We all know that TWD game turned out A LOT better than we all expected, and quite frankly i would be upset if telltale's first break through game didn't take full advantage of reviving such an old and beloved genre of gaming. There are plenty of rumors of more episodes and games. I and many others are extremely excited for this, but first i REALLY wanted to get in a few VERY important suggestions. The first being of utter-most importance on throwing in an aspect that is completely missing in TWD game, and that is...
After playing through the game over 4 times, yes 4 times just to see different routes there has always been one thing i noticed through each play. I care more about whom is around me than whom i'm playing.
In this game the story is linear regardless of the choices you make. The only thing that changes based on those choices are the people around you. This is not a bad thing, but a statistic i would like to see is...Who actually chose to keep the last bit of food for themselves?
To give an idea of where i'm coming from is the absence of self preservation. At the end of episode 4 when Lee get's scratched I and many others felt almost nothing. When it comes to TWD Comics & TV show we are on the outside looking in and that is still the same story with TWD except we write the script. This is where my suggestion comes in which would DRASTICALLY change how decisions will be made if a new title is made.
Now that you guy's at Telltale have gotten tons of experience, an engine, an awesome art style/originality, and an understanding of your audience this is the time where you push through and show us all your studio's true skills. I don't care if episodes only come out once a year, but the following suggestion has to happen.
#1. Let us choose our past & or profession.
We don't "Need" a create our own character screen, our own custom name, or even where we are from. What we need is something, anything that will let the player feel some kind of attachment to the main character.
I don't know Lee's past, i don't know what he did. NPC's know my story better than i do. I have no attachment to lee's parents dying, or killing "HIS" brother. I don't care that i didn't keep food for my self, and i saw no repercussions for doing so. No matter how hard i tried to imagine my self in his situation(s) it just didn't happen. I feel like nothing but a puppet master holding strings over lee's head. This aspect, if changed and done right will DRASTICALLY change how every decision and choice was made.
Let us at the start choose from a simple list of professions. Let us choose from a simple and summed up version of our "life". Whether it be "Rough" "Simple", or even "Mundane". Any kind of choice into letting the player find something of their own to attach to the main character. I understand this will be a very rough and hard development process, coding each choice into every episode and background, it will i promise you be worth it's weight in gold. I can go into this suggestion for pages and pages, but keeping it simple will work.
#2. Personal repercussions & moods
?: Lee is feeling sick and hungry - Because of _____
?: Lee is tired and moody - Because of _____
?: Lee is judgmental & pessimistic - Because of ______
Let the list of what we can use to respond to situations be limited or even completely changed due to a previous decision or situation.
#3. Personal Diary
Something used as a sort of cut scene in between episodes & well cut scene's. A way to shape your main character based on the PLAYER'S mood. Simplified kind of how a psychiatric asks "How do you feel about _____" then give the player a list of moods to choose from.
Example: Carley was shot in her face and ben just told you he bribed the bandits - How do you feel?
Lee feel's demoralized because of Ben, Lee won't be too outgoing with his responses....
A good "Idea" or aspect of this can be taken from the game "Amnesia" which uses samples of the "heart" & "Brain"
To further this "idea" into a different route, let the player take a sort of test prior to getting into the campaign. A speed test, reaction test, & attitude test. Anything that can DEFINE the player. Remember this is a game, we play it to get involved because we can't with the Comic or the TV show.
Simple Gameplay Suggestions
Less jump scares that don't involve quick time
Less movie cliche falling over rocks & fumbling for keys
More random "Click" exploration to increase puzzle aspect ratio
Less unlimited Ammo, & more first person quick time (tread carefully to not deter more casual players - Maybe adjusted with difficulty options
Less making your character walk 100 meters to tell me "Yup it's corn"
#4. Randomizing the buttons used for quick time events
Pretty simple idea, give it a random number generator chance that you will need to use _____ & _____. Although, do not make each scene "Different" make it Random.
#5. Basic inventory
Things you can choose to bring with you through out the episodes, i mean...we can obviously put a car battery in our back pocket. Now i'm not talking Ammo & food. This is a story based game, not an RPG but i liked the idea of choosing between the 3 weapons by the train engine. The issue with it was not having repercussion for choosing one over the other. Something small, such as the monkey wrench needs less "hits" or clicks on the zed but takes longer, the socket wrench needs more clicks but swings faster. ETC.
The little things like that will help drastically for the world immersion, but doing so without making it feel like an RPG
My post is already pretty big and i can probably go on for hours writing suggestions and ideas, but i really wanted to get the suggestion for main character attachment out there. I love this game & adventure games to death, i'm big into TWD franchise and just got done reading issue #104 and cant wait for S3E06.
This game has so so much potential to be bigger than it already is, and that's saying something because the game was an absolute hit. Just like how the show was a hit even in season 2 but when season 3 came out it blew peoples fucking brains out. This is your love child Telltale, lets see you grow it into a god damn legacy.