The Walking Dead has quickly become the fastest selling title in the history of Telltale Games, and one of the reasons for its success is the way the developer has managed to use the video game medium to emphasize the human drama that sits at the core of the franchise.
Garry Whitta, who is the story consultant working on The Walking Dead
, has told Gamasutra that, “People's true natures emerge. The hero and the villain exist inside every one of us. You often don't see the extreme versions of those personalities in our comfortable world where there's not really a lot of drama around day-to-day.”
He added, “But when you strip civilization away and people are fighting for their lives, and the lives of themselves and their loved ones are on the line, people really kind of emerge as kind of amplified true versions of themselves. So, it's a great way to create these very extreme human dramatic moments. They gave themselves a great foundation to start from.”
The Walking Dead video game is very different from the comic book and the television story to which it is linked, using a new cast of characters and telling a story that runs parallel to the one fans already know.
Whitta believes that simply creating traditional adventure game
puzzles would have been unsatisfactory for The Walking Dead and that the player is more interested in making moral choices and then seeing how their consequences unfold.
Telltale Games has made it clear that players need to be careful about their decisions, even if they are under time pressure when they make them, because they will heavily influence the series in the long run.
The Walking Dead has so far only got one episode of the six which are set to make up the first season, and the developer has said that it has managed to sell more than 1 million copies of the game so far.