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The Walking Dead Episodic Adventure Game

March 21, 2012

Last weekend, five of us dusted off Left4Dead and had an amazing time. We marveled at the genius behind the game. There truly is nothing like it. All the old habits of watching corners, keeping tabs on teammates, and maintaining a steady and calm, yet deliberate pace, “We gotta go, we gotta go.” came flooding back. It was just like putting on a favorite sweater.

So, I was primed to absorb the latest info on The Walking Dead game. Expanding on the story developed in the comics, The Walking Dead game adds new characters that will go through their own zombie survival adventures, yet will cross paths with the original characters on the original locations. The art direction looks fantastic. I have no idea about the gameplay mechanics, but it is going to be very difficult to let this one pass me by.

Playing Dead developer diaries after the jump.

  1. March 22, 2012 1:10 pm

    Looks like another fun run among the dead!

    I’m in!

    When’s it coming out? Is it an arcade or disc game? 4 player co-op? MP?

    Sorry for the short post. I wrote a long one, but when I went to submit, it didn’t take it. Frustrated!! That’s happened a couple times lately. I’ve posted from my Ipad, from my phone, from my laptop. Lately, I’m not “automatically” logged in like I was before.

  2. 3Suns permalink*
    March 22, 2012 1:30 pm

    Kenai! First off, if you use the following address, it will either log you in automatically, or force you to enter your id/password before you even view the site. This is what I do to avoid reading and getting ready to reply before I am even logged in.

    And glad to hear you like The Walking Dead! It is XBLA and will be sold either in installments, or for a bundle, cheaper price. Unfortunately, it is single player only. Here is a link to an embedded video Playing Dead: Episode 3, with some gameplay footage. And below I have pasted a short Q&A that I found on their site.

    Walking Dead FAQ

    Is this a game about Rick Grimes, the hero of the comic books and TV show?

    No. Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) and Telltale felt that it would be more interesting to tell a story of a new group of survivors.

    When does this game take place in The Walking Dead timeline?

    Our first episode takes place at the outset of the zombie apocalypse when Rick Grimes is still in a coma.

    Is this game based on the comic books or the TV show?

    We see the comic books as canon.

    So who do I play as?

    You play the game as Lee Everett, a man convicted of a crime, but who is offered a chance at redemption…albeit in a world overtaken by walkers. You’ll only ever play as Lee and will see the world from his point of view.

    Will I see anything from the comic books or TV show in the game?

    Yes. You will meet some characters and visit locations seen in the comic books. You’ll learn about characters and events that have an impact on events seen in the comics. For example, how did Hershel’s son Shawn end up in the barn? Find out in the game.

    Does this game use Quick Time Events as the major game-play dynamic and does it prevent the player from taking direct control of the player-character like Telltale’s Jurassic Park: The Game?

    No. The Walking Dead offers a completely different game-play experience to Jurassic Park. QTEs do not form a major part of game-play and you will have full control over your character as you move through the game’s environments.

    Why is this game episodic? What does that mean?

    Telltale has a strong history of releasing episodic games but more importantly, we wanted this game to offer an experience analogous to the comic books and TV show, which are also episodic in nature. We have plans for 5 episodes, releasing once per month.

    How long is each episode?

    Skilled players will get through an episode on about 2 hours. Having episodes of this length means that most people will be able to get through them and we want that to happen. The game is not designed to present super-hard barriers and will not force you to grind through it in any way. We want you to complete an episode so that you’ll experience the story and be ready for the next episode.

    Where will I be able to buy the game?

    The game series is digital, meaning that you won’t be able to buy it from a retail store. The game is coming to all major gaming platforms, so, as long as you have an internet connection, it’s almost certain that you’ll have access to the game.

    When will I see more screens and more importantly, when will I see the game in action?

    Stay tuned for regular releases of screenshots and artwork. Every time an episode of Playing Dead goes out, you’ll see more new stuff (including the first ever look at Game-play!). Sign up on the website to be the first to find out about new episodes of Playing Dead and to get inside information on the game.

    When will episode one of the game be available?

    We’re saying ‘Spring’, however, episode one is right around the corner. This thing is coming fast!

    What kind of game is this?

    It’s an Adventure Horror game. This game will offer a different experience compared to many other zombie-based games. You won’t be mowing down hordes of the undead as a super-powered killing machine with unlimited ammo; that would not be an accurate recreation of Robert Kirkman’s world. When you do tangle with the undead, it’s going to be harrowing. That walker could be someone you once knew…or were very close to. Also, gunfire (or loud noises in general) are not good in areas where walkers could be lurking.

    Does this game feature multiplayer?

    No. The Walking Dead is a single-player experience.

    Why does the game look the way it does?

    We were inspired by the work of Charlie Adlard, artist for the comic books.

    Is there anything unique about this game versus other Telltale games?

    Yes. For the first time, the decisions that the player makes will drive a “tailored” game-play experience. A decision that you make or something that you say will have repercussions not only in the episode that you’re playing, but also in future episodes of the game. Decisions will range from relatively innocuous (do I lie here and if so, how should I lie?) though to world-changing (I can only save one person here, who will it be?). Furthermore, you’ll come under pressure to make decisions quickly. You won’t be able to stand around deciding which option to choose during a conversation. The undead won’t stand by and politely let you figure out your next move.

    Telltale’s previous games have featured puzzle elements. Is that something we’ll see in The Walking Dead?

    You’ll be challenged with problems for sure, but not classic ‘Adventure Game’ puzzles. You’re a survivor in a zombie apocalypse…you can imagine the problems that you’ll have to deal with.

  3. March 22, 2012 6:26 pm

    If you pre-order on their site you can appear as a character in episode 4 who gets turned… already done!

    • March 23, 2012 6:58 pm

      Nice. Might check it out.


      Tfif!! Games tonight!

  4. RoBBins permalink*
    March 24, 2012 12:03 am

    As a huge fan of the show, I think this looks horrible. Mainly due to the cell shading. Just doesnt seem like the Walking Dead to me. Needs more realism to the look. Ill pass.

    • 3Suns permalink*
      March 24, 2012 2:57 am

      It looks exactly like the comic, though, which is what the TV show was based on.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      March 24, 2012 10:56 am

      Never read it

    • 3Suns permalink*
      March 24, 2012 2:54 pm

      You should.

    • March 24, 2012 7:19 pm


    • March 26, 2012 7:50 pm

      Indeed. It’s great. I think this will be a great format for the game.

  5. March 27, 2012 12:07 pm

    I love it. Love that it’s story driven like the comics and makes you aware of the long term horror of being the walking dead. It’s funny how Left 4 Dead is mentioned on this topic, because in a way it’s the total opposite about what the comic and the game are about, and as much as the gameplay mechanics are great and the impromptu teamwork that is developed, there’s no story and is very generic. That’s pretty much what I like about this approach, rather than going the route of the gazillion zombie games that have been out, it combines a heart and character development as the carnage ensues in the environment.

  6. 3Suns permalink*
    May 10, 2012 3:53 pm

    “The Walking Dead game is better than the TV show, not as good as the comic”
    (No surprise)
    PA review here. It is a great read if you like any of the three forms of this IP.

  7. December 27, 2012 5:44 pm

    Great article on creating Clementine, the little girl in the game.

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