‘Alice’ video game designer returning to Wonderland

This screen grab released by Electronic Arts shows a scene from Alice. The Associated Press


This screen grab released by Electronic Arts shows a scene from “Alice”. The Associated Press

By Derrik J. Lang

LOS ANGELES – American McGee is going back down the rabbit hole.

The cult video game designer behind “American McGee’s Alice,” the twisted PC game set after Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” is crafting a next-generation sequel to the 2000 game starring a macabre Alice returning to Wonderland and dealing with the death of her parents.

“We’re going to go back and revisit Alice,” said McGee. “We’re still feeling around what time the game will be set, but the premise is much the same. She still has things to deal with, and she’s going to be using Wonderland to explore issues that she has in the real world. As far as the development goes, it’ll be a big difference this time around.”

That’s because the untitled sequel is being created by Spicy Horse, the Shanghai developer where McGee now serves as senior creative director. He said much of the original development team, including lead writer R.J. Berg, began working on the sequel for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC almost two years ago. Electronic Arts will again serve as the publisher.

McGee says his new Wonderland adventure would take a bite out of the latest graphics technology, which wasn’t available when the original “Alice” game was released by EA and Rogue Entertainment. McGee says he’s been advising the game’s artists to “go crazy” and create effects that “you wouldn’t normally do with these engines.”

“The market demands games with Marines shooting guns, so I’m glad we have the opportunity to explore a more artistic application of the technology,” he says. “So many people spend so much time and energy to recreate reality inside these game engines, and they often ignore the fact these engines are really suited to doing very surreal, artistic things.”

No release date was announced.