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Telltale Fan Interview!

posted by TelltaleGames Telltale Staff on - last edited - Viewed by 573 users

A few weeks ago, Telltale issued a challenge to our fans: collaborate to produce 20 interview questions which Telltale would then answer. This was accomplished with such blistering organization and efficiency that we were completely blind-sided.

But now we are proud to present...the answers!

image Can we expect to see a Bone demo in the near future? --Alucard

Dan: It depends on your definition of near future. I think the most near
future will include some screen shots, the post near future will include
game play movies and finally in the future future there will be a demo which
will coincide with the release of the game.

How do you propose to market the Bone games to Bone/comic fans, rather than adventure games? -JP

Dan: This is definitely something we are figuring out. Online the comic book audience is very much like the games audience in that they are very involved and have a group of sites they visit for information. We will be working in that network of sites to show off the game art and let people know what we are up to. Of course its another goal of ours to synch up with Scholastic and brainstorm on this so we can have a mutually beneficial relationship.

What were the other franchises besides Sam and Max and Bone that you were considering? -Burn

Dan: Bone was the first license we considered when we left LucasArts. When we went to Comicon to meet Jeff we checked out Usagi Yojimbo and we found a comic called Max Hamm which I thought would be great content for a game. For television shows, I really wanted to do a game about the Young Ones but we really didn't pursue it too much. There are also other licenses that I can't talk about right now.

How can one go about auditioning for a Telltale game? -misanthrope

Heather: Unfortunately we are just wrapping up our auditions for Bone. If you are interested in auditioning for a future game, you can send us some sample voice work on CD along with a resume, and we can contact you the next time we are running auditions.

Are you going to produce translated versions of your games? -Diduz

Dan: We are planning on it. Its obvious to us that the adventure fanbase and Bone fanbase are world wide. It can be a lot of work to get it done so we will need to work on strong partnerships to make it happen. It is definitely about finding people that can translate while keeping the nuances of the communication.

Was Dank always going to be a comic? --Burn

Graham A.: No. Dank was created for a little puzzley game idea we were tinkering with early on. I did numerous sketches of him and suggested the notion of putting him in a web comic. The game idea is still floating around but in the mean time Dank gets to stumble his way through existence on the web comic.

In the short teaser clip of Bone, Bone appears to be following the cursor around. Do you plan to create interactivity between the characters and player? -Vark

Heather: We are exploring some different ways the player and character can interact. I am interested in some possibilities that present themselves when breaking the 4th wall. It won't be exactly like in the clip though.

How has Telltale Texas Hold Em' performed in contrast to your expectations?

Dan: Part of the goal with Telltale Texas Hold Em was to get a grasp on
what we should expect as far as digital distribution is concerned. Each
step we have taken has been measured so we can understand the impact of
it. In that respect it is helping us create a strong infrastructure for
digital distribution.

Also, We were really excited to win the indie game of the month award
from PC zone and were glad they got that the game is so much more then
a poker game. Every adventure game fan who didn't download it because
they hate poker should try it out, because we definitely built it for
adventure gamers.

Heather: My mom loves it. Mission accomplished.

How often will the episodes of Bone be released? -spf1978

Dan: I think six months is likely to start, but it will improve as we get into the groove of the license.

What is your opinion on the infamous "cut-scenes" that many other adventure games employ as a story-telling device? -spf1978

Graham A: Cut-scenes are fine with me as long as they support the experience of being immersed in the game. If they become overly long or disjointed it can be very detrimental to the experience, but when used economically and effectively to highlight story points they are a totally valid device.

Heather: Cutscenes can be very useful to allow the player to catch their breath after a difficult sequence or to communicate an emotion that has so far proved troublesome to convey in an interactive way. They do have their place, but I am hoping that games will slowly be able to evolve to a point where the story is unfolded through gameplay, and cutscenes become more and more rare.

image What are your future plans for the characters from TT Texas
Holdem? -spf1978

Heather: These are fun characters with great potential and I would definitely
like to use them again. In what format, I am not yet sure. I think they
are adaptable to many kinds of games. Dudebrough Surfing Safari comes to
mind, but that is just one possibility.

Dan: We haven't thought about it too much, I think it would be cool to have them all playing Bocce, but that's just me. Whats cool is we have an opportunity to create characters and let them grow over time. So anything can happen with them especially if people like them. Dudebrough has become slightly controversial, so he might be fun to flesh out more. I suppose we could make an action game featuring Krinkle as a wisecracking tough guy "marinate on that $%^&#$^&#*er"� We thought the mole on Weinhead's head could have secret powers and grandma, who has quite a fanbase, could be a detective with a secret past.

Will the supporting characters (in Bone) have some kind of AI or will they just have set dialogue paths like previous adventure games? -smileyfaceman

Graham McD: As a company, we're striving to make interaction with NPCs a more dynamic and immersive experience than it historically has been in games, adventure and otherwise. To that end, we've spent a good amount of time discussing how we can achieve this. Bone will incorporate a few of the ideas we came up with, so you can expect to interact with other characters in new ways - some more subtle, some obvious. We aren't abandoning the tried and true though, so you could say we're taking an "evolutionary" approach.

Will there be multiple player-controlled characters per title? -smileyfaceman

Heather: I can't speak in the definitive for future titles, but the first Bone will allow you to play a few different characters. Exploring other character's viewpoint and worldviews is another way we hope to deepen the Bone experience. It would also be difficult to do the Bone story justice without being able to switch characters, as there are times critical story moments happen with one character when another is not present.

Are you planning to exclusively distribute all your games electronically, or are you considering other options as well? -Apignarb

Dan: Digital distribution provides a direct link between Telltale and the people we believe are interested in what we are doing. We are definitely considering other options, and have an open mind about it; the most important thing for us is that we are in a position to create games we believe in. In a perfect world the distribution model wouldn't even be an issue.

Being that many of you were on the Sam&Max team, and founding TellTale was in part inspired by the cancellation of that project, do you have any juicy tidbits to share with us about the game, or the making of the game? -Apignarb/Udvanorky

Graham A: One thing I can tell you is that Mike Stemmle had the ability to launch into random show tunes at any given time on the project. It was one of the more interesting aspects of our team meetings. You never knew when it was going to hit.

Dan: My favorite part of the game was the third episode where Sam and Max confront the arch nemeses they never realized they had. These nemeses were two humans who were also an imitation of Sam and Max. Anyway we were casting for the voice parts and Stemmle had the brilliant idea to cast the Sam and Max from the cartoon series to play the arch nemeses. Well unfortunately budget restraints kept us from actually hiring those guys but that would have been so cool. What we did do was have Nick Jameson and Bill Farmer play the arch nemeses but have them switch parts which was funny as well.

Oh and Max was once in the band FogHat.

Jon: I once successfully shot a basketball over eight cubicles and through a series of ceiling pipes. True story.

Describe a typical workday at TellTale. -Apignarb

Heather: I liked this question so much that it inspired me to run a series of interviews with the Telltale staff all about their Telltale lives. Keep an eye on the blogs for myriad responses to this question.

Do you have any plans for any other games than Bone yet, maybe even working on other ideas during the development of Bone? -Apignarb

Graham A: We've certainly got plans for other games but unfortunately we're not at liberty to say until further notice. Which I admit is a bummer for our fans but is a necessary evil when one practices respectable business procedures. Whenever we are properly prepared to release new news you can bet we'll be yelling it at the top of our lungs from the closest available mountain top. I swear!

Dan: We are definitely working on some other things. We will let you know more when we can talk about it.

Heather: We are working on ideas constantly. Just about every day, someone suggests some new game idea. Luckily for you, many of them will never see the light of day. But many others have more merit and may just make their way into your clawing digital hands...someday.

TO KEVIN Will we see "buttless ice chaps" in any of Telltale's games? --Jub

Kevin: "Ice chaps"... yes. "Buttless"... yes. But alas, no "buttless ice chaps". But it's a damn intriguing idea.... damn intriguing.

I love adventure games and feel they deserve another chance to shine, but with TellTale Texas Hold'em, you brought personality to a genre that is usually devoid of any such character. What are your plans, if any, to bring this personality into other genres as well? --jerkofalltrades

Dan: Definitely character personality is a big part of our plans. We are working on ways to make characters personalities dynamic so they respond to the players' actions. Right now the job of most characters in games is to die an emphatic and visually pleasing death. Our goal is to make characters that you would rather hang out with, engage in a battle of wits with or play a game against. At the very least you should want to get to know the character before you drop an explosive in their pants

Heather: We consider most genres to be open to us at this time. Regardless of the genre of game we make, you can bet that it will have interesting characters who will positively ooze with life.

You were mentioning in an early interview that you were planning to have a schedule eventually for episodic releases of several game-series, is that something you're still planning to do, or is Bone the main focus for now? -Apignarb

Dan: Bone is our priority right now, but as we grow we will be taking on more products.
This discussion has been closed.