American McGee Takes OZombie to Kickstarter

American McGee Takes OZombie to Kickstarter

OZombie Kickstarter Art

With its Alice sequel currently on hold, Spicy Horse has pitched a Robert Heinlein-inspired Wizard of Oz to fans.

Last month, American McGee stated that if his planned Alice sequel couldn't be made, than Spicy Horse would try its hand at a Wizard of Oz game. It looks like Alice fans will have to wait a bit longer after all, as McGee has finally launched his OZombie Kickstarter project. The veteran developer is asking for $950,000 to create an open-world, primarily single-player action-adventure game that draws from all of L. Frank Baum's Oz books. (Except for the parts with zombies; I'm pretty sure that's all McGee.) While zombies and literary steampunk reimaginings are old hat, McGee has promised a unique take on the material that will redefine Oz for a new generation. For example, it sounds like this new interpretation will be heavily influenced by the work of Robert Heinlein.

"As a kid I was a huge fan of Robert Heinlein's stories," McGee writes. "There are several 'Heinlein themes' that I like and want to explore: Individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies (and vice versa), the influence of organized religion on society - and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought."

OZombie begins with Dorthy's return to Oz, where she discovers that the Scarecrow, gone mad with brains, has unleashed Ozombies that corrupt the natural environment. Dorthy and her companions must set out on a quest not merely to stop the Scarecrow, but to restore the balance and harmony that was disrupted in the attack. "Killing [Scarecrow] is neither victory nor resolution," Mcgee explains. "Dorothy will have to do much more -- build communities and persuade allies to root out and destroy the damage to multiple cultural and political institutions to restore a humanistic civilization."

Sounds like the Lollipop Guild has its work cut out for it.

OZombie's single-player campaign will focus on "role-playing, tactical combat, exploration and storytelling", but will also feature unlockable multiplayer elements like raids and tournaments. The Kickstarter lists PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android as OZombie's currently supported platforms.

Source: Kickstarter, via Eurogamer

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Sounds really great and fun single player game-I hope that it get's made and reaches in money goal-I am big fan of the Alice game's so this promises to be similar while adding something new which is exactly what I want-Maybe this and Alice can share the same universe and have a cross over-too bad I can't donate hopefully other will be able to contribute ^_^

Single player, RPG, action, tactical combat, exploration, storytelling, raids, tournaments... but wait, there's more!

It slices, it dices, it walks the dog, mows the cat and feeds the lawn!

Ambitious project is ambitious. Never played any of the Alice games, heard they were "okay"...

I guess I might wait until reviews are out?

Abomination:
Single player, RPG, action, tactical combat, exploration, storytelling, raids, tournaments... but wait, there's more!

It slices, it dices, it walks the dog, mows the cat and feeds the lawn!

Ambitious project is ambitious. Never played any of the Alice games, heard they were "okay"...

I guess I might wait until reviews are out?

The two Alice games were some of my favorite games. Ever. They were not "technically" perfect, but they were possessed of a tone, an imagination, and a maturity most games never get close to, either before or since.

I'm highly optimistic for this, while similarly being a bit disappointed because I adore the Alice games so much and it sounds like EA's not willing to let the franchise out of their grip (though, considering it made 'em money, I can't blame them.)

The Kickstarter isn't unreasonably priced, American McGee's track record is a bit hit and miss (when he misses, he really misses, but when he hits, he really hits), and it sounds like they have a very sold plan that is both feasible, fun, original, yet familiar.

I can get behind this.

Abomination:
Single player, RPG, action, tactical combat, exploration, storytelling, raids, tournaments... but wait, there's more!

It slices, it dices, it walks the dog, mows the cat and feeds the lawn!

Ambitious project is ambitious. Never played any of the Alice games, heard they were "okay"...

I guess I might wait until reviews are out?

Probably a good idea... some weren't particularly impressed by his [and Spicy Horse's] last Kickstarter project...

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/06/18/a-grim-couple-of-hours-with-akaneiro-demon-hunter/

Sounds interesting, if I can dig up some money I might back this one. It sounds a little too ambitious for the budget he is trying to collect though. I'm also a big Heinlein fan if nobody knew... well at least until the endpoint of his career but that's an odd discussion for another time. Heinlein heavily influenced how I think, along with believe it or not, Kurt Vonnegut [SP].

That said, despite my general opinions of Todd Mcfarlane, I've kind of hoped at some point people would turn his "Twisted Land Of Oz" figures and attached mini-comics into a full length movie or game directed at an adult audience. While this isn't that, I suppose it's the closest we can hope for. Despite the themes, American Mcgee seemed to get all upset over "Alice" being promoted as a horror game despite the premise, and honestly I get the impression that while dark and surreal, this is going to be more "dark fantasy" and try and tip toe around the horror aspects of Scarecrow-created zombies all over the place.

As a closing, rambling, thought.... I wonder if Syfy's old "Face Off" show/competition for aspiring makeup artists had anything to do with this. One of there themes was "A zombie virus hits Wonderland" if I remember. Mcgee already did Wonderland though, so I can see why he'd go for a vaguely similar environment.

It sounds like a cool idea. But like a few other kickstarter projects they are asking for an awful lot of money up front. Yes we know some projects do much more then that. Torment Tides of Numenera being a prime example. It doesn't always work however. Armikrog, made by the same people of Neverhood and Earthworm Jim, might never see the goal being nearly 300K short. And do I even mention the spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness? that didn't even make half of it's goal. 950K even in a 40 day span is asking for a whole lot of money. and I fear it's going to be short of it unless it can get some SERIOUS publicity behind it. I mean serious publicity. Who knows though, I'd love to see this be made, a Steam Punk Zombie game would be kinda sweet.

I hope this game is half as Wicked as they're making it sound.

Fanghawk:
Sounds like the Lollipop Guild has its work cut out for it.

Oh I think They'll manage just fine.
image

I have zero interest in whatever fantasy American McGee and his chinese gaming sweat shop are peddling today. Pass.

Well, their previous games were at least worth talking about, even if they weren't necessarily good. I think I'm willing to put down a few bucks for a minimum of 'enjoyable to complain about.'

I hope they manage to make the goal, but I'm not holding my breath considering how much they need.

its pretty damn sad that american mcgee can do nothing but alice/wizard of oz style of games...

rhizhim:
its pretty damn sad that american mcgee can do nothing but alice/wizard of oz style of games...

Every time he tries something different, it's excellent... an completely overlooked. Grimm's Fairy Tales and Scrapland are prime examples of this (HOW THE HELL DID SCRAPLAND NOT LAND ON THE RADAR?).

So he has to stick with what works.

lacktheknack:

Every time he tries something different, it's excellent... an completely overlooked. Grimm's Fairy Tales and Scrapland are prime examples of this (HOW THE HELL DID SCRAPLAND NOT LAND ON THE RADAR?).

So he has to stick with what works.

Wow he made Scrapland, never knew and I finished that game because it was so much fun.

I think i will let go of 20$ for this one, sounds interesting and I do love steampunk (so much crazy shit shit you can do).

Wait wait wait...he was/is intending to make ANOTHER Alice game? Not that I'm complaining, I enjoyed the first two, but...didn't they completely wrap up Alice's story arc in the last one? I mean she confronted her inner demons quite literally, solved the mystery of her tragic past, and put an end to the truly sinister desires of a child rapist. o.o

And now he's taking on Oz, the OTHER white meat Wonderland...and filling it with zombies. Ehhhh I just don't know...I'm starting to get sick of zombies being slapped onto EVERYTHING. Sounds like they're going to be ripping off the Scarecrow from Batman in this game...guess he didn't go off to plot his revenge after Croc got done with him at the asylum, he just went to Oz to build up his forces...

"Zombies, Bioshock, Twisted children's stories, role-playing, tactical combat, exploration and storytelling"

The man truly has the kickstarter market figured out. Toss out a few buzzwords and everyone creams their jeans...

RJ 17:
Wait wait wait...he was/is intending to make ANOTHER Alice game? Not that I'm complaining, I enjoyed the first two, but...didn't they completely wrap up Alice's story arc in the last one? I mean she confronted her inner demons quite literally, solved the mystery of her tragic past, and put an end to the truly sinister desires of a child rapist. o.o

And now he's taking on Oz, the OTHER white meat Wonderland...and filling it with zombies. Ehhhh I just don't know...I'm starting to get sick of zombies being slapped onto EVERYTHING. Sounds like they're going to be ripping off the Scarecrow from Batman in this game...guess he didn't go off to plot his revenge after Croc got done with him at the asylum, he just went to Oz to build up his forces...

The game ended with Alice in a state of emotional and psychological upheaval, in a world that literally blended Wonderland with reality. The battle for her sanity seems far from over, especially considering much of the supporting cast seemed to harbor nefarious secrets and intentions that Alice wasn't entirely privy to.

And Oz, in the books, is frequently filled with monsters and ghouls and, yes, zombie-like things, all while being highly twisted and disturbing even WITHOUT McGee's touch. Most people are familiar with that feel-good Judy Garland movie, but the actual books tackled everything from false religion, transgenderism, futility of war, mindless society mob rule, and loss of innocence and sanity. The books are pretty screwed up reading material, which actually makes it possibly MORE appropriate for McGee's approach than even Alice was.

Fuck, I wish I hadn't watched that video. Alice is the hottest female protagonist in any game that I know of. I love her individuality and insanity. McGee has ruined any other version of Alice for me, except maybe Lewis Carroll's original.

I hope he gets the money for this kickstarter. I would donate, if I had any money to donate, but I need it myself.

Trishbot:

RJ 17:
Wait wait wait...he was/is intending to make ANOTHER Alice game? Not that I'm complaining, I enjoyed the first two, but...didn't they completely wrap up Alice's story arc in the last one? I mean she confronted her inner demons quite literally, solved the mystery of her tragic past, and put an end to the truly sinister desires of a child rapist. o.o

And now he's taking on Oz, the OTHER white meat Wonderland...and filling it with zombies. Ehhhh I just don't know...I'm starting to get sick of zombies being slapped onto EVERYTHING. Sounds like they're going to be ripping off the Scarecrow from Batman in this game...guess he didn't go off to plot his revenge after Croc got done with him at the asylum, he just went to Oz to build up his forces...

The game ended with Alice in a state of emotional and psychological upheaval, in a world that literally blended Wonderland with reality. The battle for her sanity seems far from over, especially considering much of the supporting cast seemed to harbor nefarious secrets and intentions that Alice wasn't entirely privy to.

And Oz, in the books, is frequently filled with monsters and ghouls and, yes, zombie-like things, all while being highly twisted and disturbing even WITHOUT McGee's touch. Most people are familiar with that feel-good Judy Garland movie, but the actual books tackled everything from false religion, transgenderism, futility of war, mindless society mob rule, and loss of innocence and sanity. The books are pretty screwed up reading material, which actually makes it possibly MORE appropriate for McGee's approach than even Alice was.

Granted it's been a while, but as I recall it turned out to be one giant conspiracy. Some of the other characters didn't like Alice, others wanted to use he in some way to make money, but the core of her story was that a horrific tragedy in her past sent her into a coma (the first game), turns out that tragedy was a fire that consumed the lives of her family and she thought all along that she had accidentally caused it. Turns out it was a pedobear wanting to start up a child whore-house. She remembers clearly that he was the one who started the fire in an attempt to keep Alice's sister from telling the authorities about his plan. She confronts the guy and slays the darkness of her past. I'm not saying that she's suddenly an emotionally stable, normal little girl by the end of it...but as I said: it seemed to me like the story arc was pretty much completed.

And what you say about Oz certainly is true...even so, I don't recall the old stories involving zombie apocalypses. And beyond that, did they REALLY have to add the letters "ombie" onto Oz? Seems pretty heavy-handed there. Alice: Madness Returns lends intrigue and mystery to the title. We all know that Alice is quite delightfully mad, but (we had were to assume) those issues were taken care of in the first game. Why is the madness returning? OZombies is literally just saying "This is going to be Oz...but with Zombies."

And just to clarify, the difference between the first Alice game seemingly being wrapped up only to find there's going to be a sequel and the sequel seemingly being wrapped up only to find out that there is a third is, as I said, the sequel ties up Alice's story arc. Both games stem from the tragedy of her family dying in a house fire. While the first game was her mind's attempt to cope with that tragedy, the second game is her actually confronting the cause of that tragedy. Really not much room to expand from there seeing as how the tragedy has been completely explored now.

Edit: I'm not really complaining, like I said I liked the first two games and would definitely be interested in checking out a third one when/if it comes out. All I'm saying is that I don't see where they can take Alice's story after the closure of the 2nd game.

RJ 17:

And what you say about Oz certainly is true...even so, I don't recall the old stories involving zombie apocalypses. And beyond that, did they REALLY have to add the letters "ombie" onto Oz? Seems pretty heavy-handed there. Alice: Madness Returns lends intrigue and mystery to the title. We all know that Alice is quite delightfully mad, but (we had were to assume) those issues were taken care of in the first game. Why is the madness returning? OZombies is literally just saying "This is going to be Oz...but with Zombies."

All the news sites keeping saying "zombies" and letting everyone think that means the flesh-eating kind, but that's wrong (well, maybe. Don't know how they act in combat).

From the KickStarter page: "As a kid I was a huge fan of Robert Heinlein's stories. There are several "Heinlein themes" that I like and want to explore: Individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies (and vice versa), the influence of organized religion on society - and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. Hence, "zombies" are destroying Oz in a mindless (heh) fashion, without thinking of the future consequences of their actions. The fact that they are "zombies" or that their leader is obsessed with "brains" is less about the traditional "brain eating" concept of zombies and more about mindless conformist behavior."

So the story theme for the zombies isn't "zombie apocalypse" but more "mindless, conformist society". As for Scarecrow read the first update on the KickStarter page. All in all, the narrative themes have more depth than what everyone is saying.

RJ 17:
Granted it's been a while, but as I recall it turned out to be one giant conspiracy. Some of the other characters didn't like Alice, others wanted to use he in some way to make money, but the core of her story was that a horrific tragedy in her past sent her into a coma (the first game), turns out that tragedy was a fire that consumed the lives of her family and she thought all along that she had accidentally caused it. Turns out it was a pedobear wanting to start up a child whore-house. She remembers clearly that he was the one who started the fire in an attempt to keep Alice's sister from telling the authorities about his plan. She confronts the guy and slays the darkness of her past. I'm not saying that she's suddenly an emotionally stable, normal little girl by the end of it...but as I said: it seemed to me like the story arc was pretty much completed.

And just to clarify, the difference between the first Alice game seemingly being wrapped up only to find there's going to be a sequel and the sequel seemingly being wrapped up only to find out that there is a third is, as I said, the sequel ties up Alice's story arc. Both games stem from the tragedy of her family dying in a house fire. While the first game was her mind's attempt to cope with that tragedy, the second game is her actually confronting the cause of that tragedy. Really not much room to expand from there seeing as how the tragedy has been completely explored now.

Edit: I'm not really complaining, like I said I liked the first two games and would definitely be interested in checking out a third one when/if it comes out. All I'm saying is that I don't see where they can take Alice's story after the closure of the 2nd game.

See, this is why I LIKE the Alice games, because they do open the doors to theories and discussions.

My take on the story, its themes, and even the ending is that Alice is now in a LOT of trouble. The villain outright states that "nobody would believe a mad, hysterical girl" over a respected doctor of psychology, so she does something she hasn't done before: she ends his life and murders him.

Now put that in the context of the world she lives in, where she is frequently arrested for hysteria, but let go since "she's harmless"... only she's not harmless anymore, not to their eyes. She "went mad and killed her doctor", they'll say. If the order of events play out, and she's discovered, they won't throw her into the asylum; they'll do what they did for other killers of that era: lock her in a dark prison and throw away the key, or outright put her on the fast-road to execution or lobotomy.

The first game had her coping with trauma, the second game exploring the cause of it, and I can easily see a third game dealing with her having to prove her innocence, or at least mentally explore ways to exonerate herself from a cruel and unfair law system that has deemed her a lost cause. Those people in her life that used and abused her will be MORE than willing to turn against her and testify against her in order to get their hands on her money or to get revenge against her for perceived slights.

The concept alone of this intrigues me; Alice forced to comb through her brain to dig up proof to keep her from execution gives the plot a sense of urgency, the character a sense of desperation, and the player a wonderful excuse to dive into even darker areas of Alice's psyche (especially if it regards prison and 19th century torture and execution methods).

She "dealt" with her issues in the past and "coped" with them... but her foe is no longer herself but the world around her. And can her fantasy really win out over harsh and cruel reality?

... I don't know. :) That's what a sequel is for.

I really, really think that we don't need any more Zombie games, nor do we need Zombies in the Wizard of Oz. But here's hoping he succeeds in the Kickstarter anyways.

kael013:
Snip.

Really what I was trying to get at was the fact that I think there aren't enough Picard facepalm pics on the internet to express my feeling towards adding the letters "ombie" onto Oz. As I said, it's just a complete lacking of sublety.

Trishbot:
Snip.

That's a fair interpretation of the ending to Madness Returns. I just got a much greater sense of personal victory for Alice in the ending. Doesn't she like, push the guy onto some subway tracks as a train's coming through? I forget how she offed the sick bugger, but I don't think there were any witnesses to the deed, meaning no one to point out that she was the one who killed him.

Of course that could easily be shoehorned in without too much complaint, just say that there WAS a witness around. But beyond that, I still don't see how it could tie in with the overarching theme of the first two games. Like I pointed out, the first two games revolve around the tragedy of her past by first coping with it then finding out the truth behind it by unlocking repressed memories. These are both things that can be done within the confines of her Wonderland as she explores the darkness of her own psyche. How is delving into Wonderland going to prove that she's innocent to other people? Truth is she's NOT innocent, she DID straight-up kill a guy. We as the players know the truth behind the story now and could say that she was justified in doing so because that guy was truly a terrible monster of a man who deserved to die. But what about the courts? The only way she'd possibly have a case is by arguing "justifiable homicide" by offering up proof that he was the one that burned down her house, murdered her family, and intended to start up a pedophile prostitution ring. I don't see how exploring her psyche through the lens of Wonderland could lead to that.

Again, I'd pick up a new Alice game when/if they make another one, I just don't see where they can go with her story from here...which would actually be all the more reason for me to pick the new game up just to find out what's in store for Alice now, having fully dealt with the darkness of her past.

Oh and here I was thinking American McGee was releasing a game version of this masterpiece.

 

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