I’ve recently shared a post about Telltale Games “Walking Dead” games and trophies. And it made me want to write a post about Telltale Games. I will probably copy some of a wiki site here or there, as those peeps often have the best info needed for a blog post from little old me 😉. But I’ll always quote with a link, so you know where it came from. I have saved some screenshots and a few vids of Telltale Games while I played them, so I will share some of them in this post. All shorts/vids are made during my gameplay but I definitely don’t own the rights. That’s all on Telltale Games. But I hope they won’t mind me sharing some of their images in a wee bit of free promotion on this page of mine.
Some basic information on the company Telltale Games, taken from Wikipedia:
Telltale Incorporated (trade name: Telltale Games) was an American video game developer based in San Rafael, California. The company was founded in July 2004 by former LucasArts developers Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors and Troy Molander, following LucasArts’ decision to leave the adventure game genre. Telltale established itself to focus on adventure games using a novel episodic release schedule over digital distribution, creating its own game engine, the Telltale Tool, to support this. It closed in October 2018 after filing for bankruptcy protection.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telltale_Games
Telltale’s initial successes were on games using intellectual properties with small but dedicated fan bases, including Sam & Max, Wallace & Gromit, Homestar Runner, and Bone. Around 2010, the studio gained more lucrative licensing opportunities in more mainstream properties such as Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. Telltale’s critical breakout game came in 2012’s The Walking Dead, based on the comic book series of the same name. It introduced a more narrative-directed approach that diverged from the standard adventure game “point and click” gameplay. The Walking Dead gave the player the ability to make choices that may affect how future events in the game or its sequels play out, effectively allowing players to craft their own personalized take on the offered story. Nearly all of Telltale’s adventure games afterwards featured this player choice-driven approach. The Walking Dead was critically praised and considered to have revitalized the adventure game genre since LucasArts’ departure from it in 2004.
Telltale continued to expand with new licensing deals for episodic adventure games over the next few years, including for Minecraft, Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Batman, but the rate of production created a “crunch time” culture behind the scenes, leaving poor company morale, little room for creativity to veer from the formula set by The Walking Dead or improvements on the Telltale Tool. A management shakeup occurred in early 2017, with CEO Bruner stepping down, and Pete Hawley, formerly of Zynga, brought in to fix Telltale’s problems. Internal restructuring led to a layoff of 25% of the company’s staff in November 2017, along with an emphasis to slow down game production to improve production quality, retire the Telltale Tool for a more standard game engine, and seek other lucrative properties to develop for. This resulted in an early 2018 deal with Netflix in which Telltale would adapt its Minecraft: Story Mode into an interactive program for the streaming service, and Netflix licensing the rights to Telltale for an adventure game based on its show Stranger Things.
In the midst of releasing The Walking Dead: The Final Season, the company was forced to initiate a “majority studio closure” after their last investor had pulled out of funding. Telltale announced on September 21, 2018, that it had let go of all but 25 of its staff as part of this closure, with the remaining skeleton crew completing specific obligations, such as finishing the Minecraft: Story Mode project porting to Netflix. Telltale Games filed for assignment in October 2018. Many assets were later acquired by LCG Entertainment, which revived the Telltale Games name as part of its business in August 2019, retaining many of the company’s previous licenses and offering former staff freelance positions.
The first game I played that was made by Telltale Games was on the PC, a CSI game called “CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder“. It also came out on PS2. I first played it on PC, as it wasn’t the first CSI game and I loved the previous ones. They had been made by 369 Interactive, this was the first time Telltale was involved. They used a different 3D engine, but kept the original format of the game: 5 cases, 4 individuals and the 5th one binds them all together.
These are all my CSI games, but not all were made by Telltale. As I just mentioned, 3 Dimensions was their first one (PC 2006, PS2 2007). They worked on Deadly Intent (Wii 2009) as well. Also on Fatal Conspiracy (PS3 2010).
I won’t talk about all the Telltale made games here, just the ones that I played. But here “All Telltale Games on Wiki” you can find a list with all the games they made/been involved with.
The Walking Dead season 1 was the first time I played a game like that. I never got into it researching the studio that made it. Then, they got Batman from Telltale Games as a free PS+ game so I tried that out. And I loved it!
I started looking up more games by this studio and I found several games and was very interested. But then they had a digital sale with 10 games for €30. It was an awesome deal. And while I prefer my games on disc, for the price of €3 per game, I’d probably never find such a deal in physical games. So I got this package and started installing the games.
If I remember correctly, these were the games I got in the package:
- Batman 🦇 – The Enemy Within
- Back to the Future – the game
- Game of Thrones
- Tales from the Borderlands
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Wolf Among Us
- Walking Dead season 1
- Walking Dead season 2
- Walking Dead Michonne
- Walking Dead A New Frontier
I started with the Batman 2 game as I had just finished the first one. The story was, IMHO, even better than the first one!
Guardians of the Galaxy was next on my list. I had enjoyed the films so I was very interested in the game. It definitely did not disappoint!
Then I started The Walking Dead season 2. I skipped season one on PS4 as I had already played it on PS3. I am playing it on PS4 now, as I want the separate trophies. And I “need” to replay it again then, to get the trophies of the Definitive Collection as well. But it’s a great game, so I don’t really mind. I just struggle a bit with what to do where now, as it;’s been a while (about 4 years) since I played it on PS3.
After that I immediately started with Walking Dead: Michonne. It was a bit shorter and a stand-alone game, based on the character we knew from the TV-series (and comics).
I really enjoyed these games, so when I finished Michonne I went on to season 3, which was/is called “A New Frontier”.
I started with Back to the Future after that. But it being an older game also meant it played differently from the previous games that I had been enjoying so much. To this day, I still have not finished the game. As much as I loved the movies, it was hard for me to get into this game. I also really needed a guide to get it right. Something I had also used at times with the other games, but with this game, I needed it quite a lot… Some day I do wish to finish the game, as I am curious to how the story will continue.
A little disappointed in Back to the Future, I started Game of Thrones. Why this game was called that, I have no idea… Yeah, the settings seem a little like the world that GRR Martin created. But the houses were not from the series, and many things were just a little off, to my feelings. I did finish the game but I enjoyed it a lot less than I had hoped.
After these two games, I was a little hesitant to start the Wolf Among Us. But it was awesome! I really enjoyed this one a whole lot. When they announced a part 2, I was really excited. Of course, that’s when the problems at the Studio began. The Wolf Among Us 2 is still announced on their website (as I write this) but I wonder if it every comes out (and what the quality will be like, as the original team has all been fired I believe).
As I had never played Borderlands, I had saved the Tales game of it to be last, before I’d continue The Walking Dead. Without really knowing the Borderlands franchise, it still was a very good story and game to play!
And now I am currently playing the final season of the Walking Dead. Though I put it on hold for a while, as I replay the PS4 version of season 1. The studio made many more games and I cannot tell you if they were anything good. As you see here, some games I really loved while others didn’t grab me that well… So it’s always a matter of taste as well, as something I enjoy could be something you find boring. But if there’s ever that new Wolf, or maybe the new Batman that they mentioned on their website, I will be interested for sure. Ow I just noticed that Batman Shadows Edition is actually an add-on for the existing games. That’s a bummer.
If you would like to see some more screenshots, use the link to my Flickr profile. But, if you would like me to make a post with some of my favorite shots, please let me know in the comments so I can make a new post for you all! 😉
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