53 Comments
  • Yeah I agree, it would indeed be nice to see some more character development with Clem, maybe episode 4 is gonna focus more on that. If the in-game slide is a accurate representation of how episode 4 is gonna be, we should expect some shit hitting the fan (too bad the trailer doesn't look as exciting).
    • Guys it's not the trailer it's just the preview.
  • Afraid Clem -> Surviving Clem -> Hopeful Clem -> Brave Clem -> Anxious and distressed Clem -> Relaxed Clem -> Temporarly dead inside Clem -> still bitter but little bit happier Clem -> Edgy Clem

    Character development until now.
  • Well, I mostly agree, except for Clem not really changing at all this season. I believe she has, ever since Lee died, what with Omid dying and Christa looking after her for those 16 months, influencing her character a lot. She's more determined, hardened and I think somewhat cynical. Trust doesn't come as easy for her as it once did. But in saying that, there's still a lot of the old Clem there. And I hope she doesn't change so much that she is a shell of her former self.
    • Hey, thanks for your comment!
      Hm, I agree that Clem has indeed changed over those 16 months, becoming more hardened and cynical, but I don't know if any of the old Clem still plays a role. Besides the occasional reference to Lee's actions before, we don't see much of her innocence or optimism from before. I would argue that she seems to have already become that shell of her former self. I'm curious to see where you see old Clem come out? Also, are you alright with Clem hardening and becoming more and more cynical? Or do you think her character development requires a bit more nuance too?
      • Well, I still think she has a little innocence about her, if you know what I mean. She is still as adorable as ever :D (Just thought I would throw that in there lol) She still loves and cares for people (Kenny in particular). I still think there is optimism there. Its just not easily seen in this season, if that makes sense.

        As for being alright with Clem hardening, etc? Yeah, in some ways. She needs to be that way in order to survive. Cynical? Not so much. Although its good to not trust too easily. There are a lot of people who can do you over, especially in the apocalypse.

        Anyway, I know what you mean in writing this thread. But I think the writers made it that way this season in order to show us that she has had to grow up fast, you know?
        • Hm, I agree that it is important to show that Clem is hardening and becoming a better survivor everyday, but, I don't know, it seems to me that we can expect more out of Clem other than that and her adorableness, as you pointed out :P. She has changed quite a lot from Season 1 Episode 1 to Season 2 Episode 1, but after that, she's always pulling off the most challenging tasks, and always very emotionally controlled. It'll be interesting to see if anything changes that in the next two episodes. :)
      • I look at it as the most logical development of her character considering her age and the circumstances in the last 2 years. Its not like the people she has encountered in season 2 are people who have given her a reason to be playful and cheerful (other than maybe the short time with Walter [initially] and Sarita with the Xmas tree.)
        • Hey, thanks for your reply!
          While it is true that it most logical that Clem is not going to turn all happy and giddy in this world, I feel that Clem's response to this apocalypse cannot be as simple as becoming a hardened survival. There are a lot more details that can be touched on as Clem hardens. Where does her innocence go? How is her perception of others, of community, of living, of having fun, of her past twisted? Where are her doubts? How well can she continue to hide her fear, despair, and/or guilt? There is so much potential room to explore the psyche of Clem, to develop Clem with more nuance and detail, and much of this can be dug out my huge, impactful events like her encounter with Carver. Anyways, I hope that clarifies what I had said earlier and I do agree with you that we, unfortunately, may never see the happy and cheerful Clem we knew in Season 1. :(
          • I think TTG will touch some of it in the next few episodes (after episode 3 I truly believe her perceptions of others and community & how she decides to remedy it will be a major plot on how the season ends). I see what your saying and I think it was an issue raised in another thread that there are less and less game interaction to learn about the other people and through communication we see where Clem's thoughts are. But I don't necessarily know how TTG would be able to show that nuance, especially considering her age even with what she went through. It's kind of tough to explore, IMO since most of the people she's been around are assholes to her. Plus at one point you can tell the group "Why is it always me?" Even if she could show that vulnerability, the others in the group are cowards and are not stepping up for her. She's essentially responsible for them so how can she be vulnerable. She already showed her ability and her strength so do you think that they would allow her to be a child again. And you know Kenny loves volunteering other people to do some tough stuff. Just saying, she did not deal with these people as vulnerable (outside the dog bite) as she did in season 1.
  • Exactly I would love this and connect more with the character if it's done right. For example TLOU with Ellie whole journey she never shutted up and was full of life then after burning building scene you can actually see how it affected her in following level she never said a word actually really saddened me love when see the stages of development and events which changed a character then see the effects.

    With Clem was like complete 360 on her character in 2 seasons though like the new Clem she inherited the Lee role of doing everything to much for me they haven't really played up on the whole being a little girl in this evil world and her struggles.

    (expand later)
    • Thanks for the comment!
      I guess what we're looking for is some "internal conflict" in Clem. It seems that Clem is only facing external physical threats throughout Season 2. Some kind of internal struggle - whether it be mental, moral, or emotional - can really give us a more interesting Clementine character.
      • It's difficult to explicitly demonstrate inner conflict without inserting some kind of exposition via character monologues which, when done poorly, can come off as being ham-fisted or out of place.

        The approach Telltale seems to be doing is sprinkling in little bits of dialogue here and there that hint towards inner struggles that Clem is having. During the dinner conversation with Luke, we got a peek of her guilt over supposedly causing Lee's death. When speaking to Walter, one of the dialogue options can have Clem expressing her frustration at being underestimated because of her age. And the exchanges she has with Carver can show either her adamant refusal to lose her humanity despite everything or her acceptance of what she needs to do in the world she lives in.

        The reason why I think it doesn't seem like she's developing very much is because the aspects of her personality that these conversations explore aren't really brought up again after the scene concludes. While Clem's internal struggles are represented, the lack of continuity makes them seem as though they're merely transient moods rather than symptoms of a prolonged psychological conflict.
        • Nice insights!

          Yeah, as I briefly talked about in my initial post, it is understandably a bit more difficult for TT to develop Clem since we're actually playing as Clem (hence, the lack of continuity and difficulty with dialogue, as you pointed out). However, I feel that sometimes, Clem's character development can really be emphasized - not just sprinkled in bits of dialogue here and there, but highlighted as a main theme throughout an episode, or even the entire season. One example I brought up was the face-off between Clem and Carver in episode 3 - it would not have felt out of place if Clem begins to reanalyze what Lee has taught her in the face of a very intimidating man.

          That is one way character development can be done outside of dialogue. Another way is like the scene in Season 2 Episode 1 when Clem was alone... that scene was quite powerful, even without any dialogue, although all the sentiments in that scene were immediately dropped soon after. These expository scenes don't feel out of place and give us a better picture of Clem's current state of being. And it is okay that we, the players, cannot do anything about it. Some things - physical, mental, or emotional - just can't be prevented from happening in this devastating world.

          So yes, there is a lack of continuity that makes it harder for TT to develop Clem's character, but I don't think it's impossible to establish a prolonged character development in a way that doesn't seem forced or ham-fisted. What do you think? It may be difficult, but do you think it's possible?
          • > One example I brought up was the face-off between Clem and Carver in episode 3 - it would not have felt out of place if Clem begins to reanalyze what Lee has taught her in the face of a very intimidating man.

            You have to consider how they could show Clem reanalyzing what Lee has taught her, though. Even if Clem is beginning to have doubts about Lee's words to her, she probably wouldn't openly express that in front of someone like Carver. And there were options there that could have gone against what Lee may have taught her (which would also vary depending on how you played Lee), but most people seemed to have interpreted those as Clem playing along with Carver's game. They probably could have had more unsure options thrown in there. Although I guess a combination of responses and silence could convey the same thing.

            Overall, I do agree that there were some missed opportunities for more character-heavy scenes. Fortunately, Episode 4 seems like it has a lot of potential for fleshing out more of Clem's character via her interactions with Jane. Unlike with Carver, Clem's relationship with Jane isn't antagonistic. She has reason to listen to Jane and thus has more potential to be influenced by her. Hopefully, the writers can capitalize on that dynamic to push Clem to more and more interesting emotional limits.
            • Hm, that is a good point! xD
              But once again, I don't think dialogue is the only way to express Clem's possible doubts about Lee's teachings. Even a slight hesitation expressed in Clem's face when she faces moral challenges can be quite impactful. Then there's the use of symbolism and doppelgangers alike. One obvious example is that Carver can come to represent one side of Clem, while Luke can represent the other. What about the picture of Lee that Clem had had in her backpack? I'm not a good storyteller, but I know that ideas don't have to be explicitly expressed through words; they can be embodied by characters and symbols. And seeing Clem's behavior start to alter in such a subtle way can keep us players on the edge of our seat- how much is Clem changing? She's not expressing any change through dialogue, but her actions are beginning to say otherwise...?

              I do agree, however, that because we control Clem, it is difficult for TT to insert exposition that would really progress Clementine as a character. I think the most difficult part lies in trying to incorporate player choices with a set-out exposition, and who knows, maybe these non-dialogue methods are just really difficult to pull off. I'm with you though - hopefully, we can see some of this in in episode 4. :)
  • Haven't really seem much development from Clem in this season, maybe we'll see more in the remaining 2 episodes but i still think this is Kenny's season.
    • Thanks for your comment!
      Although I don't know if I would call this Kenny's season, I have to admit that I am seeing more interesting character development out of Kenny than out of Clem for Episode 2 and 3 of this season....
    • I feel like 203 was more 'Kenny's Episode' than the whole thing being 'Kenny's Season'. Episode 2 felt a lot like 'Here's some Nick and Luke for everyone' and 201 was purely seeing the change in Clementine since Season 1.
      • Well, that's an interesting point - maybe the problem is that TT fails to focus on one or two characters throughout the season. In season 1, Clementine and Lee were the main pair of characters that was focused on. Hence, throughout the season, we see both of them develop tremendously. However, in Season 2, because we kind of jump from character to character (not to mention, many characters dying), we don't see as much of a focus on Clem and her character development, even though we play as her.
    • i cant help but feel that telltale is focusing so much on kenny purely cos of how many fanboys kenny has. such a shame, i want so see more of the other characters & see them develop, and clementine too!

      season 1 was about lee protecting clem and choosing how to do it(be harsh or kind), season 2 should be about clem choosing what kinda survivor shes developing into and who she can trust, not about showing every 5 minutes how ''badass'' kenny is
      • Thanks for your comment!
        Granted, Kenny may take quite a bit of attention in episodes 2 and 3, but I think TTG tries to develop other characters extensively too (such as Luke, Sarah, etc.). As I said in this post, I don't think they're developing Clem enough, although I don't know if I can say that is because they spend too much time on Kenny. But I do agree, the focus should not be all on Kenny this season, even though he does play a big role, and I think TTG knows this. They seem to have brought back Kenny not to make it his season or anything, but to further develop the characters around him, like Luke and maybe even Clem. Hopefully we see this balance of characters play out in the next two episodes. :)
  • After Episode 3, she might question the actions my Lee made. I tried to save Larry in S1E2 so Clem wouldn't see me kill him. Fast forward 8 episodes and I had Clem stay behind to watch Kenny kill Carver and get 'rehabilitated'. I think I might've made a mistake...
    • Yeah, that scene is especially interesting. It's one of the reasons I have high hopes for much needed character development in episode 4 as Clem, amid the ruins, contemplates on what has come to pass.
      • Maybe there'll be one huge "Lee reference" dialog option where Clem just tells everyone all the things Lee's done during the apocalypse.
        • That is a possibility. But much of the parallels and connection can be made implicitly rather than explicitly. I think TT will be smart enough to do it implicitly through actions, symbolism and what not rather than a straightforward dialogue. I guess we'll have to wait and see! :)
  • I see Clem currently as a person who has seen too much in too little time. and because of this she had to raise internal walls
    to protect herself from all the chaos of this world. people are saying that if you let her watch the death of Carver, it will make her lose all humanity remaining in her. but if you analyze the facts, Clem has lost much of her humanity in S01. and watch what Kenny did to Carver, is really nothing new to her. this is evidence of the great impact that this world causes on people.

    But despite everything she has not lost her love of people close to her. she was not defeated, she did not give up. and why? well. she had the best teacher/friend in the world on her side. and it gives her hope and makes her move on! Lee Everett moves every muscle of her and his teachings echo and shields her mind from total collapse.
    • Well said. But one has to wonder, is she slowly losing that love of other people? Did Carver make Clem reconsider anything about what Lee taught her? Is Clem slowly forgetting her childhood years of innocence altogether? Character development, my friend! TT needs to show more of how Clem has changed - or, as you pointed out, how Clem continue to strongly hold on to what Lee has taught her in the face of challenges like Carver.
      • I really hope these questions are answered in the next 2 episodes. I have the feeling that the whole situation with Carver was like the "turning corner" momment that will make Clem question her principles, the teachings of Lee VS the offerings of the world, her innocence and humanity. maybe this will make her lose focus or become mentally unstable for a momment. which can be dangerous! -_-

        and when that day comes I want to come back here and discuss it all with you. will be something very interesting and i hope and look forward to this day! ; D
  • I think Clementine does change over the season by way of the choices you make for her. The player is an invisible hand navigating her through her experiences; the point, I think, is that decisions made in later episodes are influenced by the impact of the consequences rendered by early ones. What I would love, though, is for Clementine to have a scene where she processes a montage of all the awful things she's seen. As it stands, I think the season is gradually building to a summarisation of the character created from all the stressful decisions Clementine has had to make. Will she emerge as a loner or favour the security of companions. Those who tried to retain Clem's earnest humanity via interaction skills and compassionate decisions may see a different ending to her character arc than those who explored the idea of a stoic Clem.
    • Thanks for your insight!
      Well, that is an good way to incorporate player choices and character development! But I wonder how much our choices really affected Clem. As DomeWing333 pointed out earlier, it seems that Clem's only real development results from sprinkles of relatively insignificant conversation choices here and there, and we have yet to see how Clem reacts to all the decisions she has had to make (are the tough decisions she make any different from what she had witnessed before?). So yeah, it would definitely be interesting to witness how Clem's story continues in the next two episodes, especially if it draws on the decisions we have made.
  • That's the biggest problem when you have a dialogue and choice based game like TWD is. If this was a simple action game, the things you suggested could happen, as we would be controlling only the actions of the character and not her "soul". But with you deciding what Clem does ou does not? It's almost impossible to develop the controlled character because, when you control him/her, he/she becomes a "vessel" for the player's decisions and desires.

    If Clementine was just another NPC, she would surely recieve WAY MORE development.
    • You hit a really good point!
      It's like what I sort of said earlier - the most difficult part of this all is for TT to incorporate player choice with a set-out exposition. It's also why I was a little surprised when it was announced that we are playing as Clem this season. But idk, I think it is still possible to have meaningful character development with Clem. I kind of talked about this in an earlier comment - dialogue, which is guided by the player, is not the only way for Clem to develop. Embodying elements of Clem's character and mentality in symbols and even other characters and then having Clem interact with these symbols can show how Clem is changing (e.g. Carver = Clem's survivalist instinct, Luke = Clem's goodness, Picture of Lee = the morals and ideals Clem was taught by Lee, Sarah = who Clem was beforehand, etc.). And it's okay if the player doesn't get to choose how Clem's character develops sometimes. The player is often physically restricted by the reality of Clem's world, so it makes sense if the player is restricted from choosing how Clem mentally or emotionally changes. It would serve to emphasize how impactful the world has truly been, how Clem can't help but be changed by this terrifying world. Anyways, I hope TT is up to the challenge and would deliver some character development in a creative way! :)
  • I'm as much dazed as happy to see the posts in this thread. Either some people have been reading some of the indigestible ruminations from that infamous critique thread I started, or many of us have been on almost the same page all along on a number of things but have only now following the release of the 3rd episode begun dissecting these issues carefully and giving voice to those opinions, because I can almost swear these echo many specific points and particular details I was raising. I'm almost tempted to bump the old thread.

    I was wishing that thread would have played the host to these kinds of discussions, but seeing that did not go very far, thanks very much Antzen for starting and contributing ideas to one devoted specifically to this topic, considering much critical analysis has been rightly devoted towards the secondary characters and plot, but not as much towards the protagonist herself and her character development, which only because I perceived to be the more central and critical and overlooked game-breaking issue has not had me commenting much on secondary characters and other important, mishandled game aspects (hubs etc.) about which I do share the same general critical position as that held by several people in other threads.

    Domewing here adding his insight is likewise encouraging and with any luck TGTBTD too might come and weigh in on the possibilities, difficulties, and mechanics involved in trying to incorporate character evolution properly into the game and have it portrayed and expressed effectively. I very much like the angle of execution from which Domewing is viewing this and which highlights how tricky and challenging a project this would be--and therefore how striking a storytelling effect could be the result if done properly. It generally does come down to a Scylla and Charybdis balancing act in trying to avoid both the ham-fisted overuse of a 'soliloquy' approach to exposition and a flaccid minimalism masquerading as subtlety that will result in something far too subdued and without substance, and especially if lacking necessary continuity or consistency, will, like he says, come out feeling like something far too fleeting, disjointed, and transient or 'moody'.

    Lack of time keeps me out of forum discussions nowadays, but the brainstorming and suggestions in this particular past post might hopefully still contribute some helpful ideas and perspective to the flow of this topic. Though it focuses more on evolutionary context relating to Season I variables, it is not meant to exclude and undermine the 'stacking' evolutionary effect of variables relating to Season II in-game decisions either and how those two groups of variables would work in tandem to allow for character development to progress and have it better fleshed out through more context.

    www.telltalegames.com/community/discussion/comment/1043890#Comment_1043890
    • Hey, thanks for your comment and alike thinking! I didn't know you guys already started discussing this on other threads - I'm mostly new to the forums (this is my first post), and I'm happy to find critical thinkers like you ready to discuss issues like this!

      I found your linked comment very thorough in describing other ways to develop Clem's character that I had not thought of. I haven't been able to process *all* of your analysis yet (it is a bit long! xD), but you explained it well when you said Clem's personality is currently shallow "with no contextual reference point to any existing transitional point (since one doesn't exist except in the imagination), who has a schizophrenic range of shallow personality dialogue choices that pretends to be able to project the actual depth of the various possible Clementines that could be fashioned through an involving and complex transitional stage that is well fleshed out." But as you pointed out, DomeWing333 was also quite correct by pointing out the difficulties of doing anything beyond this shallow personality development in Clem, and it certainly seems that TTG has failed to do so this season.

      However, I do want to point out that there is still some hope for some actual Clementine character development in the last two episodes of the season. It would definitely make sense for her interactions with Carver to impact her tremendously, although it is a bit more difficult to do so now that Carver is dead (argh, TTG). Also, now that I think about it, it does make sense for Clem to not show much change at all with the first three episodes. In order to make it feel more like a complete season, we can't have Clem's development happen too quickly or suddenly (It's just that her development so far seems a bit too slow and minimal in my opinion). If TTG is as brilliant as I think they are, I think they are saving the biggest moments for Clem for the last two episodes. The first three episodes would simply act as the excellent and complex context for her development. Nevertheless, I am getting worried that Clem will remain as that shallow, hardened survivor, especially since it is getting more and more difficult to develop her character as the season progresses without making it feel too sudden or forced. We will just have to wait and see. :/

      (Also, feel free to highlight any specific points you wish to bring up from your thread. I would be happy to discuss them all here too, but I think it's more effective if we take them one at a time. And I'll also try replying to some of your comments in your thread. :) )
      • Thanks, Antzen.

        www.telltalegames.com/community/messages/1586
      • Apparently. Telltale has a kind of unique script for the story and all the choices you make lead you to the same path. it is as if there were only one door on the way, the only thing that changes is how you will get through it.

        it would be interesting if they have 2 or 3 different possible routes in the game plot, and some specific choices or, the sum of choices that the player makes would lead to one of the 3 options. I think it would also help Clem's character development, since each Clementine would be very different from one another.

        Imagine how fantastic it would be to know that each player actually had a unique destination and gaming experience. ;D
        • Thanks for your comment!
          Hm, it would be interesting to see if player choice can not only lead us through different physical events, but different character developments. In a sense, the player would be able to control how Clem faces new troubles like Carver, and make for a more dynamic player involvement. However, this kind of interaction can get very complex very quickly, especially if Clem can end up in three different endings (not to mention, how would season 3 come about?).

          Also, I don't know if we should give the player that much control over Clem's personality and character. As TTG said before, they constantly want to explore all these possibilities for Clem, but they have to restrict themselves to a few options, a few "doors," as you phrased it, to keep the game's experience intact (they need to prevent the story from getting too diluted). In the end, it comes down to how you want to balance the player's choices with a set-out narrative. Personally, I think it's better to stick with a set-out narrative when it comes to character development and have the player choices affect a few physical plot lines instead; hence, a multiple-ending season should either be avoided or minimally used (like in 400 days). Currently, this is what TTG seems to be doing. :/

          But I'm curious, what are some specific ideas you have for these possible options? How do you think these different endings would enrich the story itself?
          • I hadn't thought of it that way, you're right. :\

            Maybe some sub-plot options then. something that doesn't deviate too much from the main script or doesn't affect the end of the season. but still something that make players have unique gameplays.

            I had no concrete history in mind. just figured it would be dynamic and fun if the game had multiple destinations. but like you said, it would create problems that I had not realized.
            • Hm, now that I think about it, subplots would not only make the game more dynamic and fun, like you said, but they can maybe be more rigorously used to exhibit character development as well. Think of each subplot's choice as small building block that develops Clementine's character. In the end, our general perception of her will be generally the same because the season would supposedly end in very similar ways. However, some of the details may be a bit different.

              For example, we all ended Season 1 knowing that Lee is that leading, kind guardian for Clem. But little details about him may differ from player to player depending on how we played out some of the subplots' choices. My Lee is perhaps too kind and tends to try to be a peacemaker because when I played as him, Lee would try to diffuse the situation between Kenny and Larry instead of taking a side and he forgave Ben and tried to rescue him. However, someone's else's Lee may be a little more rash, siding on one side of that argument, forcing Kenny to kill his son, or (accidentally) being a little rude to Clem at times. There's also that dynamic of either teaching Clem to be tough or to be moral. In the end, the plot ended the same way, but the Lee we know as we played through the story may be slightly different - in that sense, although the season ended in the same physical way, we all ended our seasons with a different Lee that has gone through a unique character development personalized for each player.

              The same can be done in Season 2 with Clem, but I would argue that TTG is going to have to do this subplot thing a lot more rigorously to effectively carry out individualized character development in this way. At this point of the season, I think they're going to have to use some previously mentioned exposition to really get her character development on its way. :/
              • Yeah! subplots would be undoubtedly the best idea! ; D

                Episodes would have to be longer in this way, since the story was enriched with additional content.

                TT please read this thread!!! *_*
    • > many of us have been on almost the same page all along on a number of things but have only now following the release of the 3rd episode begun dissecting these issues carefully and giving voice to those opinions

      I believe that many people were giving it the benefit of the doubt. Plus, the usual "they will handle it in episode 2". Well, that turned into "they will handle it in episode 3". I think that many are not willing to let history repeat itself, with only two episodes left. I do wonder, what difference *can* this all make at this point? I grow somewhat disillusioned with each passing day and thread.
      • Thanks for you observation!
        Yeah, I'm not sure if this post would even be read by TTG. They claim that they actually use feedback to mold the story as we go along (one of the reasons why they do episodic game adventures), but I don't know how much of that is true. Then there's the previously mentioned fact that it is probably a bit difficult to introduce an intimate, true character development in Clem this late in the season. I actually had that exact mentality when I went into episodes 1 and 2 and even 3. I thought, "surely they'll handle this next episode, right?"

        However, I do want to clarify that, well, in my opinion, this season is still pretty awesome. Although it may not be as gut-wrenching as season 1 because of the lack of a character-development-driven story arc, it still offers at least something to think about with Clem (like an entire forum of discussion posts!). I find the plot events intriguing, and it's always nice to see new characters and new situations come up. And that "Entropy" scene in episode 3, walking through a herd of walkers - that was pretty awesome. :P

        So I'll say what I have said on many other posts - we'll just have to wait and see. And if they don't provide a satisfactory last two episodes, we'll certainly wait for season 3. :)
        • Oh yes, I am still enjoying it, I just can't help but feel disappointment. A human thing, I guess.

          On the bright side, it has given us plenty to discuss, and it is still a story I look forward to conclude with our girl.
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