Producer and designer American McGee didn’t win much love from critics or fans with his last two titles: Bad Day L.A. and Scrapland. But making games safe for consumption by the masses has never been his MO. If there’s one thing you can expect from an American McGee title, it’s something different, something that breaks ties with the expected and mundane.
In his next project, words will be weapons and censorship will be your enemy. McGee is returning to his trademarked fairy tail twisting that put his name on the map with the 2000 PC hit, Alice. Only this time around, the whole canon of the Brother’s Grimm will be his creative fodder.
Scheduled for a spring 2008 release on GameTap, American McGee’s Grimm focuses on the darker side of the classics from your childhood. We got a chance to talk with McGee about his new game in our online exclusive interview below.
GamesRadar: If there’s one common thread we see amongst the games with your name attached to it, it’s a unique look. What appeals to you about the projects you choose to tackle?
American McGee: In terms of appeal – I usually list art, story, and interesting gameplay as the things that attract me to a given idea. Art-wise I’m always interested in projects that offer a chance to do something different. I think it’s a shame that video games are generally ignored as an artistic medium. So many games strive to perfectly recreate reality. Personally, I want games to give me an escape from reality.
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Second on my list is narrative. Storytelling in games is still in the early stages of its evolution. I’m convinced that there’s a radical, but simple technique to seamlessly blending story and gameplay together into something that will surpass all other mediums in terms of connecting with and involving an audience. Exploring ideas along these lines always gets me excited.
Finally, game play for the masses is hugely appealing to me. I feel that in many ways the game industry has focused too much on the hardcore market and as a result stymied advances in art and storytelling, while leaving a massive “casual” market untapped. I’m not convinced that “casual” is even an appropriate term for this audience, since when they find something they like they don’t always take it casually. I’m happy that the Wii has validated this viewpoint. It may help to shift the industry away from such a hardcore-centric mindset.