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Former Telltale folks share goofs, gags, and grief after studio collapses

In the wake of Telltale Games laying off 250-odd employees with no notice or (reportedly) severance pay, former Taletellers have been sharing warm memories and silly goofs from working there. They’ve explained the secret rules of a running joke started in Sam & Max, revealed daft scenes they made to amuse themselves in The Walking Dead with bananas and eyebeams, explained a serendipitous sweary accident in Tales From The Borderlands, and even gushed a bit about good times. The situation sucks but the moments and memories being shared are at least bittersweet.

Molly Maloney, who was lead concept artist on Tales From The Borderlands and assistant director of its final episode, shared the secret of this rad rude moment:

What a happy little accident.

Nick Herman, a choreographer on Telltale games including Sam & Max, explained the origins of an obsession with the banana drink Banang:

Taletellers went on to hide Banang in other episodes, following serious rules:

Towards a cruel conclusion:

Banang later popped up in many other Telltale Games as a wee Easter egg.

Speaking of bananas, a weird dream involving them on the Idle Thumbs podcast ended up becoming reality (well, as a secret goof). Jake Rodkin made this with Sean Vanaman, his fellow Idle Thumb and fellow co-director of The Walking Dead season one:

Trailer fella Shaun Finney goofed around with The Walking Dead too:

One goof that did make it into TWD is this poster:

Former Telltale cinematic artist Jolie Menzel shared a pain few of us will ever know:

And Melissa Hutchison, who voiced Clementine in The Walking Dead and many other Telltale characters too, expressed some of her heartbreak:

See Twitter’s #TelltaleMemories tag for more development memories from staff and a whole load of game memories from players.

Telltale have been cut down to a staff of only 25, who are there only “fulfil the company’s obligations to its board and partners.” That’s 250-ish folks now out of work, former staff say. I wouldn’t expect the remaining 25 to have much longer either. A number of folks and studios across the games industry are using Twitter’s #TelltaleJobs tag to help connect Taletellers with new jobs.

One mystery still hanging over Telltale is what will happen with The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Its second episode was due to launch on Tuesday, and some former staff on Twitter seem to expect that will still go ahead, but beyond that… the two final episodes are reportedly unfinished, and their makers supposedly now gone. Dying suddenly and unexpectedly might be fitting for The Walking Dead, making this a metatextual gutwrencher, but that’d be a real bummer for folks who’ve bought the season expecting the end of Clementine’s story. You’d hope that, if this is the end, Telltale would throw open refunds?

Disclosure: I vaguely know some folks who were at Telltale back in the day. I may have thrown one of them on the floor at a barbecue then stood on his chest to prove a point about how bullying is bad? The past is a foreign country, okay.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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