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Comic for: March 19th, 2012
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The Walking Dead: "The Walking Ted"
Posted: Monday March 19th, 2012 by

I saw some news about the Walking Dead game and I thought briefly that it was about the Walking Dead social game that is in the works. But when I fell down the rabbit hole a bit more I realized it was addressing a game I'd completely forgotten about, the TellTale episodic Walking Dead game.

See the story was an Entertainment Weekly interview with Robert Kirkman, the creator of the Walking Dead books. [more info] It's about the 2nd season of the TV show but there is a single question about the game that just kind of jumps out.

EW: I’ve played through Left 4 Dead, so what will the upcoming Walking Dead video game bring new to the genre?

Kirkman: Left 4 Dead is much more focused on action. On of the key aspects of Walking Dead is it focuses on characters and the emotion, and that theme is very much alive in the game, and luckily with modern games you can actually do that.

My knee-slap response was "so... just like the tv show?" I put the comic together in my head. Offset the news that the game wouldn't focus on action by filling the panel with action. I sketched everything out and set up a live cast of me working. Then I sat down to watch "Playing Dead" a "Talking Dead" style knockoff where a hipster hair-styled guy in a jacket wearing an oh so dude-ish necklace talks with a couple of the game's developers.

After watching the interview I was settled with the direction of the game. Yes it's designed to focus on characters and emotion rather than action. But it addresses the Walking Dead franchise exactly the way I suggested the television show should. It doesn't need to retell the Sheriff's story. It doesn't need to reuse the characters from the book. And like the books, you can do all the talking you want. But, you have to center all that talk around likable characters.

One of the things the books did well, in my opinion, was that amid all the blah blah blah, there's zombie action. It's the framework for the chatter. It backs it all up. Makes it immediate. The television show, again in my opinion, doesn't really have any of that. But, I keep watching it. Like Cracked.Com's Dan O'Brien said, "Everyone who watches The Walking Dead isn't watching it because it's good; they're watching it because it can be good... I keep watching because, one day, it might be one of those better shows I envisioned when the show was first announced." Here's to hoping Dan.

So with this long ass writeup, what's the take away? Go check out the Walking Dead video game from TellTale. Watch the Playing Dead videos. Decide for yourself.
The Walking Dead a TellTale Game Series

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