Firewatch by Campo Santo - Now available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation 4

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  • Which review is that from?

    "The Walking Dead is a game product which includes far less player agency than its contemporaries, and achieves its sense of player

  • ...it's not from a review. I just wrote it in a stream of consciousness. :P

    Which review is that from?

  • KevinKevin Telltale StaffBanned

    "The Walking Dead is a game product which includes far less player agency than its contemporaries, and achieves its sense of player

  • edited October 2013

    Maybe we should close this thread before things get any more out of hand...

    EDIT: Actually, nevermind. That was a way more reasonable response than the one I expected.

    Kevin posted: »

    yet is still somehow appealing

  • edited October 2013

    WHAT ABOUT THE METASCORE?!

    I'd probably argue that Metacritic's method of changing scoring formats to adhere to a 100-point scale and creating an average of somewhat arbitrarily-chosen press sources can't really be used to create a number that can be used as an "objective" value.

    What this says is that this type of game is appealing to people who work in the mainstream gaming press, which is a useful metric if you're trying to reach and appeal to a core gamer demographic, but the number itself isn't useful in terms of arguing the game's merits by themselves, other than to say "well other people like it, therefore I win". Certainly there's room for criticism of the game and its larger structure without being given a green number as a refutation of the point.

    Basically:

    A Metacritic score doesn't inherently refute any statement, unless that statement is "The gaming press did not give this product critical acclaim". The number, by itself, does not say the game does not have glitches, does not say that the game does not have an overly simplified structure, nor does it say anything substantive by itself about the true nature of the product.

    Kevin posted: »

    yet is still somehow appealing

  • edited October 2013

    Metacritic: A metric so important, Telltale employees shill the user reviews.

    Kevin posted: »

    yet is still somehow appealing

  • I just posted a spoilered comment about episode 2 and it's not appearing. Sigh.

    Anywayyyyyyyyy ... The gist was that there were a handful of big mistakes in episode 2 for which I hope Mark Darin wasn't responsible, and if he was responsible for them that he's improved since.

    Also I don't consider this a game but I still enjoyed it, and that's all that matters. If you didn't enjoy it, too bad, move along.

  • JakeJake Telltale Alumni
    edited October 2013

    Lots of words being put in my mouth in this thread. Lots of people quoting things I have said, too, which is good. I don't generally say things online that I don't believe.* When I first started posting on these forums I would put a disclaimer at the beginning or end of my post saying that I am not speaking for Telltale, just for myself as a fan of games and (increasingly) a maker of ones. That has always applied, and applies now. I try to just say what I think, because that's how would like to be replied to by others.

    Anyway, I don't want to get SUPER deep into this, but in my opinion "is the Walking Dead a game?" is a pretty cavernous and high-risk black hole, when discussed in the context of the graphic adventure genre (especially the LucasArts pedigree). For instance, I don't know if Monkey Island 2 is much more of a "game" than Walking Dead is, when you go by very tight definitions of what a game is. It's a risk-free experience which a computer could complete by clicking every item on every hotspot on loop, and that computer would probably beat the game more quickly than some children playing it for the first time. That applies to The Walking Dead as well. For me the appeal of old LucasArts adventure games is in the emotional response it elicits from its players. The laugh, the relief, the stress. Some of those things come from mechanical things (especially, specifically in Monkey Island 1 and 2), but most of it comes from the simple input/output loop of poking at something in the world and seeing an authored response.

    Anyway I am super proud of The Walking Dead and both my work and the whole team's work at Telltale. Though the road to get to what we shipped was long and not easy, The Walking Dead is a game that everyone in the studio wanted to make, and everyone is incredibly proud of making. As I've said elsewhere, it's a surprise and a blessing and just completely bonkers when you produce a game that has things you believe in and think are interesting, and then those things turn out to be the same things your audience responds to and appreciates in the game. It's rare and it happened on TWD and we were all excited. That doesn't really have any bearing on the fact that I had an opportunity to do something new and different with my life creatively and professionally after working at Telltale for nearly eight years. I wouldn't trade that time in my life for the world, nor would I trade the opportunity to try other things. Fortunately I am in a position where I don't have to trade either.

    • Sometimes I say things I eventually regret but that's a separate issue, right?

    • Of course this post ended up 3x longer than I intended it to! Thank you for reading it.

    Publicly, yes. But who is honestly going to trash their current/former company publicly? Do you really think he'd have a career fo

  • edited October 2013

    This thread can be pretty nuts but I'd like to make a point about challenge mechanics, yeah? So let me quote a tiny piece(sorry! I read the whole thing!) and make my little piece about it:

    @Jake

    It's a risk-free experience which a computer could complete by clicking every item on every hotspot on loop, and that computer would probably beat the game more quickly than some children playing it for the first time. That applies to The Walking Dead as well.

    I think this point is a bit disingenuous, or at least is missing a pretty important point. Humans aren't computers and we won't brute force a task if we think there might be an easier or less tedious means of getting through it.

    Two scenarios that could be referred to as "solvable by a computer interacting with hotspots"

    In Back to the Future:The Game, there is a segment that has only one hotspot, a large one, that takes up 75% of the viewable area. The gameplay segment is advanced by clicking on the hotspot. The inventory is disabled, but the three-stage hint system is not.

    In LeChuck's Revenge, you may have many hotspots, some of which are small or not particularly obvious. You have a large number of items. You can travel between a number of different screens filled with hotspots. You can progress to an area without items that you might need to solve the scenario. Mechanics such as item combination increase the complexity of the inputs.

    In a very pedantic way, yes, they are exactly the same except for direct complexity, and a computer could solve either by going through all possible inputs without ever needing to risk "failure" in a classical sense.

    But humans aren't computers.(!)

    If randomly clicking on some portion of the screen has a greater chance of advancement than, say, a coin flip, the player won't think through the logic. Players will always take the path of least resistance even if that path isn't as fun. Action games with a complex attack system often fail when a player can advance easily by spamming a simple basic "punch" or "kick"(or equivalent) attack.

    The difference PEDANTICALLY isn't massive, and is technically only a matter of scale, but whether or not the challenge mechanic is more easily "brute forced" than engaged with properly makes a big difference in how players approach problems.

    For reference, I think of it similar to "First Order Optimal Strategies", as brought up FOO

    in this video(starting at the 3 minute mark).

    Jake posted: »

    Lots of words being put in my mouth in this thread. Lots of people quoting things I have said, too, which is good. I don't generally

  • VainamoinenVainamoinen Moderator
    edited October 2013

    Welcome "back", Jake. ;)

    Jake posted: »

    Lots of words being put in my mouth in this thread. Lots of people quoting things I have said, too, which is good. I don't generally

  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited October 2013

    Polygon has an interesting interview up with Cabel Sasser of Panic, Inc. He explains why they decided to finance Campo Santo's first game, and the extent of which the funding extends.

    Campo Santo would produce the game they'd pitched to Panic, and Panic would be there to finance the project, and offer support, creative input about things like UI design and, if necessary, even testing and ports.

  • That Toby Sasser sure seems like a competent CEO. ;) ;)

    Jennifer posted: »

    Polygon has an interesting interview up with Cabel Sasser of Panic, Inc. He explains why they decided to finance Campo Santo's firs

  • He really does, quite a good thing to.

  • that there were a handful of big mistakes in episode 2

    Umm no. Episode 2 was perfect! The atmosphere was absolutely brilliant and that twist... It still gives me the chills

    Oljebox posted: »

    I just posted a spoilered comment about episode 2 and it's not appearing. Sigh. Anywayyyyyyyyy ... The gist was that there were a

  • Nels Anderson has posted his introductory blog entry on the Campo Santo blog yesterday.

    Concerning the gameplay direction of the company, this is what he believes he will add to the mix:

    But I love systems and interacting with them. I like to think I know how to create dynamics that convey meaning beyond just being something “fun” to play around with. I like to think I can create mechanics that allow players to be expressive, that grant them the ability to create organic, novel experiences that are unique to them, rather than just creating a theme park where everyone sees and does the exact same things. I think there’s an overlap between the things we’re all interested in and good at that’s fertile ground for some very interesting games.

  • What do you mean 'big mistakes?'
    Are you talking about the episode's mechanics or the storyline or both?

    Oljebox posted: »

    I just posted a spoilered comment about episode 2 and it's not appearing. Sigh. Anywayyyyyyyyy ... The gist was that there were a

  • yawn

    Not that much news to report on CSG. I've got a little tidbit from Olly Moss' twitter though.

    I am learning a lot in game-dev, like how designing an "average-looking" normal person is actually super finicky and hard to get right.

    All right... back to the basics. ;)

  • edited December 2013

    You notice right away that Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman are not working on the series anymore. The writing and story of season 2 episode 1 is pretty bad, it feels like it was written by an amateur.

  • and i wondered why the plot for TWD 2 was so.......

    FreddeN93 posted: »

    They couldn't find a worse time to leave now when Season Two is just around the corner...

  • Teensy bit late with the news, but former Double Fine environment artist Jane Y Ng has joined the wacky Santo Campo games crew!

    http://janeng.com/

  • Sounds like they have quite the nifty group of people. I expect lots of good things to come out of them.

  • Sean Vanaman was Telltale's best writer of dialogue so it has to be missed...

  • Jane is awesome. I didn't know that she left Double Fine, but that's great news for Santo Campo.

    Agreed, Blind Sniper. Looking forward to seeing what they're cooking up over there.

  • This will be awesome to follow. The Idle Thumbs men are fantastic.

    It's really crazy to think that all the former fans/mixnmojo/adventure gamer/idle thumbs writers&contributors are ten years later in the game business as developers. So cool.

  • Amateur eh? Then clearly you could've wrote a better story right? Maybe you should get a job with TT as lead writer. I would love to see your vastly improved storyline.

    dlux_ posted: »

    You notice right away that Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman are not working on the series anymore. The writing and story of season 2 episode 1 is pretty bad, it feels like it was written by an amateur.

  • True, but it's unfair to judge the new writers of TWD based on 1 episode with 4 more left.

    CiscoKidd81 posted: »

    I would not say the episode was written by a amateur but IMO it's clear that it was not the same level that Sean and Jake provided i

  • I would not say the episode was written by a amateur but IMO it's clear that it was not the same level that Sean and Jake provided in previous games. If you get a chance to play some of the older TTG games you would see why Sean and Jake were so well liked. They could produce a story that captivate adults and teens keeping the content PG 13. When they tackled other work where the content was mature their talents really exceeded expectations.

    Amateur eh? Then clearly you could've wrote a better story right? Maybe you should get a job with TT as lead writer. I would love to see your vastly improved storyline.

  • Yes sir. I agree. I am only judging on ep 1 of season vs ep 1 of season 2.

    True, but it's unfair to judge the new writers of TWD based on 1 episode with 4 more left.

  • I'm not at all familiar on how this works, but Robert Kirkmen helps them with the writing, right? Or does he just license the game out and nothing else?

  • I do not think Mr. Kirkman writes anything for TWD game. I believe that TTG thinks the story up that Mr. Kirkman has to okay before being produced. Other then that I believe all the work, effort, and long nights are all TTG. I could be wrong but that is a intestine question sir I hope someone more on the inside is able to provide you more details.

    I'm not at all familiar on how this works, but Robert Kirkmen helps them with the writing, right? Or does he just license the game out and nothing else?

  • edited December 2013

    I think mainly mechanics.
    You can't be busted in the house.
    You can't take the gun in the bathroom.
    You can't stay in the shed waiting for the morning.

    None of the season 1 episodes feels so constraint (aside the 4th episode line "So we can't go to find my parents?" where you have to say "No" or similar - can't say "Yes, we can" and no one knows why).

    TinyCarlos posted: »

    What do you mean 'big mistakes?' Are you talking about the episode's mechanics or the storyline or both?

  • YESSSSS exactly..... Season 2 seems so linear. Almost like a 1 way street and were just riding along. In a game where the choices matter I can't reasonably expect multiple endings but I would think that you could have 2 or 3 different paths to get to the end.

    I go back to a format change..... Someone over in TTG says alright team team were going to veer away from our current model and stray off in to this more one directional model.

    I enjoyed the old model where you had a environment and it was like a open world with in that environment. For example Hershel's farm. You could do multiple things within the far to get to the end. The drug store saving Larry. You could be a dick to Lilly or be a dick to Kenny... Or be nice... or say nothing...... Clearing the motel....You had multiple different ways to handle the girl who was bitten..... PEOPLE ALL OF THIS HAPPENED IN ONE EPISODE!!!!!! There were more content, action items, choices, and outcomes in episode 1 of season 1. I was expecting more in season 2 instead we got situations like clementine climbing out a river with the only clicking event be looking at a sunken boat in the water..... Okay a stinker... What's next climb the broken dock... Okay something coming..... Walk from left to right on the river bank with the only option being look at dead walker............umm okay....... Follow trail that you can not veer off of.... Now it's getting silly. The least they could do was create multiple trails that lead to the same cabin. But no we follow a single trail and climb over a log.......

    The season 2 ep1 game had less puzzles, interactions, clickable events, and dialog then season 1 ep 1......,.if your happy accepting that fine but for the sake do comparing s1 ep 1 had more to offer.

  • edited December 2013

    They leaving [s]or is this going to be like members of Pendulum doing Knife Party as a side project?[/s] Yeah, they're leaving.

    Well, positions are up... inb4 Robert becomes new leader writer and makes everyone die... faster.

  • This is really sad to hear. Hope that wont affect Season 2.

  • Nice straw man arguments. You must be getting really mad now that the negative game reviews are starting to roll in, which this episode wholeheartedly deserves.

    Amateur eh? Then clearly you could've wrote a better story right? Maybe you should get a job with TT as lead writer. I would love to see your vastly improved storyline.

  • I swear you're biased. It's one episode.

    dlux_ posted: »

    Nice straw man arguments. You must be getting really mad now that the negative game reviews are starting to roll in, which this episode wholeheartedly deserves.

  • With 27 positive reviews, 7 mixed, and 0 negative. Thanks to metacritic

    Yep it's a total bomb lol.

    dlux_ posted: »

    Nice straw man arguments. You must be getting really mad now that the negative game reviews are starting to roll in, which this episode wholeheartedly deserves.

  • I'm not biased, I love the Walking Dead and I love Season 1. Season 2 has gotten off to a terrible start and I'm not afraid to point that out.

    Kryik posted: »

    I swear you're biased. It's one episode.

  • Still much worse than season 1 episode 1. If it wasn't riding on the success of the first season than the reviews would have been much worse, they are still too forgiving at the moment.

    With 27 positive reviews, 7 mixed, and 0 negative. Thanks to metacritic Yep it's a total bomb lol.

  • It already has.

    WalkerHH93 posted: »

    This is really sad to hear. Hope that wont affect Season 2.

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