I doubt Robert Kirkman ever thought his writings would have the impact that they have, but nobody can argue the huge success surrounding The Walking Dead franchise. The massively popular TV series is watched by millions and the game from Telltale proved to be just as successful following its episodic release from April to November of last year.
Unlike the majority of games today Telltale didn't attempt to push the very limits of graphic supporting technology and they didn't implement any ground-breaking gameplay mechanics or features. Instead they used an ingredient that has been around far longer than the industry itself, the art of storytelling. Basing the game around the morality of the human species players are challenged with a variety of morally grey choices, providing multiple paths and experiences throughout the game.
Although The Walking Dead provided the perfect environment for Telltale Games' storytelling approach, the potential for the ingredients they used is almost limitless. I read an article a couple of weeks ago that touched on the idea of Telltale Games creating the Dexter universe in a similar way to what they did with The Walking Dead.
If you're not familiar with the Dexter series it focuses around a blood splatter expert with the Miami Metro Police Department that moonlights as a vigilante-like serial killer. If you thought the morality choices in The Walking Dead gave you a hard time, that same approach in Dexter could cause massive amounts of controversy. As judge, jury and executioner, what would your "code" be? What crimes would you consider punishable by death under wraps of cellophane?
Is there another controversial franchise that you feel would benefit from Telltale's attention? Leave a comment below.
Critical Thinking: Player Agency and the Illusion of Choice
Last week, I examined the concept of branching narrative in the context of gaming. Working from an interview with TellTale Games and using The Walking Dead as an example, I came to the conclusion that, ultimately, the choices themselves don't matter. What's truly important is that you make your players invest themselves in the dilemmas you've presented them; make them think and feel and agonize over which choice is the right one. If you can't do this, it doesn't matter how many different paths your story gives the players - they aren't going to care. Emotional investment is only part of the equation, however. Once you've got the players caring about their choices, you have to show them that those choices actually made a difference. Perhaps even more vital to any good narrative is player agency: essentially, allowing the player's actions to have a real, noticeable impact on the world around them - and demonstrating to them that impact.
TV To MMO - The Walking Dead
What was I thinking? How could I start an article series detailing the best potential TV to MMO games without starting with The Walking Dead?
The Walking Dead - Reanimating The Adventure Game Genre
The Walking Dead returned for a new season this Sunday which means there are tons of fans out there as hungry for new content as zombies are for human flesh. If you share an affinity for The Walking Dead television series like millions of other people, then you need to take a look at the Telltale game series sharing the same name.
The Walking Dead release date announced, Xbox 360
Telltale Games has released an all-new trailer focusing in on the story of 'A New Day,' the first episode of The Walking Dead games series based on Robert Kirkman’s Eisner Award-winning comic book series.