American McGee and his studio Spicy Horse are apparently big fans of, well, their own fans. Their fans' ability to make projects a thing, to be specific. Spicy Horse is perhaps one of the most prolific developers on Kickstarter, with current wish-I-was-real concept Alice: Otherlands in its final week of crowdfunding. So what's the news now? This time, its venturing into Greenlight territory, hoping to rejuvenate an old project, Grimm, with new found relevance through Steam.
American McGee found some success in developing Alice Madness Returns, but the former id Software level designer’s latest kickstarter, an action-adventure game set in an alternate version of The Wizard of Oz called OZombie has run into a few snags—the “can’t get enough money” snags, specifically.
He's been doing a lot of thinking on what a possible Alice sequel would entail, but apparently that didn't pan out, because American McGee is now seeking Kickstarter backers for a different project. His studio, Spicy Horse, has today put forward its concept for OZombie, a Wizard of Oz-inspired thing that's been predictably put through McGee's hideously mutilating Cuisinart of a development process. The accompanying video sure is... something.
American McGee latest fairytale mashup—in this case, a cocktail of Red Riding Hood infused with a feudal Japan flavor—is now playable on Steam through its Early Access program. With the free-to-play Akaneiro: Demon Hunters having undergone a successful Kickstarter campaign, it may seem weird to pay $10 for the privilege of playing the Steam beta, but Spicy Horse swears you'll get some cool stuff out of this deal.
The third installment of Alice is something our favorite demented childhood-ruiner has been thinking over for awhile, and it's clear he's been thinking deep. American McGee's just spilled a bunch of ideas in a Q&A on Alice: Otherlands' Facebook page, and despite not yet having a publishing deal, it seems he's already got some dark ideas brewing—such as an online integration. Oh my. How will this non-fairy-tale end?
Banishment to Hell's deepest, fieriest pits? We wouldn't have expected any less of gaming's own Master of the Dark Arts, American McGee. But as a collectible card game/RTS hybrid? Okay, that's a little different. McGee's studio Spicy Horse announced its new game today, the tentatively and unsubtly titled Hell Invaders. If the first screenshots are anything to go by, there's enough fire and brimstone here to last a lifetime of damnation—and all contained conveniently in card form, too!
Boy, this one's sure to be a toughie, right? American McGee queried fans on his Facebook page yesterday on the level of interest for seeing the development of a third Alice game two years after the release of Alice: Madness Returns.
In a Reddit AMA thread, Alice designer American McGee stated that the horror tone in early Alice: Madness Returns videos wasn't his choice, and that EA used its control over trailer production company Shy the Sun to manipulate the game's advertising against his will.
The Kickstarter page for free-to-play ARPG Akaneiro: Demon Hunters stated that American McGee's studio, Spicy Horse, ran "out of time and money" for final polishing. McGee evidently took umbrage with the media focus on that line, clarifying to Kotaku today that Akaneiro is "100 percent finished" and Spicy Horse has money to spare.
Spicy Horse, the Shangai developer founded by American McGee (of Quake and Alice fame), says it's "out of time and money" to finish polishing its free-to-play ARPG, Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. Money buys time, or is time, or something like that, so McGee is asking for $200,000 on Kickstarter to port the PC/Mac game to tablets, build in co-op multiplayer, add an equipment crafting system, hire dedicated community managers, and bulk up the game with other, smaller features before release.
Veteran PC developer American McGee (of Alice and id Software fame) has unveiled Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. It's an isometric ARPG about Little Red Riding Hood fighting demons in feudal Japan. If none of that sounds interesting at all, you might just be a lost cause.
Another trailer for macabre platformer Alice: Madness Returns has been released. This one shows off more in-game footage than we saw in the GDC and combat trailers. It also features a gorgeous floating playing card level and some kind of 2D illustration inspired platform sequence. Alice: Madness Returns is released on the June 14 for the US and the June 16 in the UK.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has spent the past 150 years casually batting aside just about every attempt to reshape its capricious, meandering story into a logical narrative. Tim Burton gave it a crack last year with Alice in Wonderland, tossing 19-year-old Alice back into the phantasmagorical fantasies of her childhood to ditch the hoop skirts, confront the Red Queen, and transition to spirited, headstrong womanhood while name-checking Carroll’s cast along the way. The result was charmless and distasteful. So what a coup it might have been if EA had re-released American McGee’s Alice at the same time, and showed how a young PC game developer had taken a suspiciously similar approach ten years earlier—and made it work.
EA bundling American McGee’s Alice with the PC version of Alice: Madness Returns exclusively through North American EA Store
Imagine piling your family into the station wagon and taking them to see the magnificent Grand Canyon, only to find that there’s no actual canyon there anymore, just a few rocks and a small kiosk manned by an elderly gentleman reading a paperback book. You ask him where the Grand Canyon is, and he squints at you and replies, “the what?”
That’s what it’s been like for fans of American McGee’s Alice, originally released to effusive praise in 2000. We played it, we dug it, we lent it to our friends, and we never saw our discs again. But unlike other classics from the era, Alice never showed up in digital stores or GOG.com. Even used copies start at around $50 on eBay. “Why, EA?” we lamented, “why won’t you re-release this beloved PC classic?”
And EA not only heard our lamentations, but went above and beyond by including the original American McGee’s Alice with Alice: Madness Returns in a bundle called Alice: Madness Returns – The Complete Collection, available exclusively through EA Store in North America.