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Limited Choices discussion (merged threads)

posted by ADavidson on - last edited - Viewed by 7.6K users

I was a bit disappointed with the story choices. Reminded me of LA Noir, where most game choices are superficial. If you pick Shawn he still dies the same. Even if the other chosen character died(Doug or Carlie), the other said the same things. And no matter what I said nothing changed story points, like Larry shoving you down even if you side with him. Oh and with Glenn, if you hand the girl the gun he says how can you let people give up but if you refuse he says how can you deny someone's choice! The character's in the game should have the same convictions no matter what you choose, this is unacceptable character development.

Supposedly the choices of Episode 1 greatly affect how everyone views you though... I sure hope the following episodes prove more impressive with the choices, and I realllllly hope it branches out and expands more. For a 2hr game it should have a lot more possibilities.

I know it's only a $5 game, just please don't let me down.

Otherwise, the story itself was awesome, the gameplay is really good and the art style is incredible. Still the best TT game to date! Keep it up guys!

641 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • you bought the entire season, the $5 dollar was just for the first episode, dont worry.

  • I think people complaining about the choices do not understand the point of this game. Like in real life, you cannot anticipate the result of your decision always. Lee tries to save Shawn but Kenny does not help, so he fails. Although the story did not change, morally Lee is not guilty for Shawns dead and people around him might remember this.

    Some story lines might be a little akward for the choice you made, but this is a game, obviously it is somehow limited.
    But the best part of this game is that there is no "best choice". You are free to play it as you like. No need to replay a level because you missed some batteries or spent too many ammunition.

    Furthermore there are some obvious choices, leave the house immediately and Chet lives, leave it later and he is dead. In the shop you can directly decide who is going to die. Also you should not forget the many choices which make you die. For example if you decide to hit the first zombie once. Some other choices are: Lie to Hershel or tell the truth. With the screwdriver, attack the left zombie first. Hand over the gun to the bitten girl or not. Either of these choices will change the story immediately and give a totally different experience.

  • The other poster summed it up perfectly it's not just saving people, dialogue feels hollow as well since it always warrants the same reply and conversation conclusion within the episode.

    "Not having learnt my lesson at that point, I figured you know what I'll just show the guy at the drug store, the asshole, what's what, I'll beat that guy down. Lo and behold, everything plays out exactly as it would have otherwise. I have to get heart medicine for the complete asshole. Why exactly do I have to do that? I just do. Ok then. Someone obviously tried it. Let me guess. If you agree that Ducky must be thrown out, it doesn't happen right? Color me surprised."

  • @ADavidson said: I was a bit disappointed with the story choices. Reminded me of LA Noir, where most game choices are superficial. If you pick Shawn he still dies the same. Even if the other chosen character died(Doug or Carlie), the other said the same things. And no matter what I said nothing changed story points, like Larry shoving you down even if you side with him. Oh and with Glenn, if you hand the girl the gun he says how can you let people give up but if you refuse he says how can you deny someone's choice! The character's in the game should have the same convictions no matter what you choose, this is unacceptable character development.

    Not sure I agree with sure (apart about L.A. Noire).

    I think ok that sometimes the choices you make have no effect in the end (yes, that's kind of a joke about Mass Effect 3, indeed). So it is fine if you decide to help a guy even he's still the one who dies. It was logic for Lenny to help his kid first, and somehow likely that he would panic and fails to help afterwards.

    I almost agreed with you about Glenn. Sure, it would be highly unacceptable that a characters convictions change at it just for the sake of disagreeing with you. Then I asked to myself whether Glenn is the kind of guy with convictions. Not in the comics. Not in the TV series. I think Glenn is convinced that he and a she should fall in love at some point. So it is logical for him to actually disagree with Lee whatever Lee decided, because in the end he has to pull the blame on someone. But the right to kill herself or else is not the real matter.

    I understand the point you made about story points. However, I find it very complex to follow such story without clear story points. It's not like playing Mass Effect (hum), Fallout New Vegas, Dragon Age, etc, kind of games with so many differents stories inside so you call mess them all and still getting some result. In this case, there is one major story that is kind of layed out (you are not travelling wherever you want in an open world with and endless number of PNJ), as far I understand, so you cannot actually expect the choices you made to completely and utterly change (branching) the outcome. I think that something to accept to enjoy the story. But I still give your enough liberty when you actually can decide about live and death of some characters.

    I'm not sure it would really make sense to allow forking the main story too much.

    Otherwise, the story itself was awesome, the gameplay is really good and the art style is incredible. Still the best TT game to date! Keep it up guys!

    Happy to disagree. The gameplay is way below what I expected, even though I'm familiar with Sam & Max series.

    - I'm sorry but that's unacceptable not to be able to configure keyboard controls (I was able to do so in Duke Nukem 3D. Since then, I assume that's not funky trendy), especially with defaults controls clearly not usable with an AZERTY or even QWERTZ keyboard.
    - I would have love to remove the hints about clickable object. But for some reason, even if it's 3D, clicking on an object does not work, you have to click on some arbitrarily defined point of it (not even the center each time). Clicking on the cross of the shotgun is not enough. Really a really painy process.

    These two issues should be not so hard to fix, I'd hope they would do so for the next release.

  • @klink.von.stalag13 said:
    - I would have love to remove the hints about clickable object. But for some reason, even if it's 3D, clicking on an object does not work, you have to click on some arbitrarily defined point of it (not even the center each time). Clicking on the cross of the shotgun is not enough. Really a really painy process.

    These two issues should be not so hard to fix, I'd hope they would do so for the next release.

    I personally think that this might be a design decision to create tension. I know I had slight difficulty finding some things on my first play through because I had my hints turned off.

  • decisions, decisions.. unfortunately there's no way to make this into like 7 different directions, all based on whether or not a person was saved or died. The storyline is not really going to have a different overall ending for every choice, even if there was only 5 decisions per episode. (5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 = 3125 different ending variants)

    I don't think there's going to be a string of choices that are going to end the zombie uprising, or a string of choices that makes a satisfying ending impossible. The game itself would be a huge failure. Without that.. there's STILL room for making some decisions that change how characters interact with yours, and possibly how much assistance you manage to get from others along the way, etc. that's really all you can hope for.

    This is really more of a storybook thing where the story is somewhat set, and you're really just deciding how a character interacts with it, and how other interact with you.

    It's not about the finish line with this game.. it's the road to getting there, and a way to set there and say.. "I'm pleased by the actions I took, and enjoyed the storyline", rather than "I won the game due to my decisions."

    A couple of things to keep in mind, regarding some of the specific decisions made:

    Save Ducky, or save Shawn. You cannot save Shawn. If you try to, you will fail to save him, no matter what you do. Is that a failing of the story/game? or is that simply a part of the storyline? In real life, I tried to lift 1000 pounds and failed.. it means that regardless of making choices, it was simply not something I could do.. not an indication that the universe-at-large was faulty.

    The storyline effect of Shawn dying meant that Hershel was upset, and just wanted everyone to leave. Not.. "Wow, my son's dead, but hey, you tried, so lets go get some supper, I don't know you folks, but ya'll want to move in with me? I trust ya!" His character is trying to ignore the fact that the world is all screwed up, and tries to keep folks distant. That's why he was so... "whatever" about repairing the fence.. As characters discussed to each other; he's just not aware of what's going on. The death of his son made that all-too-clear to him, and now he's hoping that if everyone leaves, life might return to normal somehow. "none of this would have happened if he hadn't let people stay here."

    Glenn automatically argues for, or against, letting that girl kill herself.. That's because it was a bad situation, and no real right answer. You had to make the decision on the spot, and not every decision has a happy ending.. Even in real life, there's reasons to do stuff, and reasons NOT to do the same stuff, and you need to evaluate that on the fly. Once you assume the responsibility of making a decision, everyone else can claim, "Well I wouldn't have done that." Some folks (like Glenn) won't try to make you feel better, and share the burden of a decision that caused someone they cared about, to die.. It's human nature to say "wow.. bad choice.. this would have gone better if they'd done, THISn" and therefore lay the blame at your feet to get rid of any guilt they may be feeling themselves.

    Plus.. that sort of character conflict builds the drama and tension. You want to make choices that will be popular with the other characters, but in a mature storyline, and in real life.. that's just not always possible.

    The one main decision I thought was interesting was the choice on saving the guy or the girl. It means that part 2 has two different possibilities.. one where there's results based on saving the guy (and his technical skill set) or the girl (and her ability to shoot, and having a gun). The end result of episode 2 will probably be the same, meaning that either one will complain about you letting the other die, or something, but the actual storyline will play out a little differently. Maybe one dies within the context of the story, and the other just decides to leave for whatever reason. Or maybe their overall fate is decided in a later episode. Hopefully, the options available to you will be different based on their different skill sets, but neither of them are likely to make the overall storyline different enough to end in a completely different place. Unless there are indeed, multiple endings planned.

    It's seriously not the function of this game to give you 3125 different stories rolled into one.. it's to give you a story that you feel like you're fitting into and becoming immersed with.. accommodating your actions to get you there.

    Imagine the storyline where you decided that the boy had been bitten, and you sided against his dad.. the point where he saves you anyway would mean a LOT in that context. You'd really feel like you owed him something at that point.

    It's drama, it's why the story is interesting.

  • I think we always have to remember that games strive to deliver an ILLUSION of control and choice. When efforts are made specifically to accommodate a variety of choices, those branches and ramifications need to be dealt with, and there will always be constraints that some will find disappointing. Emergent gameplay systems do some fascinating things, but even in the Grand Theft Auto series we can't decide to retire from our life of crime and open a bakery instead of tackling an available mission. There's certainly no algorithmic way to produce dynamic emotional storytelling of the kind The Walking Dead is trying to deliver -- it requires writing and animation and voice actors and story constructs that are of necessity limited in scope and resource investment.

    Look at the old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books -- they provide quite a few choices and sometimes branch off into wildly different pathways, but interactivity is extremely limited and the reader can't really influence things in any subtle way. Many choices are simply dead ends, not new factors that have to influence the rest of the story.

    A story with one beginning and multiple canned endings is still limited in scope; what we're seeing in The Walking Dead is an attempt at something more subtle, where a conversation or remark can change the way a later scene plays without necessarily altering its outcome. I'd rather have Kenny call me a "good friend" than an "asshole" -- and whether that has a plot impact or not, it makes that scene feel very different. And the LACK of change in his actions reinforces that Kenny is a good person.

    I guess I'm trying to say that plotting is NOT everything when it comes to drama and entertainment. Making a choice can be of dramatic interest in and of itself. Does it matter to the larger story whether Lee calls the smell in the barn "manure" or "shit"? No; at least I wouldn't expect it to. But it's still an interesting choice to make because it says something about how any one player's Lee is choosing to interact with Clem; is he trying to shield her from the world and preserve her innocence, or expose her to a reality that she may find uncomfortable because he hopes it will strengthen her? Or does he just not think about the best way to respond? Any of these attitudes carries risks.

    I know I immediately felt bad about telling Clem to "Just hold it" the first time I played, even though "Wait a minute" means much the same thing. And I REALLY felt bad about failing, though I tried, to rescue her from the toilet biter the first time, leaving Carley to shoot to save Clem instead of Lee. Same outcome, vastly different feelings for the player.

    Let's not overlook the value of subtlety in storytelling; story arcs need not get derailed to allow considerable space for nuance in experience and interpretation. Telltale's experiment here may not be wholly successful by the time we reach episode 5, but I think it's well worth trying. And if it works it could set a new benchmark for how to do this kind of thing.

  • @WabbitTwaks said:
    The Glenn thing I have to agree with. He really should be one way or the other, not swap only because you made a particular decision. At the end, if you had given the girl the gun, he does begin to understand the reasons behind it. I have yet to play the other branch of that to the end to see his reaction there.

    Actually he's behaving quite normally, sort of.

    - not sure how to explain this properly, but there r times where people will complain 1 way or the other, despite what they may believe in, for the purpose of understanding what is going on or maybe to rationalise it.

    Glen is just trying to figure things out or the very least figure Lee out as to why he did what he did, despite whether Glen agrees with it or not...

    am I making any sense, lol

    - something like 2nd guessing themselves...
    usually occurs when there's a choice in a tense moment...

    - another way of seeing this is,
    some people ask what they like others to ask them.
    hence 1 of Lee's response, "Would you had given the gun?"

    The human mind, there is almost no such thing as, someone wouldn't have behave as such.
    :)

  • @ADavidson said:
    If they pull it off, it could be one of the greatest gaming achievements in history!

    Wtf?

    There are loads of games which are story-heavy like hell and depend on choices made. Most of them just don't come from the west :/

  • I do not expect The Walking Dead to go all Witcher 2 (in Witcher 2 there are two absolutely different second acts, not to mention all the other effects that the smaller choices have). So I understand that the story, in terms of big picture, will remain the same (most likely until the last episode when they can really branch out the storyline... I don't know their technological and budget limitations, like can an episode have two totally different starting points?), it's the details that will differ.

    However, I do agree that Episode 1 sometimes does not represent the 'choice' thing very well. I like that the consequences will not be instant (like in the Witcher games), however Episode 1 does really break the illusion of choice because of its 'regardless of what you do, same thing happens'. Which, btw, I think is why TellTale should NOT include meaningful choices when it concerns characters that have a specific fate in the comics (like Shawn... let's face it, the Shawn incident is the one that is complained the most about).

    Though, all in all, I prefer to wait until more episodes are released before drawing conclusions on the success of the 'choices' mechanics in TWD. And, even if they fail, the game will still have some really emotional moments and you really get attached to characters (if somebody will dare touching Clementine, I'll throw that person into a zombie horde only so I could kill him again when he turns into a zombie! ... Well, I probably won't be able to do that in the game, but I'd want to!), which for me is a definite plus.

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