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The Walking Dead

 
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is out nowSep 10, 2019 - PC GamerThe Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is out today, collecting the entirety of Clem's harrowing seven-year journey, as well as the spin-offs, giving you 23 episodes to play through.  If you've somehow escaped the undead narrative adventure's grasp since the series first started in 2012, it's a pretty good package. There's also ten hours of developer commentary, a documentary short and the graphic black mode that brings the game closer to its comic inspiration.    The launch of this complete edition is a little bittersweet, however, as the studio responsible for some of the best modern adventure games didn't get to see its flagship series conclude. Publisher Skybound Entertainment helped finish off the last season and is also responsible for putting together this definitive edition. Since closing, however, the Telltale name and several licenses have been bought and the studio appears to be back in business, though under new management and without a lot of the original developers. Some have returned, though, and while the future of the resurrected studio isn't clear in regards to new games, it does at least mean the likes of Batman and The Wolf Among Us are back on sale. The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is out now on the Microsoft Store and Epic Games Store. The Walking Dead: The Definitive Series collection is out todaySep 10, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Telltale’s complete run of Walking Dead story-o-adventures is now available bundled up The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series, with a few bonus bits and pieces too. That’s 23 episodes across four seasons, a miniseries, and one interstitial, stuffed into one digital bag with a load concept art, a music player, and the option to play the whole series with the comic book-y “graphic black” art style introduced late in the run. With no upgrade discount for owning any of the originals, The Definitive Series is probably more for newcomers and completionists – but maybe you’re one of those? (more…) The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is coming soonJul 1, 2019 - PC GamerTelltale's The Walking Dead concluded this year after four seasons, ending Clem's seven-year saga. Now that it's all wrapped up, Skybound is releasing The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series, which collects all four seasons and their spin-offs in one bundle.  Picking up the definitive series will net you all of Telltale's undead adventure games, including The Walking Dead: Michonne, the 400 Days DLC and various bonuses. That's 23 episodes, 10 hours of developer commentary, behind-the-scenes stuff and a documentary.  While this collection doesn't remaster the games, there is a new visual mode. The graphic black mode is an homage to the monochrome comics and was previously released with the Final Season. The collection makes it available in all the games.  "Graphic black is a loving tribute to the source material and a powerful art style that makes the game look like a living comic book," said Kent Mudle, creative director. "An idea the team formulated and perfected with The Final Season, this new visual styling offers longtime fans a way to play the series again in a brand-new light while giving new audiences a smooth visual ride across all seasons." Despite being called The Telltale Definitive Series, Telltale Games is no more. It closed down before the end of The Final Season, leaving people suddenly without jobs and without severance pay. At least one employee had recently moved for the job. Those developers, unfortunately, are unlikely to benefit from the re-release, though Skybound did say it would use former Telltale staff where possible when it was finishing The Final Season.  The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is due out on the Microsoft Store and the Epic Games Store on September 10. GOG announce a last call for Telltale Games leaving on May 27thMay 23, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunThe sad saga of Telltale’s fall is due one last tragic chapter. GOG have just announced that all of the defunct choose-your-own-adventure studio’s games will be de-listed next Monday, May 27th at 11am BST. That includes Telltale’s own games like Puzzle Agent, and all three seasons of Sam & Max adventures, as well as licensed games like The Wolf Among Us, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Batman, and the excellent Tales From The Borderlands. The last of which has already been removed from Steam, though publisher 2K Games are working to bring it (and it alone) back, as reported by Eurogamer. (more…) Say goodbye to Clementine with this Walking Dead cosplayApr 27, 2019 - PC GamerPhotography by Creative Wolves. Clementine feels like family. Over the course of The Walking Dead games we've played her substitute father Lee, her substitute uncle Javi, and we've played her while she acted as a substitute mother for AJ, bringing it full circle. After getting to know Clementine so well it's been hard to say goodbye to her and the rest of the cast in The Walking Dead: The Final Season, made even harder by the fact we were saying goodbye to Telltale Games at the same time. Czech cosplayers Mary and Feinobi have been with these characters for the long haul as well. One of Mary's first cosplays was Lilly—the survivor who loses her father and turns on the group in the first season—back in 2012. "Telltale games even shared it on their Facebook profile," she recalls. "It was the first time somebody noticed me and I remember how happy I was." With her partner Feinobi she's been doing more ambitious cel-shaded costumes for the last five years or so, the latest of which sees them cosplaying as Clementine and a walker from the Final Season. Feinobi describes the difficulty of getting that comic-book art style onto skin and clothes as involving "a lot of trial and error".  Photography by Reflektierte Wahrheit. They use fabric paint on the clothes and a combination of bodypaint and makeup on the skin, trying to match them for a uniform look that makes them resemble screenshots from the games. For Feinobi's zombie face they had to get particularly creative. "It’s actually sculpted mask made out of latex and foam, with a movable jaw and two small holes next to fake eyes for me to see." "Both costumes took about two months to make," says Mary. "The biggest challenge was making the wounds on the walker. Feinobi made them to look like deep wounds by sculpting and painting, which created a better illusion of decay. There wasn’t really a challenge on Clementine, just a lot of painting." The most fun part, she adds, was making the Disco Broccoli toy Clementine carries to keep AJ amused. Mary and Feinobi were joined by Mary's mother, who cosplayed as Lilly when they went to PragoFFest earlier this year. "She has started to cosplay with us and really wanted to try competing," Mary says. "The audience enjoyed our skit and we even won a special prize from one of the judges for costume accuracy." Though it's sad for them to say goodbye to these characters, this videogame family has drawn a real family closer. Mary and Feinobi initially met through cosplay and have been together for six years. "It’s our hobby," Mary says, "we help each other out and enjoy cosplaying together. We even plan a Legacy of Kain-themed wedding."  Photography by Reflektierte Wahrheit. Photography by Butrix Production. My favourite moment in The Walking Dead so far was a mistake I madeJan 19, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunZombie choose-o-drama The Walking Dead: The Final Season released its third episode this week, after a short delay as Telltale sadly closed its doors and Skybound took over development (thankfully with at least some of the former workers on board). I haven t finished it yet, because who has time to finish video games nowadays, even episodic ones that are only a few hours long. But I did play and enjoy the second episode close to its release, and a combination of choices and mistakes I made stood out to me, so: here is a story of how I messed up. Spoilers for episode two below! (more…) The Walking Dead s penultimate episode gets one more trailer before launchJan 7, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunLife in a post-zombaplocalyptic world has never been easy for Clem, and judging from the new trailer for The Walking Dead: The Final Season‘s next episode – Broken Toys – she’s preparing for war. Produced under new studio Skybound Games (thankfully using former Telltale talent), the third of four episodes will be available to all existing season owners on January 15th on all stores. Those late to the party won’t be able to pick it up on Steam or GOG anymore as the game has become an Epic Games Store exclusive. The end is nigh, give or take one more episode – give it a peek below. (more…) The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be an Epic Store exclusive (unless you already own it)Dec 20, 2018 - PC GamerThe Walking Dead: The Final Season was delisted from Steam and GOG in September, shortly after Telltale's wheels came off. The series was eventually picked up by Skybound Games, which said in November that the games would be "back online ASAP." Today that finally happened, with a little bit of a twist. People who purchased the game on Steam or GOG will get the rest of the episodes in the series on their original platform, but for everyone else, it will only be available for purchase on the Epic Games Store. "The team at Epic owns a major chapter in the history of the game industry. We’re excited to work together on their latest transformative event with the launch of the Epic Games Store," Skybound CEO Ian Howe and president of interactive Dan Murray said in a joint statement. "Epic stepped up to the plate immediately to work with us in order to bring the original team back together and ensure fans will receive the completed season of Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season."  The Walking Dead: The Final Season is now listed on the Epic Store but isn't currently available for purchase, so there's no information on pricing. The Steam listing is still in place but has no purchase links; instead there's a message stating that "existing Season Pass purchasers will get automatic access to Episodes 3 & 4 on Steam on their release date." There's no visible listing for it at all on GOG right now.  The Walking Dead: The Final Season comes out on January 15. To be perfectly clear about it, if you've previously purchased the game elsewhere, you do not need to re-buy it on the Epic Store. Skybound also called on the talents of Clementine voice actor Melissa Hutchison to answer some frequently asked questions: Older TWD seasons will remain available on their original platforms, cloud saves will carry over, and Skybound is not currently working on any other Telltale games.    Skybound Games aims to finish The Walking Dead entirely with former Telltale staffOct 19, 2018 - PC GamerSkybound Games revealed a couple of weeks ago that it would finish work on The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which had been left in limbo following the collapse of Telltale Games. It also committed to working with members of the Telltale development team on the project, a small bit of good news for at least some of its former employees.  In a recent AMA on Reddit, Skybound CEO Ian Howe went even further, saying that the goal is to build the entire TWD development team out of ex-Telltalers.  "The plan is for it to be staffed 100% by former Telltale staff, the only time we'd look elsewhere is if we can't fill a particular role from former TT people," Howe wrote. "I can't go into details but the team will be working directly for Skybound to complete game." It won't be a wholesale transplant of the team from Telltale to Skybound, as Howe explained that "people roll on and off of projects" as their development progresses. "That means there are people who were on the team who were close to rolling off onto something else," he wrote. "It's unfair to ask someone to come back and do a couple of weeks work, especially if that would get in the way of another job offer, so this is just one example of some of the challenges we face."  The story itself will not be changed, however, and Clementine's story will conclude as it was meant to: "The process of developing the narrative isn’t changing, there is a long standing collaboration between the writers and Skybound over story approval and all the same people will still be involved."  There's no word as to when all of this will happen, as development hasn't actually resumed yet, and "until we're back into production, it's going to be nearly impossible to give an accurate ." But it may not be too much of a wait, as Howe said he expects Episode 3 to be out before the end of the year. "I'll be very disappointed if we can't make that happen," he said.  He also left the door open to DLC, or possibly even new Telltale-style games. "Our first priority it to complete the story, once we feel that we're in good shape to do that, we'll look at all the other possibilities and we love hearing the ideas and suggestions," he said.  "There nothing in active development yet, but we're always talking  about how we can tell interesting stories in games. I'm really spending a  lot of time at the moment looking at new technologies and how that can  allow us to deliver strong narrative based games." Watch some great videos and special features from the Telltale vaultOct 14, 2018 - PC GamerMotivated by the sad news of Telltale's majority closure, former employee Jake Rodkin—who left the studio to co-found Campo Santo several years ago and is not one of those laid off without severance—has been uploading videos of prototypes, goofs, and "DVD bonus features" to YouTube. So far the videos at Old Telltale Stuff focus on the studio's middle-period, games like Sam & Max, Strong Bad's Cool Game For Awesome People, Back to the Future, and the first season of The Walking Dead.  The highlight so far has been an alternate version of the scene from The Walking Dead where Lee runs a gauntlet of zombies. Made as a way of letting off steam toward the end of production, it shows a side of the team that Tales from the Borderlands would really allow them to develop. (Spoilers for The Walking Dead, obv.) Other highlights include developer's commentary for all three seasons of Sam & Max as well as Back to the Future, blooper reels, a video of Lee dealing with an empty cabinet in a calm and measured way, and a spontaneous Strong Bad episode being made with help from the audience at PAX. I'll leave you with something less funny. This compilation of behind-the-scenes footage from the office showing people letting their hair down—cheering as The Walking Dead wins awards, enjoying 'Wine Fridays', and recording reference footage for fight scenes by bashing each other with foam props—is made bittersweet by the knowledge of how it would end up for them. Here's hoping they land on their feet. Telltale Games sued by former employee over mass layoffsSep 25, 2018 - PC GamerA former Telltale Games employee has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the recent layoff of more than 250 employees without warning or severance is a violation of the WARN Act.    Available via Polygon, the lawsuit alleges that "the defendant violated the WARN act by failing to give the plaintiff and the class of similarly situated employees he seeks to represent at least 60 days advance written notice of termination, as required by the WARN Act." That class, if approved by the court, will include approximately 275 employees, including those who were let go and the skeleton crew that remains employed at Telltale.  The lawsuit seeks "an amount equal to the sum of all of the Aggrieved Employees': unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions and other ERISA benefits, for sixty days following the member employee's termination." Interest, attorney's fees, and "such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper," are also requested.  The WARN Act requires that companies of a certain size provide notice prior to layoffs, but the situation is complicated by exemptions, including "unforeseeable business circumstances," for which Telltale may be eligible: Variety reports that the end came very abruptly when a partner, rumored to be Lionsgates, suddenly backed out of its funding deal with Telltale, leading Telltale to cancel its Stranger Things deal with Netflix.    But Telltale's problem, as explained in this detailed breakdown of the situation at GameDaily.biz, is that California has its own version of the WARN Act without a "unforeseeable business event" exemption. As Telltale is based in the state, it could find itself on the hook for penalties at the state level, even if it is exempted at the federal level.  The bottom line is that it's a legally complex situation that doesn't look particularly good for Telltale and will likely take a long time to untangle. The matter is complicated further by the fact that Telltale, despite its near-annihilation, is not technically closing yet: Telltale issued a statement yesterday saying that it is in talks with "multiple potential partners" about finishing The Walking Dead: The Final Season, and CEO Pete Hawley tweeted earlier this week, "To be clear, we're not shutting down. As odd as that may sound, 25 of us will continue, foreseeable. I'll make further comment in the coming weeks."  I've reached out to Telltale for comment on the lawsuit, and to ask if a revival of The Walking Dead: The Final Season will enable the company's former employees to be paid severance, and will update if I receive a reply.  This alternate ending to The Walking Dead Season One is now canonSep 25, 2018 - PC GamerWhat do game developers do when they're desperately bored? If the developer in question is Sean Ainsworth, a designer, writer, and artist on Telltale releases including Tales from the Borderlands, Minecraft: Story Mode, and The Walking Dead, he makes an "alternate ending" to TWD Season One that we have decided is officially canon.  The video, brought to our attention by former Telltale designer and director Jake Rodkin, was created during the final days of work on The Walking Dead Season One. "The last week of production on Season 1, it was just me and @Spainsy left waiting for any last minute bugs," Rodkin tweeted. "He made this during that stir crazy week."  Ainsworth confirmed that he was responsible for it, calling it a "weird, dumb thing."    Be that as it may, it's pretty great, too. Is it actually canon? It was created by Telltale for a game built on the "choose your own adventure" design, and described by the designer and director on the project as an "alternate ending." That's good enough for me! Sadly, Telltale remains in a dire, last-days state, and despite CEO Pete Hawley's insistence that the studio is not closing down, it's hard to foresee any other realistic outcome. We took a look at its legacy, and why it matters, here. Why Telltale matteredSep 25, 2018 - PC GamerThe sudden collapse of Telltale Games took most by surprise, including its own employees. In a snap of the finger, the storyteller became a shell of its former self, leaving fans in the lurch, its employees scrabbling for work on Twitter, and the last series of The Walking Dead apparently abandoned half-finished. At the time of writing there is little hope of us ever getting to finish Clementine’s story.  An ignominious fate for an influential company. Telltale is one of the few studios to make episodic gaming work, and its adventure game template would go on to inspire many others, much as its own work was inspired by the hit adventures of LucasArts during its glory years. Given the success of games like The Walking Dead and the high-profile licenses that followed it—Minecraft, Batman and Game of Thrones in particular—it’s hard to remember that Telltale originally started as a very small fish in an admittedly relatively empty barrel. Adventure games weren’t dead— they never have been —but they were certainly on the outs after LucasArts canned planned games like Full Throttle 2 and Sam & Max 2 in the interests of making more terrible Star Wars prequel games.  Telltale started out with a series based on the Bone comics and the basically forgotten CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder and Texas Hold’Em, but it was with Sam & Max that they really shot to the world’s attention. Former LucasArts staff, including names like Day of the Tentacle creator Dave Grossman, starting a whole new company devoted to adventures?  What could possibly go wrong?  At this point, we know most of the answer. In public, Telltale’s output almost immediately suffered as relatively primitive technology was stretched to fit every new license into the same template. Early on, that was the ‘Three Trials’ structure—intro, three objectives, ending, rinse, repeat. Behind the scenes, reports of crunch and mismanagement tell a tale of a company over-stretching.  The launch of The Walking Dead seemed to herald a new era for the company, in which games would finally be designed around licenses rather than shoved into a template. Sadly, the message the company took from the success was almost the opposite. Memorable elements like "X will remember that" went from a clever gimmick to a tired statement, and too often smoke-and-mirrors presentation hid a lack of real choice. Batman: The Enemy Within presented us with one of the most fascinating takes on The Joker ever committed to any kind of screen. The most frustrating part of this on the outside though was knowing just how much better they could have been. Telltale had incredible talent at its disposal, and it’s often overlooked by players and press just as much as it was internally. Sam and Max: The Devil’s Playhouse was a superb attempt to break the formula, giving the Freelance Police a grittier...Telltale is working with 'multiple potential partners' to finish The Walking Dead: The Final SeasonSep 24, 2018 - PC GamerBy all appearances, the closure of Telltale Games meant the end of the incomplete The Walking Dead: The Final Season. There was some faint hope among fans that the studio would be able to finish it, but Clementine voice actor Melissa Hutchison and designers Emily Grace Buck and Michael Kirkbride both strongly suggested that it wouldn't happen.    In a tweet released ahead of tomorrow's launch of TWD: The Final Episode chapter 2, however, Telltale suggested that it might still happen.  That's a long way from carved in stone, but it's more than fans had to hang onto a few hours ago.    It's not surprising that other studios would be interested in the property: The Walking Dead is Telltale's flagship series, and the studio's collapse has focused attention on it. It won't mitigate the damage wrought by Telltale's sudden shutdown, but if someone like Paradox or THQ Nordic can pick it up, maybe bring on some of the original development team (at least temporarily), and deliver the balance of The Final Season, it will at least bring closure to the series that really put Telltale on the map. Former Telltale developer says the studio was hiring new workers a week before it closedSep 24, 2018 - PC GamerThe sudden, shocking closure of Telltale Games last week was deeply disappointing for fans of its games, including The Wolf Among Us, Tales From the Borderlands, and The Walking Dead. That last one is a particularly stinging loss because The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which would conclude Clementine's narrative, just got underway in August and will almost certainly go unfinished.  But designer Emily Grace Buck, whose credits at Telltale include TWD: The Final Season, Batman, and Guardians of the Galaxy, posted a series of tweets after the closure was confirmed to remind everyone that the real damage runs much deeper. Roughly 250 Telltale employees were let go with no severance pay, she said, a figure slightly higher than initial counts, and many of them were contractors, meaning that they're not eligible for unemployment. Their workplace health coverage, which is particularly vital in the US, will also be cut off just one week after the closure.  Even uglier is that according to Buck, Telltale had new employees starting work at the studio just a week prior to the shutdown announcement, some of whom had relocated for their jobs. At least one former employee is a foreign national on a work visa, who will have to leave the US "within days" as a result of the closure.  "Due to the insanely high cost of living in the Bay Area relative to payscale, many of my (unbelievably skilled and talented!!!) colleagues were living paycheck to paycheck and do not know what they are going to do to make ends meet this month," she wrote.  Buck also confirmed that the second season of The Wolf Among Us is canceled, as is the Stranger Things project, although Netflix still wants to push ahead with that elsewhere. The second episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season is expected to release on schedule, but there's no real hope of it proceeding beyond that point: Melissa Hutchinson, who provides the voice of Clementine, suggested yesterday that the game will not be finished, and former season lead designer Michael Kirkbride was somewhat more definite about it on Reddit, encouraging fans to "at least give the episode a try, even if it'll be uniquely placed in the tragic history of Telltale's efforts."  "We know it’s weird, we know it sucks, we know it’s sad in ways that’s almost impossible to articulate, and we know it’s awful that we can’t tell you what would’ve happened after, but the episode is also just goddamn good, and the best feeling we could have right now is to know it’s being played," he wrote.  Echoing Kirkbride's statement about not being able to share Telltale's plan for the remainder of The Final Season, Buck also shot down a suggestion that the script be shared online, so players can at least find out what happened.    Former Telltale folks share goofs, gags, and grief after studio collapsesSep 24, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun In the wake of Telltale Games laying off 250-odd employees with no notice or (reportedly) severance pay, former Taletellers have been sharing warm memories and silly goofs from working there. They’ve explained the secret rules of a running joke started in Sam & Max, revealed daft scenes they made to amuse themselves in The Walking Dead with bananas and eyebeams, explained a serendipitous sweary accident in Tales From The Borderlands, and even gushed a bit about good times. The situation sucks but the moments and memories being shared are at least bittersweet. (more…) Clementine's voice actor suggests The Walking Dead: The Final Season may go unfinishedSep 23, 2018 - PC GamerMelissa Hutchison, who provided the voice for Clementine in The Walking Dead as well as characters in other Telltale releases like Puzzle Agent, Back to the Future, and The Wolf Among Us, has written a sad farewell to the studio that recently confirmed a majority closure. She writes, "I, unfortunately, like most of you, do not have the details on how this all came to be and I also do not know the fate of the final season of TWD. To my knowledge, they will release Episode 2 and then that will be it." This lines up with US Gamer's reporting. "Our sources say The Walking Dead Final Season is set to end after the second episode launches next week", they wrote. The second episode of the season, which was apparently completed before the closure was announced, is due for release on September 25. At least one player who bought the full season has managed to get a refund from Steam. According to an official statement from the studio, "Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks." Telltale Games confirm huge layoffs and majority studio closureSep 22, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Following yesterday’s initial reports that Telltale Games were effectively shutting down, the studio behind licensed story ’em ups including The Walking Dead and Batman: The Enemy Within have confirmed the bad news. All but 25 Telltale employees have been let go (that’s 250-ish people gone, former members report), cut down to a skeleton crew to “fulfil the company’s obligations to its board and partners.” The studio say they’ve had “a year marked by insurmountable challenges.” Telltale haven’t yet confirmed quite what will happen to their past, present, and future games, saying they’ll talk about their portfolio “in the coming weeks”, but I wouldn’t expect much more from them. What a sorry mess. (more…) Telltale Games reportedly almost shut down with hundreds of jobs lostSep 21, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunUpdate: Telltale have officially confirmed the bad news that they’ve closed most the studio and only 25 employees remain. As reported by Gamasutra, it seems that prolific choose-your-own-adventure studio Telltale Games is shutting down. This is backed up by media posts from developers at and close to the studio, such as Outerloop’s Chandana Ekanayake. The Verge report that a skeleton crew of around 25 will remain at the studio, down from around 250. A source tells USGamer the upcoming The Wolf Among Us 2 and a Stranger Things adventure series have been cancelled. Telltale Games have released no official statement yet. (more…) The Walking Dead s collectables are creepy but wonderfulSep 1, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunI m not usually one for in-game collectables, but Telltale s The Walking Dead: The Final Season has me on board. For starters, assuming the first episode sets a reliable precedent, there are only six of them per episode, so it won t take hours to track them all down. But more importantly, items that Clem and AJ can find and use to decorate their room are equal parts fascinating and deeply, deeply creepy. Spoilers ahead, obviously, though nothing especially story-based. (more…)