Character Focus

edited October 2017 in The Walking Dead
aka Surviving in the Limelight

In various series with numerous characters, it's not uncommon for the story to change things up by focusing on a different character than usual.

This can be a minor character that's off on the fringe, a major character that doesn't usually get a lot of screentime compared to the usual main characters, or even a main character that isn't as emphasized as some others. This typically presents an opportunity for this character to get some backstory, undergo some nice character development, or simply give them a chance to get some nice showcasing they probably wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

For example, in Season 2's A House Divded, the Cabin Group member Nick got a lot of focus, sharing his backstory for those who didn't get some of it in the previous episode, determinately acting as a shitfaced distraction so Clementine can escape the shed they were hiding in, falling into a depression after losing Pete, and having to own up to his mistake concerning Matthew on the bridge to Walter. On a smaller scale, the finale of the Michonne DLC had featured a flashback that offered some backstory on Pete's shipmate Oak, explaining his arguments for staying as far away as possible from other survivors and showing a nicer side of him. Later in the climax episode, it is possible for Norma to shoot him if the deal goes too sour, with Oak taking the opportunity to kick her down so the other captives can escape.

What [other] characters would you have like to have seen been [properly] given this treatment? Feel free to consider more than one scenario and/or character.

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Comments

  • David? I felt who he was got little attention, so they could roll with "mean older brother who hates you but you're super cool!"

    Yay uncle Xavier, and such.

  • edited October 2017

    Honestly, David is definitely a dulled down clone of Kenny in that regard as well, given the story actually seemed to be overcompensating by making most of the plot be built around him and constantly shilling him.

    Then again, look who I'm talking too.

    David? I felt who he was got little attention, so they could roll with "mean older brother who hates you but you're super cool!" Yay uncle Xavier, and such.

  • Try to get this party going and dabig comes at my neck.

    For shame, good sir. For shame.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Honestly, David is definitely a dulled down clone of Kenny in that regard as well, given the story actually seemed to be overcompe

  • I know. It just seemed like whatever your point was got lost before you could really make it.

    An example of the type of thing/stuff that could've been done would've been good to include.

    Try to get this party going and dabig comes at my neck. For shame, good sir. For shame.

  • edited October 2017

    Crossing over into some of what I intended to do proper write ups of in my Wasted Potential thread, but here is a good place to do so as well.

    It's pretty obvious that Sarah was meant to be more solidly a main character in Season 2, with several concentrated personal interactions with Clementine and numerous details about "In Harm's Way" and especially "Amid the Ruins" seemingly being built around some of the themes surrounding her character. I believe Amid the Ruins was originally meant to be her spotlight episode along with newcomers Mike and Jane, where her relationship with Clementine throughout the story would've come to a head and determine the strength of her psychological well-being by the end of the episode. Instead, it seems like much of her relevance was shared and/or handed off to Kenny and Jane with Sarah herself being written off in an abrupt, thematically backtracking manner.

    We never get an in-game specification as to what her issues are and the circumstances as to how she came to them. Granted, there is some inklings that can lead to an inference as to what most likely happened and Telltale did confirm what it was in interviews, but direct confirmation in story is still potentially helpful. Hell, it took @dan290786 pointing it out for me to realize that we technically never get any direct backstory on her along with Carlos. Thus, they have no indications as to their origins, what life was like for them before the outbreak, and how their relationship might've changed to what we glimpse.

    And there are numerous points where Sarah's thoughts on tenser matters and what her personal approach would be if she had a say in them go underdeveloped if not outright unexplored. Things like her feelings about constantly being patronized and increasingly left out of the group operations are given but not much progresses with it due in part to the story shifting to focus on Luke and Kenny's rivalry and the conflicts with Carver and Jane, her desire to learn how to defend herself behind Carlos's back is interrupted by Carver and never picked back up again, and her arc during In Harm's Way surrounding Carver forcing her to fall in line when she(and Kenny) rattle his cage is more or less aborted and never referenced again despite the background element of Caver rushing Clementine off to have a private talk with her feeling like a lead in to something else.

    Also, it will forever baffle as to how the same episode where Sarah is recovering from her breakdown and knowingly facing the possibility to being left/purged by Clementine/Jane is also the same episode to introduce Arvo, who is set up to be a future antagonist with an oddly similar appearance, demeanor, and experiences plus inverted motivations, and yet, they do absolutely NOTHING with this despite the game series track record with characters like the Stranger, and Carver.

    One example as to how I think she could've gotten more productive screentime is if there was an option to bring her along to the observation deck to try taking her mind off her problems for a bit and maybe build some morale, invoking Luke's taking the time to consider her as a inclusive group member when giving out orders and mirroring how Mike and Bonnie mutually encourage and get things done with each other. After all, it's simply a trip to check up on Jane's progress in an area that's very unlikely to be remotely dangerous, so there's no harm in inviting her.

  • I'm not a writer, I tend to view things as a consumer spending money. Point lost? Not at all. Maybe because of viewer bias, but I was quite clear. It's not like I dropped in to simply say fuck Gabe. Fuck him though.

    DabigRG posted: »

    I know. It just seemed like whatever your point was got lost before you could really make it. An example of the type of thing/stuff that could've been done would've been good to include.

  • You just had to do it, didn't ya?

    Well, for me, I would've had Season 3 focus at least one episode entirely on Mariana, pre- or post-death.

  • edited October 2017

    Yes! I agree, Mariana needed more focus. :)

    You just had to do it, didn't ya? Well, for me, I would've had Season 3 focus at least one episode entirely on Mariana, pre- or post-death.

  • edited October 2017

    You just had to do it, didn't ya?

    Do what?

    Well, for me, I would've had Season 3 focus at least one episode entirely on Mariana, pre- or post-death.

    Maybe not an entire episode, but she definitely could've mattered more beyond the easy plot and investment purpose.

    You just had to do it, didn't ya? Well, for me, I would've had Season 3 focus at least one episode entirely on Mariana, pre- or post-death.

  • I'm not a writer, I tend to view things as a consumer spending money.

    Fair enough.

    I'm not a writer, I tend to view things as a consumer spending money. Point lost? Not at all. Maybe because of viewer bias, but I was quite clear. It's not like I dropped in to simply say fuck Gabe. Fuck him though.

  • I would've like to see everyone's favorite ANF villain, David. To me I felt like we were kinda forced to hate him off the bat, obviously with TT only showcasing him being an asshole and a few minor flashbacks that showed how he was at home, there was really no other way for him to be perceived.

    Me personally, I would've like to see how David interacted with his fellow comrades in the war. How they got along, how they differ from the Garcia's etc. Yeah of course it was go time behind enemy lines, but I feel like it's more to David than they showed that could have gave us a better understanding of him. Not just some douche who wants to bro down every 5 minutes. Cause in the end of "From The Gallows" we all thought maybe he paused then walked away getting a sense of clarity because in the end, war is all he knows. But I just feel like that's a cop out to say the least.

  • To me I felt like we were kinda forced to hate him off the bat, obviously with TT only showcasing him being an asshole and a few minor flashbacks that showed how he was at home, there was really no other way for him to be perceived.

    In this was back during the Winter, I'd agree with you. Personally, it was From the Gallows that made me really dislike him.

    I would've like to see everyone's favorite ANF villain, David. To me I felt like we were kinda forced to hate him off the bat, obv

  • Exactly, like for everyone it was just a turn off. Like that one moment, get a clean slate, help rebuild Richmond/your family, put the past to rest. And David is just like...nah son.

    DabigRG posted: »

    To me I felt like we were kinda forced to hate him off the bat, obviously with TT only showcasing him being an asshole and a few m

  • Yes. Telltales problem these days is that they don’t develop characters the same as they used to. I could make a lengthy list about the background of most of Season 1’s characters to prove a point but i think most fans here know this.

    Take Life Is Strange for example, sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but damn, what i loved most about it was how developed the majority of their characters were. You got a sense of the characters lives through Max’s journal, the pictures in Chloe’s house and wherever in general, the school files about some of the students and the things you find in their rooms, also learning little details about the characters backgrounds like one of the bullies (i actually forgot her name), mentioning her mother was sick and needed caring or Victoria’s parents owned an art gallery, even Jefferson’s background before Blackwell. I like small things like that which gives you the imagination to see these characters in a certain way if that makes sense? I really loved the unique things Dontnod had in that game. People may not agree but i think Telltale should learn a thing or two about development from them, at least these days anyway. At least TWD S1 did it justice. For example, look at the development the St John’s had? Even Jolene or Dr Logan had more development than practically most characters from Season 3.

    Hear me Telltale, read our posts!

    DabigRG posted: »

    Crossing over into some of what I intended to do proper write ups of in my Wasted Potential thread, but here is a good place to do

  • Do what?

    ... (? Enzy will remember that.)

    DabigRG posted: »

    You just had to do it, didn't ya? Do what? Well, for me, I would've had Season 3 focus at least one episode entirely

  • GET OVER 'ERE, GABE! If there's gonna be a climax, I'm making DAMN sure all of the drama, weight, and buildup is on MY SIDE!

    Exactly, like for everyone it was just a turn off. Like that one moment, get a clean slate, help rebuild Richmond/your family, put the past to rest. And David is just like...nah son.

  • I didn't really like how telltale tried so hard to make Kate look so good and David look so bad. I like how Season 1 had episodes that were focused on certain characters in a good way, such as the St John family.

  • Your silence is suspicious.

    Do what? ... (? Enzy will remember that.)

  • I didn't really like how telltale tried so hard to make Kate look so good and David look so bad.

    Did they? Because I'd got the impression they were [initially] overcompensating honestly, what with how increasingly felt like they were actively underplaying Kate's part in things in favor of having everything be centered around David. When she wasn't being outright neglected at least.

    I like how Season 1 had episodes that were focused on certain characters in a good way, such as the St John family.

    Agreed. Though if that's a point of comparison, I'd say that's been something of a problem since Season 2 really.

    I didn't really like how telltale tried so hard to make Kate look so good and David look so bad. I like how Season 1 had episodes that were focused on certain characters in a good way, such as the St John family.

  • Lol my eyes!!!

    DabigRG posted: »

    GET OVER 'ERE, GABE! If there's gonna be a climax, I'm making DAMN sure all of the drama, weight, and buildup is on MY SIDE!

  • In any way, does ANF remind you guys, or show you any similarities from the cabin family from S2? I mean the layout is sorta similar if you think about it. Woman having an affair with someone fairly close to the group (Rebecca, Carver, Javi and Kate) aka the swingers ; )Even though Rebecca and Carver's affair wasn't canon, and Kate didn't get knocked-up.

    Guy losing his shit, but doing everything in his power to redeem himself, but ultimately making the situation worse. (David, Nick, Kenny)

    I don't know if this was accidental, or if the guys over at Telltale just gave us a few nudges. I just feel like since we're on the topic of characters to mention some things I noticed that stuck out.

    DabigRG posted: »

    I didn't really like how telltale tried so hard to make Kate look so good and David look so bad. Did they? Because I'd got

  • That's not really what I was getting at. I was simply saying limiting the characters' screentime and biased showcasing was an issue back then, particularly where characters like Carlos, Carver, and Luke & Sarah, Kenny, and Jane are concerned.

    However, your question can probably fit in better here.

    In any way, does ANF remind you guys, or show you any similarities from the cabin family from S2? I mean the layout is sorta simil

  • 0.o Whoops my bad.

    DabigRG posted: »

    That's not really what I was getting at. I was simply saying limiting the characters' screentime and biased showcasing was an issu

  • I mean I would have liked some backstory on a lot of characters that hardly lived to deliver half a monologue.

    The St. John’s and the Stalker were two types of villains. The St. John’s didnt deliver much backstory and focused on the current timeline when they had a lot of potential to deliver. The Stalker’s story was written extremely well, in my opinion, because he delivered his story, his motive, and his plan before he was killed.

    But then there’s characters like Arvo, who I honestly can’t recall a single line of dialogue from, a motive, or anything relevant to the story besides the shootout.

  • The St. John’s didnt deliver much backstory and focused on the current timeline when they had a lot of potential to deliver.

    That's what they're house is for. Also, all of three of them did give various details about their family, the farm life before and after the outbreak, and their interactions with the Save lot Bandits.

    The Stalker’s story was written extremely well, in my opinion, because he delivered his story, his motive, and his plan before he was killed.

    I assume you mean the Stranger. And yes, I agree.

    But then there’s characters like Arvo, who I honestly can’t recall a single line of dialogue from, a motive, or anything relevant to the story besides the shootout.

    His motives were intended to be a bit sketchy at first glance, but the one clear general motive he had was looking out for his big sister Natasha.
    Still, as I wrote up in my Wasted Potential thread, his house should've also been a hub to allow us to get at least some hints as to his group's backstory.

    I mean I would have liked some backstory on a lot of characters that hardly lived to deliver half a monologue. The St. John’s a

  • Max deserved more focus. People seem to forget about him... :'(

  • edited October 2017

    Carver - he died too fast.

    Joan - needs more character development and screentime.

    Mike - he had like zero development, but he should've, he was important for the story.

    Max - he just disappears. And he actually had a potential for a redemption arc, or at least he should've gotten more focus on his motivations behind the attacks. He doesn't seem to be as evil as the Bagder guy.

  • edited October 2017

    Something I was originally gonna incorporate into my massive rewrite of In Harm's Way were scenes with Carlos. Carlos, as some have theorized over the years, somewhat reeks of a character that was likely supposed to have a bigger role and impact on the story, based on his standoffish air with Clementine in particular, his role of as a doctor, his underlying animosity with Carver, and his possessing of qualities that made him seem more like a leader than Luke. However, due to various changes in the storytelling, whatever greater purpose he had was lost and he just kinda stuck around hanging offscreen for most of one more episode before being killed in the ending.

    With or without this change, one aspect of his character I thought presented an opportunity to actually hang with him for a bit was his status as Carver's [only?] doctor. For better or worse, it's one of the two traits that are the most emphasized with his character and it's the given reason for why he's absent for most of his final episode.

    The scenes I had in mind had him conducting a checkup on a certain character in the background of one scene, having Clementine briefly assist him when dealing with another patient, and later needing to deal with the first character after they sustained injuries and eventually reporting their condition in a later scene if asked. These moments could've been used to actually show us how important at least one of the Cabin Group members were to the settlement, let's him be unambiguously proficient for once in his element, and allow a chance for him and Clementine to briefly commune outside of business. Hopefully get some backstory like how long he's been a doctor, what's the happened to his wife, and why he gets so intense around Carver.

  • Question: If each group member in any of the Seasons/installments had an archenemy/rival, what would that entail and be like? What would the conflict and dynamic between them be like? What traits and themes would they have that could contrast and/or compare to their nemesis? How would such an enmity be resolved, if ever?

  • While I didn't particularly care for the character, I definitely wouldn't have minded a flashback/section where Mariana and Gabe directly interacted with each other. I know that the junkyard was apparently gonna be something like that at one point, but I'm really more talking about a scene where they're just being brother and sister, especially since it's not hard to think she was the healthiest and/or most positive relationship he had.

  • All of the flashbacks should have been about Mariana. (Don't hate, pls)

    DabigRG posted: »

    While I didn't particularly care for the character, I definitely wouldn't have minded a flashback/section where Mariana and Gabe d

  • edited October 2017

    Eh...no. They probably should've had her be prominent in at least one(other), but not in all of them. Maybe have her turn up in the one for From the Gallows since that was kinda tacked on for the sake of the hackneyed Climax.

  • Ew? I said nothing gross.

    DabigRG posted: »

    Eh...no. They probably should've had her be prominent in at least one(other), but not in all of them. Maybe have her turn up in the one for From the Gallows since that was kinda tacked on for the sake of the hackneyed Climax.

  • edited January 2018

    Yeah, probably should've used an h there.

    Fangirl101 posted: »

    Ew? I said nothing gross.

  • Bumpers!
    Since it feels like I can't buckle down and finish the damn FA, I thought Episode 2 had an opportunity to give Wily a decent [half of a] character arc.

  • edited February 20

    I would've liked to learn more about what happened to Lilly when she came back in TFS and not just

    "Lilly i thought you died ! I..came close."

    And i'm not asking for Lilly to be buddy buddy with Clem and all the kids and tell them her story just some small hints of what happened to her would've been fine.

  • That seems fair.
    Did you see any of the concept art, btw?

    iFoRias posted: »

    I would've liked to learn more about what happened to Lilly when she came back in TFS and not just "Lilly i thought you died !

  • Did you see any of the concept art, btw?

    Which one ? The one with Lilly's scars or something ?

    DabigRG posted: »

    That seems fair. Did you see any of the concept art, btw?

  • That's the one.

    iFoRias posted: »

    Did you see any of the concept art, btw? Which one ? The one with Lilly's scars or something ?

  • Oh yeah i saw this one before.

    DabigRG posted: »

    That's the one.

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