New season of The Walking Dead planned. Telltale loves ‘having your brain for six months’
The Walking Dead on PS3 is one of the very best experiences ever to grace PSN. Up there with Journey’s disarming scarf men and the time-bending delights of the ingenious Braid, Telltale Games’ take on possibly the hottest TV show in the world has a narrative complexity and elegance most games would sully their shouty, monosyllabic undergarments for.
Prepare to throw those undead hands in the air like you just don’t care then, because Sean Vanaman, lead writer on Telltale’s Walking Dead episodes, has confirmed a second virtual season will be shuffling its way towards your PS3 in the future.
The following is an extract from a larger Q&A with Vanaman where he talks us through the benefits of releasing games in an episodic nature, while also confirming future coffin-dodging, apocalyptic shenanigans. Warning: contains a mega spoiler for The Wire. So if you don’t want to ruin a show that’s been off the air nearly five years for yourself, best look away now…
OPM: Do you think the episodic nature of the game helped or hindered in terms of forging those connections with the characters?
Vanaman: Oh I think it definitely helps. I love the long-form nature of it. For six months I have your brain and we all love that. Everybody at Telltale just loves it. Everybody at Telltale is on the forums, everybody is on Twitter and everybody is paying attention. So selfishly, I like it but I also think the characters have a chance to crawl in there and nest (laughs). It also suits the episodic nature of the game and it maps really well with T.V. Have you ever watched the Wire?
(HERE COMES THE SPOILER!!!)
Vanaman: When Omar gets killed in that Kwik-e-Mart (laughs), I don’t get that he’s gone. It’s not like when a character dies in a movie and it has a plot resonance in a film that often outweighs the resonance inside your brain. Which is okay, but in the show it’s almost always the opposite when they take a character away from you. It resonates so much more because you know you’re going to be watching this for the next year of your life. Whenever I turn the TV on now they will literally be gone. I think that’s cool.
OPM: Do you think then now the collection is being released in box-form that there is a danger that when people get it and maybe play it in one or two bigger chunks, they might be missing out on something?
Vanaman: I do think that they are probably missing out on something personally. I wouldn’t say they are at a danger of having a worse experience, though. In the past few weeks, a lot of people I know have said ‘fine god dammit I’ll play your game’ (laughs) so people are playing it in big chunks and they seem to be really enjoying it an equal amount.
I can’t really measure how much someone is enjoying something, but they are enjoying it and I think they are having a different experience. Hopefully that means they will become episodic customers next time around. But no one is going to say ‘oh I should have played this episodically I’m not going to buy the retail disc’. If they’re going to play the game, they’ll play the game.
OPM: It would obviously require some new cast members to say the least, but is there any chance that we could see another season?
Vanaman: Yes. I think season two is already being talked about very publicly. I think I’m allowed to say that (laughs). I think we are going to do another one.