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Rendered in beautiful 3D animation, Alice enters the "Otherlands" of London's most beautiful and terrifying minds.
Rendered in beautiful 3D animation, Alice enters the "Otherlands" of London's most beautiful and terrifying minds.
3,389 backers pledged $222,377 to help bring this project to life.

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July and the Final Stretch

33 likes

Dear Insane Children, 

"Are we there yet?!" Almost there! The animations are complete and the disc factory has been reserved. We're just waiting on Ed to put finishing touches on the DVD/Blu-Ray menus. Don't blame him for being slow - he has two good excuses for not yet finishing: First, he's just moved house from Shanghai to New York (just in time for the 4th of July). More critically though, *I* screwed up and gave him an incomplete list of backer names for the credits! Oops :(

As soon as the menus and backer credits are done... off to the factory with the DVDs and Blu-Rays! (Hey, Ed... psst... hurry, the children are getting impatient!) ;) 

DVD Box Art (Yes, there's other art for Blu-Ray)
DVD Box Art (Yes, there's other art for Blu-Ray)

Last update caused a bit of stir with the art style in Ed's animation of Alice's adventure through the mind of Jules Verne. While everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions on art (of course!) it's also worth keeping in mind (pun intended) that each journey into a new mind would-could-should be represented in an art style fitting the narrative and tone of that particular mind. 

Anime-style Alice is, to my mind, unique, fun, and well worth exploring. She even brought to life a range of new dresses, which I hope we'll see make their way into the cos-play community... 

And that's the beauty of Otherlands. Each mind is a different expression of materials and influences. A chance for a director or artist to bring a fresh perspective to Alice's world. Troy's stop-motion adventure into the mind of Wagner plays in stark contrast to the anime style of Verne's mind: 

My only hope is we're given an opportunity to explore even more styles throughout a wide range of other minds. What I wouldn't give to see all these minds opened for exploration on a VR platform like Oculus! Ahem, EA? 

Beyond the animations, serious progress is being made on the "Art of" book. Alex says, "...all is going according to schedule. I'm on track, will be working and polishing it off this week/weekend. Should have no problems supplying a complete (or near complete) proof for next week. (pending Ed's copy and the Bio's at the back). "

We have another test-print of the book being made this week. I'll send along pictures of that as soon as it's delivered from the factory. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the Otherlands Storyboard poster, which a handful of backers will receive. (Special thanks to backer Matthew for his input on the design and content on this reward). 

That's it for the July update. As always, your comments are questions are welcome in the feedback below. 

CRITICAL REMINDER: As we are getting very close to shipping items, please take a moment to check your profile on BackerKit to ensure we have your current address and PHONE NUMBER. I cannot stress how important it is you include a phone number with your contact details. Here's the link: 

Alice Otherlands BackerKit 

From Shanghai with a Stinky Lulu in my lap, 

-American 

 (Literally, this is how I have to work all day, she doesn't allow any other way). 

Animations Complete!

46 likes

Dear Backers, 

First off, a big THANK YOU for your patience throughout the process of getting the animations and art book finished and delivered. The project has gone months beyond the originally projected delivery date and you've all maintained your cool and patience. Myself, Ed, Troy, Alex, Walter, Kian, and Lulu really appreciate your support and kindness. 

Now then... it's the...

Animation work is COMPLETE! Both Ed and Troy have delivered final versions of their animations. Kian is putting finishing touches on audio for the animations. And Ed is now working with Alex to create the credits roll for each video. Ed's journey through the mind of Jules Verne has turned out great!

Verne Renders
Verne Renders

For the Art Book... As can be seen with logos, labels, and sample pages in this post, Alex has been creating some really wonderful art to support the project. Here's a quick note from him on that topic and on progress with the Art Book: 

Hello there, we hope you're digging the work-in-progress snapshots for the Alice: Otherlands Art Book! American and I are tackling the book with the same approach to the games, in the idea that the more you look, the more you'll find. At time of writing, we're sitting at approximately 70% of the way through the initial layout. After this stage is finished, next up is typesetting each paragraph in the book. Finally, we'll go through and populate the gaps lefts over with brand-new original artwork and references to the Alice series. We're aiming to make the book as visually rich as it can be, and to create a truly worthy companion to the artbook of A:MR. The design is coming along wonderfully, and we're looking forward to sharing the final product with you as soon as it's ready to rock. Stay tuned! -Alex

In terms of timing and delivery dates... 

As soon as credits are delivered, I'll start work with Alex and Kian (our sound guy) to build DVD menus and DVD packaging, then send all those materials off to the DVD factory for manufacture. Estimated timeline for delivery to the factory: End of June.  

And once Alex delivers the final book, I'll start work on editing the text content, then we can send THAT off for manufacture. Estimated timeline for delivery to the factory: Middle to late July. 

If all goes well, we should be able to start shipping physical rewards by early to mid August. Keep in mind that delays with DVDs will impact on delivery of books and vice-versa, since we're going to need to ship items out in bundles to reduce shipping cost and time. We will be hand-shipping items from Shanghai, so please understand that the boxing/shipping process alone is going to be time consuming as well. Whew!

With all that out of the way, here's a bunch of awesome art!

Dress Teaser
Dress Teaser
Book Teaser 1
Book Teaser 1
Book Teaser 2
Book Teaser 2
Book Teaser 3
Book Teaser 3
Book Teaser 4
Book Teaser 4
Book Teaser 5
Book Teaser 5
Story Boards
Story Boards

That concludes the Otherlands update for this month. We'll be back next month to share progress on the book, credits, and manufacture process!

Tick Tock!
Tick Tock!

From Shanghai on Lulu's Birthday, 

-American & Lulu (who is now 3 years old!)

 A bit of promotion for a new project I'm working on with my girlfriend (fashion designer Vanessa Zhang) and Alex Crowley. If you aren't interested in knowing more, please just ignore this section. Thanks!

What's the new project? Well, I've decided to bring my approach to twisted fairy tales into a new domain; a place where my ideas aren't limited by technical constraints, distribution platforms, or publishing agreements. "Mysterious" is a shop where I'll offer hand made bags inspired by some of my favorite stories, such as Alice, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White. 

If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for the Mailing List

The Art of The Art Book

37 likes

Dear Insane Children, 

American and Lulu here with an update on the Art Book. It's such a fantastic update, Lulu's afraid it might damage her eyes, so she's taken special precautions: 

Whatever. I don't carrot all.
Whatever. I don't carrot all.

Since the last update, wherein I pleaded for help with the art book, a magnificent new artist has been discovered and added to the project. Everyone, please say "Hello!" to Alex "AlexCee" Crowley... 

Alex is a long-time die-hard Alice fan, and recalls vividly his first encounter with the game series in high school, when coming across a magazine advert for the original Alice game. Since then, he's been hooked. Both the original Alice and A:MR have been massive artistic influences, and he's followed her adventures ever since. He currently works as a senior designer for an advertising agency/record label/touring agency, and freelances for cool things when he can.

In just a few weeks Alex has already outlined a spectacular vision for the Alice: Otherlands art book - one that fits together nicely with the Alice: Madness Returns art book... even being the same size and format, so that they two books will fit neatly together into a self-made collection. 

Here's a sample of Alex's ideas for various elements in the book. All work in progress... 

Sample Logo
Sample Logo
Sample Borders
Sample Borders
Sample Chapter Headings
Sample Chapter Headings
Sample Contents Page
Sample Contents Page

You can check out more of Alex's work and keep an eye out for sneak peaks at his progress on the Otherlands art book via his Facebook and Instagram pages: 

www.facebook.com/alexceeart 
www.instagram.com/alexceeart

I've got in-hand a sample version of the first chapter of the art book, and I have to say... it looks great!

Ok, Lulu, you can take off your glasses now. 

On the animation front, Ed and team report they made some solid progress over last weekend. Fingers crossed they'll wrap their production soon! 

From Shanghai with Edible Glasses, 

American & Lulu

The "No Update" Update

36 likes

Dear Backers, 

Absolutely nothing exciting to report, but I'd like to avoid knicker twisting so here's an update without any meaningful update. Yay! 

Troy's stop-motion animation is finished. Kian is also finished with sound/music on this animation. That's good progress. 

Animating Alice
Animating Alice

Ed's 3D-computer animation was near finished at last update. Kian's still waiting on final picture so he can wrap up sound/music. Ed's and his team have been super busy on other projects (required for survival), so progress on this front is slow. I will continue to kick and prod Ed as I am able. 

Progress on the book is moving along steadily, but has been limited by my own busy-ness on launching a new game here at Spicy Horse (also required for survival). And I will continue to kick and prod myself as I am able. In order to get the book done faster I am thinking of outsourcing the work - so if any of you know any Adobe Illustrator experts that might be interested... drop me a line. 

Once we have all the production assets (video and book) finished, manufacture at a factory shouldn't take long (a few weeks), at which point we can mail everything out (another few weeks for delivery). 

Now that I'm mostly out of the woods on launch of the new game, I can devote more time to book production. And I'm hoping Ed can wrap up his part soon as well. 

Apologies for the delays, and thanks in advance for your understanding. 

From Shanghai,

-American (and Lulu says 'Hi') 

Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Sheep

20 likes

Ni Hao Feng Le Hai Ze! 

The Year of the Sheep is upon us! Here in China, things are getting quieter by the day. By end of week the streets will be half-deserted, 300,000,000 people will begin their annual new year migration, and I'll be winging my way to a distant tropical anchorage. Baaaa! 

Happy Baa Year
Happy Baa Year

Progress on the Alice: Otherlands animations is moving forward, albeit slowly. Ed and Troy continue their work with Kian and Walter on sound/music. Ed is also working on the 'backer credits' to be included with both animations. The animations should be in final condition by start of March (fingers crossed). The art book is also growing slowly towards design completion. 

Really nothing new to share in terms of music, video, or 2D art, so I'll leave you with a "Happy New Year!" and return with another update after the holiday :) 

From Shanghai with Baa, 

-American