Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM ET
The game developer behind the beloved Alice games -- "Alice" and "Alice: Madness Returns" -- is bringing his unique, dark and twisted imagination to another famous story ... and he's kicking off a fundraising campaign so he can bring it to gamers at large.
American McGee's latest project with his studio Spicy Horse Games is called "Akaneiro: Demon Hunter" -- a game that is not only based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood but is inspired by Japanese ink, watercolor and woodblock illustration.
The free-to-play action role-playing game has been in development since mid 2011 and has even been in closed beta form, but McGee took to crowdfunding site Kickstarter Friday to raise $200,000 to finish off the project.
"We've have managed to take Akaneiro way beyond what we thought originally possible," reads the Kickstarter pitch. "That has been due to the passion and dedication of a relatively small development team. What's been achieved both artistically and mechanically is fantastic… but it's just not enough to call the game complete, to satisfy our fans or ourselves."
PC and web versions of the game will go into open beta later this month. But the team says it needs the additional funds to make "Akaneiro" a fully cross platform game and is specifically shooting to create Android and iOS tablet versions. The Kickstarter funding will also be used to create a co-op multiplayer mode, an equipment crafting system, more weapons and armor varieties and more narrative elements, among other things.
In the game, you play as a recruit in the Order of Akane -- an order of demon hunters who fight to maintain the balance between humanity and demons. So where does Red Riding Hood come in? Spicy Horse explains:
The Order was founded in Japan, 300 years prior to the events of the game, by the legendary demon hunter and martyr known as The Red Girl - or Akaneiro. Akaneiro was aided by her close companions, the Dark Huntsman and the the Forest Mother. Dubbed "The Three," together they exemplified the tenets and disciplines followed by the Order; maintain the balance between human and demon, light and shadow – walk the shifting line between this world and the other.
McGee and his crew have a talent for taking well-known stories and characters and then turning them on their heads, defying expectations and creating a new lore in the process. Check out InGame editor Todd Kenreck's review of "Alice: Madness Returns" above. McGee is also known for his episodic game series "American McGee's Grimm" based on the Grimm's Fairy Tales. And earlier this year, his Spicy Horse Games studio launched "Crazy Fairies," bringing disturbed storybook creatures and characters to life.
Kickstarter has proven to be a very productive way for game makers in particular to raise the funds they need to complete unique projects outside the standard game publishing industry. And in just half a day, McGee and the crew at Spicy Horse Games have already raised more than $11,000 from 271 backers for "Akaneiro."
Check out their Kickstarter pitch to see the game in action and read more about how the funds would be used.
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.