Legal Notice Electronic Arts require us to display regarding Alice: Asylum and our efforts towards this project: The Design Bible v1.0 PDF Document, the Patreon, and the Alice: Asylum project are not affiliated with or endorsed by Electronic Arts (EA).
Hello to our Insane Children, Patreon Supporters, and fans of American McGee’s Alice worldwide.
The culmination of our team’s efforts on the first pre-production phase of Alice: Asylum, (Alice’s potential third video game adventure) is now contained within the completed Alice: Asylum Design Bible PDF, V1.0 released FOR FREE as of the 14th of February, 2023 (US TIME).
Happy Valentine’s Day! <3
Download the (270mb) Design Bible V1.0 PDF file via this link:
We are also extremely pleased to announce a potential development partner for Alice: Asylum: Virtuos Games
Before we talk about the Design Bible, (I hope you’re already downloading it!) there is so much we can talk about regarding our early discussions with the Virtuos Team.
American summed it up nicely on a recent call;
“We simply could not ask for a better AAA development team to build this game if this all goes ahead.”
The team at Virtuos have provided a development budget, schedule and pitch outline, for developing Alice: Asylum, based on the content contained within the Design Bible.
But it is important to note that all proposed terms of collaboration are based on early discussions with Virtuos and remain ‘subject to contract’ – what’s presented here is a sneak peek at the very early stages of the process required to get a new Alice game into development. All very much Work in Progress!
From talking with the Virtuos Team, we feel they are excited, capable and willing to make Alice: Asylum.
Virtuos also share our desire to stay true to Alice’s core.
They understand what makes the series so special.
The potential overlapping creative process, (of creative direction supplied via Mysterious Studios, and technical game wizardry performed via Virtuos), sounds exactly like how we want to do this.
We’ll keep you posted as Virtuos’ involvement takes shape, alongside the ongoing work our current team is undertaking with Virtuos later this year. More on that later in this post.
Alice: Asylum’s Funding Situation Explained:
Alice: Asylum requires approximately 50 million USD to secure a full development budget.
This estimated projection is not accounting for marketing, or additional licensing and miscellaneous costs to fully release and publish the game.
The Alice video game IP (intellectual property) rights are owned by Electronic Arts.
We are the only team of creatives in the world, actively investing our time, resource and skills towards making a new Alice 3 game a reality.
The result of the first phase of our work towards achieving that goal is the Alice: Asylum Design Bible.
So, what is the Design Bible?
The Design Bible document is a sales tool, created by American McGee and a small team of artists, designers and writers, to encourage official greenlighting of the development of a new AAA Alice 3 video game, by key stakeholders at Electronic Arts (EA).
The document was also created to;
- Tantalise and excite potential financiers into funding the project.
- Allow developers a scope of work insight to build the actual game concept in-engine.
- Give Alice’s fans worldwide a chance to participate in the creation of and enjoy her potential third adventure, in digital book format, for free.
As of right now, we’ve achieved two of these things.
Securing Alice’s financial backing and funding remains.
Why create a Design Bible, and not a game?
Electronic Arts first approached American in 2018, to discuss creating materials for a potential Alice 3 game concept.
American and his team were explicitly barred from booting up a game engine, due to legal requirements and generating potential conflicts of interest surrounding the Alice game IP.
Another route needed to be taken. That spawned the Design Bible idea.
So, who are we, and what have we achieved?
Rather than go down the legally blocked “create-a-game” route, the pre-production team instead decided to focus on the following;
- Creating high-quality concept art,
- Establishing the core game design concepts & ethos,
- Writing a satisfying narrative & story resolution for Alice 3.
And present this all in a Design Bible Document.
This DB document has been shared publicly as “Work In Progress” iterations.
But now, the freshly completed v1.0 Design Bible contains all the initial art, story and game design concepts we’ve created during pre-production.
(And some secret extras at the end. Shhhh.)
All this has taken shape with open, transparent public sharing of milestones achieved via Patreon. Alice’s fans have also actively provided input towards design discussions via “Crowd Design,” helping us understand what the community believes is best for Asylum.
To date, the Alice: Asylum Pre-Production Design, Art, Writing and Community Management team is:
In seeking funding and development opportunities, the work the pre-production team has created has already sat at the desks of; Amazon, Netflix, Tencent and Netease.
These are the largest entertainment businesses in the world.
Virtuos sits among these ranks as one of the largest videogame outsourcing production houses in the world.
And now Virtuos wants to help us make this game.
Right now, we’re looking good, and we’ve made real progress.
With the completion of the first pass of the Design Bible, we hope you can see the vision and potential in the Alice: Asylum game concept.
It’s fascinating to think about what a small team of independent freelancers have achieved by banding and working together.
Please join us in thanking the pre-production team for their tremendous work toward making Alice a reality.
We have put in everything we have to reach this stage, but we’re not done yet.
So, what now? And what’s next?
A closing note from Alex:
We’ve been focussing so much on creating the DB, and working hard to make it as special as possible.
We hope the work, love and effort we’ve all put into Asylum speaks for itself.
Right now, we’d love it if you simply download the Design Bible, and read it.
Share it with your friends!
Review it on your streams!
Enjoy the art. Enjoy the story.
Make some positive noise for Alice: Asylum in the online space, and hope the powers that be hear us.
When American and I sat down to create the DB concept, we wanted to catch that feeling of riding home in the back seat as a kid, deep-diving into reading a new game manual before you could boot it up, and play it at home.
Something that you’d happily bring to the dinner table, or read under torchlight in bed when you weren’t playing.
We wanted to create a little magic for you.
And, we aimed to give the Alice series the respect and care it deserves.
I hope you feel we’ve achieved that.
Looking immediately ahead, the team and I will likely have a few weeks off to catch our breath before diving back into the Alice project.
For the rest of 2023, (or until we secure funding or get a flat-out refusal to proceed) we plan to ensure our future design work lines up with assisting Virtuos with their potential future development work if we are greenlit.
If we secure funding and are greenlit tomorrow, production on Alice 3 would not start until early 2024 at the earliest.
Next up on our to-do list, I understand that we will burrow down on design specifics in-game.
We will translate our concept art and design work directly into assisting Virtuos in potentially building Alice 3 from the ground up.
Level structure. Puzzles. Traps. Full encounter mapping. Pacing.
Overall creative direction to make this all work.
We’ve already done a lot of that, but there is more we can do.
Anything we can create, explore and approve now in tandem with the other facets of the game design, will benefit the development process of creating the asset-rich Wonderland we envision for Asylum.
American, the pre-production team and I will assess, confirm and share our exact course of action once all the specific pieces in play are lined up.
We hope you’ll stay with us, as we continue our journey.
Additional work we undertake henceforth may equal a V1.1 or V2.0 Design Bible, but, we’ll share as we go.
A closing note from American:
I am truly humbled by the support we’ve received from our Insane Children (Patrons) over on Patreon. And I’m in awe of the creative expression this team and our community have poured into the Design Bible.
Thank you, to our team and to our supporters. It’s been incredible.
Thank you for allowing us the chance to make this game come to life for you.
We could not have got Alice this far without your support, and we will continue the good fight until we arrive at a result.
We will stay the course.
Please let us know what you think of the Design Bible v1.0 and the Virtuos pitch where we can see your comments.
We made all of this for you.
Take care of yourselves, and each other out there!
Alex Crowley + American McGee + The Asylum Pre-production Team
February 14th, 2023