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Episode 3 ruined everything

posted by falcon168 on - last edited - Viewed by 2.5K users

The first time I'm not looking forward to new release at all. If it comes out, I'll play, if not, I'm not bothered. Well done TTG! episode 3 ruined everthing and also appeared everything about that fake choice making.

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  • Posted this already in another related thread. Not trying to spam or anything, but I think this thread is a bit more lively and has better engagement of the issues.


    I agree they over-sold the customization of the narrative more than they should have. Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful game overall, and TTG has done an amazing job creating a powerful, emotional story with some of the most multi-dimensional characters I’ve ever seen in a video game. And there are certainly a large number of choices in the game that challenge us to make profound moral decisions that affect us as players, along with the way characters react to us in dialogues; but there’s a lack of substantive consequence to any of our decisions beyond this.

    Granted, I recognize that it’s very costly to a developer to create numerous story branches within a single game. Even if each episode only had one major binary choice that altered the flow of the game, you’d wind up with 32 (2^5) potential paths by the end. Depending on the severity of the consequence, that can skyrocket development costs and time.

    That said, I think there are missed opportunities to create a more asymmetric, tailored experience for players without adding a lot additional work. Mind you, I’m not a developer, so I can’t say for certain how much work any particular idea would add, but not every major choice needs to reverberate throughout the entire game, and having some consequence outside of different dialogue choices would be nice. Arguably, the only real decision to date that’s had any substantial consequence was the decision between saving Doug or Carley in episode 1. Unfortunately, this is cheapened by the fact that they act as functional equivalents in the story from that point forward. Neither has much of a role in episode 2, outside of saving you near the end, and they die in the exact same place in episode 3. As devastated as I was when Carley was killed (kudos to you, TTG; you took the wind completely out of my sails—I actually had to walk away from my computer for a few minutes to compose myself), when I learned Doug shared the same fate, I felt like my experience was cheapened, because there was much less consequence to my prior choice.

    I’m not sure what the added costs in terms of time or resources would have been, so I can’t attest to how feasible this is, but a nice touch would have been for Carley to have died at that point regardless, while in a Doug game to have Ben be killed instead (or maybe a choice between the two, dependent upon your actions). In a Doug game, I wouldn’t know that Ben was the traitor, and that would be fine—it’d be great, in fact, because that sort of asymmetry creates replay value and adds depth to my choices. From this point on, Ben and Doug could serve the story in a functionally synonymous way, outside of cosmetic dialogue differences, resulting in a richer, more asymmetrical experience, and very likely without onerous additions to development cost and minimizing the impact on the overall direction of the story. I don't know TTG's story going forward or their plans for Ben in driving the narrative, but this is meant to be an example of the types of additions that would be nice.

    You could add little experiences like this throughout the game. Dependent upon your standing with another character, maybe a certain location or task is completely eliminated or opened up. Since a lot of my actions affect how others view me, it would be nice to have those translate into tangible impacts on the story. Or at least create minor fissures in the gameplay.

    If I decide to shoot the girl at the beginning of episode 3, for example, maybe that prevents me from entering the pharmacy entirely to get any supplies, instead resulting in a frantic escape through the back alleys of Macon from the undead. And if I don’t shoot, I can take my time perusing the shelves. No long term impact, other than a frustrated Lilly when we get back to the motel, but it’s a little fissure that spices up gameplay more than it currently is. This requires developing a few extra areas and quick time events, so maybe that is asking a lot, but it would definitely add to the asymmetry of the game without dramatically altering the story.

    Or if I decide to help Kenny kill Larry, maybe he steps up to save me in the barn and kills Danny, eliminating that decision entirely. Some might argue that that robs the player of a key moral moment in Lee’s development, which I won’t deny; but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. The stories we could tell about our experiences would be that much richer if some people were never confronted with that choice at all while others were. I’d certainly want to fire my game back up and see how the story plays out knowing I might be confronted with different choices in another play through. And for something like this there are minimal development costs and no changes to the story, but it adds a greater variety to our individual experiences. Something like Lilly coming to our aid in the final fight with Andy if we help her with her father, rather than her just watching us struggle on our own is a step in the right direction, albeit a very minimal one.

    I think these are the sorts of touches that are missing at the moment—decisions that add variety outside of who I can talk to and their dispositions toward me. Branching storylines and the ability to save any character we want from death—nice (and selfish) as those things might be—aren’t the goal; I think many of us just want to feel like the effects of our choices aren’t confined to dialogue possibilities. We want to know that we’re having a tangible impact on the world we experience. And though I realize a lot people struggle to conjure the patience needed to wait for the latest episode to come out—again, a testament to the excellent caliber of game you’ve created, TTG—I’m in the camp that would rather wait several extra months if it meant having a game that incorporated this type of significance into our decisions.

  • If you didn't read then comics then I could see how you would be upset by episode 3... If you did (like I have) then you know this how the walking dead works... Your favorite characters are going to die!! Darrel from the show is going to bite it one day, Glenn..., everyone...The title Walking Dead doesn't refer to the zombies... WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD!!!

  • @Sandmole said: Posted this already in another related thread. Not trying to spam or anything, but I think this thread is a bit more lively and has better engagement of the issues.


    I agree they over-sold the customization of the narrative more than they should have. Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful game overall, and TTG has done an amazing job creating a powerful, emotional story with some of the most multi-dimensional characters I’ve ever seen in a video game. And there are certainly a large number of choices in the game that challenge us to make profound moral decisions that affect us as players, along with the way characters react to us in dialogues; but there’s a lack of substantive consequence to any of our decisions beyond this.

    Granted, I recognize that it’s very costly to a developer to create numerous story branches within a single game. Even if each episode only had one major binary choice that altered the flow of the game, you’d wind up with 32 (2^5) potential paths by the end. Depending on the severity of the consequence, that can skyrocket development costs and time.

    That said, I think there are missed opportunities to create a more asymmetric, tailored experience for players without adding a lot additional work. Mind you, I’m not a developer, so I can’t say for certain how much work any particular idea would add, but not every major choice needs to reverberate throughout the entire game, and having some consequence outside of different dialogue choices would be nice. Arguably, the only real decision to date that’s had any substantial consequence was the decision between saving Doug or Carley in episode 1. Unfortunately, this is cheapened by the fact that they act as functional equivalents in the story from that point forward. Neither has much of a role in episode 2, outside of saving you near the end, and they die in the exact same place in episode 3. As devastated as I was when Carley was killed (kudos to you, TTG; you took the wind completely out of my sails—I actually had to walk away from my computer for a few minutes to compose myself), when I learned Doug shared the same fate, I felt like my experience was cheapened, because there was much less consequence to my prior choice.

    I’m not sure what the added costs in terms of time or resources would have been, so I can’t attest to how feasible this is, but a nice touch would have been for Carley to have died at that point regardless, while in a Doug game to have Ben be killed instead (or maybe a choice between the two, dependent upon your actions). In a Doug game, I wouldn’t know that Ben was the traitor, and that would be fine—it’d be great, in fact, because that sort of asymmetry creates replay value and adds depth to my choices. From this point on, Ben and Doug could serve the story in a functionally synonymous way, outside of cosmetic dialogue differences, resulting in a richer, more asymmetrical experience, and very likely without onerous additions to development cost and minimizing the impact on the overall direction of the story. I don't know TTG's story going forward or their plans for Ben in driving the narrative, but this is meant to be an example of the types of additions that would be nice.

    You could add little experiences like this throughout the game. Dependent upon your standing with another character, maybe a certain location or task is completely eliminated or opened up. Since a lot of my actions affect how others view me, it would be nice to have those translate into tangible impacts on the story. Or at least create minor fissures in the gameplay.

    If I decide to shoot the girl at the beginning of episode 3, for example, maybe that prevents me from entering the pharmacy entirely to get any supplies, instead resulting in a frantic escape through the back alleys of Macon from the undead. And if I don’t shoot, I can take my time perusing the shelves. No long term impact, other than a frustrated Lilly when we get back to the motel, but it’s a little fissure that spices up gameplay more than it currently is. This requires developing a few extra areas and quick time events, so maybe that is asking a lot, but it would definitely add to the asymmetry of the game without dramatically altering the story.

    Or if I decide to help Kenny kill Larry, maybe he steps up to save me in the barn and kills Danny, eliminating that decision entirely. Some might argue that that robs the player of a key moral moment in Lee’s development, which I won’t deny; but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. The stories we could tell about our experiences would be that much richer if some people were never confronted with that choice at all while others were. I’d certainly want to fire my game back up and see how the story plays out knowing I might be confronted with different choices in another play through. And for something like this there are minimal development costs and no changes to the story, but it adds a greater variety to our individual experiences. Something like Lilly coming to our aid in the final fight with Andy if we help her with her father, rather than her just watching us struggle on our own is a step in the right direction, albeit a very minimal one.

    I think these are the sorts of touches that are missing at the moment—decisions that add variety outside of who I can talk to and their dispositions toward me. Branching storylines and the ability to save any character we want from death—nice (and selfish) as those things might be—aren’t the goal; I think many of us just want to feel like the effects of our choices aren’t confined to dialogue possibilities. We want to know that we’re having a tangible impact on the world we experience. And though I realize a lot people struggle to conjure the patience needed to wait for the latest episode to come out—again, a testament to the excellent caliber of game you’ve created, TTG—I’m in the camp that would rather wait several extra months if it meant having a game that incorporated this type of significance into our decisions.

    *Slowclap*

    I could not agree more.

  • @Xebioz said: *Slowclap*

    I could not agree more.

    Funny how everyone forgets "Shadow of Destiny" - a PS2 game. If they can give you multiple paths and interesting choices AND take you where they wanted you to go, TTG should be able to do so as well.

    I don;t want to hear ,"it would cost too much." If it cost too much don;t promise it. I don;t want to hear how it can;t be done, that just means THEY can't do it, in which case don't promise what you can't deliver.

    And enough with the, "you never read kirkman's..." bullsh!t line. Laziness and bad writing are laziness and bad writing. Story wise and excitement wise chapter 3 blew and was nothing but a giant fetch quest with uncharacteristic actions and too many deaths for the sake of drama. Secondly the characters in Kirkman's books are utter idiot hipsters without spines and common sense, the characters in this game have accomplished much more in the short period of time they had compared to the idiots throughout the damn series of books!

    Anyway have fun trying to convince people out of believing what is as clear as day, as I said before you shall never, ever, win this argument. so continue fighting the windmill, hopefully by the time I get back you'll be at page 17. Hell why stop there, lest see if we can get it to 30 pages today fighting a war you shall never win shall we?

  • @SonnyN18 said: I'm tired of everyone complaining about Carley/Doug's death and the supposed lack of choices in the game.

    Carley/Doug were most likely close to Lee, with the former even hinting at a romance. Lilly had been strained since day one, and Larry's death only served to make her more paranoid. It's fitting that she would snap and try to take control of something, because she had nothing left, and kill someone. I tried to stay neutral throughout episode 2 and decided against killing Larry and thought I had a good grasp of what was right and wrong. I made decisions that, while may not have been the best for survival, helped me keep my humanity intact. I had allies, especially in Carley, who I shared a mutual trust and bond with. Episode 3 throws all of that for a loop and Carley/Doug's death as well as Chuck's words of wisdom served as a lesson that Lee has to do whatever it takes to protect the ones he loves. I found myself in episode 3 making more pragmatic and sometimes harsh decisions for the sake of survival. Carley's death pushed me over the edge and made me decide that whoever would try to fuck with me would get left behind.

    Now, ask yourselves, what other game makes a player go through an emotional journey like that? For what purpose would being a God-like character who can control every situation and save everybody he wants towards a happy ending serve? I am kind of pissed at the TV show for keeping Shane and Daryl as long as they did just because the characters were popular. Just about everybody who died in season 2 were arguably the least popular characters. At the end of Episode 3 of the game, I was left with people I had bad blood with or just flat out didn't trust. The safety is gone. This is the zombie apocalypse.

    Lee foreshadowed somewhat the events and themes of episode 3 when reflecting on Hershel's farm with Kenny at the pharmacy: "You didn't have a choice. You think you do when you look back on it, but in a moment? When things are really out of control? You don't have any choice."

    Especially in episode 3, we'll find that a lot of the time, the story will be driven by the plot, and that means things will be out of your control. People will die, but that doesn't mean you should take a fatalist approach to life. What's important is what you do with the situations put in front of you and the time you have with the people you're with. You will grow as a person, and in this case, things will definitely resonate with Clementine. Just because someone dies doesn't mean that everything you did with them was for nothing. This game IS about choice, but not control. In the zombie apocalypse, not everything will be driven by characters, and not everything will be fair, and it shouldn't be. Carley/Doug's death was tragic, but it was not written for pure shock value. You have to react to what happened. How mad are you? You spent three episodes building a relationship with these people and now that they're gone, what will you do? Are you willing to abandon Lilly? What does this mean for your decision-making in the future? When you find out that Ben was responsible, what do you plan to do with him? That's what matters.

    My (Lee's) relationship with Carley changed me. This was someone I spent three episodes building a trust with, and who was a constant ally through all my troubles and supported me. Her death enraged me, but I wasn't mad at the game. I was mad at Lilly, I eventually got mad at Ben, but I was also mad at myself for not doing what it took to keep my loved ones safe. Don't tell me my decision to save her in episode 1 didn't matter. She was an ally who was killed senselessly and I would from that point forward would make sure it wouldn't happen again. I decided I would be honest about my past with everyone in the group. I decided not to hide anything from Omid and Christa because I felt that would make Carley, Clementine, and even old Hershel proud. THAT'S my choice.

    If you want to look at it from a technical perspective, there's no conceivable way for the story to accommodate EVERY SINGLE permutation players want. In a story that spans five episodes, things will get harder to stay coherent and Telltale is doing a commendable job with providing a compelling narrative at the same time as providing players with as much choice as they can. If players were given a free roam of the plot, the story would fall apart eventually. Take Skyrim, for example. For the most part, a player has near complete control of how they want to handle a quest, at the cost of a compelling narrative. Mass Effect also understands the need for a coherent plot and even though it gives players choice, certain things WILL happen. Just because certain outcomes are inevitable does NOT mean there is an illusion of choice. The Walking Dead has done a better job, in my opinion, in making choice matter than Mass Effect or Dragon Age. I've played several scenes over again dozens of times and the amount of difference your choices make is staggering. In no way was this created lazily, so give the writers a break.

    You have a choice, and although it may not matter in the long run, it matters NOW.

    She was an ally who was killed senselessly and I would from that point forward would make sure it wouldn't happen again

    How are you going to make sure it doesn't happen again when there was no way for you to save Carly? Telltale is deciding who lives and dies, we have no say in it.

    Carly/Doug's death was nothing but shock value. There's no lasting effect from it. You can't do anything to Ben and Lily is gone, rendering the aftermath of it completely moot. You could say it personally affects how you'll deal with situations in the future, but if this episode is any indication, you won't be able to control any future situations. So, what was the point? When you kill a character in fiction it should either - A) move the overarching plot forward B) conclude their character arc C) the death achieves something not possible in life (ex: redemption D) relates to the theme. Carly/Doug's death did none of these other than relate to the bleak theme of the Walking Dead, which really wasn't necessary given the deaths of Katja and Duck. The Carly/Doug death doesn't affect the plot other than making characters/player sad. That's it. It was a waste of two interesting characters who could have made more valuable contributions to the narrative of the game. At the very least they should have died closer to the end of the game after they became even more important to you; Carly's character arc was just picking up. This should have been saved for the game's climax; Telltale started it prematurely. A complete waste of narrative potential. Now I'm stuck with people I don't care about at all.

  • @_Grey_ said: At the very least they should have died closer to the end of the game after they became even more important to you; Carly's character arc was just picking up. This should have been saved for the game's climax; Telltale started it prematurely. A complete waste of narrative potential. Now I'm stuck with people I don't care about at all.


    Bingo for me. I expected Carley/Doug to die before the game concluded, but it would have been so much better if it had been put off till ep 4 or 5 after we had more to enjoy about the character/s. Total decrease in the enjoyment of the game without them, as there are no likable characters outside of Lee & Clem for me.

  • other than shock value and to give lilly a reason to leave and make her future actions at woodbury logical.

    and cos of the fans of carley and doug ttg killed em off in the spirit of the walking dead killing favourites off..

    then it was to 'force upon' 2 new questionable characters.... who at least in the first impressions aren't 'kosher' imo..

  • Seems a lot of people complaining about lack of choices are angry over the fact that Lee can't save everyone or decide who lives and who dies. I think those things would be unrealistic personally.

  • @falcon168 said: The first time I'm not looking forward to new release at all. If it comes out, I'll play, if not, I'm not bothered. Well done TTG! episode 3 ruined everthing and also appeared everything about that fake choice making.

    And by ruined everything you meant, they kill Carley Im guessing

  • Reason Episode 3 is in my opinion by far the worst so far is because there's often too little action and too much bickering, which, given the claustrophobic confines (traveling by RV and later a train) and despondency of the group, can be about as entertaining as watching mommy and daddy argue about divorce proceedings at Thanksgiving dinner.

    And there are some mistakes such as Lee appearing to have the magical ability to fit a full-sized blowtorch and gas canister inside his back pocket and climb up a ladder unaided. In the real world, getting this contraption up the ladder would've been a puzzle in itself.
    Zombies walk unhindered and unharmed through fire if you set the gas on fire.
    The Bandits notice the missing supplies within 1 minute and raid the camp. When in reality they would have waited until night to check for the supplies.

    Carley, beloved and saved by the majority of players is taken out of the story in the same way Doug does. There is nothing in the entire series you could have done or said to prevent it. This applies to all characters and their deaths.

    Players are frustrated of not being able to alter anything. They do NOT (mostly) expect to always choose who lives and dies, but if the players actions don't even make the slightest difference it is no wonder the player might become frustrated. Thus far, the game is more like a movie.

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