Alice: Madness Returns - 'Zelda, BioShock and Half-Life are all influences'

American McGee talks about Alice's latest adventure

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Does that mean we'll have less of a wait for Alice 3?

Haha, that's the question to ask the EA people. It's hard to say.

Do you have ideas for where the series might go if you were given the opportunity?

Absolutely, from a thematic standpoint it was always the intention that in the first game that she ultimately overcame the psychological world, she overcame the world of her fantasy and in the second game, one of the core themes is that she's got to maintain or gain control of the physical space, the physical world of reality and were we to push forward into another title after this there's an opportunity there to show a blending together of those two things.


Can't go into a lot of the thinking behind it but certainly there are some thoughts about what we would do if we did another product after this.

What are your views on Cliff Bleszinski's statements at GDC about the middle class game being "dead"?

Well that would sort of mirror the way it works in Hollywood with films, or at least that's the way it seems to work with films and I think that for the guys that are working on so-called 'low-budget.' My Big Fat Greek Wedding might be a good example of someone who set out, maybe with more constraint financially and time-wise but they went on to build something that eventually became a massive blockbuster.

There's always hope that even when you're dabbling in that more constrained space that you might create something that's going to turn into a blockbuster, there's always a financial motivation there and the same thing happens the other way round, you go and build a £200 million dollar movie and then it falls flat on its face. I think that the question about whether or not we should impose or inspect or demand that developers choose one or the other, that's probably kinda nonsensical you know these things happen without sometimes the developer necessarily choosing; they get a certain budget and they get a certain time to work and build something and you know ultimately you've got to try to make do the best you can with what you have so I don't know, maybe his meaning was there was a lot more opportunities these days, that a smaller budget team now has an array of platforms which don't necessarily have to include a giant retail console release and in that sense, that's a good thing for the industry because it takes a lot of the pressure off of those developers and gives them an opportunity to go out and self publish and explore new and more interesting ideas.


Whereas you know with larger budget games you start to kind of see that they're pushed into these silos of very known genres, very known audiences but even that can only go on for so long because at some point those audiences grow old and tired and they want something new and somebody is going to have to come along and build a new product because there's going to be a new audience and they're going to be sitting there going 'I don't want to play yet another variation on the thing I've seen being made for the last six years.'

What do you think about criticisms saying the industry is becoming formulaic?

I think it has to by its nature, I mean so much has been risked to get the games done that you know a formula is almost a pre-requisite, sort of suggesting that you'd bake a $10 million cake and not have a recipe and just kind of wing it.

It's a pressure, it comes naturally from that type of development and doesn't necessarily mean that there's a lack of innovation there, I think you still see tremendous amounts of innovation in technological advancement in those games but they certainly have to be much more careful about taking big risks.

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