User Avatar Image

Dear Telltale: How much does the player REALLY affect the story?

posted by Robert Morgan on - last edited - Viewed by 1.9K users

This is a question that's been lingering on the minds of a lot of players since the end of season 1, and will probably resurface with the release of season 2.

I want to make absolutely clear that I'm not trying to post a negative critique of the game itself. The game is the whole reason I'm here in the first place. But like many gamers out there, I'm disconcerted about the fact that I can only influence specific events in the story, as opposed to being able to change them completely. A big moment with Duck and the last ten minutes of the game are probably the most obvious examples of this "fixed narrative".

I suppose what I'm really asking the Telltale team is, do you have a lot of back-and-forth conversations about how much a player can or can't alter the basic story? What exactly is the range of options that a player really has? Sometimes I can't help asking out loud what point there is to playing such a game in the first place, when a specific ending that can't be avoided has already been chosen for the player?

14 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • How much can you influence in destiny?

  • I would say... a lot.

    Because "the story" for me is not what happens with the characters at the end, is how my view and relationship with them evolves over time. The relationship my Lee character had with Kenny (for example) was MINE. It was based on what I saw Kenny do, when I supported him, when I fought him back, etc. So when I think of the story I had with Kenny over the game it's probably different than the one you have, because the experiences where different, regardless that they may have the same ending. Multiply that by the number of characters and decisions and ways to impact the STORY (not the outcomes, the story, the experiences). And I'd say that the player affects the story A LOT.

  • We don't know how it will be in Season 2, but in Season 1 you "tailor" the story. This means that you won't get total different endings, but you can actually change the way you get in that ending, and how that ending get developed.

    We'll see how choices affects the story in the '400 Days' DLC and Season 2.

  • @Bloody Eugene said: How much can you influence in destiny?

    So why play at all if Destiny always has the last word?

  • @Robert Morgan said: So why play at all if Destiny always has the last word?

    Because the path is more important than the destination.

  • @Bloody Eugene said: Because the path is more important than the destination.

    Nonsense. The destination is the reason we're all on the path in the first place. If everyone on Earth was convinced that the heat death of the universe was completely inevitable, we'd all die from depression and lethargy before the century was even over. ;)

  • @Robert Morgan said: Nonsense. The destination is the reason we're all on the path in the first place. If everyone on Earth was convinced that the heat death of the universe was completely inevitable, we'd all die from depression and lethargy before the century was even over. ;)

    The destination serves only as motivation to begin the journey. If i thought the world would burn with me on it, I'd enjoy the last days even more so.

    Simply going from point A to your choice of points B, C, or D is boring. The moments you experience in between are what makes the trip worth it.

    It's the same reason why we watch movies or read books. We can't change anything at all about how they play out, yet we still go back to them time and time again. The added level of interactivity in the form of a game makes it an experience no movie or book can provide.

  • Life is not a destination. Its a journey.

  • What games with a story worth experiencing really diverge their story? Even the example that everyone pits against Walking Dead, Heavy Rain, is just as linear. In that game, you uncover a mystery with always one agenda, one villain and one climax. And while you can end the game with different thirty second variations, in no playthrough does the story ever change.

    So my stance is if you're playing a game with a narrative of any sort, you're going to be bound to the script. That won't change until someone makes a Choose Your Own Adventure game, and no one has. Mass Effect, Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead all simulate choice but never allow the character to stray from their "destiny".

    Why be bound to destiny if nothing you do matters? Because it's 2013, and absolute freedom in a videogame is at least 10 years away.

  • None, that's why I love this game.

Add Comment