Are Telltale Working On The Walking Dead?

Sadly it's not The Evil Dead, so the middle finger isn't about to curl up.

Nothing ever goes wrong with speculative posts! In the drafts folder at the moment we have:

Are Codemasters Planning To Blow Up The Sun?

Is EA Powered By The Deaths Of Puppies?

Was Activision Jack The Ripper?

But let’s try this more gentle one for now. It does look likely that amongst the five new projects Telltale will announcing in a month, one will be the comic-turned-TV show.

1Up reports that Telltale intends to declare a further five games they’re working on come 17th Feb. Of this, they say, one is,

“based on a just-launched property from the TV and comic book world whose popularity is changing life as some know it.”

What else could it be? There’s a spate of superheroic television that’s just launched, but nothing else fits the bill. NBC’s brilliantly awful The Cape is based on a fictional comic book, so it can’t be that. ABC’s No Ordinary Family superheroes are based on, well, an insipid version of The Incredibles, and the thought of a comic that insufferably twee is beyond credibility. Syfy’s pointless remake of Being Human is comicless too. It can really only be Showtime’s fun The Walking Dead.

(The Walking Dead is receiving rave reviews from all angles, which strikes me as little peculiar. It’s a decent show, and it’s filmed beautifully (other than its incessant use of “dusk” filters, that makes it look ridiculous). But it’s absolutely bereft of a single original idea in the zombie fiction genre. (I’m told the comic received similar criticism.) When they’re defending a shopping center in the first episode, and then facing the rival gang of survivors who turn out to be goodies in the end in another, it’s hard not to roll your eyes. Perhaps simply by being the first US zombie TV show (I think I’m right about that – over here we’ve had Dead Set in recent years (Kieron also suggests EastEnders)) the novelty value alone is enough.)

Does this suggest a change in direction for Telltale? They’re currently working on Back To The Future and Jurassic Park, with presumably another season on Sam & Max in the works, and hopefully some more Strong Bad (the Bros. Chaps don’t appear to be doing anything else, certainly.) Five new licenses seems a hefty volume, and it’s hard to imagine how The Walking Dead could fit neatly into their adventure game mould. (But then the same is true of Jurassic Park, of course.) Slowly strolling away from the screaming hordes of zombies to use the crowbar on the fence doesn’t quite capture the spirit.

But maybe it’s something else entirely!


  1. godgoo says:

    ‘Is EA Powered By The Deaths Of Puppies?’

    A nice man just turned up at my house, said he was from EA and wanted to take a look at my game collection for a survey. After he left my three month old basset hound was missing, you do the math(s).

  2. Navagon says:

    “Is EA Powered By The Deaths Of Puppies?”

    Why does everyone insist I gain more and more respect for EA when they’re still churning out their ‘2nd hand sales killing’ DLC offcuts?

    But yes, given the news of the direction Telltale are taking Jurassic Park in, this is actually a credible possibility.

  3. abhishek says:

    If one of those five projects is not a Monkey Island game, I’m going to kill someone. Probably more than one person.

    You heard it here first.

  4. RiptoR says:

    What about the brand new US series “The Cape”?

    Not sure if it’s based of an actual comic book, but the story of the series is about a good cop that get wrongfully accused of being a supervillain. To prove his innocence he then becomes “The Cape”, a hero from one of his sons favourite comic book.

  5. Harlander says:

    There was a new Homestar Runner Decemberween toon, out of nowhere and with very little fanfare, round about Crimbo.

    You’re every welcome, Valerie.

  6. Baboonanza says:

    Shame the series was so terrible really.

    • lhzr says:

      yeah, i dunno where these “rave reviews” came from, but the series was very disappointing (haven’t read the comics). it’s a soap opera with some zombies thrown in (occasionally).

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      I believe it can still get worse.

  7. drewski says:


    No (just the moon)
    Yes (mostly German Shepherds – it’s not personal, their souls just have more energy)
    No (but the head of Blizzard is)

    Happy to help.

  8. juandemarco says:

    Well, I just hope to get more Sam & Max and a second season of Tales Of MI. If they also ante up with The Walking Dead, I’ll be more than happy. The other two? Maybe another LucasArts oldie reboot (please let it be Grim Fandango), or – not likely? – something completely original they came up with all on their own.

  9. Jahkaivah says:

    If you had gone one bracket deeper on that paragraph you probably would have managed inception.

  10. Rinox says:

    I haven’t seen the TV series yet, but I have read every issue in the comic series. I suppose you’re right that they’re rehashing a lot of clichés John, but somehow it never bothered me. Not really sure if they even can not use clichés, since in many ways those aspects (maybe man is the real monster, search for a safe heaven, paranoia, mysterious disease) are fundamental staples of the genre. For some of them I’d even say they are what defines the zombie genre, apart for zombies of course.

    Even zombie stories that try to be different, like Matheson’s I Am Legend, suffer from this. It usually turns out that any original ideas are just cosmectically different from what came before. So maybe it’s better to focus on strong drama within those boundaries, which The Walking Dead sure does! (comic books anyway)

  11. DrunkDog says:

    What TWD lacks in originality it makes up for in interesting characterisation. Telltale might have a a shot if they play up the conversational angle but even then it doesn’t sound that fun to play. Would be nice to see it done as out-and-out RPG but pointing and clicking ain’t doing it for me.

  12. malkav11 says:

    The really original thing about The Walking Dead, as comic, is that it keeps going. Kirkman pitched it as, essentially, the zombie movie that doesn’t end. And, imho, that’s brilliant because the long term, day to day struggle for survival is the thing that I find most interesting about the concept, and the one that never gets explored to its fullest in a 1h30 zombie flick.

  13. Big Murray says:

    The Walking Dead isn’t exactly what you would call the right setting for a traditional adventure game … for one, the threat of the zombies eating your brains will be hard to feel while wandering around solving puzzles.

    But we’ll see. I’m judging a game by its developer.

  14. TomSmizzle says:

    It’s going to be a The Walking Dead poker game.

    • phlebas says:

      I’ll see your braaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiins and raise you braaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins.

  15. Tyshalle says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the criticisms of The Walking Dead. First of all, it’s one of the only Zombie properties not designed to be in the horror genre. Second of all, the entire premise of it is to be a long-term character study, rather than another take on “OMG how do I get out of this mall?”

    As for the characters, I suspect that nobody launching the “uninteresting” insults have read the comics. Which is fine, but I think you just need to give the show a bit more time. It’s not designed to be a show about wise cracking badasses, or caricatures of people like in Left 4 Dead or something. The people are meant to be more normal than that, at least at first.

    • AndrewC says:

      It would be nice if these normal people had characters

    • theblazeuk says:

      These normal people have characters. Most of the comics give it a chance to come out but I think its harder to get the most out of a handful of lines in TV when there’s a big cast

    • Muzman says:

      The characters are pretty flat and one dimensional from the beginning (and their dialogue is horrid). For a comic supposedly about character it devolves into exploitation nonsense pretty fast too. Oddly, that’s when it flows much better and is written with more, shall we say, purpose.
      In other words I don’t think Kirkman can write drama to save his life. He’s much more comfortable with comic book expy silliness. The longform zombie thing being focused on a personal level is a noble enough goal, they just shoulda got someone else to write it. (haven’t watched the show yet. Reportedly it’s better, but not much).

  16. Warth0g says:

    I’m reading the comics right now and while I agree they’re not exactly earth-shattering, they are a really compelling read and tailor made for transferring to TV – which I didn’t realise had happened so thanks for the heads-up.

    The news about TWD being made into an adventure game is kind of less interesting to me though. Now if it had been an open world, first person survival game (a la Stalker I guess) THEN I’d be interested…

  17. The Skeep says:

    Codemasters aren’t planing on blowing up the sun for REAL, its all part of their ARG for Fuel 2, in which the sun explodes and everyone escapes to mars using the power of shirtless dirt bike racing.

  18. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Is Respawn working on World of Psychonauts?

    Will Popcap make Minejeweled?

    Is Blizzard’s secret MMO Jersey Shore Online?

  19. Carra says:

    Yeah, being stuck in a supermarket and finding other allies? Nothing Romero didn’t come up with thirty years ago.

    The walking dead was a good series but nothing brilliant. And I’ve seen tons of zombie movies…

    • Collic says:

      The comic isn’t that great either to be honest. It’s pretty standard apocalyptic fare and every major event seems to always centre around the increasingly histrionic Rick. It errs into quite unpleasant, arguably gratuitous, territory later on as well.

      In short, it’s no Preacher.

  20. ulix says:

    Journamalismingist integrity? Where has it gone?

    The Walking Dead is made by AMC, not Showtime.

    Showtime Dramas = Shit (mostly, but they have good Dramedy)
    AMC Drams = Not Shit

    Oh and the game probably closest to the comic franchise would be Dead State. It is basically about the same thing as Walking Dead.

  21. Matzerath says:

    Now see, here’s a perfect property for Bethesda to handle! A bunch of stiff characters wandering about, and a series of fetch quests involving running back and forth from the same locations.
    Honestly, I like the series OK, despite its problems. But Jesus, they need to change their policy of killing any characters that start threatening to get interesting.

  22. Davie says:

    I believe the comic and the show are getting such good reviews because of the portrayal of the characters. The Walking Dead was never really about the zombies. It’s about the survivors, and how traumatic their lives can get before they’re inevitably murdered horribly.
    …honestly I think the show is quite a bit lighter in tone than the comic.

    But anyway, that sounds interesting. I hope Telltale are able to work with whatever new genre this might be.

  23. Hematite says:

    More Puzzle Agent is required.

  24. CapeMonkey says:

    There’s a slight chance it’s Human Target, the Fox show based on the DC comic… although I still can’t imagine the game Telltale announces not being the Walking Dead.