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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.

What's Alice Doing in these Animations?

The Backstory...

The original idea for "Otherlands" started life in the form of a game concept. At the end of Madness Returns we saw Alice walking out of the train station and into the streets of London - except that London was married with Wonderland - Alice's powers of imagination had become literal and the world was transformed into "Londerland." This ending hints at a story in which Alice's mental "tools" extend beyond the borders of her own mind and into our reality. By this extension, Alice is able to not only shape the world with her imagination but also cross our cranial boundaries and enter our Wonderlands.

I'm still working to define the rules that constrain Alice's abilities. Must she, like Mr. Spock, touch her subjects in order to enter their minds (the Wonderland mind-meld)? Or are her abilities telepathic and unlimited by range and sight? One thought I had was to impose a physical requirement (she has to touch you) paired with a telepathic network effect. It's "6-Degrees of Bacon Brain." If she wants to enter the mind of the Queen (of England) she doesn't have to touch the Queen (heaven forbid!) but could access her "network" by touching the Queen's cook.

Anyway, that's the setup - still a work in progress.

The Films

The question for today - how does all this impact the animations? What's Alice doing?

Should we worry about the rules of engagement? Do we need to provide a narrative setup for every mind Alice enters?

Do all the animations require a narrative arc?

I think we should chuck all these questions out the window. They get in the way and they limit the fun. Ultimately, what I'm looking for here - and I hope you are too - is a series of animations presented in purest, most visually satisfying form. I don't need to see Alice putting the Vulcan mind meld on Edison (though I admit that would be fun). And I don't care if some of the animations are structureless, LSD-inspired visual trips. What I think would be fun is a collection of sojourns of the psyche - mental meanderings. Leave the rules for the game!

For those of you old enough to remember… Pink Floyd The Wall would be a great example of what I think we could end up with. Another touchstone might be Heavy Metal. These were films I used to watch with purpose one day (usually while smoking something other than cigarettes) - and other times just leave them silently running in the background. They were art one day, experiences another. I hope Otherlands ends up being something similar.

Let There Be Music

Chris Vrenna, has asked me to let you know that he's super excited to contribute music to Otherlands. For those unfamiliar with Chris, he’s known for his work with such notable bands as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Tweaker and on video games from Doom 3 and Quake 4 to American McGee’s Alice (you can hear the soundtrack here). Chris is one of those rare musicians who can stride both sides of the aisle between performance and composition. And he does it well.

Let There Be Dance

Perhaps we'll pair him up with Ed Goin, the guy who created all those awesome 2D-motion graphic animations for Madness Returns? Ed has also signed-on to direct a new set of animations for the Otherlands project. I'm getting chill bumps imagining how awesome this is going to turn out!

Are you feeling bumpy too?

- American

(From the Desk of Ophelea)

I spent the better part of this afternoon adding 17 new Alice: Madness Returns posters, lithographs and screenprints up as add-ons for those who keep asking for more, moore, MOAR! It's a visually stunning array of images, take time to look at them all. I've posted a few below.

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    1. Ysmael Del Rosario on

      9 days have passed and at least $93000 left for the requirement. I really hope it can reach 200k this week. Make it tomorrow already! I miss the creepy theme of the game.

    2. Shaun Huang on

      I think it's more fun when a protagonist's power has (seemingly) no strict rule or pattern. It creates a mystery and the writer isn't distracted/handicapped by some arbitrary limitations.

    3. Yannick D. on

      +1 for digital original soundtrack in lossless format (like FLAC). (^_^)

    4. Sarah Larrabee on

      I get more & more excited about this project. *squee*

    5. Luke Peterson on

      Oh Chris Vrenna again? Would be good if you could offer a cd soundtrack as an add-on option or in a new tier.

    6. Stephen Montalvo on

      I think something like 'The Stendhal Syndrome' would be a nicely Victorian way to do it. (although Stendhal was a bit earlier) Basically-when you see something you're so overcome by an emotional resonance that you trance-out and have a vision that you're there in the object. Dario Argento made a movie in which his daughter Asia has it.

    7. American McGee 3-time creator on

      @Jacob, We do not print them in-house (that would be expensive and difficult!). If we keep our paypal store open after the end of the Kickstarter, I'll see about adding some Ozombie and Akaneiro art.

    8. Andrew Hawkins on

      The Wall and Heavy Metal are mind blowing. I'm all about seeing Alice enter an animated world where the surreal and fantastic can be terrifying and dangerous.

    9. Jacob McClenny on

      What's the likelihood of seeing the Akaneiro ( canvas as an add-on as well? If I understand correctly, you print them in house, so I imagine they wouldn't be as difficult to procure as some of the other posters?

    10. American McGee 3-time creator on

      @Maria, "Alice: Madness Returns" by Ken Taylor. 12" x 36". 2011; Run: 250

    11. María on

      Ken Taylor's poster is one of the coolest from this list and if possible, I would like to know its size, at least approximate, before adding it to my pledge :)

    12. American McGee 3-time creator on

      @Jacob, That is correct. You only pay international shipping outside of the US. Kickstarter will base it upon your address.

    13. Amy on

      Chris is making the music?! Upping my pledge immediatelly!

    14. Jacob McClenny on

      I want to clarify this for anyone who is confused (someone please correct me if I'm wrong): the project is based in China, BUT international shipping is for folks outside of the USA. So if you live in the USA, you don't need to tack on extra for shipping costs for posters.

    15. American McGee 3-time creator on

      @Michael, Having done this twice before I'm not terribly concerned. But I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention it. Most items we have 280-350 of.

    16. Missing avatar

      Michael Baker

      @American, while it will take some management, may I suggest that for people that have ordered the posters etc as add ons that are limited that we send a message to you with details on posters they want so an idea of numbers can be tracked. I have just upped my pledge to order 3 of the posters and I would hate to miss out on those 3 in particular that I want.
      Thanks for doing this project, I think it will be great to see your Alice in a new format, and will hopefully show the corporations the interest in this IP for further development.

    17. American McGee 3-time creator on

      @Chris, the Alchemy poster is 2' x 3'. It's huge. The lithos vary but most are 18" x 24". The screenprints are all over the map because they're simply not square images.

    18. Chris Angelico on

      The "Wake Up Alice" one looks more like it'd be River Tam's self-imagining. I think I need to get that one and a couple of the others. The Alchemy poster in particular is somewhat awesome. I've seen the same art elsewhere, but cropped differently.

      What size will the posters be?