American McGee has unveiled the full story of Alice: Asylum, the third instalment of Mysterious Studios' fantastically grim take on Alice in Wonderland.
Succeeding 2011's Alice: Madness Returns, Alice: Asylum is part of McGee's unique "crowd design process" and has been drawn up in consultation with his 3000+ Patreon backers.
"This is it. At last... the Alice: Asylum Narrative Outline is available for you to download, read, and join in helping Crowd Design," McGee said on Patreon, attaching the game's full narrative outline as written by himself and Alex Crowley. It was seemingly only finalised on 20th August.
"The narrative contained within is still very much a Work In Progress. Some elements (dialogue for example) may seem downright clunky. The polishing phase for those things will come next as part of the Crowd Design process," he added. "After that, this content will be used to drive the production of the Design Bible."
The "Alice: Asylum" Narrative Outline PDF is now publically accessible over on my Patreon. https://t.co/mrtS0uvCll— ? American McGee ???? (@americanmcgee) August 22, 2021
You can join in the Crowd Design process even if you aren't a Patron (though you should feel cheap and dirty if you do, I mean it's like a month, come on man). pic.twitter.com/7foWxIgmc0
"And keep in mind that this content is not an exhaustive collection of everything we imagine will be in the game - but the minimum amount required to convey the main story," McGee adds. "Once this document is locked, there will be a need to craft additional dialogue, locations, and scenarios in greater detail."
The document is seeking "honest and constructive feedback" from Alice fans, and even includes a brief questionnaire to the rear of the PDF to enable people to submit their thoughts directly to the team. Once it's been reviewed, the document will help McGee complete the Alice Asylum design bible - which is also available to download for Patreon backers - and will "hopefully result in a potential new game to be funded and greenlit for development".
As you might well expect, the document comes with a heavy spoiler warning that says: "this document contains all current narrative content and a full conceptual gameplay outline for the potential Alice Asylum videogame concept".
It also features a content warning that advises readers that it contains "scenes describing themes of child abuse and family deaths", plus "distressing scenes focussing on traumatic and repressed memories from the main character's childhood" and "confronting scenes concerning mental health, violence, horror themes, and gore"... all of which certainly intimate that Asylum will pick up where Madness Returns left off.
As Wes summarised a few years back, McGee was the creative director of the EA-published 2000 title American McGee's Alice. It gained cult status and was followed up by Alice: Madness Returns in 2011. Fans have wondered - and continually questioned McGee - about a third Alice game ever since.