

The end result is to create something that is both familiar… and new. 

Hopefully, we’re striking that happy medium in the design work for Asylum. 

Drop your thoughts in the comments.

2. Design Bible Update & Feedback (New PDF Download at the bottom of this Post)

The Design Bible work continues. And we’re making good pace as the Halfway point in the year ticks over on the calendar.

Here are some snippets of info concerning my work on the DB. 

The last PDF we shared back in April, was 89 Pages.

The current WIP (Work In Progress) DB PDF now sits at a whopping 235 pages.

By comparison, the entire Alice: Madness Returns Art Book is 184 pages.

So; TONS of Alice content to pore over once the DB is complete.

Completion-wise; I estimate the Narrative Portion of the DB is around 75% complete.

That’s the initial process of converting and typesetting the full V2 171-page Narrative Outline document (released last year), into the Design Bible format alongside all the key artwork and design notes.

But, my design work does not finish once the Narrative Portion of the DB is complete.

Additional graphic design work, refining, typesetting, mechanics, iconography, and some additional entirely new sections outlining more gameplay and mechanics are in the works to round out the full DB experience.

I will be designing those new sections alongside American’s input/approval and my own design input as they are created for DB placement.

American and I both estimate the finished DB will weigh in at approximately anywhere between 300-350 pages (even potentially 400!) in its entirety once completed. 

It all depends on how much we can get done between now and launch.

Speaking of which, our launch window of the PDF version of the DB remains the End of 2022-Early 2023.

We’re on schedule, and on time (so far) so we’ll stay the course. 

Stay tuned.


Concerning feedback for the Design Bible in Development Discussions, we’ve had some VERY interesting developments recently. 

When we first set out to create the Design Bible, we had 3x core goals in mind. 

Goal 1: Create an experience of Alice: Asylum for the fans to enjoy, for free. 

You’ve told us you enjoy the concept, and it works as intended. So that’s a big tick there. You will see American’s and the team’s vision for a potential Alice 3, in detail, via the DB.

Goal 2: Use the DB as a potential Sales Tool to inform potential investors about the project.

This was basically “please the suits”. 

In the high-level corporate meetings the DB has been reviewed in, we’ve heard the DB performs well and is received positively at that level. Funding is always a MUCH larger discussion than art, design, and story, but the DB counts positively in the larger scope of things. 

So, that’s another tick there.


Goal 3: Have the DB act as a potential initial scope of work for a potential development partner or professional Game Development Studio in order to MAKE THE GAME.


And, here’s a new little story on this;

The most recent DB PDF was sent to a Large Development Studio by American recently.

This company receives thousands of game design documents in order to partner with creatives and build potential new games. They are VERY experienced, and the professional definition of a tried and tested AAA Game Development studio.  

Once the Design Bible WIP was sent via email, American received the standard “thank you for your submission, we review a large volume of documents, we may or may not get back to you… etc”.

Basically your standard corporate response really.

A few hours pass and American gets another email. 

Worded a little differently this time.

“WOW! What the **** IS THIS? We need to arrange a meeting to talk to you about this ASAP!”

…or similar to that effect. 

And so, American recently had a high-level meeting with 6 of the highest-ranking sales, technical, and management team members within this Large Development Studio.

Here is their feedback on the Alice: Asylum Design Bible. 

“Out of the thousands of game design documents they’d received in the 10-15 years they’ve been operating, this was by far the best game design document they’d ever seen presented to them.

That’s pretty nuts.

The. Best. They’d. Seen.


So, my understanding is that we’re on the right track here.

The goal is to finish the DB as quickly as we can, get it out there. 

Then, let it start doing the work to drum up the right kinds of support. 

Discussions continue with said Development Studio, and there is a high chance there will be more meetings in the future.

Our hope and goal is that the Design Bible will gather enough attention and spotlight online and in the right media channels to finally warrant that coveted green light from EA once we release the completed DB PDF for free.

With so much out of our control between the team and obtaining that lofty goal, the only thing that really is within our realm of control is the amount of work and quality of work we put into the Alice: Asylum concept, to give Alice her best shot.

Like prepping your child for their first day of school. 

But that child has to have their first day in the big, scary, real world, all on their own once they’re out of your hands and care. 

Go Alice, go. 

But, regardless, however it goes, we’ll always have her back <3

One way or another, we’ll do what we can, when we can. 

Personally, I’ve always believed that the Alice IP (and American) deserve their spot amongst other AAA titles and developers from the 90s-2000s (think Doom, Quake, Tomb Raider etc.).

Alice 3 deserves to be made. I believe that, and if you’re reading this, so do you.

Alice still has a huge following after all these years, and you’d be hard-pressed to go to a convention and not bump into an Alice cosplayer, or someone creating Alice fan-art.

It’s funny to think that our little team of misfit artists around the world, has had our work sit at the desks of the largest entertainment companies in the world, multiple times… and we’re still here plugging away, hoping to make dreams come true. 

We’ve got this far on a shoe-string budget, with a tiny team.

Imagine what we could do with a real AAA game development and design budget.

I hope wherever this all ends up when we release the DB, will be the right place. 

I truly hope our work reflects the love, care, sweat, blood, and tears we’ve put into this project.

The work continues. And on the team, we all continue to be huge Alice fans. 

Just like you. 

I will be in touch with everyone again as the DB rolls out closer to completion, so expect another few big updates between now and the end of the year.

We’ll also be discussing the actual LAUNCH of the FREE PDF version of the Design Bible soon also, so stay tuned for that discussion in the usual channels.

If there’s any feedback for me to consider on the DB from a design perspective, drop it where I can see it. 

Thank you for your continued support and interest in this project.

When the completed Design Bible drops online, let’s make our voices loud and clear.


Make it so. 

Back to it!

– Alex

Leave a Reply