Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc)

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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#16 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:02 am

I will say that The Walking Dead Season 1 was the only game I've ever played that succeeded in making me feel guilty over personal choices. I was basically playing Lee as I would act in real life, trying to do the honorable thing, do what's right, be fair, look after Clem above all else, etc. Then I did something with great satisfaction
stabbing the man with a pitchfork. I felt he completely deserved it, he was a threat, and it gave me a visceral "Fuck, yeah!" reaction. And then Lee turns, and Clementine was staring at me, and the look in her eyes broke my heart and made me immediately regret what I had done.
So props to Telltale.

I think I ENJOYED The Wolf Among Us more, simply because I could breath while playing it and wasn't constantly terrified. TWD is SO dark and depressing. I just enter this state of paranoia, anger, and distrust when I play it. It does a great job of putting me in the shoes of someone progressively losing hope, but that's exhausting!

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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#17 Post by Caveat Lector » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:39 pm

Caveat Lector wrote:I'm considering buying The Wolf Among Us, which is available on Steam, but I'm also slightly reluctant because the main point that both the summary and reviews (at least on Steam) use to sell it on is "it's a dark, violent, mature re-imagining of fairy tales". A darker and edgier re-imagining can be done well if it adds depth to the characters and the story, but if it's done just to be grimdark and "mature", then yeah, that just turns me off. That said, I'm also aware it's possible for overemphasizing one element to turn people away from an otherwise good game.

So if there's anyone who has played it and enjoyed it, can you recommend it on any basis other than "it's darker and edgier"?
For the record...I'm an idiot. I finished it just a couple minutes ago. It's amazing, and has made me want to check out the Fables comics! :D
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#18 Post by SinSisters » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:02 pm

I can highly recommend the Fables comics, too. Great read!

Yeah, it's hard to judge a game before playing it. :)

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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#19 Post by MrDent » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:20 am

Is it bad that I used to be a huge fan, but haven't played any of their recent stuff? I've been with them way back, ever since their failed adaption of the Bone comics, and followed them up to about Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse. The Devil's Playhouse was amazing, and is probably one of my favorite video games of all time, but I kind of just fell off the bandwagon there, and never even noticed. I think maybe it has to do with the properties they're adapting now? I was all over Sam and Max and Monkey Island as a fan, but I wasn't really interested in Jurassic Park... ...or Back to the Future... Or maybe it has to do with the shift in focus away from puzzle-solving? Because I adored the puzzles in their games (Even if they were terribly easy,) and I don't recall The Walking Dead's puzzles feeling very puzzle-like. Anyway, now they've released The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us to huge acclaim, and yet I haven't played them. Well, actually, I tried to play The Walking Dead, but never actually finished. I started it in a pretty busy time in my life, and the series is extremely grim, so I guess it's no surprise I didn't finish it. I really ought to get back to that.

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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#20 Post by YossarianIII » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:01 pm

My favorite part of both Walking Dead games is
making Clementine swear and drink. For some reason I took great pleasure in making Lee a kind, empathetic father figure 95% of the time but having him be totally lax on minor vices. I was glad the second season gave me more options to lead Clementine into low-level debauchery.
As for Season 1 vs. Season 2,
I'm I guess what you'd call an apologist for Season 2. While there's no denying the first season has a better arc, I liked several aspects of season 2. IMO, cutting back on the puzzles was a good idea--they were never a series strong point. Clementine's comparative vulnerability (at least without a gun!) was also an interesting twist and tracking her growth from the first season made her a compelling protagonist. Finally, while the ending of Season 1 is totally unbeatable in my book, I really appreciated how vastly different the endings of Season 2 could be.
Oh, and as a fly fisher myself,
I stood by Kenny for every horrible choice he made and let him drop me off at the safe colony. Actually... I did disobey him once He tried to tell Clementine not to drink Jane's booze at the end of Season 2, but fuck that--drinking and swearing were always my Clementine's top priority!


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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#21 Post by trooper6 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:35 am

Here is a short article on the state of Adventure games (focusing on Telltale Games's work)...where the author argues that they have all become visual novels. And the comments discuss this.

http://www.usgamer.net/articles/life-is ... ture-games

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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#22 Post by octacon100 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:48 pm

While I don't think "all" adventure games have become visual novels, I can see the author's point. I'd be ok with classifying "The Walking Dead" and the rest of the Telltale games as visual novels, because the main draw is making choices and seeing what happens because of those choices. I wouldn't call games like "Grim Fandango" visual novels because the puzzles are a very big part of the game. It sounds like he wishes for a game which joins the two genres in a way he is happy with.

I think more people playing games with important choices is a good thing, so I'm glad that Visual Novels are getting more attention. It just seems like the writer wishes for more gameplay to go with his choices, which sounded like it came from "Telltale Game" fatigue, which is a completely fair opinion to have, but not my own. I just like seeing what happens when I make a choice, like a movie you can control.
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#23 Post by trooper6 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:38 pm

I suppose the thing I think is funny is the author identifies as an Adventure game person and not a Visual Novel person and then places Telltale games in the Visual Novel category...I think as sort of a way to dismiss them. Then I read a visual novel message board that insisted that Telltale games are *not* visual novels, but adventure games...again as a way to dismiss them.

I also think it is funny that the author seems to insist that visual novels don't have puzzles...999 had lots of puzzles, but people still call that a Visual Novel.

Personally, I am not really all that invested in the category crisis, but I think it is interesting that people are stressing out about it. The minute people start saying that x or y isn't really a video game, I get interested in figuring out what is at stake. Especially, since people are often ahistorical about it. People arguing that Gone Home isn't a video game? How is it that different from Myst? Or point and click adventure games? Why is a person so threatened by Gone Home that they must insist that it isn't a video game?

Why are adventure fans so threatened by Telltale games that they must insist they aren't adventure games anymore? And why do they place them the VN category instead?
Why are VN fans so threatened by Telltale games that they must insist they aren't VNs? And why do they place them in the adventure game category instead?
Why are more mainstream gamers so threatened by Telltale games that they must insist they aren't even video games at all?

I was reading the wikipedia entry on visual novels and there they classify visual novels as a subgenre of Adventure games. And that makes sense to me. That these things are related. Boundaries get fuzzy as technology changes. It doesn't bother me at all. As a matter of fact, I've really been enjoying these Adventure/VN/whatever games that are coming out now.

I've been playing Telltale's Game of Thrones and I think it is phenomenal. And sure, I can see it as basically a 21st Century version of a VN with a lot more money put into it. And that is cool too.

Actually, I see a lot of overlap between RPGs (especially the ones from Bioware that are very dialogue heavy) and Adventure Games and VNs.

And that suits me fine.

Can't wait for Game of Thrones Episode 3!
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#24 Post by octacon100 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:24 am

I totally agree. It's weird, at talks and places I've shown my game, I can hear people talk about Regeria Hope and say it's not a game. I don't really care though, because it's a very easy way to find out what my target audience is. I just chalk it up to people having their own conceptions about what makes a game and being annoyed at something they don't think is a game. It's interesting to see, but as far as I can tell, if your interacting with something and it reacts back, you're playing a game. You can play Dragon's Lair on DVD or Blu-ray. That's still a game.

I really have no idea why people feel threatened about different types of games? My best guess is people like to be taste-makers and tell their friends/tribes the games they like and don't like. Categorizing games makes it easier to recommend certain types of games I guess?

I've really got to get episode 1 of Game of Thrones finished with my wife! Looking forward to the crazy stuff that happens. Really not looking forward to bumping into
Ramsay Bolton.
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#25 Post by trooper6 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:47 pm

I think what is strange is the insistence that x or y isn't a game at all. I mean, I've never heard anyone say that experimental films aren't films. They nay say they don't like them...but they still call them films.

It is very strange.
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#26 Post by Cith » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:04 am

People have a hard time defining visual novels because it was always "that strange bunch of games from Japan which don't fit into any Western category." However the confusion doesn't end there because there is no actual visual novel genre in Japan, they go by bishoujo or whatever else.

The term "Visual Novel" is used very sloppily, it's used to convey sim games, adventure games, and visual novels, and I've also heard them used in reference to kinetic novels. Basically people have a "gut" approach when it comes to defining a visual novel. What's the problem with that? Apparently every person's gut is different.

Basically though, the standard which applies to all visual novels is it must be narrated in the same way a novel is narrated. The Walking Dead is not, and therefore it's not a visual novel. Most people have a lot of respect for the game, they don't dismiss the game out of any disrespect for it. Adventure gamers are different, they DO dismiss the Walking Dead as "not an adventure game" through pure elitism. Basically it incorporates all the elements of an adventure game (Puzzles, exploration, and narrative) but not ENOUGH of them for hard-core adventure fans. Thus they declare it a glorified "visual novel." The joke's on them, it's not a visual novel *rolls eyes.*

But let's say for convenience that "The Walking Dead" isn't an adventure game, what would it be? Here's an easy checklist you can apply for all games:

If the game contains choices in the dialogue, background pictures depicting the background of scenes, and a novel narrative, the game contains Visual Novel storytelling. If the game doesn't have background pictures (let's say it has flavour images or just text) then it's interactive fiction. If the game contains no choices, it's a kinetic novel. If the game has no novel narrative, you can just leave it as an Interactive Story.

Basically The Walking Dead can be called an Adventure game, or an Interactive Story by those who don't feel it has enough adventure game elements. Interactive Storytelling basically covers a wide area in gaming, Visual Novels are a subgenre of this category. Kinetic Novels are not.

999 IS an adventure game, and here we have a problem. The tag Visual Novel denotes a storytelling technique, whereas the adventure tag denotes gameplay. Because people consider games which have gameplay to STILL be visual novels, you can mega overlap. To appease everyone, you can just say "it's an adventure game with visual novel storytelling". The adventure tag denotes it has puzzles, exploration, and narrative while the Visual Novel tag denotes what type of narrative/storytelling it contains.

Adventure fans are threatened because if The Walking Dead is so popular, and traditional adventure games are not, then you can pretty much kiss the adventure genre goodbye... again.

PS: Don't take Wikipedia as gospel, it's edited by the people. The problem is most people don't know what Visual Novels are. VNs are in no way adventure games, or even a sub-category of adventure games. It CAN be an adventure/VN hybrid, of course...

PPS: Mainstream gamers say Visual Novels aren't games because when they pick up a game, they'd like some gameplay. Categories were invented so everybody can easily and quickly identify generally what a certain object is about, if someone picked up a visual novel thinking it's a story based game only to find it wasn't a game at all, then yes they could be a little annoyed. So basically when a gamer picks up a game, they expect gameplay. If there's no gameplay their expectations did not align and they feel lied to.
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#27 Post by trooper6 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:21 am

Cith wrote: PPS: Mainstream gamers say Visual Novels aren't games because when they pick up a game, they'd like some gameplay. Categories were invented so everybody can easily and quickly identify generally what a certain object is about, if someone picked up a visual novel thinking it's a story based game only to find it wasn't a game at all, then yes they could be a little annoyed. So basically when a gamer picks up a game, they expect gameplay. If there's no gameplay their expectations did not align and they feel lied to.
I play mainstream games and I don't feel that Visual Novels aren't games...because for me visual novels do have gameplay. That gameplay involves making dialogue choices to get through the narrative. Sometimes they also involves stat raising. Sometimes they also involve resources management in the form of inventory. They just rarely involve combat. They are basically like all the RPGs I play, but without the graphics and without the combat...although, sometimes there still is combat. So why would I call them not-games? Back in the day, no one refused to call all those Infocom text adventures games. How different are they from VNs? Not really all that different in substance. When people refuse to call VNs games, to me they feel like young whippersnappers who don't know their gaming history. And also irritating elitists.
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#28 Post by Cith » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:30 am

Also “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were dubbed “gamebooks” back in the day further which reinforces your point. People do tend to complain too much though.

But the thing to keep in mind is this - the more The Walking Dead gets tied to Visual Novels, the more publicity for our little medium :3
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#29 Post by trooper6 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:59 pm

I am happy for all the things that generates more positive interest in our medium!
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Re: Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, etc

#30 Post by Rossfellow » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:35 pm

Someone I spoke to made fun of The Walking Dead's use of notifications, (X will remember that.) saying that they were ultimately useless. Personally, I'm glad that it exists.

The notifications are a direct mirror to a decision you just made. If it doesn't exist and a bad choice bites me in the neck later, I'm less likely to remember what caused it. With the notes I feel like my decision continuously looms over me, and I'm left to wonder if it will come back to haunt me later on.
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