“Tales from the Dev Team: Laying the Foundation” Part 2!

My Neighbor Alice
6 min readApr 8, 2022


Tales from the Dev Team provides direct insight into the game development process, directly from the developers.

Hello dear neighbors of Alice!

It is time for another round of tales from the development team. It has been a while since we last spoke, and because of that we have lots of stuff to tell you! In the previous dev blog we announced the possibility of testing, and you were all super enthusiastic about that! So more on that later in this dev tale. But first a word or two about the roadmap.

You Can’t Rush Art

We have seen your reactions to the announcement of the roadmap (yes we do read the telegram channels) and we see that the reaction to the roadmap was mixed. On one hand there are a lot of you that see that the development team needs the time to create something beautiful that is attractive to many players. On the other hand there are those of you that think that the game should be released today or tomorrow at the latest. So allow us here to spend a couple of words on why we believe that this roadmap is the best possible strategy forward.

Famous Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (Zelda, Mario, many other titles) is rumored to have said that “A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever”. Delaying games is very common in the game industry because of a simple adagium: “you can’t rush art”. Making something function well technically is difficult enough to predict. But when does a game entice the player, when does it spark joy, when is it fun, when does it take the player to a place that he has never known but always wanted to be? This is the art of game creation and impossible to turn into a precise prediction of X many man months.

Game delays are in the game industry equally common as disappointing releases of rushed games. A good example is the disappointing initial release of No Man’s Sky by Hello Games. Even though the team Hello Games later managed to update the game to meet fan expectations, the initial underwhelming release did much damage to the game’s reputation and playerbase. This is why experienced and well run game studios like Nintendo and Blizzard only release a game “when it is done”.

Blue Ocean Strategy

When you are in 20 different telegram groups of NFT projects you may feel like the whole world is into blockchain gaming, so let us bring a sobering reminder here: most of the people in the world do not even have a blockchain address. My Neighbor Alice was set up from the beginning specifically aimed at exactly those people. The people who like to play Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley. With these people, My Neighbor Alice has one chance of a first impression. If we rush the game to make a quick release, these people will see an underwhelming game that does not meet the level of quality that they expect in a game, and they will not keep on playing it. To bring in as many new people as possible, My Neighbor Alice must woo players away to a mythical world of joy and cozy relaxation from the moment of the first impression, so that they will want to keep on playing.

Getting to know you better

One of the many things that we have spent the time since the previous Tales from the Dev team on, is on getting to know the people who would like to play My Neighbor Alice. We looked at people who like to play Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, Summer in Mara, Hokko Life and My Time in Portia, and we found that a main motivation for these people to play these games is to be creative and socialize and to collaborate with each other. The lack of networking features in these games is mentioned by many players as something that is sorely missed. So we believe that there is a huge market opportunity for a cozy game with enhanced multiplayer.

Slow and steady wins the race

In the land of blockchain anything that takes more time than the time for a Bitcoin block to get confirmed is considered slow and a two year roadmap feels like double an eternity. Many people would like to see results today, or tomorrow at the latest. Unfortunately that approach does not work when making games, where there are a lot of really good games all competing for the players wallet. When we combine the need for the development team of a good amount of time to work on My Neighbor Alice, the Blue Ocean strategy of appealing to non-blockchain gamers and the huge market opportunity that exists for a multiplayer Animal Crossing game, we all believe that this roadmap will ultimately translate into the best possible quality for the game, and as a consequence the best value for the Alice token in the long term.

Tool development

There! The word or two about the roadmap became a bit more than two and you would almost forget that we actually produced quite a lot in the past month. One of the most important things that we have been working on is tool development. Early stages of production in game development are always about sharpening the saw; creating or improving the tools you use on the job, so that we can develop faster and more reliable. One important step to this end is in using Gridly for many of the game features. We were already using Gridly for the in game translations, and now we are also using it for balancing the parameters for in game objects. We expect to have hundreds, probably thousands of in-game things and to manage that properly we use Gridly to create and manage all of the items and all of their parameters and relationships. A huge spreadsheet tool may not sound very exciting to you as a player, but to us designers and developers it makes our day much easier!


One of the first places where we get to use the new Gridly system is in the Fishing design. The fishing minigame is a relaxing experience with an occasional adrenaline rush of reeling a fish in. But what kind of fish can you catch where? Not all fishes are equally common and of course the more rare a fish the more valuable it is. To design and tweak all of these variables, the Gridly importing system is super helpful.

Sign up as a tester!

Now all of this talk about fishing may sound nice, but you know what is even better? Actually playing it! In the previous dev tale we promised you a way to play the game early before it is out. We want to test early and often on real players. And that player could be you! Want to be among the first people who get to try the game, even before the public alpha? Sign up as a tester via this form and if you are chosen you will be amongst the lucky ones who get to play very soon!

About My Neighbor Alice

My Neighbor Alice is a social online game with focus on resource gathering, crafting and creative expression. Players build their own virtual lands, interact with neighbors, perform exciting daily activities and earn rewards along the way.

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My Neighbor Alice

My Neighbor Alice is a multiplayer blockchain builder game, where anyone can buy and own virtual islands, collect and build exciting items and meet new friends.