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Q&A With the Design Team

posted by Chuck on - last edited - Viewed by 3.6K users

Hello, honorary Freelance Police! Thanks for pre-ordering the game.

I'm Chuck Jordan, designer and writer of "The Penal Zone", the first episode of "The Devil's Playhouse." I'm also the guy responsible for making sure all the season's stories fit together in some semblance of order.

This thread is for your questions about the new season, as well as "Beyond Time and Space" and "Save the World," and general Sam & Max design-type stuff. I'll be starting out, and as we go on I'll try to rope in the other designers: Mike Stemmle, Andy Hartzell, Joe Pinney, and Dave Grossman.

I'll be answering your questions whenever I've got the time & know-how, with a super-bonus semi-live Q&A today (Monday Mar 15) from 2-3 PM.

So ask away!

479 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @ttg_Stemmle said:

    Anyone wanna dare us to bring back the Soda Poppers?

    No sir.

    *drops everything and backs away slowly*

  • @bubbledncr said: I had the wonderful privilege of animating a possible answer to this question for season 3.


    Does it make me a sick person if I look forward to what the result has been?
    @bubbledncr said: Season 2 (TWO!!!) will be available in Italian in may, after 2.5 years of waiting and only with subtitles.
    Ah... the blessings of living in the Netherlands, where any developer who TRIES dubbing gets horribly crucified :D.

    Talking about Ratings and bleeped out words: I once heard somewhere, in a dev commentary on some TV-show how they would actually swear to properly make the bleeps the correct time, but the Rating Board would get the episodes before this process was done (and thus, with full profanity). How is that at TTG?

  • Was the E10+ rating even available when the first two seasons were released? I can't remember when it came in, but it's a relatively recent addition.

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    ttg_Stemmle Telltale Staff

    @seanparkerfilms said: The new season (or first episode, at least) seems to be rated E10+, rather than T. Were you guys surprised to get a lower rating, unsurprised (due to it being less edgy, perhaps?), or was it a conscious decision to aim for the rating?

    Basically, should we expect the same levels of subversive naughty humor laced with mild profanity in the past, or has language been toned down a bit (maybe it was the severe amount of bleeped-out four-letter words throughout the first two seasons that netted it a T)?

    Either way, I trust you guys in the fullest to continue delivering on amazing, hilarious games, no matter what rating it has, just curious.

    As Will said, the ratings system is a constant source of bemusement :)

    Me, I'm a big fan of subversivity (particularly with regards to the manglement of languagisms), and less of a fan of profanity (unless it's really frellin' funny). Make of that what thou willst.

    In other words, there may be some veiled naughtiness in 303 and 304,
    Mike "I get PAID to destroy the Queen's English, SCORE!" Stemmle

  • Hmmm...I keep wanting to ask things about the writing, as I feel that Telltale's packed with great writers, and they're never asked about it.

    Okay, uh,...howww do you make sure something is funny or not?

    Do youuu ever write backstories for your characters?

    Yeah, I suck at asking questions. It's worth noting that those question marks at the end are related to whether or not this is a decent question, and not for grammatical purposes.

  • @Hassat Hunter said: Ah... the blessings of living in the Netherlands, where any developer who TRIES dubbing gets horribly crucified :D.

    Not entirely true.
    I bought Beyond Good and Evil on Gamecube, there was no English version.
    At first I wanted to trade it in, but after realising how good the dub was, I didn't even bother. It was well dubbed ánd really funny.

  • @Hassat Hunter said:

    Ah... the blessings of living in the Netherlands, where any developer who TRIES dubbing gets horribly crucified :D.

    The Dutch version of Heavy Rain is one of the most hilariously bad things I ever experienced. Why in the world they chose to hire A-list actors like Carice van Houten is beyond me. They'll never get their money's worth for that. The Dutch market isn't that big, and most people will still choose to play the English version. Here's an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_09eH_EERg
    Believe me, it gets even worse. Carice sounds like she's terribly ashamed to be in a videogame. The voice of the guy behind the counter in that video sets the quality-level for most of the voices in the game. I've been crying my eyes out from laughter with my friends with this game - not really what the game sets out to do.

    So yeah, Telltale, never even start thinking about a Dutch voice over for any of your games. Just don't. It'll all just end in tears.

    Another question for the design team: How do you decide who gets to do which episode (of which series)? Is it just random, or based on personality? Was it just coincidence that Jordan got to do the Trogdor-episode and that Stemmle got to do the episodes that were set on Flotsam?

  • @bubbledncr said: I had the wonderful privilege of animating a possible answer to this question for season 3.


    Do not want! :eek:
    @bubbledncr said: You'll be able to see a Majus cutscene at a climactic point in 302, for instance.
    Hand drawn in Flash, using Majus' unmistakable style? WANT!

  • @Hassat Hunter said: Talking about Ratings and bleeped out words: I once heard somewhere, in a dev commentary on some TV-show how they would actually swear to properly make the bleeps the correct time, but the Rating Board would get the episodes before this process was done (and thus, with full profanity). How is that at TTG?

    We certainly aren't about to send any unbleeped swears off to the ESRB. They don't take too kindly to that sort of shenanigans.

    As for actual swears, it depends on the voice actor. Usually they are just written into the dialog as "*censored*" and the actors have to infer the meaning. William Casten used to have fun with that, particularly when the word "soda" was bleeped out at the end of 205. I've never heard David Nowlin swear on the other hand. There was a particularly memorable sequence where his pre-bleeped swears were "button" and "donut button."

    Joey Camen however created streams of profanity so foul that the unbleeped version never even left the recording studio for fear that someone would get their hands on them.

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