In the previous update we sent final artwork and book content to the factory for a pre-production test print. Yesterday, those test prints came back, and they look awesome!
With production-ready samples in hand I fired off an email to the factory: Gooooo!
We've now got a ~20 day production period in front of us. When done, books and discs will be delivered to the Spicy Horse office. Then begins the massive task of packaging and mailing everything to thousands of backers around the globe. (Anyone want to fly over to Shanghai and lend a hand!? :P)
Expect further updates on this process as boxes arrive and packing begins.
While we wait, please take a moment to check out this fan-made petition for a new Alice game:
Good news this morning! We now have in hand the final digital assets for the book and DVD (BluRay) manufacturing process! These files are now being sent to the factories where discs and books will be produced in bulk. I've been told the manufacture process for both books and discs should be around 20 days. But that timer won't start until I get back (and approve) the samples we've just asked them to make.
Since we've already made samples based on earlier (work in progress) files, I expect we'll be able to give the approval for mass production sometime next week.
Looks like we're going to box and label everything for shipping here at the Spicy Horse office in Shanghai. From here we'll send packages in bulk to a shipping distribution center. Depending on where in the world you're located, shipping times can be anywhere from 5~15 days.
So, adding up time to manufacture (20 days from next week), time to package everything (mid September?), and shipping time... Some of you could be seeing physical items around end of September to early October? Fingers crossed on that! :)
And once the physical items start going out, we can decide on when/how to distribute the digital items.
Thank you, everyone, for your continued support and patience while we bring the Otherlands campaign nearer to completion!
"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!) ;)
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:
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!
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.
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!
That concludes the Otherlands update for this month. We'll be back next month to share progress on the book, credits, and manufacture process!
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.
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:
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...
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: