Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, the Eisner Award-winning creator/writer of The Walking Dead, have just unveiled the first episode of Playing Dead, a new online talk show discussing their upcoming Walking Dead game, is now available to view on the games’ official website alongside new screenshots.
Based on Kirkman’s comic book series, The Walking Dead is an Adventure Horror episodic game series set during the same chaotic world established in the comic, and features a brand new story revolving on a new group of survivors as they fight to survive in Atlanta and the surrounding communities consumed by the undead. The game offers players the chance to work through the very first days of the apocalypse by meeting people and participating in events that coincide with the story seen in the comic.
Playing Dead is a behind the scenes video series that reveals the making of the game. Hosted by AJ LoCascio (the voice of Marty McFly in Telltale’s Back to the Future: The Game series), the nine-part show will feature guests including The Walking Dead creator/writer Robert Kirkman and Gary Whitta, screenwriter for The Book of Eli and story consultant for the game.
The Walking Dead is a five part episodic Adventure Horror game that will be available for digital download beginning in spring of 2012 for all major gaming platforms.
Telltale Games has also compiled a list of some frequently asked questions about their game based on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead for reference.
• Is this a game about Rick Grimes, the hero of the comic books and TV show?
o No. Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) and Telltale felt that it would be more interesting to tell a story of a new group of survivors.
• When does this game take place in The Walking Dead timeline?
o Our first episode takes place at the outset of the zombie apocalypse when Rick Grimes is still in a coma.
• Is this game based on the comic books or the TV show?
o We see the comic books as canon.
• So who do I play as?
o You play the game as Lee Everett, a man convicted of a crime, but who is offered a chance at redemption…albeit in a world overtaken by walkers. You’ll only ever play as Lee and will see the world from his point of view.
• Will I see anything from the comic books or TV show in the game?
o Yes. You will meet some characters and visit locations seen in the comic books. You’ll learn about characters and events that have an impact on events seen in the comics. For example, how did Hershel’s son Shawn end up in the barn? Find out in the game.
• Does this game use Quick Time Events as the major game-play dynamic and does it prevent the player from taking direct control of the player-character like Telltale’s Jurassic Park: The Game?
o No. The Walking Dead offers a completely different game-play experience to Jurassic Park. QTEs do not form a major part of game-play and you will have full control over your character as you move through the game’s environments.
• Why is this game episodic? What does that mean?
o Telltale has a strong history of releasing episodic games but more importantly, we wanted this game to offer an experience analogous to the comic books and TV show, which are also episodic in nature. We have plans for 5 episodes, releasing once per month.
• How long is each episode?
o Skilled players will get through an episode on about 2 hours. Having episodes of this length means that most people will be able to get through them and we want that to happen. The game is not designed to present super-hard barriers and will not force you to grind through it in any way. We want you to complete an episode so that you’ll experience the story and be ready for the next episode.
• Where will I be able to buy the game?
o The game series is digital, meaning that you won’t be able to buy it from a retail store. The game is coming to all major gaming platforms, so, as long as you have an internet connection, it’s almost certain that you’ll have access to the game.
• When will I see more screens and more importantly, when will I see the game in action?
o Stay tuned for regular releases of screenshots and artwork. Every time an episode of Playing Dead goes out, you’ll see more new stuff (including the first ever look at Game-play!). Sign up on the website to be the first to find out about new episodes of Playing Dead and to get inside information on the game.
• When will episode one of the game be available?
o We’re saying ‘Spring’, however, episode one is right around the corner. This thing is coming fast!
• What kind of game is this?
o It’s an Adventure Horror game. This game will offer a different experience compared to many other zombie-based games. You won’t be mowing down hordes of the undead as a super-powered killing machine with unlimited ammo; that would not be an accurate recreation of Robert Kirkman’s world. When you do tangle with the undead, it’s going to be harrowing. That walker could be someone you once knew…or were very close to. Also, gunfire (or loud noises in general) are not good in areas where walkers could be lurking.
• Does this game feature multiplayer?
o No. The Walking Dead is a single-player experience.
• Why does the game look the way it does?
o We were inspired by the work of Charlie Adlard, artist for the comic books.
• Is there anything unique about this game versus other Telltale games?
o Yes. For the first time, the decisions that the player makes will drive a “tailored” game-play experience. A decision that you make or something that you say will have repercussions not only in the episode that you’re playing, but also in future episodes of the game. Decisions will range from relatively innocuous (do I lie here and if so, how should I lie?) though to world-changing (I can only save one person here, who will it be?). Furthermore, you’ll come under pressure to make decisions quickly. You won’t be able to stand around deciding which option to choose during a conversation. The undead won’t stand by and politely let you figure out your next move.
• Telltale’s previous games have featured puzzle elements. Is that something we’ll see in The Walking Dead?
o You’ll be challenged with problems for sure, but not classic ‘Adventure Game’ puzzles. You’re a survivor in a zombie apocalypse…you can imagine the problems that you’ll have to deal with.