[PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

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[PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

Postby christian » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:16 pm

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Re: [PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

Postby christian » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:35 pm

From a GDC talk - https://twitter.com/lizardengland/statu ... 3905912833
The best magic trick in video games is when the player CHOOSES to take the right path, but there never was a left path to begin with.


I was a little harsh on The Walking Dead for doing exactly this. And it was only ever dispelled by either playing the game again or looking it up on YouTube. Which, all things considered, is a rather unjust criticism.

However, what the games do at the end of their episodes (a habit which Life is Strange also picked up) is reduce every choice to that of an action made in a videogame via the results screen. This is their version of a leaderboard, to see how you measure up against the rest of the world. Oh, 90% chose to do X? Well, I did Y! Etc.

I submit that this screen, which can be ignored with effort, and the popups (E.g. Clementine will remember this), which can be disabled, harm the integrity of the game, but not to the point where it warrants losing a star. What matters most is the quality of that initial experience. Which I'd still rate at 2 stars.
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Re: [PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

Postby christian » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:07 pm

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2380 ... iguity.php
Phill Cameron wrote:it did an impressive job of weaving a strong branching narrative that wasn’t compromised by the constraints of a small team and a small budget. But the novel ground it was breaking gave rise to one small notification that came very close to ruining the game for me. “Clementine will remember that” loomed large, not so much in what it told me, but what its absence did.


Why didn't he just turn it off? If it was so bad as to nearly ruin the game for him?

Meanwhile, at the 5D Conference back in 2008: http://worldbuilding.institute/videos/b ... discussion
Doug Church wrote:In the game I'm working on right now, we have a companion character you spend a lot of time with. And we're sort of in that state where if you put a gamer in front of the software, they kind of look at her for a second, and they're like, 'Oh right. There's my squadmate. Do they have a weapon? Now. Alright.' And they start playing. We're paying a lot of attention to how much time you look at her, how close you are to her, when she asks you for something how attentive you're being, like, those are all actual affordances the software is tracking.

If we put a non-gamer in front of it, the first thing they do is like, 'What's she thinking? Why don't you look at her? Is she okay?' Which is exactly what we want the gamers to do, but of course they've played games for 20 years where no NPC has ever paid attention to any of that. Because they spend 5 minutes hoping. And then they realize it just doesn't matter, and they're just waiting for you to hit the volume trigger by the doorway and then they're going to follow along behind you and open the door for you.

And so they're like, 'Oh yeah. Seen that before.'


Which gets us to the point of the "Clementine will remember that" popup. It was a message to gamers, specifically, that said, "Hold on! You haven't seen anything like this before. These characters are different."

Really, you could have just put this on the back of the game box. Characters will remember your actions! NPC's like you've never seen before! But somehow these snippets from the back of the box ended up invading the game and popping up all over the place, resulting in a more awkward experience than would be expected. It's like when you're watching a movie, and one of the actors ends up saying the name of the movie he's in. While looking at the camera. It just doesn't feel right at all.

But gamers are notoriously illiterate. So even when Telltale decided to also begin their game with a message saying in effect, "Hold on! You haven't seen anything like this before. These characters are different.", they STILL decided to litter these popups all over the place in case you're still somehow managing to miss it. As if to say, "See? Can't you see how brilliant this is? Of course you can't, so that's why we're going to keep repeating it over and over again until you do."

From the writer and lead on the first season. Emphasis added.
Sean Vanaman wrote:You have to remember that Telltale had never made a game where your save file mattered, so that was the big point. People [at Telltale] were worried that there were six to eight weeks between episodes, so people might not remember that their save file mattered. The decision was made that we really had to hit them over the head with a frying pan so that they knew that the decisions they were making were remembered.


But, thankfully, if you're in no need of a beating, you're free to turn these things off.
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Re: [PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

Postby christian » Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:45 pm

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Re: [PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

Postby christian » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:51 pm

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Re: [PC] [VAR] The Walking Dead

Postby christian » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:29 pm

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Review - https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/1 ... er-review/
John Walker wrote:Telltale’s The Walking Dead comes back into our lives after just over two years away, but is it a welcome return with fresh water and bandages, or a shambling wreck of fetid corpse. It’s the second one. It’s fucking awful. Here’s wot I think:

For a moment it really seemed like Telltale were over their fetish. Season 1 of their interpretation of The Walking Dead won a lot of acclaim, despite being ultimately an empty and agonisingly slow experience, and was rife with it. Season 2 was so dreadful that I had to play through it this week because we genuinely couldn’t find anyone else who had bothered, in order to review the new episodes, and almost exclusively featured it. My assumption was, after a couple of years away from the series, Telltale would have regrouped and come to their title afresh with hopes of finding new ground in old territory. But no, after an hour of sitting on their hands, frantically wriggling as they tried to tell half a story about some ragtag adults and teenagers, they couldn’t resist it, they couldn’t help themselves, and with a near-audible gasp resorted to using flashbacks to be to deliver their fucked up kicks of watching a child suffer.

Your feelings about the previous two seasons of The Walking Dead video game may be different than mine, and I suspect you can discern the usefulness of my review of the first two episodes of the third season by how far apart we are. I think I can summarise the previous runs with the phrase, “Little girl torture simulator”. Which is, if anything, a generous summation of one of the dreariest, least involved, interminably slow and hackneyed games I’ve ever struggled through.
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