Crowd Design Discussion – Episode 15

July 25, 2019 posted by

all right welcome insane children this is episode 15 of our proud design sessions for Alice Asylum if you are joining us on YouTube be sure to hit the links in the description below to follow along at the wiki over on American McGee comm those of you who are live with us on discord you can use the microphone emoji to indicate that you have a microphone that's functional and a comment that is valuable and that you'd like to jump into the discussion and add your thoughts on story art design these are weekly design sessions that we do our which are powered by our patreon and our patrons are given access to our discord which is where we're handling this so if you're interested in joining us live do click on the links in the description below for more information about our patreon and the work we're doing on alice asylum so with that somewhat shaky introduction out of the way I will hand it over to our mods to see if anybody's got anything to add or maybe just some greetings hello everyone hopefully you can hear me fine like I can hear you just fine but your rattle is a lot louder yeah I think we need to get you along greetings font Lord I think we need to get Magus a silent keyboard that'd be nice all right so we are gonna cover a range of topics today I was hoping that we might cap off the discussions we've recently had around the domain known as denial that's also the area which contains what we call the circus realm and so we've talked about that a few times now over the past weeks and I think we're at a point now where if you check out the information contained on the wiki you'll find that it's become fairly complete main thing it's lacking now is sort of just the level layout level design type of stuff but we'll work on that at a later pass we're also going to talk a little bit today about enemies so because the circus domain would be the first place that we would encounter or enemies that we're then gonna fight against throughout the game I think it makes sense that we try to define what those enemies are we're also going to jump over to the wiki where our insane children have made a list of suggestions around enemies both enemy types and enemy behaviors and we also need to talk about weapons so some point early in the game it's gonna make sense that we arm Alice with a weapon there's some thought that maybe that should be the vorpal blade because that is of course her most iconic well-recognized of weapons and so we need to figure out where and when it makes sense to hand young alice the vorpal blade so with that unless anybody's got any particular questions that they want to start off with we could jump into the realm of denial and this circus domain so any particular burning questions people have been sitting atop since our last session maybe not okay so we're gonna talk about denial if you look at the wiki page you'll see that we have defined a lot about what we're gonna do there what the story is the types of characters we're going to encounter course this is the circus domain and there's a whole range of actors who dress themselves up as well-known Wonderland inhabitants and Alice is conscripted into the circus circus hey Martin that's not much that's not yeah it can like it did last week for no reason hang on maybe you could move mute your microphone that would help in the short term shorter episode 15 everyone has tech problems episode 15 let's just start all over again so here we go with denial if you do look at that page you'll find again there it is outlined the concept is outlined some of the story beats are outlined one of the things that we need to talk about is that there's been some discussion that this whole area might be stealth and this is something Omri brought up when I spoke with him recently he said I thought this in our area was gonna be nothing but stealth and that Alice would never have a chance to attack anything until she got out of denial um I know that I said early on there would be some stealth I wasn't really thinking that it would be the entire domain so I guess that's the first thing I'd like to talk about does anybody else anybody else kind of go into this believing that the entire realm of domain was gonna be or the realm of denial was gonna be stealth does anybody have a problem with us sort of adjusting that if they did think that and what do we think about handing her the vorpal blade at some point and how do we want to hand her the vorpal blade so there's a bunch of questions wrapped up in there I guess the first one is you know do we really think we could support an entire domain where the players in there for like an hour or more and have her always having to avoid enemies or do we think that the player might get kind of tired of that or their games that we're aware of I mean of course we we recently were playing some games where you know stealth was a major component you don't have a weapon what was that we were streaming recently Martin the Oh what's-his-name see some no no the one before that little nightmares right so you know there's a game where the character basically has to be in stealth all the time and you can't attack would we want the start of asylum to be like that do we do we worry that people you know would would get bored or that they they start to worry that maybe the entire the entire games like that if they end up playing it for you know an hour or more so Greg the active chicken says I'd suggest not making it's dull all the way since that would require building a super competent stealth system for an hour almost across the board anything that isn't a stealth game through and through that tries it's him it's though for a small section becomes a mess yeah that's a good point and I think it's a point we've touched on before some of the parts of Alice madness Returns that are a mess or that way because they were tacked on as a sort of afterthought the sort of turning Alice into the doll head rolling through the the various sections of the doll house comes to mind so I I think that we're gonna have stealth throughout the game which means that it won't be tacked on as an afterthought but that is a point well taken you know if we're gonna do it at all we need to do it really well Jim of the mountain says elf makes sense as a starting mechanic but we're not trying to make a horror stealth game so yeah taking 60 minutes all stuff may seem misleading yeah that's my concern as well that it it may feel quite misleading to the player to start up and then you know an hour into the game you still not killed anything you've not you've not picked up a weapon so I think we need to think about this unless anybody is here saying hey we want an hour-plus of stealth I don't think anybody's saying that no thank you I actually think that would the thing that would be a good thing with that there was in the stealth section with her getting the more probe laid that's the transition that's correct so Greg says can someone time AMA and Amr with time to first kill timer well I can tell you that in a ma you know she picks up the vorpal blade within a hundred feet of the entrance the Cheshire Cat you know gives it to her and then she immediately kills what a car guard slices a car guard in half and with Amr I know there's that whole section in the veil of Tears like that green beautiful space I think it takes her a little bit longer she gets to the Jabberwock corpse and picks up the vorpal blade so for sure there's this idea that the first weapon in the game is the Hopa blade and I like that we stick with that I don't think that that's a bad idea the question then becomes where in the realm of denial in the circus domain does it make sense for her to pick up the lane oh it might be somewhere really kind of green and beautiful it could be that this greenhouse atrium thing has a section that we've been later recognized to be what became the beautiful green sections in the later two games well I guess in the last game so desert Phoenix says what tab of the wiki are we on we're actually not on a wiki tab just yet we're just talking generally about the vorpal blade and about not having too much stealth we then have ice killer says I've come up with an item for stealth which can go over another time okay sea foam says maybe it's inside the circus and Lucas says could the shrinking ability be used as a stealth mechanic or does she not have that yet I don't know that she's got or doesn't have the shrinking ability just yet as far as what the stealth mechanic is for sure we're gonna do sort of the traditional you know hiding and ducking behind things as a basic stealth mechanic there may also be something having to do with the rabbit so using the clutch rabbit as a distraction device like she could chuck it somewhere and then it would pull enemies away seafoam has got the greenhouse idea and then his posting of the pictures of the various flowers as enemies it would be the character she'd have to sneak past so Jim of the mountain says perhaps the vorpal blade is in a circus tent and so somebody's been using it as a throwie knife it'd be an interesting way to do it I'm also thinking perhaps the local blade is on display as a sort of curiosity because circuses oftentimes have freak shows and they have you know little museums of curio museums so perhaps the mortal blade is like a centerpiece of a curio news museum on the circus fairgrounds yeah that's what Greg says here perhaps the marble blade can be found in the circus tent at the center of the big talk with a spotlight on it or sometimes plucked from a mirror shadow Alex could be holding it in the mirror and our Alice pulls it from the looking-glass I do like very much that idea that however we present the vorpal blade its shadow Alice who's the one who somehow you know pins it to us or tracks our attention to it what I just thought of is think about the classic circus act of a girl on a wheel with knives being thrown imagine Alice gets in that situation and then you see shadow else being the person that throws the vorpal blade as like the final piece to those assaults and she's able to catch it and starts the party basically yeah it could be I'm a little concerned about using the vorpal blade as a as a throwing knife because in my mind it's sort of like Thor's hammer you know Excalibur you know being plucked from the Lady of the lake I I feel like the only one who should really be able to wield it would be Alice and that anyone else who tries fails magnificant you know so maybe I I could imagine that the circus has you know the you could do something along the lines of the blade in the stone and there's a bunch of people going over there trying to pull it out and then Alice walks up and manages to do it give it a bit more of a ceremony or you know a bit more power than simply being used as a thing that people toss though I mean I like that idea fits for the circus team I just don't know that it fits for the character or the nature of the orbble blade I thought going with the theme of it being like a blade in the stone and you're talking about the green house I don't know why this popped into my head but life it was sort of like said like a sundial you know the blade was in the stone and that was what people were using to tell the time or something they just didn't know what it was mmm so Alice came along and pulled it out of the dial that's a good that's a good idea as well and maybe we do something where there's only a specific time where you can pull it out of the dial you know when it like strikes chaos on the clapping exactly oh look at the time it's chaos o clock well then she could look at the camera be like time to kill do that so I think that's a good one why don't we why don't we just kind of pencil in that it's in the greenhouse it's like Martin says it's jammed into something you know no one else has been able to figure out what it is or how to remove it and then she comes along and manages to get it out of there and then from that point forward she's able to slice and dice and so enemies need to get out of her way I like it and you know get a Sun Dial yeah I think that's I think that the linking of it with time is a cool idea anything we do to link it with time or with a mirror like a looking-glass or with shadow now obviously because a sundial relies on a shadow in order to function right so it sort of contains the subliminal message that this thing the sundial needs both the light and the dark to function and so from the very beginning we are setting up that narrative beat that hey you know you may not like it but the shadow is what tells the time here so why don't we pencil that in and maybe you know that can get adjusted but I think there's a couple of little pieces there that work so we'll see where it goes from there so that gives us a vorpal blade in the realm of denial and that then could play in somewhat to her exit from that realm our good friend Connor Cartman has showed up and he's asking where are we in our conversation well Connor we just turned Alice into a skateboard trick simulation game and we were talking about whether or not she should have a flamethrower or napalm bombs to fight her enemies so welcome to the discussion skate for there you go alright so let's move on the other conversation we needed to have was about what she would use that knife against so that is a question of enemies and I mentioned I think in a recent post and maybe on last week's LA the week before is crown design about you know we need to come up with concepts for enemies I don't know if anybody posted those concepts anywhere for what the ubiquitous enemies would be that we'd find throughout the game does anybody post the best type of stuff up yet I see yeah shakes that contained anywhere they should be in the wiki channel their wiki questions and ideas if I remember right Greg and see from you two were the ones that were posting stuff that under enemies or is that somewhere else you know that'd be under enemies yep okay all right well we can jump to that section so we can take a look at enemies but I did want to bring up and get feedback on one idea and this was something that came up when I was speaking with Omri and norm this week and that would be as follows we need an enemy or a class of enemies that you could equate to say the ruin which is ubiquitous it's found throughout the adventure that Alice is on in this game it's found through all the levels but it also somehow manages to capture the unique stages that she's going through the emotions so you know you'd have one of these that represents denial and even after we've defeated the realm of denial these enemies could be found throughout the rest of the game so you'd have no enemies representative of denial found throughout the game and by the way these don't necessarily replace any of the other concepts we've come up with I'm you could imagine these as sort of a cannon fodder that are not unique to any level except that the first time you you would meet one of them like the first time you'd meet the denial cannon fodder enemy would be in denial stage but then he could get pulled forward into anger and then in anger you meet the anger cannon fodder so when I was trying to think about containers for something like that I was thinking card guards because card guards come in sets and they're very much like you know there's a heart one and there's a spades one and that wouldn't be too hard to link up with emotions and of course they are I think generally accepted as the cannon fodder of Wonderland but then we've also talked about doing the tarot cards so my thought was what about a different breed of card guard that's based on tarot cards and so we have a tarot card representative of the emotions and the stages and then those tarot cards are introduced as we move through the game so by the end of the game you've got the full set of tarot cards and I think someone last week said that we might have the Tarot somebody read Alice's fortune early on in the game in the circus level and I think that's a really cool idea like have a wizened old witchy kind of fortune teller and she lays these cards out on the table and she says to Alice I see in your future that you're going to encounter she reads Alice's fortune but in fact what she's laying out or all of the cannon fodder worked the cannon fodder tarot card enemies that alice is gonna have to go up against throughout the rest of the game so anyway so that's the idea I'd like to get some feedback on that and then also we can look at this list of enemies that's been pasted into the discord here so I'm all about tarot cards and say from says dolls and burn toys deformed and squished together was his original idea and then Greg said suggested enemies that look like coal so in denial they'd be very dimming gray than in other levels they can heat up like an anger there and fire or something mmm yeah I like the idea of some enemies inspired by coal and also the burnt and squished toys I think that those are cool is it the idea that those would also be each of those representative of the emotion possibly huh I think the big thing is we need to look at something that isn't just focused on one area it can be used throughout just as the ruins were where you had we have areas I think that's what Americans bringing up yeah and as you said the fodder well and also I mean there's a lot of overloading of concepts like for instance if the cards are representative of the stages of trauma and they're representative of emotion you know you're automatically containing the idea that a deck of cards can be scattered can be collected well you can also have scattered emotions and you can also collect your emotions so there's I think some good subliminal kind of overloading of the concepts of both the emotions and the cards and also I just think like tarot cards artwork wise are gonna be really beautiful they're gonna be really interesting to look at so I think and also you can have the suits you know the the cups the pinnacles the sorts and the wands represent the lower tier and then have the actual Major Arcana be like the mini bosses and things like that as well yeah that's right I would be interesting Conner's says I really like the Tarot element it's a non contrived way to introduce or foreshadow well everything's contrived but I can't what'd you say reminds me of the hangman card the foreshadow Heath Ledger's character in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus yeah that's a good one yeah d yang says well if we're gonna have tarot card enemies remember how in a ma she deck of cards as weapons how about a deck of tarot cards this time or if I can't throw cards in Final Fantasy 14 that I want to in asylum I hope I get extra points for properly interpreting that Final Fantasy reference there the Roman numerals is that threw me for a loop okay so yeah I think having cards as enemies and also having cards his weapon I think somebody mentioned that yesterday I think it was armory who said something about killing the cards and then collecting a card every time you killed a card so it could be the killing them is also generating ammo for your card throwing you gotta be fun and I do think we're bringing the cards back as a weapon is that been kind of semi confirmed not a hundred percent confirmed but I think with all the card imagery we've talked about it's a good idea yeah we ought to do it Luka says I recommended that to Terra but Terra mint somebody's gonna have to help me with that or for lack of better words miss treatment so for all the forms of treatments or miss treatments would be represented by okay Luka gonna have to type in a way that I can read quickly oh they should be represented by all the freak shows circus performers in some way yes I like that idea as well we said before we like that idea so Greg says other than the change in color palette art how would the cards indicate different emotional stages well the other thing would be that you imagine like an anger card fires a weapon that's very fiery and a card from depression or denial fires weapons that are either you know icy and cold or slow you down or reflect or reject whatever you're firing at them so I imagine that's gonna be actually pretty easy for us to come up with a lot of really creative and interesting ways that the cards have particular forms of attack and defense that echo their theme really well if you look at Bioshock the splicers even though there's only like five of them each of them have a different attack style so there's the range there's a close by so you have a lot but just need a little bit of a foreshadow for shouting of you know giving a character different weapon yeah desert Phoenix says maybe the items from the tarot cards can be used as support items or at least rarely support items I'd like to hear more on that because I don't fully sure I fully understand that so if desert you have a microphone maybe you could jump in I gave you extra points for the Roman numerals that was amazing says Connor all thanks Connor it's very sweet of you I wish you could say that to me in your sultry sexy voice though it would mean so much more Zee Pam says each element represents an emotion in all actuality so like water is grief fire anger yes and that is that's exactly right if you go and you look at the spreadsheet I did that kind of cross references elements – emotions – planets – that's all in there already so then linking that up inside of the tarot cards will be very natural very easy for us to do the other thing is if we make the tarot cards you know a critical element like this then imagine when we make the physical collector set of the tarot cards those could be really amazing as well all right octo Chicken says could the cards be morphed so that the denial card is wispy and shadowy anger card is on fire or so on so that they have a visual language just beyond the attacks absolutely yeah I don't think I don't think we want it to be just like a card is a card and they all borrow the same model and animations we want every card to be really unique really interesting it's gonna have its own proper animations or it'll have its own proper visual effects and sounds and attacks and everything so even though we're saying that their cards let's imagine that they each get the same kind of time and animation and creative effort that an individual unique enemy would we're not trying to just create carbon copies sorry Connor Connor Connor copies of these things we want to have them each be very unique yeah all right I'm hanging on what my sis and listening on headphones says Luka don't hey there you go and Connor since spider-man sexy spider-man why is he laying on railroad tracks that seems dangerous if you want any to be rescued I guess he just talked to Mysterio no spoilers mmm CPM says as for tarot cards each has a different meaning or strength in number which would make asylum more difficult in each stage yes that's correct they would be increasingly more difficult as you moved through and confronted them so here's what I think if everybody is down with tarot cards as the fodder then at least initially what we could do is ask our artists to create the specific cards and we can ask them to do representations and make them really like really wild right it's not going to be just like a card as a card as a card it's gonna be this is the card representing anger and it's gonna be all fiery and it's gonna shoot fire and it's gonna have fire whips and it's gonna be it's gonna be properly angry and it's gonna be very unique and then we just go through them and we could get a set of them rendered out and we see how we like that if it works or not that sounds alright um so let's jump now to the community idea of suggestions for enemies I think that was the next thing on the list and on the Tarot stuff you guys can keep the comments coming in on that while we hop maybe it will jump back and forth a little bit so now we are moving over to the enemy's suggestion on the wiki so again if you're following along on youtube hit the link in the description below to hit head over to the wiki and then you want to be looking at the community ideas suggestions area and then enemies that's one point six so starting right at the top we have a suggestion that cranky the bear explodes in a suicide bomb manner and also that cranky pulls itself apart to become separate enemies so these two concepts you know the idea that something explodes I like that you know he might start beeping when I'm beeping but ticking or somehow otherwise indicating he's gonna blow up before he does that's fine the number two point is one that I like because we've talked about in the past the idea that our doll enemies would be self-assembling so if you look at the enemy list that's been done down at like kind of midway down the graphic there's grandma teeth there's surprise dog night and wounded twins those are all characters that have been assembled out of various doll parts above that there's also some like doll bugs and whatnot I'd really like to see the idea that these things pick up elements of themselves out of the environment and assemble themselves together and that sometimes the way they assemble themselves comes off really janky like really clunky and doesn't work very well but they still persist and try to attack us they put them together wrong exactly is that the toy story quote I don't know I thought was a horror movie quote but I remember basically he quote of that nature yeah that's I think it's kind of creepy and fun I mean to see enemies you know doll part enemies like you blow them apart and then they roll back together and they reassemble and they continue to fight I think would be really interesting I don't know if there's been a game that's done that yet so not very successfully I can imagine on a technical basis it's not a very easy job because it means there has to be on-the-fly animation trees created and that the things have to kind of have a sense of how to move when they've got all kinds of wonky parts that have never been tried together before but I'm sure we could figure that out it's tranquila pair that's a thing that I say again saying that would be good though wouldn't it if you know there was like somebody dedicated to figuring that out technically so in game it was sort of like a creature generator so that you know there's just so many different varieties of nonsense you could face against well it would be a machine learning problem if you go look at one from pirate Jim 2019 on the itch dot IO page for that I think that's pirate Jim yon so it's pirate – Jim – 2019 you scroll down the submissions and I'm not sure if he's uploaded or not but there was actually one of the submissions is a kind of football game that employed characters who moved based on machine learning in other words the models didn't have pre-made animations they had to figure out how to stand up and walk on their own and they had to figure out how to carry of all on their own and what resulted was like both terrifying and hilarious and so I'm kind of imagining something like that but yeah it's exact what you said in order for that to work the simulation has to be given time and space to run all the variations and so that when in the game and different pieces hook up they are able to reference the precomputed way in which those particular combinations might work together so there would in fact be a pre-recorded set of like how these this particular combination works but of course for the millions of combinations you'd have to store all that and access it but I'm sure that's a problem we can figure out so yeah I mean it's just like the random generation and in levels with designs of thinking dead cells where it is randomized but there's certain key parts that this will always connect to this one so there they'll be in different ways but we know that head a slots to body be always or there's only certain one right at work yeah so we'll figure that out I think that that is interesting idea to play with though that these guys all work together in different ways the parts do we've got some people driving home while listening and that may be why they're typing so poorly Luka don't type and drive please and desert Phoenix comes back to provide some details on her or his ships previous suggestion for Tarot items that would be cups for healing swords as one-time special weapons or utility items Pentacles throwing stars or keys traps moves for lighting dark period etc yeah that thing is a lot of sentence so basically if you were to kill one of these Tarot enemies you would collect that resource from them and then you'd be able to use that resource in a variety of ways I think that's a good idea so yeah we got to mark that down I think that's good to kind of overload those enemies as also so we've got Greg saying defeating the elite Arcana should draw them into a deck or something that pulls them from the world that'll answer the inevitable outcome the tarot cards don't show up in AMA yeah that's a really good point we do need to answer the question of why at the end of asylum the tarot cards as enemies are gone and so I think that Greg's hit on one idea there we collect them all and then by collecting them all we can get rid of it all that's a good idea at the bottom that says here it's gonna be what's up it just drags other idea about cranky go ahead then okay yeah that what Greg said there though about collecting all the cards that needs to be a story through line for the entire game like from the beginning when we first encounter these guys it's it's gonna have to be you know collect your emotions and then so if she collects them the banishment of the Tarot from this world is what its gonna free her from bothering with them in the future Connor says I remember seeing toys crawling down the hallway on their own in one of chancel silent hill's trailers and I agree that it's a terrifying awesome mechanic for creepy juvenile thing toward yeah sure alright we've also got Connor posting in a video linked to that which we won't click on right now and Greg's saying the idea of an enemy ripping himself in – and then I guess those guys could have a kind of strategy for how the two of them attack Alex differently than one of them would is more interesting and unique than a generic suicide bombing and yeah like that a lot oh hey desert Phil ice desert Phoenix is Ray Weatherford hey stay right there you good to have you here today go ahead and follow her sorry about that I was just gonna say yeah cranky sort of like as a final last gasp thing instead of blowing up would look a little creepy Oh a little cooler it like the doll parts and the bear part is ripped apart from each other so you'd have like you can see like the doll leg would come out of the hole with the rest of the doll to the side and then it's like two attacks coming at the same time mmm that makes more sense than a suicide they're cool yeah I like that idea alright so moving on to point four in the enemy projection list we have Alice must fight the other inmates in the circus this is an interesting point that I don't know we have an answer to just yet I was thinking that and I know if we mentioned this before but maybe hiding under the costumes of all these other circus actors are horribly burke and disfigured i think we did i remember mentioning rico saying that they were sort of bacon people so i don't know that we want to fight them because i feel like they're probably prisoners just as much as we are but that's something we can we can try to figure out my sense was that they were not to be fought and defeated because they're sort of not real I could imagine that like towards the end of the destruction of the illusion they would just sort of puff into bacon smoke and to never be seen again but I guess yes we could figure that out well if they're supposed to be the other inmates they wouldn't want to fight they would be too terrified after this whole fiasco goes down anyway so they've it yeah exactly I just never sort of the envisions Emma's enemy I don't know that they have to be representations of other asylum inmates but I think that having them become direct enemies maybe maybe they would because I guess denial would want to fight against its own destruction denial wants to stop you from moving on to the next stage so perhaps they can be fought though I would resist having it where we fight all of them I would say perhaps just from a budget and like reuse perspective we might fight only a small subsection of them because otherwise we're going to do all this work to fight enemies who will only fight once and we never see again so that's something to think about Connor says I think finding an emotional denial areas than actual enemies since it's the time of the game to establish a strong emotional attachment Alex's protagonist so I mean focus a lot on setting the tone showing why we're rooting for Alison or the healing process yeah that makes sense I do think that finding that is gonna be very important and I think trying to figure out how we cement you know the fact that the transition away from die oh so difficult for her is gonna be what's really important here as well all right octo chicken gravy says representation other asylum in tough their victims to but to a young Alice would they not be terrifying as well and yeah I think that's true it's why I'm saying perhaps some of the characters that are that are in this circus don't need to be represented as enemies they could be the ones that sort of vanish into smoke and then what could be left would be the characters the leftover ones could be the ones that were more like the jailers so Tweedledee and Tweedledum are gonna have to be the proper bossfight in this area and then we to find the minions that would have worked under Tweedledee and Tweedledum to keep everybody else in line so that could be maybe part of this is that Alice has to go around and establish who are the inmates and who are the jailers and since they're all wearing similar outfits it's not easy for her to to figure that out at first ancient child says dang it I'm not sure um yeah but Navi also brings up the Toutle Dee and tweedle dum could be enemies and yeah we definitely want them as enemies Gregg says perhaps not even enemies we fight but she could go through the Freak Show and see other inmates as the people on the show and be scared by them but actually fight them yeah I like that one too we've mentioned that before that maybe some of the other inmates are also freakshow characters so I think that's a good idea okay I'm going to point five some of the circus could include a strongman that has a barbell can throw kettlebells and is able to pound the ground and knock Alex over he would move slowly but is extremely powerful a Siamese twin enemy that can separate and grab Alice squeezing her like an Iron Maiden a slapstick clown this spray acting from their pocket flowers instead of water maybe acid not acting it's not acting that you could there's Kansa that you can buy and just spray it around a Grand Marshal enemy that can provide for eight other enemies towards Alice and has a loud whistle that can do damage of Alice's visit within range well so I think what's emerging here and this could be workable it kind of goes back to what I was saying maybe you know 90% of the actors in this circus are like Alice in that they are inmates they are being held there against their will and that she does something that releases them which leaves behind only the ones who are in charge or they're working directly for Tweedledee Tweedledum so for instance the strongman the Siamese twins the clowns grand marshal and if we have a list like that that works and that gives us the kind of major enemies that now that we've cleared out the inmates we need to go back and fight these guys in order to get to the exit and escape from this zone so I think that makes a lot of sense so we've got ancient child showed up has the one I suggested been talked about and now we're getting some images posted that I'm not sure I know how to interpret would you like to come Niall denial coming out of shock something refreshing hmm I'm confused this is after sometime through the stage yeah tickets for 20 yeah I'm not sure how these linked to the denial enemies thing we're talking about right now do they well we have her right here to talk okay hello okay so I had what I think is a pretty neato idea and so kind of tagging on to the Russian doll concept I had a thought of what if because in the in the descriptions of what you wanted for the enemies you wanted it to be something that would fight and denial but that gets easier or less just generally less difficult as the game goes along so I thought I would Russian doll concept where you have all the stages of grief of PTSD in one monster but as each monster gets defeated the lair of whatever stage we ran like how I have in the picture the first one is shock so I imagine shock is this big like furry almost grotesque just giant massive thing that's like all white with like blue accents and we have to like sneak past them cut in shock because we only have sneak and there's no way to truly defeat him so the denial comes and she pops out as it's like pretty lady that's just like oh yes it's so nice to shed that old skin and then you know but you never see her legs and as the stage goes along like she starts like scratching it herself and bits of her like fall off and then at the end when we finally battle her like her true self emerges and I imagine like the you and echoes like the other things but then as you would defeat her some anger would start showing through and then as you know after she gets defeated anger would show up in like scurry away or something until we're ready to like start fighting him hmm yeah I like this Russian doll concept quite a lot and I see that kind of carbon says dude a Russian doll enemy is genius because it fits the concept of recursion that is things within things that we've into that in the non-euclidean post it's like a kinder egg boss yes I I think that's actually a pretty cool idea to have the series of bosses you know convey like multiple layers and then those layers are stricter stripped away as we move through the various realms inside the game I think what we might do is try to figure out how to house them like how to contain them in a way where it makes sense that we show that transformation like how you know how do we actually be fought that monster but then there's going to be I'm going to cut away there's going to be some sort of scene that actually shows this event and that it has to be done in a way that happens at the transition of every stage every scene so that's a bit of an interesting challenge just in how we represent that but it's I think something we can think about and try to figure out like how would that fit into the narrative how is that how is that displayed on-screen in a way that doesn't break our aversion you know through through Alice's eyes right potentially that could happen through the stripping away because as you go through each stage personally connecting it to Alice's real world happening there's there's an internal shift that happens there's an external shift that reflects that so in some way we could perhaps do the cutaway to her reality and what's going on there and then have that peeling away of that layer metaphoric become literal in the Wonderland world yeah I understand that aspect of it I think the question is from like just imagine as the director of a film how you would do the cutaways from what is essentially a first-person story that's being told to this new perspective of the the enemy character that's representative of her emotions so what you have to think about what we have to figure out is the establishing from very early on the storyline of this enemy in such a way that we've layer feel it's natural and also it feels you know continuous and logical for us to switch to that other perspective and see that thing take place like one way that you could imagine doing it would just be straight up that at the end of every one of these domains you have a first-person you know face to face boss fight against one of these things and that the the act of feeding it causes it to strip away of course you have to take the weapons out of the players hand you have to have the camera locked onto this you have to have Alex witness the stripping away of the outer skin and then whatever it is that's like leftover has the scurrying to the next zone before Alice has a chance to fight with you know whatever emerges right so that's just a technical thing we'd have to think about figuring out if you do it in this very literal way of like the next emotion we're gonna face emerges from the one we just defeated that makes sense yeah so what I would suggest is we we think about it from the the puttin it on screen perspective of how do we put that on screen in the way that makes sense and doesn't feel because a lot of times what could happen is we it feels cheesy like there's this funny side story we're following along above an enemy that's transforming through the stages and we as the viewer will feel like our perspective has been jerked away from the main story to witness the story of this enemy as it goes through its transformations it's a very good idea I like I like the Russian doll concept a lot of recursion idea that a lot it's the challenge is fear you know how to represent it without it being too on-the-nose like that makes sense yeah yeah that's something to work on um like it it could almost sort of work that at the end of every stage you know you kill it and then the next thing emerges but I feel like if you did that for every single stage in the game play the audience will just come to expect that that's what's gonna happen and it won't be sort of it won't be a twist and it won't be sort of different anymore though I mean we you know we'd have the same problem right now let's say the tarot cards as as these enemies I think you missed that part of the conversation early in the stream where we talked about having the tarot cards represent this don't be late next time thank you yeah no worries those are a good good concept there so I'm going back to the comments in the chat here Greg says thinking it over I'm switching to thinking that maybe the enemies they should be representations of the jailers yes I think that's a great idea because the idea of attacking representations of the other strict limit mental patients seems harsh yeah I think we're on the same page there Craig having the ones that stay be representations of the doctors the jailers the nurses is exactly what we want to be so I think that's the line of attack we should take on this for establishing the enemies in denial is that the majority of the characters we encounter are like us inmates and then there's a few a handful that are the jailers and so we can have a battle against the jailers in denial Nabi yang says if there is a Jo be horrifying to see the curtains lift and it's deformed versions of the patients but they're chained to the floor a post to keep them from escaping yes that would be a good one desert Phoenix has damage done to the bosses by the vocal blades caused the cuts to reveal what's underneath when it's defeated it falls off and we see what's already yeah I like that I'd be a lot makes me wonder if what's been suggested by ancient child and then what's suggested by desert Phoenix here could be sort of combined together so that it's not just one straight-up boss fight that you have at the end so like in denial the boss fight is against the Tweedles but this representation of the emotional state doesn't necessarily have to be the Tweedles it could be this other thing that we get to take you know multiple swipes at throughout a throne a level until there's one final swipe that like cuts its outer shell away and then does scurry off to the next domain so I wonder if there's something in that that we can lure Connor Carbon says in terms of layering final reality like reality inside grief inside bargaining so that during the final boss when you're peeled the onion to the core the vorpal cuts are starting to look the real world of the asylum leaked into the asylum into the eyeless world that's a good one I like that a lot that also just put a picture in my head that you know those cuts that you're inflicting upon that core start to show up as cuts on alice's own skin in that final battle could be interesting after chicken says perhaps that be too many story tracks Tara enemies Russian dolly to make shadow Alice rebuilding yes we are we are building out a lot of different threads right now but that's okay it's better to have lots of threads like this and then pare them back versus not having enough and one of the nice things that we have right now is we've got lots of time and lots of brains come up with lots of ideas and then pare them down let's keep working at it some burning expectations is a dangerous game says Greg that it is but we have to subvert expectations that's uh that is all part and parcel with telling good stories Connor says I think the layered boss would be an amazing one a one-time boss like maybe late-game would make sense to have all the layers yes that solves the problem it allows us to have that very cool layered boss and it avoids the presentation problem of trying to represent that through all levels of the game so I like that it's very cool and that also kind of fits together with what we did if you remember Alice confronting you know the Queen who then manifests the face of the Hatter who manifests the face of Alice like it you know that nested kind of Russian doll concept has actually been in the game previously so it wouldn't be a shock to our audience what else have we got this sounds like a good idea Connor says a stereo visual Greg says perhaps breaking not an enemy's shell but the barrier between the layers a really visual representation of breaking through denial to reach anger and so on perhaps a shadowy mist an element of shadow Alice's influence it's a good idea all right so moving back to our list of enemies remember if you have a microphone want to jump in with comments you can use the microphone emoji and again to those of you following all on YouTube what you're listening to right now on YouTube not live so if you are live commenting down below this video ah join us over on patreon and you can join us live on discord so you can actually write things to us enjoying the conversation in real time ah alright point six here broken toys do not attack until they've crawled to another broken toy and merge yes this needs to be a whole kind of subsection about the concept of broken toys this self assemble and then once they've reached kind of critical mass they attack Alice but until they've reached critical mass perhaps they actually try to actively scurry away from her and find other parts to combine together with uh fight normal toys and the defeated enemies merged together to create another enemy says 0.7 yes again this all needs to go under one subheading about broken toys self-assembly and kind of emergent behavior based on the parts that put themselves together I think that would be a nice thing to have in the wiki we have here 0.8 creatures that hide under the grass must watch for a mounds there hidden under somebody's been playing old-school video games Zelda had that what else what other games had that okay Pokemon dad that yes we could we could have something like that point nine someone has written lion unicorn chimera all right way to be very conservative there in your youth of the description but Connor on our we have counter you would like to get on board let's hear from counter is it up yep good volume okay I just wanna say we keep kind of hitting on the self-assembling toys concept and I just was thinking I I don't know if we already the ubiquitous presence but if we think about self-assembling toys which is essentially the dead zombie who gets back up to fight you again trope which is always fun in a game and when you have the suspense in order element if we think about self-assembling toys and how they can be made of many different things I think that has a lot of versatility in terms of say you have multiple enemies like I'm thinking of madness Returns where you have the bolt flies that keep attacking you while you're working pouring about the ruin say you had kind of a multi enemies scenario going and they both both of these two enemies broke into little fragments and then they kind of help I made it into each other and became some weird hybrid rebirth enemy that was like wow I just defeated two enemies and now they've turned into some even more freaky enemy that's coming back and then and then also too you could then in terms of the witness that's hard the self-assembling toys being made out of parts that's a concept that could go anywhere like in the levels and fit all the different parts and enemies and the names of each of the realms I guess so I think that maybe at least a contender for the ubiquitous enemy were searching for so you're you're suggesting that the toys that self-assemble would be the BIC witness in to me is that correct I guess it would be more that whatever the force is which I don't know what that would be like a willow the wisp or like a hoodoo spell or I I don't know if that was even discussed but say there was some type of weird spiritual or mental thing but did analysis mental world that was causing the self-assembling toys that we were talking about more literally say there was something like a mechanic that was like you know there's a certain amount of craziness in a level or you know I'm just saying random stuff so say that was what caused the self-assembling toys juice like reassemble until you beat a toy enough to where you were making more order again I'm just making a mechanics up top my head so then that would carry you could carry that same mechanic where whatever it may be into the other realms but then it would be working on those different enemies of that different realm or you know and not saying it's the answer but it may be one of the well I think we have the sort of power source and it's it could be specific to the realms and that is that say for instance in the realm of anger all of the enemies are animated by anchor and in the realm of denial they're all animated by denial and these could be representative you know as like use like a wisp like it could be kind of a cloudy was linked to element linked to emotion and then animating things and so you know I think actually it's there's kind of there's a point in here this is kind of interesting that is that when you're suffering from trauma and then you go through these stages you actually feel quite zombie like you don't feel like yourself you I mean you feel like a passenger aboard a vehicle that's being driven by someone else so it could be that the enemies themselves are you know in a way hijacked so these dolls that exist in Wonderland normally they wouldn't be our enemies but now they've been hijacked by anger or they've been hijacked by denial and so the animating force of anger is what we're fighting against and like you said you have to hit them and beat them and hit them and beat them down enough that the animating force finally flows out of them and perhaps we suck that up you know we collect it and we use it to power our own attacks and our own weapons is that does that sound right yeah totally I like octave shakings counterpoint so you should head on that when you get it but before that I want to say it reminds me of gauntlet legends or probably probably any of the gauntlet games how they have all the enemies have portals and they just keep filing out of it and you're just gonna have to keep killing them forever unless you go knock down their portal yeah it come on well that that could be a sort of constant thing is that within these realm there are emotional gateways so you know when you're running around inside of denial you'll find that there's something I mean you know in the language in the psychology that those some things could be triggers so you know there's in our game perhaps it's like ruins or a statue that represents triggers and those have to be knocked down and then that stops the animating energy from flowing freely into the world and so long as there's one of those and by enemies can just reform and get back up until you've knocked over they're just their trigger right something a lot of those lines could be interesting so yeah just for consideration what is it that Greg's there which is the comic you're referring to about that you said about great point that says the one potential issue with what we're talking about right now if it's toys being the main enemy or just the idea of kind of like a reassembling spiritual force that constantly needs to be knocked down is that the the the doll theme seems to be so it seems associated to madness Returns so perhaps dolls or toys specifically shouldn't be the main Ken father in this game and I do agree with that but yeah I've heard Omri make that comment before as well he's actually pretty strongly against having toys be like the main enemy throughout the game it's a tough call though because there's always kind of the juvenile bent to the Alice game so I mean you couldn't go somewhere like say like outlast 2 did with like crazy deformed religious cult monster people you know because it's like that's way too adult so it's it's like mmm then you don't want to go to like among the sleep type of boy you're like you're like oh well you're a young character so everything is scary to you I like the toy concept but but yeah I really like toys as enemies I found the toys as enemies in in a Marth to be really satisfying more so than say like the ruin because I felt the ruin was not as interesting when you killed it you know you didn't really identify with but the same way if you if you whacked a babydoll enemy and its head flew off there was a kind of automatic humor in that but when you whacked a blob of a ruin and it fell apart it was like yeah whatever so I I'm also a really big fan of the baby dolls as enemies I think that the request from armory was to just not be employed throughout the entire game as the main enemy hence the discussion about maybe those are the tarot cards as the main enemies think they've sort of cannon fodder so there's some comments here about yes emotions as animations I think that's interesting I'm not sure I fully follow that but it sounds like a cool concept hey lion – say something – okay go for it ancient child are unmuted yeah don't mind I just wanted to let you know that I wanted to share my idea I wanted wait until connor was done because they don't want to upstage Oh shine ancient child shine I have done I think we're good if you want to throw something in there okay so I had another idea and this kind of piggybacked on the first idea I did as I was babysitting at a time when I drew that and a little six-year-old boy came up next to me and drew the picture that I shared slightly up it's crumpled because I had two pieces back together like a puzzle piece but anyways I gave me an idea for possible enemy type style being drawings of monsters that become more realized like how kids can draw their clothes or their own like stuffed animal now but in monster form because Alice being like 11 13 is on the precipice between child and young lady so she still might have some attachment to the monsters that she would imagine as a child and they could come back and essentially haunt her and try to defeat her in the form of her traumas now that she has more and so the connection through the drawings would be that these monsters come forth from her childhood drawings or that she's capturing them as drawings in order to sort of control them know they're coming for us from her drawings as a child and we could actually just digitally source they have little kids draw monsters and then you know do them up to look more scary than the monsters because I because I because I have a drawing of a monster the one that little Silas did he did it's a two-headed monster and he's got spikes for his neck he sucks out human souls and if a child is naughty he takes their salt that explaination that was given to me by six-year-olds that's a cool idea have you ever seen there's these companies that will turn your child's drawing into physical toys yeah I'm just pasting some of the example photos into the chat here these are actually pretty inspired I mean it's really fun this stuff so a kid will draw something you know obviously 2d on a piece of paper and then these guys will take that 2d drawing and they'll render it into a stuffed toy a 3d you know an actual stuffed toy so I think there's actually companies out there that do this professionally and you know the results are sometimes humorous sometimes terrifying but I think that's actually a pretty cool idea we would have to we'd have to figure out a way to stylize those things to be kind of culturally representative of the time in which Alice lived because whether we see it or not there's a lot of elements in terms of color shape in the use of you know facial features and things that are gonna be modern as opposed to Victorian you know the the thing I posted here of that sort of dinosaur with against like a communist brown hat that wouldn't have existed in Victorian era right yeah that's actually kind of a cool idea having some you know of the monsters in Wonderland be along that line of Hulk smashes the Kardashians you know have it be along the line of creepy trout drawings you know but we do have to keep in mind that you know in terms of fanservice there are a lot of characters wonderland care people will want to see and that for every sort of these would be original characters the the childhood drawings into monsters for every one of those that we create we are creating possibly one less traditional Wonderland character so when we start down this path we want to be cautious that you know we could do enough of these characters that it would show off that idea make it make sense but not so many that it cuts into the budget or the sort of more traditional clutter line characters someone Alice on Elm Street says what if the drawings are classic wonder like characters right so a variation on this would be that Alice drew in her own hand these characters it does not come up as a suggestion for the way that the circus characters would be represented I feel like yes we actually did doing that up of yeah and I think I said something along the lines of being concerned about the confusion it would cause if that was the first thing the player was exposed to in the game as opposed to the more traditional characters yeah and trying to keep your own Alice brand separate than other Alice brands but by the way I mean I don't talk about I think this is a fantastic idea just to be clear my concern is just about how we fit it into this game right because I mean there's some of these drawings in some of these concepts that are just amazing of you know child children's drawings that have been turned into actual you know physical 3d dolls and models there's some really creative cool stuff so I mean I could almost imagine that that would be better to do this as its own standalone game as opposed to having it be in the Alice game you know mostly I was just thrown out another thread cuz I got my brain just always does the thing so I just keep throwing around user not uses it's good to have your brain do the thing very important thing to have you do okay well let's add that to our stack of ideas I think that's a really cool idea it's just a question of how do we fit that in or where we fit that in any comments or questions that we might have skipped past previously I'm just scrolling back through Greg mentioned that as far as the triggers go that help to power or manifest the energy of our enemies those could be mirrors and so the trigger manifesting them is Alice's own trauma that statement is at is absolutely correct the impetus the power for these enemies and for this whole experience would be Alice's own trauma and so there have to be you know some clear definition of what are those sources of the trauma dens of Phoenix asking if anyone else is getting in laughs I don't think so Rea I think the way that this chord works is that it's distributed so if you're seeing lag on your end it doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna be lag for everybody unless you're watching this on YouTube but anything can chatting along then you're gonna you deserve lag so Greg says yes last design session the idea of the teal drawings showing up as costumes was dust so we touched on this concept a bit everyone's brain doing things that is correct and Luca is gonna take a shower go to bed all right we are about 15 minutes past the hour now so I was thinking maybe we could call this our stopping point unless anybody has any last minute we've covered quite a bit today and I think there's a few things that can get sketched out and filled in over on the wiki anybody eating or is there any point under the enemies that someone's dying for us to get to today I'm actually straining it a little live myself I got kicked off for like two seconds there no Alison Tom Street says what if the drawings were of people in her life her parents Lizzie Dinah they could be drawings of cific moments and have Alex comment on them when they show up I think that's a good idea I also think that the idea that Alice's childhood drawings could be the trigger points representing her recollection of certain memories that could also be something we used as a trope throughout the game so like previously we had those I think those memory bottles or there was sort of like the collectible glass bits and then as you went through the game those triggered little recordings we could do the same but this time around it could be based off of Alice's young Alice's childhood drawings and I think that could be quite quite a good mechanic for that Z Pam wants us to cover point 21 a make your own enemies screen where you can customize enemy characters look that is a very cool concept funny enough that also takes me back to a game that was done during pirate Jim there was one entry into pirate Jim where you actually drew a character in 2d and then you you assigned joints to it and then it tried to animate itself and so if you go click on that and download it I'm not sure how well it ended up working but basically it was just like that it was like draw and then you put some elbow wrist shoulder joints in place and of course Jared had built that he only had a few days to get it working and it had a couple of kinks but you know if you were to try to put more effort into it you could certainly imagine making a system like that functional in the game could even be something where it connects into that self-assembling enemy concept that we previously had in that Alice she's able to define a way in which those things a symbol then when they assemble in that fashion they're on her side as opposed to on the enemy side so that could be something we could explore as well I really like the idea of co-opting enemies to fight on your side always think that's a lot of fun to see what we're enemy and PC is now fighting against each other Greg says I suspect that the I think that the enemy creator would be a tunnel Kotak but will work for a feature that I suspect many players never touch and customized customized enemies would never have the level of art direction and vision that were designed the design enemies have yep that's definitely a valid concern about that sort of concept ice killer says wolf the red Diaries game did actually actually did that concept where the back receptors are remained the enemies in the game all right um yeah so I've got a phone call coming in that's gonna be the delivery guy wanted to come pick up the art posters that we send out to our patrons I think that's a good that's a good cutoff point here yep all right well this has been episode 15 of our crowd design sessions again if you're interested in joining these live you can click the link to patreon in the description below if you are following along over on youtube you can comment below and we do read those comments and we do try to have these sessions on a weekly basis around the same time same day so feel free to jump in next week and we will continue looking at enemies story art and all the other elements that go into the making of Alice Asylum so thank you very much for everyone who's joined us today and we will see you again next time thank you everyone catch you later


10 Replies to “Crowd Design Discussion – Episode 15”

  1. Dhroi says:

    Zero dislikes <3

  2. Felipe Bedoya says:

    On the Custom Enemy Creator: This sounds like a good reward for Patreon. "Name your very own abomination", when the parts of the enemies that would self-assemble are ready some tier of Patreons could be given access to the mix maker and the name they chose for one amalgamation of parts would be shown in the bestiary.

  3. Felipe Bedoya says:

    On the Russian Doll Idea: What if this idea was implemented using Humpty Dumpty: he would act as a sort of final miniboss in some stages like Denial and Anger where we would have to defeat him but in Depression and Bargaining he would be sort of a Questgiver, having to help him in order to progress, but in each stage something happens and his shell is cracked revealing each Stage of Grief within him, in the end in Acceptance he becomes a bird or something and flies away, explaining his disappearance in the other games

  4. Felipe Bedoya says:

    On the Vorpal Blade 2: In the book the Vorpal Blade is referred to as the One and Only Legendary Weapon, changing form depending on its wielder, Excalibur in the hands of Arthur for example so I think it would be very fitting that when Child Alice gets the Vorpal Blade is a different version of the knife we know, since that one is the for the Vorpal Blade takes in the hands of Shadow Alice.

  5. Felipe Bedoya says:

    On the Vorpal Blade 1: Earlier you said that the Vorpal Blade would be given to Alice in an important moment in the story, so I thought that Alice was going in a quest to find the Weapon of Prophecy with which to "Slay the Dragon", ¿Are you sure you should hand a little girl a knife as her first choice of defense? That implies she has to kill the embodiments of his madness, in some way kill a part of herself, something more childish could be better.

  6. madison knight Decayed knight. says:

    Does anyone know how much a istrommeteric game would cost today? Say fallout 2 in today’s economy! I would like to know because I’m writing a book which I think would also make a good game

  7. Da Bossman says:

    Gonna be amazing-hope it gets even more attention this time-Series deserves to go mainstream

  8. Alaexis Berti says:

    I can't wait to buy this game akhdsjsbsndn

  9. SummerStar Mei says:

    y'all im early today

  10. Edgebotv4 says:

    FIRST ~ Aso bring back original weapons please! , the cards likley coming back is encouraging.

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