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Found a recent two-part Telltale interview - Interesting read

posted by Blind Sniper on - last edited - Viewed by 713 users

I found these two interviews from today and yesterday where Telltale talks about their future goals. Part 1 talks about Fables and Walking Dead, while Part 2 talks about other subjects such as Telltale's future, why they cancelled King's Quest, and their new direction. It's interesting overall. I'm posting these here because I am curious about what old and new Telltale fans think of the different views.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/05/16/telltale-on-wolf-among-us-following-the-walking-dead/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/05/17/telltale-on-weird-experiments-revisiting-comedy/

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  • Hmm. As you say, an interesting read.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    A really interesting read, thanks for the links!!

    Bruner touches on quite a few interesting points in Telltale's present gaming philosophy.

    role-playing. It's ironic how this is addressed when these last weeks, I have put up literal walls of text in another forum about why the idea of 'role-playing' in games is ludicrous. Arriving at a 'interactive narrative' through choices is one thing, but suggesting that role-playing was actually possible? Role-playing is make believe, is pretend, is acting. And as such needs an audience. I'm not role-playing for my computer. It isn't good at this and doesn't appreciate my efforts at all.

    skill based versus story based gaming. The stark opposition Bruner details shocked me, because I believe only skill based games can actually be challenging. Sure, I see how 'choices' can still make a type of a "game", but games which are not skill based naturally are for small children. With "choices" that pride themselves of being so ridiculously 'balanced' that 50% of players go for one and 50% for the other option. Without any fear of taking a wrong step, what's 'choosing' but a game of purest luck, Snakes & Ladders in Fabletown?

    The game tries to react to the player's suspicions. "Skill" as detailed above can also mean your thought process and how you communicate it to the game. How a problem based game is able to register your thoughts and react to them is VERY important, and has always been in adventure games. Bruner really presents interesting ideas about the adventure game fundamental "stop and think". And I believe this kind of communication with the game is the right thing to do. Still, the game doesn't work with reward or punishment, at all. You can not make a wrong call. Take the risk of failure away, and of course all you can do is succeed. That sounds like a game which doesn't need me to play itself.

    "QTE-ish combat". The Walking Dead hadn't much to add to the mechanics of Jurassic Park, I'm afraid to say. The basic idea was to give the player more direct control by synching mouse clicks with strikes. So that's probably the mechanics we'll see in The Wolf Among Us. Well, it's no progress since Fate of Atlantis mechanics-wise. But at least it will look sooooo much better. :p

    Telltale 'gearing up' for simultaneous releases. Well, isn't that what I had suspected for years. ;) I'm pretty sure it still won't work this year. But I have hopes for the next.

  • @Blind Sniper said: I'm posting these here because I am curious about what old and new Telltale fans think of the different views.

    Well, since you asked...

    I think that Telltale has stopped making the kind of games I'd like to play, and, judging from that interview, is going all-in (so to speak) on continuing to get further and further away from that type of game. It's hardly surprising at this point. I dunno what keeps me coming back to check for some sign they might ever make something I'd really want to play again - nostalgia? blind hope? plain foolishness? Beats me.

    Obviously this trend has been a long time coming, but the existence of the King's Quest announcement strung me along for quite a long time with the belief that Telltale would make another solid adventure game. At least that's finally settled.

    In a logical way, I understand. The Walking Dead is Telltale's biggest success yet; why wouldn't they push further in that direction? I certainly wouldn't want to constrain them from making new kinds of games and attracting a new audience, but for a time I hoped there would still be room for them to cater a bit to their original audience as well. There isn't; this has been made so clear it might as well be in an tag on their front page.

    I've been replaying the Sam and Max games over the past few weeks. I'm playing the Devil's Playhouse right now, and it's really impressive how far Telltale came from their beginnings. Seasons one and two, while some of the funniest games I've ever played, felt modular and recycled, although two much less so than one. With season three they finally escaped that feeling altogether (which, I should point out, they had already done with Tales of Monkey Island), with each episode delivering a really clever new twist and each having its own setting, tone and theme. What's more, they had implemented some really clever adventure game mechanics. In Season 1, all of the solutions were pretty blindingly obvious. In season 2, some puzzles required lateral thinking. Season 3 had you doing interesting things like considering the uses of the ability to teleport beyond being a mode of transportation. And then, just when they were getting really good at making adventure games, they stopped doing it.

    In the interview, Kevin says this about King's Quest: "We have a new audience that we’re trying to serve. We’re trying to be very progressive about things. I think that it would be a disservice to King’s Quest to go out and reinvent it as something it’s not. It would be a disservice to a lot of what Telltale is doing right now to not try to do the kind of innovative things that we’re pushing boundaries with." I don't think this could be a lot more clear - 1) we have a different audience now, 2) we never want to go back to the old one, 3) it would have been a bad idea to try to fit King's Quest into our new paradigm (he's right about this), and 4) We don't want to make traditional adventure games anymore. I also remember reading an interview with Dan Connors where he said similar things and implied that their new audience would have no clue what to do with being put in a room and asked to solve a puzzle, etc.

    Maybe I'm the only one! Game of the Year speaks for itself, and I see why people like Walking Dead - Nice graphics, strong writing, cinematic. I think that Telltale has focused so much on that cinematic feeling, though, that they've moved away from what makes a game a game, and interviews indicate that they intend to move further in that direction.

    So, to sum up, I'm not satisfied. It stinks to see a game company I was a fan of declare the games I loved to be the past, not a modern direction, and to generally pretend they were never about adventure games anyway (It's also implied in that interview that their current direction is just part of the evolution they've been undergoing ever since the Bone games). Sorry if it comes off like I'm angry; I'm not, that would be rather extreme. I admit it, though: I feel left behind.

  • I'm gonna play Fables first TTG game I'll play since Sam and Max. I haven't followed the comics but I love the style they have done in the in game shots

  • I'm cool with them not making traditional adventure games. There's plenty of places to get those these days.

  • His comment about King's Quest being in "good hands" is interesting. He obviously knows something we don't about Activision's plans for the franchise.

  • Or it's just more diplomatic than saying the clods are going to ruin it.

    I am wondering what this mysterious thing they're going to announce at E3 is, though.

  • Makes me really excited to see what's coming at E3. So TWAU is another less "puzzle heavy" game. I have mixed feelings about this.

    In general, I'm more interested to see whether if TT will go back to adventure games reliant on puzzles, as opposed of narratives that seemed to be almost entirely reliant on choices that get you through the game.

    Anyways, I'm always happy to see more info about TWAU!

  • To tell the truth. While they may call their first few series as an "experiments." It does not change the fact that those series were likely made due they didn't have enough reputation yet as an company to get the deals like The Walking Dead and it is not hard to guess which series is more valuable to put development time on as far it goes to money making.

    Back when Telltale Games started to produce their games. They were ones who pretty much helped to revive the genre.

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