american-mcgee posts

American McGee's Alice returns to the warped looking glass

Fan original American McGee's Alice might be intrigued by this early trailer for The Return of Alice. It looks like after rampaging through fairy tales in Grimm, American McGee and his his development studio Spicy Horse will be going back to the roots and continue Alice's twisted tale. The game is expected to come out sometime in 2011, so we can look forward to more information in the coming year.

Download HD The Return of Alice Teaser Trailer (11 MB)

Return of American McGee's Alice gets teaser site and 2011 release date

Last February, Electronic Arts made the surprise announcement that they would release a new version of American McGee's Alice. The remake of the 2000 released game from former id Software designer American McGee is being handled at his Spicy Horse development studio in Shanghai and is being titled Return of American McGee's Alice.

It's been several months since any news popped up on the Internet about the game but apparently a teaser site was quietly launched late on Friday. There's not much to the site at the moment other than a couple of Flash pieces which link to a teaser trailer that, in a bit of a twist, is handled like a stop-motion movie rather than pre-rendered CGI. The trailer shows that Alice is apparently being treated as a mental patient after her first visit to Wonderland. The end of the trailer shows a "2011" release date for the game which means we still have a long time before its ready for prime time. You can check out the trailer after the jump:

Browse through selection of PC game Christmas cards

It's Christmas Eve which means if you haven't gotten your Christmas cards in the mail yet..well, you're a tad late to the party. Thankfully there's the Internet which can allow companies to release online Christmas cards for everyone to see.

Our sister site Joystiq has collected a number of game industry Christmas cards they have received in the mail and online. However, their gallery doesn't include everything so we at Big Download decided to collect a few other online Christmas cards in our own gallery. The images come from publisher Akella (promoting their game A Stroke of Fate), American McGee's game developer Spicy Horse, Age of Conan developer Funcom, publisher NCsoft (with cute versions of various game characters) and publisher Paradox Interactive who have not one but three different online cards promoting their upcoming strategy-sim game Majesty 2.

Review: American McGee's Grimm: A Christmas Carol

As 2008 winds inevitably toward the new year, so too has another season of American McGee's Grimm, the second of three, come to an end. This season has seen smatterings of innovation amidst a large dose of the same gameplay found in the first season. No too surprising, given the episodic nature of Grimm, but that doesn't make the repetitiveness any less disappointing.

In fairness, when Grimm Season Two was good, it was great. Episodes such as The Master Thief, The Pied Piper and Iron John are some of the most enjoyable casual gaming romps I've experienced -- quite a feat, considering the plethora of free flash-based games available within the Internet's many tubes. The conclusion of Season Two, A Christmas Carol, isn't one of the series' best offerings, but its excellent art direction, as well as its depressingly truthful analysis of the true meaning of Christmas circa 2008, does make it quite entertaining.

Review: American McGee's Grimm: King Midas

The California Gold Rush of 1848 hasn't got anything on King Midas's gift. After being blessed with the golden touch by the Greek gods, Midas sees the error and foolishness of his ways when everything and everyone he increases in value at his touch -- but perishes as a trade-off. Does that bountiful gift extend to the quality of American McGee's Grimm: King Midas? Somewhat. While the newest installment in American McGee's episodic series doesn't set a gold standard, it's at least worthy of a silver medal.

Review: American McGee's Grimm: The Singing Bone

After the impressive start to the second season of American McGee's Grimm, I began to worry that the refined gameplay mechanics featured in The Master Thief were a collective one-trick pony. Would season two continue to expand its horizons by following in Thief's footsteps, or would the initially entertaining but ultimately repetitive aspects of season one slink back onto the scene? Episode two of the same season, The Singing Bone, offers a combination of both, but one that unfortunately doesn't lean toward the impressive level of fun changes seen in Master Thief.

Review: American McGee's Grimm: The Master Thief

In video games, episodic content is often weighed down by its own parameters. Each episode is in fact an episode, a separate installment that is not precisely a new game, but an extension of one that came before; in essence, it carries the same definition as an expansion pack. Because of this definition, most gamers who play episodic content do not expect completely new settings or gameplay mechanics, but instead much of what has come before, which may or may not have been dolled up with a fresh coat of paint.

The Master Thief, the first episode of the second season of American McGee's Grimm, adheres to this definition to a degree, but largely extends its boundaries. These extensions have resulted in a subtle re-imagining of the series that is worthy of the hardcore gamer's attention, as well as that of the casual gamer for whom Grimm was originally created.

American McGee's Chinese cart racing MMO concept

Former id Software designer American McGee has been living in China for a while now, developing titles with his own company Spicy Horse such as the continuing American McGee's Grimm episodic series. Now his official blog site has posted up a new game concept from McGee called BaiJiu Racer, a MMO-lite racing title that revolves heavily around Chinese culture.

The game is still in pre-production but McGee already has some concept artwork and a YouTube video showing off some early gameplay concepts (you can see it after the jump). The game already has a Chinese publisher but McGee is looking to see if Western publishers would go for the concept. It should be interesting to see if a game with such a Eastern theme could resonate with Western gamers.

Exclusive Hands-on: American McGee's Grimm Season Two

Episodic content in the video game industry is still deep in the stages of infancy. Each of Valve's Half-Life 2 episodes add smatterings of new content, but the emphasis is on an evolving narrative that largely relies upon recycled assets. Such a practice allows developers to, in theory, release new installments at a faster rate than if an entirely new game were to be created.

My expectations for American McGee's Grimm: Season Two were similar to what I expect from each Half-Life 2 episode: new stories, but with most of the same characters and environments. While the stories are obviously new given Grimm's formula of focusing on one fairy tale per episode, developer Spicy Horse has taken bold steps to revamp the foundation built by the first season of Grimm. While still aimed at the casual crowd, the time I spent with the first episode of Season Two, The Master Thief, shows that American and Spicy Horse took the criticism of the first season voiced by consumers and critics into consideration. The result: less of what made the episodes dull, and more of what made them fun.

Interview: American McGee on Grimm

Grimm's first assault on Happy Ever After ended in September, but developer Spicy Horse and publisher GameTap are already entrenched in the next season of American McGee's Grimm, the episodic series that follows the mean-spirited exploits of eponymous protagonist Grimm. Big Download recently caught up with Grimm designer American McGee to discuss the highs and lows of Season One, as well as how the idea for Grimm came about, the process of selecting fairy tales, and a tease of what we can expect from Season Two.


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