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$141,513 pledged of $950,000 goal
$141,513 pledged of $950,000 goal

A New Plan

First off, I just want to make it clear that I am listening to and taking seriously all the comments and ideas being provided by our Kickstarter backers. The idea that your input is somehow being ignored doesn't account for the various pressures and constraints we're battling - it's not that any given suggestion is a bad one, but that certain things prevent us from adopting them as quickly or easily as you might think we could.

Please try not to interpret my responses (or lack of response) as being "arrogant," "deceptive," or ignorant of what's going wrong here. Myself and Ophelea don't have our heads in the sand. We discuss the campaign constantly. And we're making adjustments as quickly as possible. We are just as frustrated with you to see how things are going.

All this being the case, it's taken us some time to put together an overall plan to address your major concerns. That plan breaks into three parts:

1) Rename the game. "OZombie" is causing too much confusion. "American McGee's Oz" would be great if that name weren't owned by Atari and others. We need a new name and will come up with one shortly. Suggestions?

2) Remove Alice film rights from the OZombie campaign. Kickstarter won't allow us to remove tiers once backers have selected them, so we'll first email those backers and ask them to drop the "Alice" selection. There are around 80 backers in this category. With that done we'll remove Alice from the campaign. Then, if time allows, explore launching a separate campaign on either Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

3) Make a new video with focus on OZombie design, story and artwork. This will contain things you've already seen but should be useful in attracting new backers. It will not contain game play footage, but we are working to release in-game video around the 19th of July. 

I'm presenting this plan before these changes are made because I'm looking for your feedback and support. So far every attempt I've made at being transparent, adding value to the campaign and inviting discussion has been turned into something negative. It's incredible to me how deceitful and outright mean the media are being about what we're attempting (and these days, about Kickstarter in general). Same goes for a vocal minority of backers on this campaign. Every misstep is an insult, every wrong move a "scam." Can this new plan overcome that tendency towards negativity? 

I'm looking forward to your feedback on these questions. 

- American


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    1. Missing avatar

      Jon on July 10, 2013

      This sounds like a good, solid plan.

    2. Keat on July 10, 2013

      I'm not sure if anyone has suggested this, but I think "American McGee's Dorothy" sounds good. In the same tune to the Alice franchise, and most of your games for that matter.

      Hopefully the title gets considered!

    3. Flex D on July 10, 2013

      The Twisted Cities of Oz.
      Oz: The Scarecrow War.

    4. Paul Rude on July 9, 2013

      Just noticed someone had the same idea. Great minds think alike!

    5. Paul Rude on July 9, 2013

      American McGee's OZpocalypse

      Great suggestions out there, though we might have to leave out Ruby, as this was only in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" and the slippers from the actual books were Silver, if memory serves me correctly.

    6. Kristen Rene' Ford on July 9, 2013

      War of/on Oz (my favorite so far!)
      Land of Oz
      World of Oz

    7. Missing avatar

      Jim Bob on July 9, 2013

      Some more suggestions for what they are worth (with or without a Dorothy prefix). Good luck with the Kickstarter!

      Oz No More
      Witch-King of Oz
      Yellow Brick Grave of Oz
      Emerald Necropolis of Oz
      Emerald Witching Hour
      Emerald & Ruby
      Emerald Demon
      Yellow Brick Road to Hell
      Death of Dreams
      Wicked Witchcraft
      Revolution in Oz
      Entombed in Oz
      Majestic Demon of Oz
      Ashes to Oz
      Fear of Oz
      Power of Oz
      Hell in Oz
      Terror of Oz

    8. ET3D on July 9, 2013

      I'd like to suggest that the name be changed to "Latrine", so the following conversation could take place:

      Prince John: Such an unusual name, "Latrine." How did you come by it?
      American: We changed it 15 days after the project started.
      Prince John: You mean you changed it TO "Latrine"?
      American: Yeah. Used to be "OZombie."
      Prince John: It's a good change. That's a good change!

    9. American McGee 3-time creator on July 9, 2013

      @Everyone, we asked the Alice backers to back out so we could delete those tiers and restart an Alice Kickstarter. Some were not here to back Oz. It's ok.

    10. Missing avatar

      Lukas Daniel Klausner
      on July 9, 2013

      I have to agree, a restart seems to be the better option – early momentum is often very important.

    11. Justin
      on July 9, 2013

      "OZombie: Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight"


    12. belherogrim on July 9, 2013

      How about Dorothy : Ozerlands ? :D
      Or maybe Laments from Oz ? Or just Ozerlands.

    13. Derek Mowrey on July 9, 2013

      Nightmares of OZ

      Mindless in OZ

      OZombie: Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight

    14. Petar Petrov on July 9, 2013

      @Ezra - You're aboslutely right! I don't know what's in American mind, but it'll be disaster if the campaign's not restarted, because the momentum in the first 24-72hrs is the most important thing for a successful KS campaign!
      Update: Many people're backing off as you see in kicktraq daily data - the result for today is -(minus!!!)200 dollars and lowering! What's going on? Why "the" Alice backers do not chose another tier, but are gone forever?

    15. Ezra Farber on July 9, 2013

      Humm, I would really prefer you scrap this one and start a new kickstarter. From what I've seen, the first 3 days are incredibly important to a kickstarter's success, and I think this gorgeous, fantastic project deserves a better start.

      Oz action-adventure is a little too bland. I love Jess' suggestion: Shadows of OZ

    16. Jess Montgomery on July 9, 2013

      I worry this leaves dangerous amounts of confusion, with title changes and such... i'd perosnally looking at 27 days, restart both this and you movie rights kickstarters... would hopefully clear the issues up tidy the whole title and tiers up. As long as us backers are made aware i'm sure we'll all reback and such...

      But if thats not possible for reasons i do not understand then... here's a few titles:
      Oz a question of the mind, Dark Dreams of Oz, Oz the fallen kingdom, Shadows of Oz and Requiem of Oz.

      Hope this all pulls through as your game looks great, all i can say is don't give up and here's hoping word spreads.

    17. Carmel Abramovitch on July 9, 2013

      Off Oz
      As in "wonderful wizard Off Oz". And because Oz is a bit off =)

    18. ET3D on July 9, 2013

      While Oz Action Adventure is not as evocative as some names, at least it's straightforward and not likely to cause confusion.

    19. Petar Petrov on July 9, 2013

      Wow, "Oz Action Adventure" is a great title! I hope you'll make more than $4mil the next 2 weeks! But have in mind one more thing: mind the budget, because everybody already saw what happened to Broken Age! Again, good luck!
      //also I hope, that the daily pledges multipy by 100 - from 1K to 100K at least//

    20. Missing avatar

      Jenny L on July 8, 2013

      Firstly, I just want to say I squeeed when I heard about this project and was excited to help support this. Alice Returns is one of my favorite video games, period. While I love the first video (I wouldn't even have found out about this project if it weren't for the fact that I am a huge Pandora Boxx fan that follows her fb newsfeed), that video was for the fans waiting to hear which game, who had been following the updates to see if OZombie or Alice Otherlands would happen first. It served its purpose of explaining to people desperately wanting the next Alice game why not yet, and why OZombie will happen first.

      A new main video to reach out to those who don't know about the Alice games but would enjoy OZombie would do worlds of good for this project. I think the focus needs to be on spreading OZombie awareness and what this game will be. It needs to start standing alone, and not depending on existing fans in the know of the Alice games. Because honestly, while I'm now a huge fan, I had never heard of American McGee before Alice Returns. OZombie needs to bring in new converts by wheeling in people with the breathtaking artwork, amazing world-building, and clever storytelling that first attracted us to the Alice games. While we all want OZombie to succeed and are simultaneously looking forward to the future promise of more Alice, I think OZombie won't get the support it needs if we can't start presenting it as its own wonderful worthwhile project of its own, instead of as part of the scheme to give us more Alice.

      While I thought the OZombie title was good, it took a little while for me to get "oh, it's name is Oz + zombie." I look forward to how American McGee will portray his interpretation of "zombies." However, that word has such preconceived connotations to it, that I understand the need to change the actual nomenclature to not confuse or scare off potential supporters. Honestly, I think "mindless" might be a more user-friendly term to use that actually conveys the point that American is trying to make.

      My main title suggestions are somehow incorporating the concept of "Tyrannical Mindless" into it. So something along the lines of:
      Dorothy and the Tyrannical Mindless
      Scarecrow: The Mindless Tyrant
      Oz: The War of the Mindless

    21. Michael Gunderson
      on July 8, 2013

      Can an unlimited tier be made limited after the fact, to prevent any additional people from pledging at the tiers you're trying to get down to zero?

    22. Leo Stevenson on July 8, 2013

      This is the first Kickstarter I've ever backed and I've been looking for a longtime. The reasons I chose this one are because I have a great respect for American McGee and his previous works, becaise I was a massive fan of Alice and because the idea of this version of Oz sounds too appealing to turn down. I truly want this campaign to succeed. I didn't have an issue with the Alice stuff but if this is going to have more chance of success by separating the two then I'm all for it.
      I've listed a few names down below, but have been coming up with some more.

      I think either Oz: something something or Dorothy: Something something is the way to go.

      So here goes

      Oz: The Fall
      Oz: The Red Brick Road
      Oz: Brains over Brawn
      Oz: The Redemption
      Oz: Rebirth
      Oz: The Lost Minds
      Oz: Paradise Lost
      Oz: The 10th Circle
      Oz: Full Circle
      Oz: The Strawman's Wrath
      Dorothy: Out of Kansas
      Dorothy: Legacy of Oz
      Dorothy and the Strawmen
      Dorothy: Follow the Road

      I could probably sit here all day and come up with names, but honestly as long as this game gets made American McGee and Spicy Horse can call it whatever they want.

      Thanks for the updates and let's keep this going and get this game made.

    23. Missing avatar

      Jason DeVries on July 8, 2013

      I think it is a good plan for course correcting, and it also shows a lot of attention to feedback.

      I am pledging money to your project with the understanding that it is your game, your vision and your design. I wouldn't be pledging money if I didn't think the odds were in my favor of enjoying something you produced without my opinion and without being able to sample it first.

      At the same time, it is obvious to me that you are very interested in the game being successful and enjoyed by many, so you are staying open to the opinions of the backers even if you can't acknowledge every opinion or idea. If anyone thinks their opinion or idea is being ignored just because you aren't acknowledging each and every opinion or idea, they are likely seeking attention more than trying to provide feedback.

      I think the number of backers (and a far second the pledged amount) is a better indicator of the overall support of your game, your vision and your design when there is no product yet.

      I'm with others that have stated that the media tends to dramatize everything and thus latches onto negativity more than anything. Talking about how there are no problems and everything is good just doesn't drive emotions like talking about how everything sucks and is a conspiracy. You aren't going to readily overcome the tendency towards negativity... however, I don't think it is impossible.

      I think removing the link to Alice is a good step to reducing negative associations to other currently negatively viewed news from other Kickstarter projects. It's best to just keep it simple and there is less for people to twist and misinterpret. I will be backing any separate Alice Kickstarter project, and look forward to one.

    24. Iain McNulty on July 8, 2013

      I know it was stated to come up with names that were not to do with zombies, but I could not think of anything better myself than:

      Oz: The Brain Harvest

      The other suggestions I could have made have either already been suggested by others, or sounded a bit too much like the previous suggestions. Hope the target is met and we get to play it (with whatever name the game ends up with) ^_^

    25. Missing avatar

      Emanuele Maccario on July 8, 2013

      Am I the only one sad for the changing of the name!?
      Surely these are business, but I have truly been affacinated for the use of zombie theme in this concept! Like to say "hey people, a zombie isn't only a nightmare or a fiction! We can be zombie!"! Seriously a surprising point of view on an inflationated theme!
      But I know doesn't matter the name, but the substance! In Italy we say "l'abito non fa il monaco!" (the clothes don't do the priest) :)

      So I hope to see the game soon!
      Saluti dall'Italia!

      E. Mac

      P's sorry for my horrible English!
      PPs if I can suggest a name: American mcgee' Oz: a new zombie tale.

    26. Gwenael Talhouet (Belmont1)
      on July 8, 2013

      Some other ideas :
      Dorothy's Oz : Land of the Mindless (I think that in the end, the rightful owner of the game is the main character !)
      Oz tales : the Mindless Legion (to keep the idea of chapters)
      Oz : Road to Madness
      Oz : Dorothy's delusion
      Oz : Scarecrow's Dogma
      Dorothy, a twisted journey in Oz
      Dorothy's Chronicles : an unexpected Oz
      Oz & the undying army
      Dark ages of Oz (I don't see the copyright problem at all :D)
      Oz : a living nightmare
      Army of Oz, a Dorothy's adventure
      Oz Wars : the Mindless legion
      Oz : the Wicked Sheperd and the hollow flock
      I'll put some more if I have other ideas, and just for the sake of it
      Oz(d)ie Ozborn (I had to do it)

      And yep, sorry to have forgotten to mention you, but yeah, people at Spicy Horse, you did a marvelous job with Madness Returns, I'm sure it'll be the same with Oz :D
      Oh and just wanted to add, if there is a separate campaing for Alice, even if I thought it was misplace as a tier reward here, I'll be sure to pledge there !

    27. Kristen Rene' Ford on July 8, 2013

      with only 33 people backing Alice tiers, we can do this!. Either way im adding/subtracting funds if Alice stays on. Haven't decided since Im broke.

    28. Russell Deitch on July 8, 2013

      With a nod in several directions, my suggestion for the name would be
      The Graveyard of Oz.

    29. Missing avatar

      Chris Segrove on July 8, 2013

      Dorothy: Dark Side of Oz
      Dorothy: Bad Scarecrow
      Dorothy: Messiah of Oz

      Here's hoping this project gets the backing it needs. Best wishes.

    30. Oliver Dösereck on July 8, 2013

      Its such a pity this isnt working as planned, hoped or wished. No matter how this goes, your Alice games are great and I love your vision.
      So about the name...
      Scarecrow's Emerald Nightmare
      The rise and fall of Dorothy/Oz
      Road to nowhere
      No place like Oz
      (Toto the awesome... ;-D )

    31. Kobi Eyal on July 8, 2013

      Ok, I had some time to think of other suitable names for the project - and this is what I came up with:

      Oz: The Defiance Of Scarecrow
      Oz: A mindless slaughter
      Oz: Time of dying
      Oz: Long live the king! (It's kind of a parody name, if you get me)

      But I saved my most favorite one for last. I came up with during the last hour at work, and the more I thought about it - the more it just sounded right. Like it had that ring I felt many of the names (including my own) were missing..

      A graveyard named Oz.

      Two other version of this are:
      Dorothy: A graveyard named Oz
      The chronicles of Dorothy: A graveyard named Oz.

      Really hope you like them. This project is very dear to my heart, and one I'd love to see coming true - and the name is just a natural part of it.

    32. American McGee 3-time creator on July 8, 2013

      Hey all, We won't be cancelling this Kickstarter and rebooting. We'll be rebooting from where we are at. We'll ask the Alice folks to back out (and back Dorothy) and hope we can do so in such a way as to not anger them and bring the tiers to zero backers. Only at zero backers can we remove them. Otherwise, they're here to stay.

      Then we will launch a new video, sans gameplay. But it's only been a few hours since the news was announced. You'll need to give us the time to accomplish all of this.


    33. Shawn Dickey on July 8, 2013

      Dorothy and The Emerald Ozpocolypse would be my suggestion, along with possibly cancelling this kickstarter and relaunching with reworked stretch goals to remove any suggestions of the Alice brand. of course if there were any way to include the choice of either Alice or Dorothy as the main protaganist for the game that would be nice as well.

    34. ET3D on July 8, 2013

      I think it's worth noting that the name chosen here isn't necessarily the name the game will be sold under. It's a name that's meant to draw people in and give the media something to discuss (hopefully in a positive way). Therefore even American McGee's Oz may be fair play, as long as the campaign page clearly states that the final name will be different. I know American doesn't want it, and I'm not saying that's necessarily the right name, but the title of the Kickstarter project can easily be something like "The Broken Age of Oz, an American McGee Game", or even "Dorothy vs. the Scarecrow, a story heavy ARPG from American McGee".

    35. Matt Borgard on July 8, 2013

      Please, please do something emulating the titles of the original Oz novels, most of which followed the formula "Blankedy-Blank of Oz." "Flesh-Eating Zombies of Oz," maybe?

    36. ET3D on July 8, 2013

      "Oz: Scarecrow's Army"

      I'm for "American's Army". :)

    37. Miss Ghostly, Exiled in Torment on July 8, 2013

      I read through the comments. Here are my favorites:
      1. Oz: The Broken Road. - this makes me think of a road warrior Dorothy. Definitely my favorite if I had to pick one out of this post.
      2. Oz: The Revolution - it doesn't feel as catchy as #1
      3. The Fall of Oz - feels slightly generic

      I came up with a few (plays off of ones seen here.)
      1. Oz: The Straw Nightmare
      2. Dorothy & The Shadows of Oz

    38. Kabraxis on July 8, 2013

      Dorothy of Oz.. I love that one.

    39. Sarah Goffin on July 8, 2013

      I like 'After Oz' or 'Oz the great and fearful'. I agree that the video didn't do the campaign justice. I think that at this point sacrificing features such as multiplayer and reducing the target.

      If I had more money I'd love to fund more :-(

      PS American I am a massive fan of your vision and support your ventures 100%! At the end of the day the title doesn't matter it's the vision tgat makes the game

    40. djnforce9 on July 8, 2013

      I didn't like OZombie too much either. It made the game sound like a a generic zombie shooter which couldn't be farther from the truth. "American Mcgee's Oz" would have been an amazing name in that it matches the convention American Mcgee's Alice used but what a shame that Atari has rights to it even though I seriously doubt anything will come of it. If I think of any clever names, I will post them (sadly nothing comes to mind at the moment).

    41. Paul Cook on July 8, 2013

      How about

      Dorothy: OZ in Turmoil

    42. Davis Beeman on July 8, 2013

      Quote is Abraham Lincoln, BTW, forgot to add that.

    43. Davis Beeman on July 8, 2013

      Good names are being proposed. Something you should remember about the detractors and naysayers though...

      "You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time."

      As a leader, remember this. You will bury yourself if you try to listen to a vocal minority about things. The press will always jump on that vocal minority because it makes a good story. Make a good game. That is what matters. Don't be afraid to tell people no, and don't be afraid to ignore and not respond to some of the really disruptive ideas. You are a good designer. Don't let stupid people shake your confidence.

    44. American McGee 3-time creator on July 8, 2013

      Thanks for staying positive, everyone.

    45. Von Quiroz on July 8, 2013

      Moved my pledge to just an OZ Option; now to wait for the Alice films KS to start up =P

    46. Rik Spruitenburg on July 8, 2013

      OK, in light of the clear "No American McGee' in the title rule:

      "Dorothy: Nothing Like Home"

    47. Vlada Kravtsova on July 8, 2013

      A few "romantic" names:
      "Emerald Dusk"
      "Emerald Mist"
      "The mist of Oz"

      I still think it would be nice, if it portrayed that idea of conformity, that you explained earlier, but I can't think of a good name that would reflect it... Something like
      "Oz: Assent and Dissent"
      "Oz: Resignation"

      Also, maybe consider the titile you used for an earlier update - "The yellow brick road warrior"?
      Although, I think it would be nice to have a short and snappy title, like the old one is/was.

    48. Thomas Zilling - Tormented WoOS of OOoE
      on July 8, 2013

      O.K. here is my suggestion for a name:
      (McGee's) Dorothy - One of OZ

    49. Robert Michael on July 8, 2013

      Oh and from what I have scene from other people the ones I like the most are

      OZ: Broken Road
      Dorothy and the Tyrant of OZ

    50. Robert Michael on July 8, 2013

      Oz: Scarecrow's Army

      It is sad but I think a lot of people do not understand that you are the same people who had a huge part in the Alice games so it does not hit them that this game if backed will be just as outstanding if not even more so then those ones.

      When it comes to the Alice rights battle you have. I think doing a separate kickstart for it would be the best thing to do. Most of us who have already backed this game will also back the other. You also may get more because those who dont want to try this game but DO want to back the Alice game then have an option.