Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 4, 2013.

Update #42

Eyeballs, Tentacles, and Monsters

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Greetings Insane Children! 

American here with an update on progress with the Otherlands animations. Before that, I just want to say that I'm very sorry for the slow rate of response to people who are missing posters and other backer rewards. Since the campaign is managed by only myself and Ophelea, and she's recently been pulled away to deal with a death in the family, things related to Kickstarter updates and logistics (with both Otherlands and Akaneiro) have suffered. If you do have an urgent issue regarding an undelivered item, please contact us directly via email at contact (at) spicyhorse (dot) com, thanks. Those emails come directly to myself and Ophelea.

Now, off to Otherlands... 

Our first update comes from Troy in Hollywood, who recently finished work on the latest Fantastic Four feature film and has returned his attentions to the Wagner in Otherlands animation. He and his team have completed work on additional models and props, which you can check out in the images below. Troy sends along specific details:

"I've got a simple cast of the Alice puppet out to my costume person and she's well under way. Once I have the head mechanism done I'm sending it out to my hair person to make animatable hair. I've switched gears to finish up the Wagner puppet so I can shoot his scenes along with the remaining dragon scenes in two weeks. I have the motion rig booked again and I'm pre-vising those scenes right now in Maya."

Alice's Wagner Wings
Alice's Wagner Wings

Exciting stuff! I am really looking forward to sharing some sneak peak production footage with you once that starts rolling in. Judging from the models this animation is going to be epic! 

On the other side of the Pacific, Ed and his team of 3D animators have finished the 2D animatic that will guide production of their final 3D animated short based on Jules Verne. They've also shared a PREVIEW VIDEO containing some of the 3D models that will be used in the animation. Keep in mind that these are un-textured, un-animated, and may not reflect final design decisions. Get a load of that Bumby tentacle! 

Bumby Tentacle
Bumby Tentacle

Random thought... we should make that a game... "Bumby Tentacle" A cross between one of those Japanese hentai games and "Goat Simulator" perhaps? 

On the feature film front, I've continued talks with Tsui Hark and his team in Beijing. They previously provided a neat narrative container for a feature film - and I'm now working to get writing started on that with the screenwriter in the UK. We've encountered a few lawyer-ly obstacles, but nothing unexpected. Working together with the producer in Hollywood who we've licensed the rights from, I feel confident we'll be able to get a solution hammered out soon. These are the ways of Hollywood film development. 

/vent on

Lastly, I'd like to share a couple bits of info on Spicy Horse and how we've managed this project (and its funding) to date. After the most recently major announcement about our Akaneiro project - specifically the fact that we were "in the hole 1.something million dollars" - a lot of people speculated on the stability of our finances and ability to deliver on campaign promises. So much of what was being reported was so outlandish that I felt it better to ignore the BS, move forward, and provide proof of our health with tangible results. I hope this update on Otherlands answers your concerns about this campaign - and I'll be posting an update to Akaneiro later today, also with some major progress to report. Yay! 

To be clear, Spicy Horse was in a tight spot financially during January of this year. The studio was only weeks away from certain death. Not a fun spot, but also not an unusual spot for an indie developer. It's also not unusual for a developer to spend their own money towards making a game - and then be "out" that money - but the way it was reported... Perhaps the oddest part was that I was (and am still) willing to reveal these facts about our business to the public. Thankfully, our investors saved the day with another infusion of capital. Since then our latest game, The Gate, has found significant success, and things are better than ever.

None of this was ever about our inability to manage our budgets or schedules. And the Otherlands funds have always been kept separate from our day-to-day studio operating budget, so that even in a worst case scenario, this campaign could have continued to deliver on its promises. Makes sense given that 99% of the work is being handled outside of Spicy Horse, right? 

Anyway, the worst is behind us now, so three cheers for not dying.  

To any person or "reporter" wanting to snipe at me from the anonymity and security of their Internet sofa: Please take a moment to ask yourself why companies don't normally reveal detailed information about their operations and struggles. Consider your reaction when privileged information is shared; and your power to shape the relationship that exists between gamers, press, and publisher/developers. 

Do you like secretive publishing entities that operate like black boxes: taking your money, vanishing it into canceled projects nobody's ever heard of, and treating you like you can't handle the truth of how the industry functions? Based on my read of your internet chatter, you'd prefer a more transparent system in which your opinions mattered and development happened in collaboration with the audience. Then again, based on your reaction to the truth of my studio's struggles, honesty should be answered with pitchforks and torches. 

You create your own monsters

For the more rational and supportive of you, once again, many thanks for your continued kindness and support. 

/vent off 

Going forward, I'll be spending more time working with Ophelea (and directly with KS backers) to ensure everyone's getting their rewards. And I'll check back with you all once we have more progress to report with the animations. The next update should contain some actual... animation! Imagine that ;) 

From "The Hole" in Shanghai, 

-American 

Wagner Hands
Wagner Hands
Wagner Eyes
Wagner Eyes
Alice Nautica
Alice Nautica

Update #41

My apologies

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To those who are still missing items,

You have my apologies. I have been unable to manage replacing your missing items due to a death in the family that resulted in an extended absence. To have your missing items replaced, please send an e-mail to contact@spicyhorse.com and put Alice Kickstarter Item in the subject line.

Also, expect a significant update from American later today.

Regards,

Ophelea


Update #40

Missing Posters, Follow-up!

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Hello!

I've been diligently checking on the missing posters and though I haven't received tracking yet for all of them (this is why you've not heard from me) I do have one BIG issue to report:

Somehow, communication broke down and Alice with Sunflowers was never printed and shipped out! SORRY! It's at the printers now and will go out ASAP. That means another 3-10 weeks for its arrival. But, at least now we know!

To everyone else, I'll get back to you as soon as I have information. Promise!

Ophelea

Alice with Sunflowers
Alice with Sunflowers

Update #39

Progress and Possibilities

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Greetings Insane Children, 

After a recent project development trip to Beijing and with news from our intrepid animators, American here to provide you with an update. 

First off, work on the animated shorts continues to produce visible results. Troy and his team of stop-motion animators in Los Angeles send photos of the rigs and props they've been building. Troy says they're close to completion on pre-production tasks and will start actual shooting as early as next week. I'm really excited to see how Alice's stop-motion journey into the mind of Wagner turns out. Scroll down for photos from Troy. 

Ed in Shanghai also reports progress on his team's work towards a 3D animated short set inside the mind of Jules Verne. Pre-production on that short is also near complete and Ed says he expects to send actual animated samples within the next few weeks. Yay for progress!

Meanwhile I've been pushing forward on the idea of a live-action Alice feature film. I'm happy to report that we have secured commitment from a British film writer to knock out the script. And over the weekend I met with Tsui Hark and his team in Beijing to discuss story, development, finance, and timing. He and his team re-confirmed their commitment to getting the feature made - and Tsui himself pitched me an EXCELLENT film narrative to contain critical story elements from "Alice," "Madness Returns," and "Otherlands" under one feature film "roof." During his 20+ minute verbal pitch I was seeing all the action in my mind and getting goose bumps all over. If we can make this thing happen, it'll be awesome. 

Writing on the script will commence soon. Proper development on the film could start as early as April of this year. Again, yay for progress! 

While it's easy to get excited by the possibility of an Alice feature film, I would like to remind everyone that the idea for this movie has been bouncing around since before the first game was even released. Film development - and actually getting a film made - is HARD. Feels to me like we're getting a lot closer to making Alice on the big screen a reality, but I'd like to list some of the challenges we still face... Will the script come together as hoped? Can writer, director, and producers all agree on a creative direction? Who will fund the production? Can everyone agree on how to share the financial pie? Since we're planning to shoot this thing in China, can we get government approval to do so? And there are many questions beyond these. 

Anyway, let's all keep a positive outlook - and I'll keep doing everything I can to make this thing a reality. I'm happy that we've come this far - and want to thank everyone who supported the "Otherlands" campaign for putting us in a position to do so. 

In the meantime, Tsui has asked that we all think about actors. Who would YOU like to see play Alice? Bumby? What if Bumby had a "boss" - who would pay that ultimate bad guy? Any thoughts on Alice's father, mother, and sister? How about a voice for the Cheshire Cat? The Duchess or the Queen? Here's your chance to get involved with ideas that can impact the film! Have fun! 

From Shanghai with a Lulu in my lap, 

-American 

Alice's Wings
Alice's Wings
Wing Detail
Wing Detail
Alice Frame
Alice Frame
Alice Skeleton
Alice Skeleton
Skeleton Raw
Skeleton Raw

Update #38

Time to Find the Missing Posters!

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Today marks the end of Chinese New Year which means the team is back at work. THIS means I can start doing tracking on missing posters! This is what I need from each of you:

1. Send an e-mail to Ophelea@spicyhorse.com with the subject line - Alice Posters. (SEND ONE EVEN IF YOU'VE SENT ONE BEFORE)

2. Tell me what posters you are missing. This is especially important if you have ordered more than one.

3. Tell me your home address (so I can see if we shipped it to the wrong address)

4. Give me a few days to do all of the tracking. 

I owe quite a few of you feedback but I've got e-mails answered from our shipping company, some not answered, three shipping companies to talk with. It will be my mission to get this fixed over the next week.

Ophelea


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