‘Walking Dead’ Game Heavy On Player Choice, Consequences

If you’re a fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” you might still find yourself reeling from the latest episode’s emotional bomb. Of course, if you’re anything like me – a fan of the comics – maybe you’re just horribly confused about what in the world is going on. Regardless, the television adaptation isn’t the only game in town, as Telltale Games is hard at work turning Kirkman’s zombie franchise into a video game.

Telltale recently released the first episode of “Playing Dead,” a web talk-show of sorts giving an inside look into the development of the game. Episode 2 released this morning, and this go around, AJ LoCascio sits down with story consultant Gary Whitta and lead designer Sean Vanaman.

The more I hear about Telltale’s “Walking Dead,” the more excited I get about the game. It feels as though the studio is dedicated to staying loyal to the comics, while creating an entirely new story. Honestly, I sometimes wish the television show had taken the same approach.

One of the more interesting concepts discussed on this episode is the topic of player choice. Whitta (whom you may know as the writer behind “Book of Eli”) and Vanaman both respond on the subject, and it sounds like your decisions in “The Walking Dead” will have consequences.

“It’s less about right or wrong, and more about ’what would you do?’ Right or wrong, it’s your choice,” said Whitta. “The other thing that forces the agony of those decisions … you do often have very little time. There may be zombies beating down the door, or someone is bleeding out and turning to a zombie.”

How you respond under pressure will cause a chain reaction through the game, perhaps inconsequential or life-shattering. “Just experience the decision you make,” added Vanaman.

Unfortunately, there is still one major component missing from these otherwise lovely “Playing Dead” episodes: a full-on trailer for the game. Yes, I harped on about this last episode. Yes, I will continue to do so until we see the game in motion. Even with all my excitement for the game conceptually, there’s just no way to really get a sense of it without seeing some footage.

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