Category Archives: GameTap

My What a Big Mouth You Have

When writing design scripts for Grimm episodes we’re constantly challenging ourselves to present the most interesting characters, items, and locations. It’s sometimes frustrating how many generic “castles” appear in fairy tale stories. But we’re excited when a tale offers us the chance to explore a truly unique location, as is the case with this image:

Wolf Mouth

This is the interior of the Big Bad Wolf’s mouth. We created a Grimm level inside the Wolf – using his mouth as the entrance – for the “Red Riding Hood” episode. You don’t want to know where the exit is!

Roger Jackson – The Voice of Grimm

At the start of the Grimm project I had the idea that we’d manage to record 99% of our voice over work in-studio. Our office has a dedicated sound guy, a beautiful sound recording room, and everything else necessary for the task – except one thing: voice talent.

The team tried a few times to capture the “voice of Grimm” as well as various NPC dialogs. What came out of our efforts was random one-liners for NPCs, stuff like “Ahhhhg!”, “Noooo!” and a distinct feeling that we wouldn’t be able to do this thing on our own.

Enter Roger Jackson. You may know him as the voice of Abraham Lincoln in “Sam & Max Season One: Episode 4: Abe Lincoln Must Die” (which, it turn out you can check out free on Gametap!), Mojo Jojo from Powerpuff Girls, or Dormouse, Jabberwock, and Cheshire Cat from “Alice”. His work is legendary and excellent.

Yesterday, we received the first batch of VO work from Roger.

Check it out here: Roger-Grimm-Jack


(Jack concept image from the “Jack and the Beanstalk episode of Grimm)

To say I am excited would be an understatement. What you are listening to is Roger acting the part of our main character Grimm, who is introducing the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. This is how each episode of Grimm will begin – an introduction to the light version of a fairytale. Grimm (aka Roger) presents the tale in puppet theater format, acting out all the voices in the story.

To hear Roger as Grimm doing the voices of Jack’s mom, the singing harp, the Giant, and others is pure joy. It’s great to have him on the project.

GameTap Hits 1000

GameTap just hit a major milestone: 1000 games on offer. News from Kotaku:

We knew it was coming, and now it is finally here. GameTap has reached the 1,000 game milestone, with none other than Sid Meier’s Civilization IV taking the honors as the landmark title. For those keeping track, that’s an average of 500 games a year over the course of the service’s two-year life.

Head over and check out what they have on offer…

Grimm on GameSpot UK

Emma Boyes over at GameSpot UK has put together a nice interview piece where we talk about Grimm, digital distribution, and life in Shanghai. From the article:

In 2006, McGee moved lock, stock, and barrel to Hong Kong and then on to Shanghai, where he set up his development studio Spicy Horse. From there, he and his team have been working on Grimm, a retelling of some of the best-known children’s fairy tales. Action adventure Grimm will be coming in 24 episodes, initially released for the PC on the GameTap digital distribution service and follow an episodic, TV-style format, complete with cliffhangers to keep gamers downloading. Fairy tales getting the McGee treatment will include Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White. The first episode is due in spring 2008.

To read the full article and see a bit of exclusive Grimm art, head over to GameSpot UK.

Life has been crazy busy, hence the lack of updates. Spicy moved into a beautiful new office. The Grimm project has been humming along. The team has really gelled and is cranking out beautiful work. And today we get to announce the technology we’ve been working with:




SHANGHAI, P.R.C. – September 21, 2007 – Spicy Horse Games, a Shanghai based game developer, together with Epic Games China announced today that it has entered into a multi-title agreement to license Unreal® Engine 3.

Spicy Horse Games is using Unreal Engine 3 technology for “American McGee’s Grimm” along with upcoming PC and console game titles. “Grimm” is a part of the GameTap original lineup, expected to launch starting in 2008.

“Unreal Engine 3 has given our team the tools they need to express their creativity in a rapid and predictable way,” said American McGee, Creative Director of Spicy Horse. “Working with the great people at Epic Games China allows us capture rapidly expanding business and creative opportunities in Chinese and global gaming.”

Paul Meegan, CEO of Epic Games China said, “We’re very happy to be working with American McGee and his team at Spicy Horse. American has a reputation for being highly creative, and his is one of the first independent teams to make games for the global marketplace entirely in China. We look forward to the next Alice.”

About Unreal Engine 3

The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for cutting-edge graphics and a best-of-breed toolset. Unreal Engine 3 is expected to maintain those features while adding massive world support, multi-processor support, next-generation console optimizations, and one of the most mature tool pipelines in the industry. Unreal Engine 3’s new toolset is designed specifically to accelerate developers’ productivity for ultra-complex, next-generation content. Additional information on Unreal Engine can be obtained at

About Epic Games

Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and game engine technology for PC and console. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in their Unreal series and their latest game, Gears of War®, broke sales records on Xbox 360 selling more than 3 million copies worldwide in the first ten weeks and awarded overall Game of the Year for 2006 by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, Game Developers Choice Awards, GameSpot, GamePro and many others. Epic is also responsible for the Unreal Engine, which is the underlying technology for a wide range of games including, Console Game of the Year winner, “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell TM” by Ubi Soft; PC Gamer’s Game of the Year, “Deus Ex” from Ion Storm/Eidos; “America’s Army: Special Forces,” by the United States Army, and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (PC) by Electronic Arts. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is the current holder, and three-time consecutive winner, of Game Developer magazine’s Front Line award for Best Game Engine. Epic Games was also awarded Studio of the Year at the 2006 Spike TV Video Game Awards and Developer of the Year by Official Xbox Magazine. Additional information about Epic can be obtained through Epic’s Web site at

About Epic Games China

Epic Games China, based in Shanghai, licenses Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 2 and Unreal Engine 3 in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South East Asia. The company provides local technology support and professional training services in Mandarin and English. Epic Games China also offers AAA quality content production outsourcing and game development services to developers and publishers worldwide. Additional information is available at

About Spicy Horse Games

Spicy Horse is an American owned and financed video game development studio located in Shanghai. The company’s mission is to create boutique games for the PC and next-gen console market using rapid production techniques and high-end technology with a creative focus on storytelling and art. Spicy’s development philosophy is geared towards putting the fun back into making and playing games. Additional information is available at:

Unreal is a registered trademark of Epic Games, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

So, there you have it. A mini-update and a press release. Exciting huh? Seriously, the UE3 tech has been a joy to work with. Although I find it ironic we’re using a next-gen engine to build a casual game. I guess that makes Grimm “next-gen casual”?