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Limited Choices discussion (merged threads)

posted by ADavidson on - last edited - Viewed by 22.9K users
I was a bit disappointed with the story choices. Reminded me of LA Noir, where most game choices are superficial. If you pick Shawn he still dies the same. Even if the other chosen character died(Doug or Carlie), the other said the same things. And no matter what I said nothing changed story points, like Larry shoving you down even if you side with him. Oh and with Glenn, if you hand the girl the gun he says how can you let people give up but if you refuse he says how can you deny someone's choice! The character's in the game should have the same convictions no matter what you choose, this is unacceptable character development.

Supposedly the choices of Episode 1 greatly affect how everyone views you though... I sure hope the following episodes prove more impressive with the choices, and I realllllly hope it branches out and expands more. For a 2hr game it should have a lot more possibilities.

I know it's only a $5 game, just please don't let me down.

Otherwise, the story itself was awesome, the gameplay is really good and the art style is incredible. Still the best TT game to date! Keep it up guys!
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    Vainamoinen Moderator
    Here's a fairly recent quote from Chuck Jordan (until 2010, he was with Telltale) on the failures of Mass Effect 3:
    Essentially, BioWare created the problem for themselves by, to be blunt, promising more than they or any other developer could deliver. They’ve sold the Mass Effect series on the premise that the player can completely customize his character and his character’s story [...]. But even the largest team of writers and content creators won’t be able to deliver an indefinite number of conclusions that all have the same level of impact, satisfying enough to conclude a multi-year, multi-game epic series. People have been spending years trying to come up with a way to create systems that generate compelling narratives, and no one’s cracked the problem yet.

    I think that is still the key problem here in The Walking Dead. You can't have the story branching out too much because Telltale would never finish the game and tie all loose ends. Particularly not in the first episode: Too much branching out in episode 1 and the design trouble will rise exponentially for the future episodes. If they're bold, we might get a real branch-out kicker by episode 3. If they're not, we'd at least get 800% more ending diversity in episode 5 than EA's undisputed failure delivered.
  • I mean Hershel still speaks of lying no matter the choices made

    Here's how you avoid that. I'm not sitting here and doing it as i'm describing it but I can lead you in the right direction.
    Wait til night. Don't say anything and Shawn will call you a Good Samaritan. When you meet Hershel, do the same and Shawn will introduce you as a Good Samaritan. Tell Hershel your name and that you hurt your leg in a car accident and that a cop was giving you a ride.
    When it comes to the barn, I can't remember which choices I made which had him trusting me. Be sure you say "sure" when he asks if you want to hear his advice.

    Anyway, there's some way very close to all that to get that. It's tough because Lee is a very poor liar.
  • Shawn will call you a Good Samaritan in the daytime too if you stay silent :)

    In the barn, tell Hershel that your family is in Macon. That's one I remember.
  • I have noticed quite a few people are upset because they want more choices in the game. I understand the frustration of, “Why can’t I do this instead of only that?” I would like to try to explain a little as to why this is. Most of the following is opinion and speculation, but also with some understanding in the mechanics of writing and programming.

    When building something in the magnitude of our newly beloved game, there must be limitations. The creators cannot build for every eventuality. The writing alone would take forever, and fill millions of pages. To put it mildly, to even make the attempt would be ludicrous.

    The programming would be even worse. To allow for branching of the game in most cases, it is not as simple as adding or changing one line of code. Many times it includes complete new sections. Then to have those differences reflected as the game progresses, requires all that additional code in every place it would come into play. Can you see where this is going? Think of the Ripple Effect. It starts as a little ripple here, but as it gets farther away, it becomes bigger and bigger.

    I am certain, when they began the process of creating this game; they had ideas for it flowing out of every pore. They wanted to include everything they possibly could. That is when the limitations kill things. So they have to decide where they must “trim the fat”, and where they can expand.

    They look at every situation and decide the best ones to add meat to. Some are obvious choices and others not so much. There are some that may have room for expansion, but because most people would choose a particular path, it is decided to only create that path. Decisions like that help to keep things manageable without too much sacrifice.

    Let me give a hypothetical example without giving away any spoilers. Let’s use the early scene of Lee and the newly-turned-zombie cop. (I saw this mentioned in another thread, which is what gave me the idea to write this. No disrespect is intended to the original post writer.)

    Imagine, if you will, a room full of writers and programmers, all around a large table. The table is covered with papers, writing utensils, half-empty cups, and half-eaten donuts. This is how I see it happening…

    “What can Lee do with the cop crawling after him to kill him?”

    “What would most people do?”

    “Well, they were just in a cop car. There must be a gun nearby, right?”

    “Hell, yeah, shoot the sum-bitch. That’s what I’d do.”

    “Hehe. That’s what most people would do.”

    “Exactly, but where is it?”

    “What about a pistol on his hip?”

    “Good. What else?”

    “There’s a shotgun in the car. Almost every cop car has a shotgun in that bracket in the front seat.”

    “Hmmm. What if it was thrown from the car during the wreck?”

    “The cop might have grabbed it to defend himself.”

    “Perhaps, but either way, I like the shotgun over the pistol. Shotguns are better equipped for blowing heads off dead cops, and it gives good shock value to the initial kill scene.”

    “Do we want to give them a shotgun right out of the gate? They might seem a bit too over-equipped for the start of the game.”

    “How about we only give them one shot?”

    “He could use it as a club.”

    “We want shock value here, and most people will want to shoot him, not club him over the head. That will come later.”

    You can perhaps see where this is heading.

    Hopefully more will understand now why we do not get to do everything we may have wanted during the game. I feel we are given quite a few choices for a two hour game, with much more to come. The price is certainly nothing to complain about.

    Fantastic job, Telltale! I applaud you and can’t wait for the next episode! *Clap,clap,clap!*
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    Vainamoinen Moderator
    Sorry for the merge, Wabbit. But I really think this is the right place for your post. ;)
  • Sorry for the merge, Wabbit. But I really think this is the right place for your post. ;)
    That's cool. Thanks :)
  • It's not that the choices felt limited, they just felt arbitrary and lacking in plot differentiation. Choice games are tough to make since people want their decisions to have story weight yet the developers have a clear vision of where the plot must go. It's all about seasoning the illusion of choice with enough "my decicions matter!" type of variation moments while traveling down the main plot.

    A good example is the Carly/Doug decision (as there is a clear plot difference) and a bad example is the Duck/Shawn decision (as either decision leads to Duck's survivial and Lee being forced from the farm).
  • Saboteur-6 wrote: »
    A good example is the Carly/Doug decision (as there is a clear plot difference) and a bad example is the Duck/Shawn decision (as either decision leads to Duck's survivial and Lee being forced from the farm).
    Sure the initial results are basically the same, but farther reaching results may vary. From the comics, we know Shawn must die. I feel they were just choosing to show that here, instead of having it happen somewhere off screen. Opinions vary on whether seeing his death was a good idea or not. Some feel like we should have saved him and he die later.

    The farther implications are whether we tried to save Duck or not. How will Kenny and Katjaa feel at some later point? They may seem okay with it now, but what happens in a stressful situation? Either one of them may remember that point and be very upset, or very happy about it (depending).

    For us, it is an unknown as to what exactly will affect later parts of the game.
  • Just because we haven't seen an effect from a decision point doesn't mean that there won't be one.
  • I would have to disagree with what you stated about Larry choices.

    I think no matter what you do for Larry, he will NOT like you and will try to kill you. He is one of those judgmental assholes and he sees Lee as a murderer only. To him, that means Lee does not deserve to live.

    The Glenn thing I have to agree with. He really should be one way or the other, not swap only because you made a particular decision. At the end, if you had given the girl the gun, he does begin to understand the reasons behind it. I have yet to play the other branch of that to the end to see his reaction there.

    I think there will be a few other choices we made that just need more time to come to fruition within the story. Episode 1 has been more about survival and reaching relative safety. I think later Eps will show more reactions to choices we made in 1.

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