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American McGee cancels OZombie to pursue Alice film rights

American McGee cancels OZombie to pursue Alice film rights

American McGee has abandoned the attempt to crowdfund his warped vision of the land of Oz in favor of another project: to secure the film rights to the Alice franchise.

McGee had originally included the film rights as a stretch goal for the OZombie game, as well as some Alice goodies for higher pledge tiers, but funding was slow and it was obvious that goal would not be reached. In announcing the cancellation, McGee said the Alice film rights had to take precedence for crowdfunding, so the Oz project needed to be terminated. He said that, while the decision was difficult, he was being realistic.

Read more: Alice project takes priority »

"They had some decent ideas and some great art, but that video was so annoying I couldn't even ..."
- Gwyndion    See all 9 comments

American McGee launches OZombie Kickstarter

American McGee launches OZombie Kickstarter

It appears American McGee and his team at Spicy Horse are not waiting around to see if he can secure the rights to the Alice franchise for a new game. The company is moving forward with the other game it has been working on, set in a steampunk version of Oz.

Read more: The scarecrow wants brains »

"I don't see this one making that crazy amount. Their video is trying too hard to be funny and ..."
- TotalRecall    See all 10 comments

OZombie will be Spicy Horse's take on Oz

Related Topics – Spicy Horse, American McGee
OZombie will be Spicy Horse's take on Oz

American McGee isn't waiting to find out if he can get the Alice IP back from Electronic Arts. While his team at Spicy Horse continues to work on Alice: Otherworlds pending those negotiations, he is also moving forward with his vision of the land of Oz in the steampunkish world of OZombie.

Read more: Scarecrow is the bad guy »

"...and with that, I've permanently lost any interest in anything from American McGee ever again ..."
- deadbeatsaint    See all 9 comments

Spicy Horse developing new Oz game

Related Topics – Spicy Horse, American McGee
Spicy Horse developing new Oz game

Spicy Horse founder American McGee has always been enamored with fractured children's tales. Twice, he took Alice through a warped version of Wonderland, and he is working on a third installment. But he is also looking at bringing a new vision of The Wizard of Oz to life.

Read more: Only in the early planning stages »

"The Toys and concept art were amazing. Other than that, I never saw a whole lot of info on it."
- darthfusion    See all 4 comments

American McGee gauging interest in crowdfunding Alice 3

American McGee gauging interest in crowdfunding Alice 3

American McGee has seemed quite content frolicking in the land of free-to-play and social games with the likes of Akaneiro: Demon Hunters and BigHead Bash, but one can't resist the call of teapots and pretty dresses for long. The Spicy Horse head is mooting the idea of Kickstarting a third Alice game, if he can land the rights. Oh Alice, what ever have you got yourself into now?

Read more: Art hints at Jack the Ripper »

"GOD YES PLEASE I'm not sure where they'll take the story but for the audiovisual ..."
- Vogerl    See all 27 comments

American McGee's BigHead Bash for Facebook is a toy-driven shooter

American McGee's BigHead Bash for Facebook is a toy-driven shooter

American McGee has revealed the next game being developed at his studio Spicy Horse, and to say it's a departure from his previous titles (Alice: Madness Returns) is a bit of an understatement. The game is called BigHead Bash, and it's a 2D, multiplayer, platform-shooter that infuses a virtual-world merchandising component. It's also not a traditional console or PC title, and is being made for Facebook and other social platforms.

Watch: The 'Meet Attack Force' trailer »

"This actually looks like fun. iOS/Android versions as well please. "
- squeakychimp    See all 2 comments

American McGee Publicly Pitches Cart-racing MMO

Shanghai-based game designer American McGee has tired of transoceanic flights and instead has taken to the internet to pitch his latest concept to the West: BaiJiu Racer, an Unreal Engine 3-powered "MMO-lite racing game concept with China as the core theme."

"It's the first Chinese cart racing game developed with an authentic and original Chinese art style, set in real-world locations, and featuring some of the funkiest racing vehicle designs the world has ever seen," wrote McGee on his own blog. It also promises "strong narrative backbone and emotional drama" as part of the MMO-esque experience. Read more »

"So its like Burnout Paradise...but without the cool cars, awesome graphics, and excitement?"
- Saman    See all 27 comments

New American McGee's Grimm Media Surfaces

Related Topics – Trailer, screenshots, American McGee

GameTap has released several new screens and a brand new trailer for American McGee's forthcoming twisted fairy tale romp American McGee's Grimm.

Developed by American McGee-founded studio Spicy Horse, American McGee's Grimm showcases American McGee's startling ability to twist even the most candy-coated environs into a decidedly American McGee-esque wasteland of horror, as evidenced in this latest set of screenshots. Read more »

""American McGee's Grimm showcases American McGee's startling ability to twist even the most ..."
- ^rec    See all 56 comments

American McGee's Chinese Studio Working on "Twisted" Unreal Engine 3-powered Project

Related Topics – Unreal Engine 3, American McGee

We knew designer American McGee was at work on American McGee's Grimm, an episodic take on the classic fairy tales for GameTap.

Now a post on American McGee's blog has revealed the developer's second project as an "[Unreal Engine 3] based, big publisher, multi-platform, twisted tale project." Read more »

"American McGee's American McGee presents: American McGee's American McGee American McGee's ..."
- lodit    See all 39 comments

Sarah Michelle Gellar's American McGee's Alice Movie Will Happen, Buffy Promises

Related Topics – American McGee

Sarah Michelle Gellar (pictured left) is still hoping to turn American McGee's Alice (PC)--American McGee's dark, twisted vision of Lewis Carrol's classic literary tale Alice's Adventures in Wonderland--into a full-fledged live-action feature.

"It's still my project, and I'm still working diligently," she told SCI-FI Wire. "I'll do it if I have to get down and write it myself one of these days. I may have to. Read more »

"At the time there were two choices: Quake 3 engine or the Unreal Tournament one. Q3 was a better ..."
- omontero    See all 24 comments

American McGee's Grimm Q&A

Related Topics – American McGee

There's an American McGee's Grimm Q&A on GameSpot today, asking American McGee about his episodic project.

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American McGee's Grimm Art Depicts American McGee's Dark Fairy Tale Characters

Related Topics – American McGee

Coinciding with the seasonal tidings, American McGee partner GameTap is wishing everyone a "Grimm Halloween" with the first batch of character artwork from American McGee's latest. In development at the American McGee-founded Spicy Horse, American McGee's Grimm continues American McGee's tradition of dark, twisted fairy tales, as American McGee set forth in American McGee's Alice (PC). American McGee's Grimm (PC) will consist of 24 episodic American McGee-flavored installments, with the first slated to appear on GameTap in spring 2008. For more on American McGee's newest American McGee project and American McGee himself, check out our American McGee-themed chat with American McGee's American McGee.

Read more »

"someone take the funding of 23 of these and give it to ritual for sin ep2, thanks."
- boomdeath    See all 42 comments

American McGee's Grimm Q&A

Related Topics – American McGee

Games Radar has posted an interview with American McGee, asking him about the episodic American McGee's Grimm project.

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American McGee Presents American McGee's Grimm Interview

Related Topics – Interview, John Romero, American McGee

Late last month, developer American McGee and GameTap revealed American McGee's latest project, American McGee's Grimm, which will be distributed episodically through GameTap's subscription service beginning early next year. In development at the American McGee-founded Shanghai-based Spicy Horse studio, American McGee's Grimm harkens back to American McGee's earlier work on American McGee's Alice--modern retellings of classic fairy tales with a dark twist. Following the announcement, I caught up with American McGee to get his perspective on a number of subjects, from the appeal of twisted fairy tales and episodic gaming to the Wii and Sid Meier. Shack: Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule for us, American. American McGee: Thanks Chris Faylor! American McGee is happy to participate in American McGee's interview. Interviews give American McGee a chance to talk about American McGee's projects, American McGee's ideas, and American McGee's American McGee. American McGee. Shack: What's your role in the development of American McGee's Grimm? How does that compare to the extent of your involvement in American McGee's Alice, American McGee Presents Scrapland, and American McGee Presents Bad Day LA? American McGee: Comparing previous projects to the current one--probably the biggest difference is that Grimm is being produced inside of my own development studio, Spicy Horse. As with Alice and Bad Day LA, the initial concept for Grimm is my own--whereas Scrapland was dreamt up and produced by Enric Alvarez and his team at Mercury Steam. Beyond that, Alice is probably the project that most closely resembles our production on Grimm. We're using a high-end, off-the-shelf 3D engine--something I wish we'd done with BDLA--and even have the original writer/executive producer from Alice, R.J. Berg, working in that same role for Spicy Horse. As for my personal role in all of this, I've taken a very hands-on approach to everything from building the Spicy Horse team to designing the game. Ultimately, I try to surround myself with highly creative people, give them some initial guidance, and then get out of the way while they do what they're best at. Oh, and we're trying to include at least 40% more American McGee in American McGee's Grimm. But for those who are tired of all the American McGee there is a No American McGee Mode--currently this replaces all the American McGee with John Romero, which may or may not be a good thing. Shack: So you've got R.J. Berg reprising his role from Alice, any plans to bring anyone else back? Could Alice composer Chris Vrenna return to score Grimm? His work on American McGee's Alice is easily one of my favorite video game soundtracks; it's just so haunting and spooky that it fits perfectly with the game. American McGee: R.J. is once again handling writing--something he did an amazing job on with Alice. He's also helping to guide production in his role as executive producer. R.J.'s positive influence on Alice was huge--it's really wonderful to be working with him again on this project. I'd love to work with Chris again, but we're making a point to pull all music, SFX, and VO production in-house. Our sound engineer, Jason Tai, hails from Malaysia--and brings with him a wonderful range of light and dark musical styles--something which will play a big part in the tone and feel of Grimm. Having sound production in-house is an important part of our episodic production model. Shack: Scrapland and Bad Day LA both had rather distinctive art styles and stories. What's brought you back to the dark twisted fairy tale setting? American McGee: Ever since Alice I've been intrigued by the possibilities of retelling fairy tales via video games. But it wasn't until I was approached by GameTap that the opportunity and venue seemed right. Combining episodic production and delivery with classic fairy tale narratives seems like a very natural thing to do. Shack: Can you elaborate on Grimm's combat system? The initial announcement mentioned that it was based off the concept of words as weapons. American McGee: In keeping with the literary theme of our source material, all aspects of the game--including the weapons system--derive from the building blocks of fairy tales and the books containing them. The Words as Weapons concept is elegantly simple--our main character can pluck action verbs like "BURN" from the game environment, carry them around, and hurl them at enemies and obstacles. Word weapon effects are full of variety yet are visually self-evident, an aspect which I think makes the concept ideal for episodic games. Turn the page for more on episodic gaming, the fate of American McGee's Oz, American McGee's thoughts on the Wii, and what would happen if American McGee and Sid Meier ever crossed paths. _PAGE_BREAK_ Shack: 24 episodes is a large undertaking, especially relative to other developers focusing on episodic content. The first season of Telltale's Sam & Max only consisted of six episodes, which were then released across seven months. Valve opted for only three Half-Life 2 episodes, and it's looking like the second episode will be following the first by about a year and a half. What made you go for such a large number, right off the bat? American McGee: Our goal is to build a "true" episodic game --meaning it mirrors the duration, packaging, and delivery schedule of traditional episodic content (a television series for instance)--and does so in a consistent fashion. I think audience knowledge of duration of play and delivery schedule is important because it allows people to fit playing a game into their hectic lives. Each of our 24 episodes is being designed so an average player can complete it in thirty minutes. Again, I think this is important because it gives our audience an expectation of the amount of time they'll have to invest in each episode. I think video games have had a hard time competing with traditional media because it's more difficult to find a "time slot" for game playing. We're raised on television, so we tend to think in 30 minute and 1 hour time slots. Delivering games that fit into these slots might open them up to wider audiences--something we're seeing happen with casual games in general. Ultimately, this is all uncharted territory. We, like the Telltale guys before us, are flying by the seat of our pants. But I think that's a good thing--something game development is often lacking these days. True innovation can only come from making interesting choices and taking risks. We'll see where these choices take us; hopefully somewhere fun. Shack: What's the scope of each episode? Will each episode be a self-contained game like Telltale's work with Sam & Max, or will the new episodes expand the game world with new areas and quests? American McGee: Episodes are completely self-contained. We considered this the Lost vs. South Park problem. With a show like Lost it's impossible to talk about an upcoming or previous episode with someone who isn't also into the show. With South Park you don't have to watch every episode to understand what's going on--and episodes stand on their own: there's the World of Warcraft episode, Osama bin Laden episode, etc. These are able to attract occasional viewers just on their unique premises. Because we're drawing from classic fairy tales I think we'll end up with a "spiky" audience curve. Some people will be especially interested in our take on Red Riding Hood, and we want to make sure those people can play just that episode and still understand what's going on and have a good time. Shack: Will you be distributing episodes of American McGee's Grimm through anything other than GameTap? Perhaps an online Spicy Horse store? American McGee: Not that we can comment on at this time. Shack: What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Wii? Have you considered developing games for it? American McGee: American McGee plays with American McGee's Wii all the time! And yes. If I had to chose only two platforms to develop for right now, I'd say Wii & PC. Shack: Is there any chance of Grimm appearing on consoles after those 24 episodes are complete? American McGee: Also, nothing that we can comment on at this time. Shack: Alice had that nice set of action figures and the soundtrack, and I know that a Bad Day LA movie, animated show and graphic novel were discussed at one time. Is there any Grimm-related merchandising on the way? American McGee: I'm always interested in leveraging our properties across as many mediums as possible. Sometimes it works out--like with Alice--other times, not. I think Grimm is ideally suited for film, toy, and print versions. We'll announce this sort of thing in the future. Shack: What happened to American McGee's Oz? American McGee: Atari/Infogrammes happened. They financed initial production, ran into money trouble, then dropped a bunch of their developers. Oz got the ax and we were never able to revive the project. The film version is still in development. Shack: Let's say you collaborate on a game with Sid Meier. Whose name would come first in the title and what kind of game would it be? American McGee: What sort of game it is would depend on whose name came American McGee's Sid Meier's Game would likely be a turn-based strategy game where the player was required to build an empire of Hot Topic stores on a lake of lava. Sid Meier's American McGee's Game would be a 3D shooter where the player killed enemies like Genghis Khan and Alexander by laying railroad track on their heads. The first episodes of the Spicy Horse-developed American McGee's Grimm will begin appearing on GameTap in the spring of 2008.

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"Honestly If the games he made didnt have the style he brings, they would be forgotten in a ..."
- karlk79    See all 58 comments

American McGee and GameTap Partner for American McGee's Latest, American McGee's Grimm

Related Topics – Games: PC, American McGee, GameTap

GameTap today officially announced a partnership with game designer American McGee (pictured left) and American McGee's Spicy Horse studio to distribute American McGee's next game, American McGee's Grimm, through the online GameTap service. As American McGee revealed earlier this month in a now-removed blog post, the action-adventure American McGee's Grimm will be released on a per-episode basis and consist of 24 total episodes. Each episode of American McGee's Grimm will be based off a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale--such as Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, or Snow White--with a dark and distinctive American McGee-esque twist, much like American McGee's previous work on American McGee's Alice (PC). As new episodes of American McGee's Grimm appear, they will be integrated as new missions in the American McGee-designed sandbox world. To keep the pacing between episodes, American McGee and his staff at the American McGee-founded Spicy Horse at will use concepts equated to the the cliffhanger endings of television shows to entice further play of American McGee's latest. "My interpretation of these classic fables will provide gamers with an entertaining and interactive way of experiencing how the stories were originally meant to unfold," explained American McGee's Alice creator and Spicy Horse creative director American McGee. "The 'chapters' inherently lend themselves to the new episodic model that GameTap has perfected." "American McGee is one of the best known and most dynamic developers in the industry today and [American McGee's] Grimm is the perfect fit with our GameTap Originals brand," said GameTap VP of content Ricardo Sanchez. "American is really exploring the potential of episodic game development. Adding this exciting new title to our list of already successful episodic game titles shows our commitment to this proven format." The first episode of American McGee's Grimm is scheduled to premiere in the spring of 2008 on the American McGee-partnered GameTap service, which is fast becoming known for episodic gaming. Previously, GameTap distributed the first season of Telltale Game's episodic Sam & Max adventure games and, earlier this year, signed game designer Derek Smart to produce an episodic space shooter.

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"American McGee-esque twist? I don't think so. He doesn't get to coin his own brand of dark ..."
- ^rec    See all 43 comments

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