The Black Heart Gang :: The Return of Alice [EA Games]

We all know (or at least any self-respecting creative aficionado should) that the Black Heart Gang have been doing great things. From the ‘Tale Of How’ to the amazing aural and cinematic splendor that was their United Airlines advert [click to view the work] the BHG have been solidly providing us with sound cinematic masterpieces.

On a recent chat with my friend Markus Wormstorm I was privy to the information that the Black Heart Gang were working for EA Games on a few shorts for the game The Return Of Alice; the sequel to the original Alice game.

This project was too good to pass undocumented, so I sat down with Markus for a short Q&A to gain some insight into the project:

Well firstly, how did The Black Heart Gang get involved with this project?

We were asked to pitch on it by our American/European Agents, Passion Pictures. It was us, Pete Candeland (the music video director for the Gorillaz) and some other company all competing against each other. Am I Collective [click] helped us with some style frames during the pitch, Ree and Linsey did character sketches. And I wrote the stories and made audio treatments. In the end we won!

What is your involvement in the Return of Alice?

We are doing the campaign and three movies in the game. [the first one is the video at the top of this page]

How do you tackle something like this creatively? I mean, for a production of this scale, does it affect the way you approach it?

My biggest concern was to get the initial ideas perfect. We want to create something that is psychologically dark as apposed to scary. We work with symbolism and archetypes to create images and scenarios that are truelly disturbing.

I think that you need a concrete base to work from, or else you might find that you’ve wasted a lot of peoples time making something thats “Ok“, instead of brilliant. Its easy to get the first step wrong, because anyone can come up with an idea. Right?

A lot of time needs to be spent on an idea for it to develope beyond someones two cents.

Of course an idea is literally nothing without the music and art direction which manifests it, but the content is what makes something hit or miss.

Once the idea is formed it is vital that each key member of the operation should be able to visualize the process and the end result in his or her own way. I think trust is also important in a set up like ours. I would, for instance, never try to enforce my ideas on Rees art directing or push to get my way with the directing on Jannes.

This is quite a big step in terms of recognition as well as a massive foot in the door into the gaming market, is this something that you guys have always wanted or aimed to achieve?

Yes we’ve been planning our own Black Heart Gang game title for sometime. This is, as you say, a very good opportunity to speak to the right people!

What are your future plans with something like this? Do you have more plans to work on games or even make some yourself?

As I said we hope to create our own game in the next five to ten years. I’m presently working on another game called Dawn of The Fly with Breakdesign. and Rick Treweek and I indent to make many more for the iPad platform in the next year.

Nice guys… really great work!!!!


Alex Wright
Follow me

Alex Wright

Alex is an experienced digital analyst with a flavour for modern politics.
Alex Wright
Follow me