Despite a Nail-Biting Funding Finale, Alice: Otherlands Is a Go!
"Only a few find the way..."
Third-person action video game American McGee's Alice by Rogue Entertainment became an instantly beloved cult classic ever since its release in October 2000. With her sharp wit and even sharper Vorpal Blade, Alice sliced and diced her way through a twisted and bloody Wonderland with a motley collection of deadly children's toys in her arsenel.
An unauthorized sequel of Lewis Carroll's Alice novels, American McGee's Alice tells the story of a tragic accident that destroys her family and lands an older Alice in an asylum. When the attendants bring her a frayed white rabbit doll, she is pulled back into her fantasy world Wonderland only to find that is has become rather... changed.
Alice finds herself forced to face her demons, meet and lose old friends, and fight to return her Wonderland to the paradise fantasy world it once was.
In the 2011 sequel Alice: Madness Returns by Spicy Horse, Alice is living in a foster home under the care of a psychiatrist who uses hypnosis to make his patients forget their memories. Although in passably stable condition, Alice finds herself hallucinating back into her fantasy world Wonderland--the idyllic world she left it that is quickly becoming corrupted by the Infernal Train that rampages through, leaving behind the Ruin.
After the second game, as American puts it, Alice is
"filled with a power that transcends the physical and psychological - she's now master of both domains."
But the story isn't over!
"[Alice is] aware of an insidious evil lurking in every corner of Victorian London, of a threat greater than the asylum or the man who killed her family."
Enter Alice: Otherlands, the continuation of Alice's story but in a completely new format. Intended as a collection of 3D animated short films, Alice leverages her superhero-like power to invade the minds of others, each a potential vehicle for Alice's new adventures - Jules Verne, Jack the Ripper, Queen Victoria, and many more.
The project was submitted to Kickstarter by Spicy Horse, with American, the creator of the Alice series, squarely at the helm. Working with top-notch animation studios near the Spicy Horse headquarters in Shanghai (many of which worked on the animated segments in Madness Returns), each film will contain its own narrative arc that fits into the larger Alice narrative.
With a $200,000 goal, the Kickstarter campaign was fairly modest, promising a collection of digital shorts sans DRM. If it exceeded the $200,000 goal and hit achieved $50,000 more, the original voice actors for Alice and the Cheshire Cat would sign onto the project. The campaign was shorter than many others of its type, running 20 days rather than the typical 30.
Two days before the project was slated to end, things were going at a nail-biting pace. Progress towards the goal was slow, and the numbers were low in the $170k range.
Things were beginning to look desperate.
American had, after all, said that if this failed, he would mostly likely distance himself from the Alice property for awhile.
However, fans were still optimistic. American posted an update commenting that things would be tight, but that he was sure it would end in success.
And boy, did the fans respond!
Within hours of the Kickstarter project closing, backer support blew through more than $50k to hit the target goal and continue on beyond. I myself upped my pledge twice within the last 18 hours of the deadline.
When the campaign finally closed yesterday on August 4, $222,377 had been funded by 3,389 backers. From here on, the post-campaign funding option is available through PayPal.
In the meantime, following the post-campaign afterglow, the Spicy Horse team is hard at work, already sending out the backer surveys and getting started on making sure their Kickstarter supporters get their hard-earned rewards.
Furthermore, American hints that despite the inability for the Kickstarter to hit the Voice Actor stretch goal, Susie and Roger may still sign onto the project thanks to some extra funding options that he is still looking into.
Good luck, American!
Here's hoping that this is one more step to taking Alice to the big screen!