Posts Tagged ‘Telltale’

Shambling Man: The Walking Dead Season Two

Comic-Con has probably created lots of news but, until this morning, the only information that had lodged in my brain was the announcement of some sort of Superman vs Batman film. I haven’t seen Man of Steel because my brain tries to run away from Zack Snyder films, leaving it shuddering and heaving against the back of my skull if one of those films happens to be in front of me. Actually, I quite liked his Dawn of the Dead and didn’t suffer any nosebleeds at all when I saw it. Forget about me being snidey about Snyder though – more news from Comic-Con! This time about The Walking Dead Season Two. If you don’t want any spoilers at all, don’t look below.

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Telling Tales: Molyneux Vs Vanaman


Game Informer have done a lovely thing and put Sean Vanaman (the creative lead and author of Telltale’s The Walking Dead games) in the same room as famed promiser-of-worlds, 22Cans’ Peter Molyneux. The consequence of this gentlemanly meet was an extended discussion of how Telltale have tried to up stakes on the adventure genre, writing for games in general, and some stuff about zombies: a topic on which all developers now have to pass a three-stage exam if they want to be allowed to continue developing videogames.

Watch it below.
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400 Days Of Glummer: Walking Dead Season 1 DLC

The last time we saw The Walking Dead it was lying in a pool of blood, waiting to rise again as some sort of brain-hungry second season. The bastard game hadn’t so much jerked the tears from my eyes as attached wild horses to the ducts and had the muscular beasts run toward the horizon for a couple of hours. It’s still not clear precisely how the two seasons will be connected but the announcement of 400 Days, a new episode that will act as a bridge between the two seasons, will surely provide some answers. That’s what bridges do. There are probably some clues in the trailer below, which contains at least one character who has appeared previously.

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Telltale On ‘Weird’ Experiments, Revisiting Comedy

Yesterday, I put on my fuzzy-eared detective hat and grilled Telltale president Kevin Bruner about his company’s next big, hopefully not bad thing, The Wolf Among Us. The Fables-based caper sounds like a worthy (though unexpected) follow-up to The Walking Dead, but it’s hardly the only story being writ large by Telltale’s ostentatiously oversized quill pens. The developer also regularly creates experimental prototypes involving AI, story structures, the way players communicate with characters, and tons more. Fittingly – given the developer’s love of episodic stories – they call it the Pilot Program. Some of these “weird” ideas make it into games, but many of them don’t. Ultimately, though, this is Telltale’s way of paving a path to its own future. I quizzed Bruner about the good, the bad, and the ugly of his company’s experiments, as well as a couple other loose ends like King’s Quest. It’s all after the break.

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Telltale On Wolf Among Us, Following The Walking Dead

To hear Telltale tell the tale, The Walking Dead wasn’t built to be a wildly acclaimed game of the year award magnet. A good game? Yes. A great story? Clearly. But not a bowling ball catapult into zombified super stardom. With all eyes suddenly on the once-unassuming developer, “that Fables game” has an incredibly tough act to follow. But The Wolf Among Us is a) about a gruff, nicotine-addicted werewolf detective and b) not about gazing sullenly out the window while protesting, “No, it’s just the rain/my allergies/this waterfall we’re standing under.” It takes place in a mad fantasy reality where anything can happen – except, um, the undead apocalypse. It’s maybe a bit different. So, where does Walking Dead’s DNA end and Wolf Among Us begin? What about Fables-specific issues like mystery-solving, a pre-established main character, wolfed-out combat, and a somewhat controversial creator? I spoke with Telltale president Kevin Bruner about all of that and more.

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First Fables Screens Show You What All That Howl Is For

The Wolf Among Us is what Telltale are calling their episodic adventure series based on Bill Willingham’s ‘what if fairy tales were real and in the present day?’ comic Fables, but let’s be honest, we’re all going to call it Fables even though it’ll confuse people who’ve only heard of Lionhead RPGs. So far all they’ve shared about their first post-Walking Dead game is some artwork and a précis, but in an unprecendent move in the games industry, they’ve now released some screenshots of their upcoming videogame. It has a lot in common with The Walking Dead’s comic art come to life look, but ramped up, gothier, stranger. I don’t really know the comics, but I dig the look of this a lot. Wolf these down.
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Wot I Think: Poker Night 2

Ever wanted to play poker with Claptrap, Sam & Max, Brock from The Venture Bros. and Ash from The Evil Dead, with GLaDOS as your dealer? It’s at the least an interesting prospect. But how does it pan out as a game? Telltale found out with Poker Night 2. Here’s wot I think:

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Brock And Fold: Poker Night 2

Here’s a trailer for Telltale’s Poker Night 2, which has been loaded into the release cannon and launches today. I still hadn’t processed the fact that the announcement wasn’t an Early April Lie so this is the first time I’ve properly acknowledged its existence. The inclusion of Brock Samson is most pleasing, although it has mostly led me to crave a H.Jon Benjamin character. Archer vs Brock would be great no matter what the context. Heck, I’d gladly take John McGuirk. Claptrap’s voice is like a cheese grater ravaging my ears but Sam is soothing and dry, so perhaps they’ll counter each other. But Ash could be the real disappointment. Look and listen.

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Telltale Ends Its Quest For A King’s Quest Revival

I’ll admit, I’m rather bemused by the desire for more King’s Quest. It seems that everyone else has far more affection for the series than I ever mustered, far preferring the runs of Police Quest, Space Quest and Quest For Glory. I’d throw money at a Police Quest Kickstarter so hard it’d fall over backward. But reviving King’s Quest is clearly the dream for many, and until recently, was a dream of Telltale’s.

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Wolface – Fables: The Wolf Among Us Is Telltale’s Next

Telltale saysfable

I wonder if Telltale are worrying about Difficult Second Album Syndrome, despite Fables: The Wolf Among Us actually being about their dozenth adventure game series. The rapture their Walking Dead series was met with puts them, if not actually on the A-list then at least on the waiting list for the A-list. By which I mean they’re on the list of developers who I’d say are on the list to be on the list. Maybe I should do a list of all of them., but to be honest I feel a bit too listless to bother.

The Wolf Among Us, then. It’s an episodic adventure game based on the modern-day fairy tales, Big Bad (were)Wolf-starring DC comic series Fables.
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Long Wait Ahead: Walking Dead S2 Coming In 2014

Edit: Telltale have sent a correction to Game Informer. “The current estimated release window for Season Two of The Walking Dead is for fall of this year (2013), and not next year (2014) as has been reported after a recent interview.”

TV is evil. No, no, not because it drains our brains, turns all children into devil-worshiping miscreants, and won’t let Gordon Ramsay host everything, but because it taught me to expect that the very TV-like Walking Dead season two would arrive only a year after its pioneering predecessor. But alas, tearing out the reigning Emotion King’s decaying guts and replacing them with state-of-the-art new ones takes time. So then, when do you think Walking Dead season two is kicking off? 30 years from now? Tomorrow? Half-Life? Nope. Try late next year. Besides, everyone knows Half-Life 3’s been out for years. Valve’s just doing a timed exclusive with the actual Combine dimension to ensure this one’s safety. I mean, obviously.

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Telltale On New IPs, Beating JJ Abrams To The Punch

Telltale’s pretty much synonymous with The Walking Dead these days, but it has plans. Big plans. Maybe it’ll build a rocketship to Mars. Or perhaps it’ll make the world’s tallest ice cream sandwich. Also to Mars. Or I guess it could be making some more videogames, but that’s kinda reaching a bit. Regardless, I asked Telltale CEO Dan Connors what lies beyond his studio’s tear-blurred vision of the apocalypse, and he laid out quite the roadmap. Click past the break for updates on Fables, King’s Quest (sorta), potential plans for an entirely original multimedia universe, and a discussion of why JJ Abrams and Valve are hardly the only ones building bridges between entertainment’s many scattered islands.

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Telltale On Walking Dead Season 2 And Beyond

You probably haven’t heard, but Telltale’s The Walking Dead is kind of a big deal. It maybe won some awards or something and also made its players weep so much that their ducts now cough out specks of sand and the occasional cactus. There is, in other words, something to be said for using games to spin crushingly compelling yarns, and Telltale knows it has something very special on its hands. Season one, however, was just the beginning. The only envelope’s had its shoulder bumped. Now it’s time to give it a good, hard push. I sat down with Telltale CEO Dan Connors to discuss how he plans to go about doing that, what he’s taking away from reactions to the first season, and how his company plans to squash some of Walking Dead’s more glaring flaws – for instance, those awful game-wrecking save bugs.

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The Walking Dead: The Winding Down

And they all lived happily ever after ahahahahahahahargh

There’s a still a certain resistance in myself I have to battle when mentioning The Walking Dead games. I’d allowed myself to become so prejudiced against Telltale’s games after their patchy resurrections of franchises that meant a great deal to me as a child, and it doesn’t help that the Walking Dead comics have often demonstrated attitudes I find to be highly unsavoury. But TT’s Walking Dead games are deftly done slices of tension and humanity, reimaginging adventure games’ abstract puzzles as gut-punch moral dilemmas. Tada! My prejudice is defeated.

I imagine a second series of these episodes is all but guaranteed at this point, but the final episode of the current one approaches fast. Will it resolve Lee and Clementine’s tale once and for all, or pull a Homeland and delay much-needed denouements and resolutions until a second series? All we can do for now is watch the finale trailer and comb it for clues.
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Wot I Think: The Walking Dead Episode One

He's a walking alive.

Telltale’s first episode of their adaptation of The Walking Dead has a lot of work to do. After the terrible Jurassic Park provided an exclamation point at the end of a series of increasingly disappointing releases, reputations need rescuing here. So can the zombie thriller adventure redeem the adventure veterans? I’ve decided Wot I Think.

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Dawn Of The Walking Dead Trailer

Don't do it, Grick Rimes!

I have significant unease about 1) the Walking Dead TV show b) the Walking Dead comics and c) many of Telltale’s episodic adventure games, which makes me spectacularly ill-qualified to be posting about Telltale’s Walking Dead game. All that said, I do really like the art approach they’ve chosen for it. It’s a new adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s impressively dark but unevenly-flowing, occasionally exploitative comics rather than being based on the recent, glacially-paced (or at least it was at the point I stopped watching it) TV show, so Telltale have elected to depict it in a striking comics-come-to-life style.
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Telltale Talk The Walking Dead

The Posing Dead

Telltale have begun the process of explaining their take on The Walking Dead, which you may know as a brilliant but at times excessively brutal comic, or a tellybox show that I find strangely unappealing. There are three screenshots, all of which can be embiggened below, and a developer diary that the game will not be an episodic escort mission. Sorry, I’m mistaken, it’s not a developer diary at all. It’s the first episode of “an online talk show…hosted by AJ LoCascio (the voice of Marty McFly in Telltale’s Back to the Future: The Game series)”. The talk show guests (developers) don’t go on to say that the game won’t make Alec weep in frustration, as Jurassic Park did, but let’s hope not.

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Jurassic Park: The Lost Scores

'And that's what will happen to any employee who uses the same nickname on metacritic as they do on twitter'

Frankly I find posting about – and thus somewhat contributing to the sensationalism – this almost as unsavoury as the news story itself, but I suppose it’s the sort of thing I guess we should all be aware of, if only to shake our heads, tut loudly and make doomy prophecies about the world going to hell in a handbasket.

There didn’t appear to be anything in the way of pre-release reviews for Telltale’s Jurassic Park game (I should note that they kindly set across code for RPS today, however), but somehow there were a couple of very, very positive user reviews on Metacritic. Stuff like “a mix between Heavy Rain and LA Noire”, “lovingly-crafted” and “if Steven Spielberg decided to direct Heavy Rain” and other eyebrowing-raisingly effusive endorsements in this vein. Which rather suggests they played a different game entirely to the one I did. Doing a little digging, Gamespot identified that the posters of these gushy comments did, in fact, work for Telltale.
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Wot I Think Live: Jurassic Park

Edit: and I’m done. You can rewatch the whole thing below, though.

Hello! I’m about to play (or, depending on the moment in time you start reading this, am playing or have played) The Intruder, the first episode of Telltale’s Jurassic Park pointer-clickerer. As these episodes tend to be relatively short, I thought I’d share my thoughts as they happen, with the below liveblog. If you’d like to watch, that’d be jolly good. If you’d like to read it all when it’s finished, that would also be jolly good. Either way, I’ll see you in a giant text box below.
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Colonosaurus: Jurassic Park: The Game

There is no way to survive this scenario. You're going down, Mr Rex.

Jurassic Park: The Game is a change of pace from Telltale, previously known for its take on the slow time events familiar in point and click games through the centuries. With the addition of raging dinosaurs comes the addition of somewhat quicker events, such as running away, climbing a fence and being tossed through the air, reduced to nothing more than a bag of broken bones and ruptured organs.

This new video goes behind the scenes, demonstrating that there will still be puzzles and narrative alongside the screaming and devouring. I’m not sure how “picture in picture scene navigation” will work but I’m quietly intrigued. Oh, and there’s a short montage of dinosaurs murdering people starting at 2.05.

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