Experience the classic tale of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in a whole new way.
Game idea, concept & design by Juhani Paaso
Made with Unity 2018.2
Story behind the game
I'm a father to a 3-year-old daughter so I read children's books with her a lot. One day I was reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with her and suddenly I saw this dot falling through the letters in my mind's eye. There was the hero of my game and the game environment. A black dot diving inside the novel.
It starts with The End
The game takes place inside the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll. The original novel was published in the 1865 and is in public domain as well as the original illustrations by John Tenniel. In a way, the level design was already made more than 150 years ago by Lewis Carroll himself.
In the game the player is the last dot that has fallen from its place after the words THE END. The player controls this dot and literally dives into the text of the novel and begins a story of their own, going deeper and deeper inside the novel, trying to find a way, avoiding traps and enemies.
Sharp & beautiful vector graphics
The letters play a significant part in the game and they are supersized so I used the Unity's TextMesh Pro package. With TextMesh Pro it was also possible to add variety to the look of the letters later in the game.
For images like spirals (that can be used as portals) I used Unity's Vector Graphics package. This way the graphics will always look sharp and amazing in all devices.
How deep the rabbit hole goes
When Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was originally published it was illustrated by John Tenniel. His illustrations came into the public domain in 1964. I brought one of the illustrations of White Rabbit to life with the Unity's 2D Animation tools. Thematically I wanted to keep everything in black and white so it would be cohesive and in line with the original book and the illustrations it has.
I added background elements with Unity's Particle System. In the beginning of the story Alice thinks of making a daisy-chain, so at first, I added some daisies.
Ready, set, action!
Players can also read the whole original novel. It opens for reading chapter by chapter during gameplay. For this reason, the camera needs to show the full page and then dive back to the action again. This was done with the Unity's 2D Cinemachine package.
About game mechanics
The player holds the left or right side of the screen to move. The player can rewind time by holding both sides together. Rewinding time can be used to avoid enemies. It can also be helpful if the player gets stuck in a curvy letter. The player gets points by touching the different letters. The rarer the letter in the novel is, the more points the player will get. For this, I counted every letter in the novel!
Unity Asset Store
I also used some assets that are available on the Unity Asset Store. For time control I used asset called Chronos.
An asset called Circular Gravity Force was a big help in controlling the physics of the game. For music, I used an asset called Ultimate Game Music Collection by John Leonard French. I wanted to add some emotion to the story with the music. The music makes you unconsciously think that the Dot has feelings and it therefore feels more real to the player.
Unity made it all possible
I could never have done this with any other software than Unity and all the tools it has to offer. From the moment I had the sudden vision of the game, I knew I could make it real. With Unity.