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Telltale General FAQ

posted by divisionten on - last edited - Viewed by 4K users

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT Telltale staff- just a forum member that wants to help some of the newbies out. If something is missing, or if you think another question and answer needs to be added, please tell me in the comments. Thank you.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

WHAT DOES TELLTALE DO?
Q: What kind of games does Telltale make?
Q: What is this "season" thing everyone keeps talking about?

HOW DO I GET MY GAME ON?
Q: What platform(s) do they make games for?
Q: Wait- I'm a Linux user! What about me?
Q: Wait- I'm a Mac user! What about me?
Q: How do I get my games?
Q: Do I have to be in the US, or be a US citizen, to buy the games?
Q: Do I need the internet to play the games downloaded from Telltale's website?
Q: Why haven't they given a release date? All I see is the month!
Q: They said the game would be out today! Where is it? I want it NOW!
Q: I heard Telltale makes DVDs of their PC and Mac games!

ACCESSIBILITY?
Q: Do they make games in (insert language here)?
Q: I'm hearing/visually/physically impaired. Are there any accommodations?

FORUM STUFF
Q: What's up with the different colored names? Why are some people red, grey, etc?
Q: Waitasec...A Telltale employee on the board? LOLWHUT?
Q: Someone on the boards is typing in really bad English: no punctuation, and the sentences don't seem to make sense. They must be a spammer! How do I contact a moderator?

HELP! I'M STUCK!
Q: I've got a technical problem with .
Q. Hey my game won't work, why won't Telltale fix it already? I was ripped off!
Q: How do I solve this really hard puzzle in ?

WHAT DOES TELLTALE DO?

Q: What kind of games does Telltale make?

Telltale is famous for its point and click (or, in some of their later titles, click and drag) adventure games. In essence, these games focus on brains over brawn- you must examine and manipulate your environment to solve puzzles and move the story forward. "Abe Lincoln Must Die!" one of Telltale' early "Sam and Max" games is available for free to download for PC owners if you want a taste of what a point and click game is like.

Not all of their games are adventure titles- Telltale has also done a more Professor Layton-esque puzzle game ("Puzzle Agent") and two poker titles ("Telltale Texas Hold 'Em" and "Poker Night at the Inventory"). However, Telltale's selling point, even outside of its adventure games, is its ability to weave a captivating story. Yes, even in a poker game.

Q: What is this "season" thing everyone keeps talking about?

Aside from their one-shot games like Puzzle Agent and Poker Night, Telltale makes 'episodic games'. If you buy a season, about once a month you'll get a new 2-4 hour game to play, called an 'episode'- kind of like a TV show. And just like on TV, each episode has its own plot, but the season as a whole has an overarching plot spanning all the episodes.

It is also possible to purchase the entire season at once by buying a season pass- you can download all episodes that have already been released up to that point and will get the rest as they come out. And, of course, you can buy the entire season of any game that is finished and get all the episodes at once. Many of Telltale's older episodes can be purchased individually, but most of their newer titles only come as a season pack.

Most of these seasons are 5 episodes long, but there are a few exceptions- "Wallace and Gromit" and "Jurassic Park" are four, and "Sam and Max Season 1" is six.

An added benefit of several shorter games with an overarching plot is, again, the same as one would get from watching television. Water-cooler talk is always exciting on the forums, in between episodes there is always engaging discussion on what might happen next.

HOW DO I GET MY GAME ON?

Q: What platform(s) do they make games for?

All Telltale games have a PC version, some have versions for Mac, Wii, PS3, XBox360, iPad, and iPhone/iPod Touch. To figure out which games can be purchased for which system, go to the "Games" page in the toolbar. There will be small icons next to each title telling you what systems that game can be purchased for.

Q: Wait- I'm a Linux user! What about me?

There's a guide on the Support section of the forums to help you get your games up and running with Linux. Since "Abe Lincoln Must Die!" is freeware, I'd suggest getting your settings calibrated using that game before you purchase other ones.

Q: Wait- I'm a Mac user! What about me?

The games currently available for Mac are, in chronological order of original release date: "Sam and Max Season 2", "Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People", "Tales of Monkey Island", "Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse" (Season 3), "Puzzle Agent", "Poker Night at the Inventory", "Back to the Future", "Hector: Badge of Carnage", "Jurassic Park", "Law and Order Legacies" and "The Walking Dead".

Note that all games Back to the Future or later use Mac's Snow Leopard's new app system, so you need Snow Leopard (OSX-6) to play it. The other games only require Leopard (OSX-5).

If you bought the Sam and Max Bundle, or any bundle containing "Sam and Max Season 1", when the game is ported to Mac (it has been said that it WILL be ported), you can download the Mac version- no extra charge.

As of now, the Telltale games with no Mac version (or planned version) are "Bone", "Telltale Texas Hold 'Em", "CSI", and "Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures". However, they will work in CrossOver Games or Wine if you have these programs and the right settings. I've played Season 1 of Sam and Max via CrossOver, and it works beautifully.

Q: How do I get my games?

Depends on the system. If you buy from Telltale's store, you are purchasing the PC (or PC/Mac) version of the game, ONLY. It will then show up in your "My Games" toolbar (it looks like a joystick, and it’s on the top right of the page). You can the download each episode at your leisure, once they are released, and are not tied to downloading them on a single computer (You can put them on both your laptop and the desktop you share with your family, for example).

For iPod/iPad games, you buy them directly through the iTunes App store. Playstation users can do it though PSN, Wii games through WiiWare, and Xbox through their online service, too.

You can also purchase Telltale games through Steam or other third-party sites, but you're not eligible for the game DVDs if you do (see below).

Some games, like "Sam and Max Season 1", have retail discs that you can buy in brick-and-mortar gaming stores if that's your thing, too. Non English-language copies (see the "Accessibility" section below for details) of some games will also be a retail version.

Q: Do I have to be in the US, or be a US citizen, to buy the games?

No. Telltale's games from their store have no region lock, and can be downloaded and played anywhere in the world. The only thing you need is a valid credit card, debit card, or PayPal account (and the internet, but see below for more).

Also, since the games purchased from Telltale's store are direct downloads, you won't need to worry about international shipping charges- and you can download and play them immediately (so long as it has been released).

Q: Do I need the internet to play the games downloaded from Telltale's website?

No. You need the internet to download the games, but that's it. You can choose activate the games instantly with the internet using your account name and password, but this is not necessary. You also have the option to write to Telltale with your serial number and a code the game gives you (either via email or snail mail) to get an unlock key from them. Remember, they will only respond during business hours, so your replay may not be instantaneous.

If you have no internet access at all on the computer you want to play on, or your bandwidth is capped for whatever reason, you can have a friend download the games’ installers for you onto a flash drive, and manually unlock the games by sending Telltale a letter with the aforementioned serial number and game code. If it’s a bandwidth issue, you can still use a friend’s installer, but activate the game instantly with the internet, if you don’t want to wait.

Once the game is unlocked, it can be played on that computer anywhere, at any time (even without internet access), unless you manually re-lock your games. Each computer you install your games on needs to be unlocked separately, however.

Also, if a game is patched, it will need to be unlocked again if you choose to download the patched version of the game.

WITH GAMES Law and Order OR NEWER:

Telltale has changed their installer system. With Law and Order and The Walking Dead, you do not install separate games for each episode in a season. Instead, you install one launcher. One it is installed, you can install later episodes from within said launcher as they are made available. As before, once an episode is installed, internet access is not needed to play, and the installation/registration process only occurs once.

Q: Why haven't they given a release date? All I see is the month!

Well, that's just the way Telltale works (most of the time. Sometimes they'll give a date, like with the first Back to the Future episode, or Puzzle Agent 2).

The company has stated that they split up into smaller teams for development, and while the voice acting and writing may already be dome to episode 2 or 3, the coding is still on 1. They'll usually work on a game up until the moment of release, so you will know the month of release way in advance, but the exact day won't usually be revealed until about a week before release.

In other words, if they say that will be out in March, it will be released anytime from March 1st to the 31st. In the past, Telltale has often released games on a Tuesday, but this does not ALWAYS happen. They'll write a blog post as soon as they pick a date, so check the Telltale Blog often!

Jurassic Park is an exception. All four episodes will be available November 15th.

You can also choose to sign up for email notifications, if you wish.

Q: They said the game would be out today! Where is it? I want it NOW!

Unfortunately, due to time zones, when Telltale says that the game will be out on, say, Friday the 15th, it may already be well into Saturday the 16th when it is actually released. Telltale didn't lie or cheat you out of your money, it's a matter of where their headquarters is located.

Telltale Games is situated in California in the United States of America. When they release a game, it's usually between the hours of 9am and 5pm US Pacific Standard Time, which is GMT/UMC -8 Hours. So that means when it's 9am on a Friday in San Francisco, it's:
- 4am on Saturday in Sydney, Australia
- 6pm on Friday in Berlin, Germany
- 3pm on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 2am on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan
- 5pm on Friday in London, UK
(*Please note these times will change based on Daylight Savings Time in the respective countries too- during the summer, there will be an one less hour of difference between California and where you live!)

Essentially, for someone living in Japan, one has to keep in mind that while it may already be Friday afternoon for in Tokyo, for the Telltale staff, well, they're still a full day behind. The game could basically be released the following morning at 10AM there and Telltale has kept its promise of delivering their games on time.

For more about time zones, visit http://www.timeanddate.com and use the Meeting Planner to work out when the game will be released in your time zone.

Q: I heard Telltale makes DVDs of their PC and Mac games!

You heard right! And better yet, they are free- so long as you purchased the whole season. All you have to pay for is shipping on these DVDs. Keep in mind though- only seasons purchased directly from Telltale's store qualify for these DVDs, and only one per purchase of a season. Even if you bought a season in a pack or during a sale, you will still qualify for the DVD so long as the sale was on Telltale's website, but you will have to contact them for an unlock key; their online store has trouble recognizing season packs for some reason.

Do keep in mind that not all the games that have a Mac version that you download from Telltale’s website have a Mac DVD. For example, "Sam and Max Season 2" has a Mac version of the game for download, but the disc only has the PC game. The extra commentary, videos, and bonus content will work on your Mac's DVD drive, however.

Right now, only the "Tales of Monkey Island", "Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse", "Back to the Future" and "Jurassic Park" DVDs have both the Mac and the PC versions of the games on them.

ACCESSIBILITY?

Q: Do they make games in (insert language here)?

Aside from "Back to the Future" and "Jurassic Park", which are available in English, German, and French directly from Telltale's site, not directly. Telltale's games look as good as anything else on the market, but, in reality, they're still a relatively small company. The games directly from their website (again, aside from BttF) are in English only, but English subtitles are on all of their games for those who can read English but have trouble with spoken English.

Some of their titles have regional versions dubbed in other languages like Spanish and German, sold on retail discs, but not all of their games, and these retail discs can not be purchased directly from Telltale's site. These games are also NOT a simultaneous release- some have come out years after Telltale has finished them, so while Telltale has regional versions of some of their games, please don't EXPECT one.

Forum members are always happy to help, if you need it, but unfortunately, I've yet to see Tales of Monkey Island or Sam and Max in Japanese/Chinese/Swahili/Urdu... Sorry!

These games are very dialogue heavy, after all, and a lot of it is humor- something that is inherently hard to translate into another language.

Q: I'm hearing/visually/physically impaired. Are there any accommodations?

For the hearing impaired: As stated above, all Telltale games have subtitles that can be switched on if you need them. All spoken dialogue has subtitles. There is one sound related puzzle in Tales of Monkey Island Episode 1 (Launch of the Screaming Narwhal) that you may need help with. You are not penalized for wrong answers (other than having to start over again from the beginning of the puzzle) so it is possible to beat it without being able to hear.

For the visually impaired: Despite being legally blind myself, I had no trouble playing any of the titles. However, there is one color-related puzzle in Season 1, Episode 5 of Sam and Max (Reality 2.0) for those of you who are color blind- you may need assistance, although it is possible to solve without seeing color. In the same episode, there is also one tiny portion (about two or three lines) that is text-only with no speech. In "Puzzle Agent", there is one red-green puzzle, so keep that in mind too.

For the blind: Unfortunately, you do need to be able to see to navigate the game. However, everything that has text in the game is also spoken, so you can tag-team with a sighted friend and enjoy all of Telltale's excellent stories!

For the physically handicapped- There are no fast movements required in any of the games- if you miss a puzzle due to timing, you can retry any puzzle as many times as you like until you succeed.

JURASSIC PARK and THE WALKING DEAD:

These games have high-tension timed events, and you will die if you fail to escape the dino or zombie in time- you will be sent to the last save point. I strongly recommend those with visual impairments or a physical handicap to check out a demo on YouTube to see if you'll be able to play before committing to a purchase. As mentioned earlier, I am legally blind and while I can play and love almost everything in Telltale's library, it is impossible for me to play Jurassic Park due to the quick reactions needed to succeed.

FORUM STUFF (Note, there is a separate FAQ just for the forums, but some of it is reiterated here)

Q: What's up with the different colored names? Why are some people red, grey, etc?

The name colors signify the poster's status.

Blue: Regular forum member.

Grey (with a small Max head directly to the right of their name, it's a little rabbit face): Moderator. These people can move threads around if they are in the wrong place, delete spam, stop arguments and edit posts. Just remember that they're real people too, and will often post on the forums just because they are just as interested in Telltale as you are!

Red (with a TTG logo): Telltale staff. Can be anybody who works for Telltale, from support to the head developers.

Q: Waitasec...A Telltale employee on the board? LOLWHUT?

Yeah, we're as baffled as you are; how do they even get that much time? But aside from that, it's not that uncommon for game developers to hang out on boards, answering questions of their fans, or just plain fool around. They're often willing to answer your questions, except questions they can't legally answer (non-disclosure agreements, etc) or personal questions. Don't you go try and ask their credit card number!

Q: Someone on the boards is typing in really bad English: no punctuation, and the sentences don't seem to make sense. They must be a spammer! How do I contact a moderator?

Whoah! Great job for being proactive and trying to make the forums a better place! Please, however, keep these things in mind:

1. Not everyone types on the forums. There are people on the board that use speech-to-text software because they can't type- they may be blind or have dyslexia, etc. They enjoy Telltale's games just as much as everyone else.
2. Not everyone here is a native speaker of English. Look at the locations of some of Telltale's forum members- the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Germany... Some people even use Telltale's games as a way of learning English!

If it looks like neither of these cases is true, and you really think the person in question is spamming, there's a little red triangle with an exclamation point in the bottom left of each forum post. That will take you to a "Report Post" screen where you can alert a moderator. This also works if you see someone harassing another forum member, etc.

HELP! I'M STUCK!

Q: I've got a technical problem with .

For problems, your best bet is to go to the support board of the forums, where your problems would more likely get solved than on their respective games pages. Most technical support topics will get moved there anyway, but to make it easier for the board moderators, just be sure to post your problems there. Unless they're personal problems.

In addition, an email to support@telltalegames.com can be used to get an answer from a TTG employee if all else fails. They aren't always going to see your request on the support page but they do answer email regularly. Remember that they are in the Pacific time zone, so don't expect a response until Telltale's doors are open; it may take a day or two if you send it during a US holiday or a weekend.

Also, even if they don't respond on the support forums, you might get advice from other forum members. The Linux guide, for example, was written by forum members, not staff!

Q. Hey my game won't work, why won't Telltale fix it already? I was ripped off!

A. Telltale works hard on trying to fix as many as bugs as they can. Some of the bugs you may be experiencing have workarounds which will be posted on the support page, so check there first. On rare occasions, Telltale will release a patched version if a particularly nasty bug causes the game to break.

However, if the problem persists, it could also be because your PC/Mac isn't as powerful enough as it should be to get the game to work. Before committing yourself to buying a game, check the minimum system requirements. If your computer is missing something small, it may be time for an update (Back to the Future requires OSX-6 for Mac users, for example). If you're missing something large, like a processor or graphics card, you may want to borrow a friend's computer, try the console version of said game, or think about updating your computer entirely if you really want to play.

If you pre-ordered a title only to discover that you won't be able to play it due to your computer not meeting the requirements, contacting Telltale directly in a calm manner is probably the best way to get you problem sorted out.

Q: How do I solve this really hard puzzle in ?

Each game has a special game section on the forums, and within those sections is a hint forum, where you can check and see in anyone else got stuck. Other forum members will be happy to chime in with helpful hints, or if you're really stuck, the answer. Be careful- there are spoilers abound on these sections.

If you want a gentle nudge while in the game, you can hit the ESC key to go to the menu and turn up the in-game hint meter, too. Your character will occasionally (or often, depending on the setting) quip about something you should be doing. Some of these hints are more obtuse than others.

Naturally, Telltale's poker games don't have hints, but there is a poker tutorial included. And, "Puzzle Agent", being a pure puzzle game, makes you 'pay' to receive hints, in the form of gum that is found in limited quantities scattered throughout the game.

66 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Vainamoinen said: I havz all the possiblest authorithings!! :D

    It's more the question if the General Chat forum would be exactly the right place for the "finalized" FAQ - as divisonten has pointed out - and I don't want to move the thread around if it isn't entirely clear where this would make the best sticky thread ever.

    I think the problem isn't so much that there's one place where it belongs more than all the rest, I think it's that it would do a world of good in all the general boards. But then does it make sense to create the same thread several times over so you can have it stickied everywhere? Probably not.

  • User Avatar Image
    divisionten Moderator

    I added a table of contents and tried to make each a link to the respective part on the post but, naturally, I can't use standard HTML. Anything I CAN do to make it easier to navigate?

  • @Icedhope said: Yes, it does...you supported him.

    Okay, okay. It does. You and Christopher Lloyd (or ChrisLlo, as his friends call him) are totally good buds.

  • @divisionten said: I added a table of contents and tried to make each a link to the respective part on the post but, naturally, I can't use standard HTML. Anything I CAN do to make it easier to navigate?

    Well, you could use the same trick that FAQ writers do to make finding sections easier in .txt files. Just make sure each section has an easily searchable code (i.e. Q001). However, since this isn't a 50-page walkthrough, I think it should be easy enough for people to find what they need, if they know for sure it's there to look for.

  • Might be worth putting a copy of this at the top of each of the forums since some people only visit one area. Thoughts?

  • You can copy the first post to other forums, if you wish to. Though obviously of you update one, then you have to update the copies too.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    We might make this a "travelling" FAQ. Whenever a new game series is announced, we can sticky it at the top of the new game forum. That way, most new posters might be reached.

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    divisionten Moderator

    @Alan Johnson said: Might be worth putting a copy of this at the top of each of the forums since some people only visit one area. Thoughts?

    This is a great idea, but what about when information needs to be updated? Would it be possible to edit one version and all of the others change with it?? I'm more than happy to keep an eye on the thread and make changes as necessary, but I'm only human- if it needs to be updated separately on EVERY section of the board, there's a chance that I'll miss some of them.

    Also, thanks, Alan, for not putting the ban hammer on me. I wanted to help people out, but as I'm not staff, I wasn't sure if writing this was out of line.

  • @divisionten said:

    Also, thanks, Alan, for not putting the ban hammer on me. I wanted to help people out, but as I'm not staff, I wasn't sure if writing this was out of line.

    Lol! You are a regular poster, you know the lay of the land! Duh!

  • Ninja'd by Alan. Bah.

    And, lol, he's not going to ban people for being helpful!

    divisionten, you can update the master version of the thread, and a mod can cut and paste it into the first post of any copies of the thread that may exist (if we go that route). Only a few minutes extra work for the mods every time the master is updated.

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