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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Long Dark’s creative director explains why the apocalypse doesn’t need zombies">newtop1

From the Aztecs worrying about the sun disappearing from the sky, to Hollywood's endless variations on the end of the world, it seems like every civilisation is fascinated with the idea that it might be the last. Perhaps it's a sign of humanity's general narcissism, with each generation secretly hoping to be the one left staring into the abyss at the end of it all, because that might make us special. Or maybe folk just like seeing what happens when stuff goes really wrong.

The Long Dark is going to deliver a comparatively restrained, but no less frightening, vision of our demise. It's a survival game, funded on Kickstarter, which has already generated plenty of buzz for its startling visuals, which are being overseen by art director Hokyo Lim, who previously worked on The Unfinished Swan. The end of the world has rarely looked prettier.

It has also never been more popular on PC. MMOs like Rust, DayZ, and the forthcoming H1Z1 are dealing with the collapse of society in lurid, and let's be honest, often quite funny, ways, as players behave exactly as reprehensibly as you'd expect from survivors eking out a living in the End Days. But there are other games, like Telltale's hugely successful The Walking Dead episodes, which look to paint a slightly more considered, and humane, picture of the apocalypse.

The Walking Dead is the link I immediately make with The Long Dark, which is being created by Canadian startup Hinterland Games. I spoke with founder and creative director Raphael van Lierop about the team's goals for the game, starting with whether he thinks a free-roaming version of The Walking Dead is a fair comparison. "I think that s fair," he says. "Certainly, they were an excellent example of how to deliver a story-driven adventure game within a fairly confined, linear experience."

However, the games' paths start to diverge at that point. There are no zombies in The Long Dark. Your antagonists will be the environment itself, in the form of hunger, lack of shelter, and the cold, as well as the animals wandering around the stunningly illustrated Northern wilderness, and, of course, other people. Because people are the worst, and the total breakdown of law and order hasn't helped their manners at all.

Van Lierop definitely isn't trying to out-bleak The Walking Dead, though. "We won t deal with moral choices the way that they did," he says. "Like, 'you have four seconds to decide which of these two people is going to survive'. Our approach will be quite different from that." Part of that approach will be ensuring that players, who'll be exploring a world in which technology has failed entirely due to an unspecified geomagnetic event, get to experience moments of beauty and hope amidst all the tension and horror.

The easiest way to achieve that effect, according to van Lierop, is by giving mother nature a makeover. "We ve adopted a very storybook, painterly art style," he says, "and we emphasise bright colours, and have these very dramatic sunsets." Once the stars are out, The Long Dark is arguably even prettier. As in Skyrim, the aurora borealis allow for some stunning skyboxes. Indeed, the Northern Lights are so important to the game's aesthetic, that in the original pitch video van Lierop describes them as a visual metaphor for the power of nature and how the world has changed.

The message seems to be: In a world gone to hell, beauty matters even more. "Nature is, in a lot of ways, neutral to your existence," says van Lierop. "Just like zombies are neutral to your existence. But you'll have these moments when you crest a hill and see this beautiful landscape. You might be in the midst of freezing or starving to death, but as a player you ll still think: "Wow. That s beautiful."

The team at Hinterland currently comprises 10 staff, most of whom have a background in AAA development. The dichotomy between nature's beauty and its inherent dangerousness is something van Lierop has carried over from the pre-production work he was involved with on Far Cry 3, where one of the key design ideas was 'savage beauty'. He's also drawn on a lot of his own time exploring the Northern Canadian wilderness: "You know that at any point if you make a bad decision, or you have an accident, that you could go from vacationing in a beautiful, exotic place to being in a very dramatic survival situation."

Van Lierop cites Cormac McCarthy's none-more-grim novel The Road and Fallout 3 as The Long Dark's other key influences. Bethesda's post-nukes RPG sparked his imagination because: "Everything you saw on the horizon was potentially an interesting place to explore. I found that so compelling, and I remember thinking: 'What would this be like if there was no combat? What if it was just wandering through the environment? There's no zombies, there's no nothing, you're just looking for places and trying to survive.'"

The design has evolved since then, and you will be able to shoot animals, but with resources inevitably scarce that often won't be the best approach. So, if combat isn't at the core of what The Long Dark is going to be, what is? The game begins in the immediate aftermath of your plane crash-landing in the wilderness as a result of the unexplained geomagnetic event. As pilot Will McKenzie, you stumble out of the wreckage, and presumably immediately begin to regret not wearing thermal underwear for the flight.

Though this is an open world, which you're free to explore as you choose, it won't be as open as, say, Skyrim. The comparison van Lierop makes instead is with Stalker. "It didn't have huge contiguous maps where you could just move seamlessly from one area to another you would go through a connective portal, and it's the same for us." The point here is that it will make it easier for Hinterland to funnel the player and manage the narrative aspects of the game. Specifically, the encounters you need to have with other humans to drive the story forwards.

In addition to the not insignificant task of staying alive, you'll gradually discover how the world has changed in the aftermath of magnetgate, as no-one else is calling it, and perhaps eventually discover the cause of the disaster. That's a way off though. The Long Dark is being built in seasons, in both senses of the word, the first of which will be winter, and will comprise an as yet unspecified number episodes before the focus shifts to spring. The arc will cover an entire year, and the suggestion is that you can expect significant cast changes over the course of it.

Again The Walking Dead link seems clear, but van Lierop doesn't think you'll mind the lack of zombies. "I think the fascination with the zombie genre particularly is almost a cathartic thing. The more zombies we can shoot in videogames, the more control we might feel about the way the world is around us. Maybe the world feels like it's falling apart around us and that's our way of coping with it. they're not even that much of a threat. It's really the humans who survive, and how society's mores change in light of the zombie invasion: that's the real threat."

It will be key to the potential success of The Long Dark that your encounters with strangers have some subtlety to them. Something that's tricky to achieve, beyond creating ever more intricate dialogue trees. I ask van Lierop how they're hoping to handle player interaction with NPCs. "You have trepidation," he says, "you're skeptical about them, but you also recognize to some degree that your success depends on being able to interact with other survivors and learn what they know."

Again, in many instances combat will be a possible outcome, but likely a disastrous one for you, given your fragility. But as to how to give those meetings depth and nuance, van Lierop isn't ready to discuss what he thinks the solution will be, other than it's definitely on the to-do list. In addition to the main narrative mode, there's also a pure sandbox variant in which your goal will be to survive for as long as possible, which is what the team has been spending most of its energy on recently. "For a long time nobody could break through the two-day mark," he says, before excitedly telling me that someone just managed to hit five days.

Before we finish, I ask him for a typical example of how it can go wrong in survival mode, and he tells me a story about trying to make a nighttime dash from a lookout tower to a supply cache. As the sun set, and the weather began to close in, he began to hear animals in the trees. To help navigate better, he lit a flare, before climbing a hill only to find himself face to face with a wolf. Startled by the flare, it scampered off into the night. "I thought, 'Shit. If I hadn't had this flare in my hand, as soon as I came over that edge '"

The story doesn't have a happy ending. The weather closed in, swiftly turning into blizzard conditions but van Lierop designed the map, if anyone could find his way to safety in the whiteout, it ought to be him. "I walked and walked and walked," he says. "I came across various landmarks, and I thought I was on my way. I was very close to death when I thought I was at my destination, and I did that classic thing that you always read about in survival literature, which was I ended up realizing I was back at the lookout tower where I had started!"

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to PC Gamer Podcast #376 – GDC 2014 with Steve Gaynor, Sean Vanaman, and more">Steve Gaynor, Sean Vanaman, and Tim Rogers playing Towerfall before podcasting.

Steve Gaynor, Sean Vanaman, and Tim Rogers playing Towerfall before podcasting.

In this week's special GDC 2014 episode, we recorded from Tyler's kitchen in downtown San Francisco with two groups of game developer guests who hiked over from GDC. First up, hear from Xaviant design director Tim Lindsey, whose resume also includes CCP, Bethesda, and Hi-Rez; Twinbeard Studios founder and Frog Fractions creator Jim Crawford; and Mode 7 Games' Ian Hardingham, who designed and programmed Frozen Synapse and is now working on Frozen Endzone.

The second group features Steve Gaynor, co-founder of The Fullbright Company and writer/designer of Gone Home; Sean Vanaman, former lead writer and project lead on The Walking Dead at Telltale Games, Idle Thumbs podcast co-host, and founder of Campo Santo; and Tim Rogers, creator of "abstract minimalist electronic sport" Videoball.

Download: PC Gamer Podcast #376 GDC 2014 Special

Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Send an MP3 to pcgamerpodcast@gmail.com or call us toll-free at 877-404-1337 x724.

Subscribe to the podcast RSS feed.

Follow us on Twitter:

@ELahti (Evan Lahti)

@wesleyfenlon (Wes Fenlon)

@tyler_wilde (Tyler Wilde)

@demiurge (Cory Banks)

@Timothy_Lindsey (Tim Lindsey)

@mogwai_poet (Jim Crawford)

@IanHardingham (Ian Hardingham)

@fullbright (Steve Gaynor)

@vanaman (Sean Vanaman)

@108 (Tim Rogers)

Podcast theme by Ben Prunty.
PC Gamer

In this week's episode, Tyler takes the helm while Evan is in Canada and the crew poorly segues between news topics including Watch Dogs, Dark Souls 2, DirectX 12, Batman: Arkham Knight, and the latest Diablo 3 patch. Wes talks about The Walking Dead, Cory is playing Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall, and Tyler talks about The Yawhg and says some really offensive things while quoting South Park: The Stick of Truth. It turns out Cory hates poop jokes.

Segue from reading to listing and download PC Gamer Podcast #374 - Segue Academy.

Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Send an MP3 to pcgamerpodcast@gmail.com or call us toll-free at 877-404-1337 x724.

Subscribe to the podcast RSS feed.

Follow us on Twitter:

@ELahti (Evan Lahti)

@wesleyfenlon (Wes Fenlon)

@tyler_wilde (Tyler Wilde)

@demiurge (Cory Banks)

Podcast theme by Ben Prunty.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Walking Dead: Season 2′s Episode 2 trailer shows A House Divided">Walking Dead

Telltale have released a trailer for the second episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2. It's called A House Divided, and will be a heart-warming tale of how, despite seemingly insurmountable differences, a group of people come together in a spirit of harmony and friendship. Oh wait, no, not that. The other thing. With the pettiness and regrets and monstrous retribution in a world where societal collapse leads to bitter, terrible survival.

The episode will be released next Tuesday, March 4th.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2: A House Divided out in early March">thewalkingdeads2e2

The Walking Dead season two's debut episode All That Remains was released on December 17, and it looks like the follow-up will arrive under the three month mark. We don't have an exact release date quite yet, but Telltale announced on its official Twitter account that episode two, A House Divided, will arrive in early March.

Telltale's other episodic adventure, The Wold Among Us, has been coming along more slowly than the developer would have liked, with four months between its first and second episode. Thankfully, The Walking Dead seems to be right on track. And while we still don't have a hard date, the tweet is at least a little more specific than Telltale's previous tease on February 2, saying the next episode was "just around the corner." It's almost like they know we're desperate.

In the second season of The Walking Dead, you play as 11-year-old Clementine, picking up 16 months after the heart-wrenching finale of the first season. Our review of All That Remains found that it set the stage for some great character development, but that the 90 minute episode lacked payoff. Hopefully, A House Divided will remedy that.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Walking Dead’s next chapter is “just around the corner”, say Telltale">The Walking Dead

After a solid season two opener, the next chapter of The Walking Dead will soon be bearing down on us. At least, that's my translation of a recent Telltale tweet. What they actually said was that their next slice of episodic zombie adventure is "just around the corner". I checked, and it's not. All that's around our nearest corner is Edge magazine, and they're not dead. Or are they? Dammit Telltale, what do you know that we don't?

"Still. Not. Bitten." The next chapter of #TheWalkingDead Season 2 is just around the corner. Stay tuned for info! pic.twitter.com/1TzLFut559— Telltale Games (@telltalegames) February 3, 2014

There's no firm release date, but it sounds as though there'll be less of a wait between Walking Dead chapters than there was between episodes of The Wolf Among Us. Telltale's other episodic adventure is finally due to receive a new chunk-'o-story tomorrow, after a delay that stretched on for four months.

The Walking Dead: Season 2's first chapter was releah Desed 17tcember. You can read our review here.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Telltale Games co-founder points to James Bond as an ideal project">WalkingDead-image

With the success of its excellent adaptation of The Walking Dead, Telltale Games has shown a talent for working with strong characters who occupy compelling, but also familiar worlds. So when the studio's co-founder Kevin Bruner says in an interview published this week that James Bond would make for a dream project, I have to sit up and listen.

Bruner, in a conversation with Xbox: The Official Magazine, was asked to describe his ideal next licensed game, if "money and politics" weren't a factor. He brought up 007. And Bruner came ready with a specific critique about some of the games we've previously seen featuring the British secret agent.

"I'm a giant James Bond fan and I'm always frustrated by games that make him a mass murderer," Bruner says. "He's a super-spy, and that's a different skillset. The films make him less of a mass murderer, and there's not much killing in the books more spying and intrigue."

Another aspect of the films that works against the mass-murderer problem that Bruner points out is their inherent humor. The Bond films often make use of humor to make some of the spy's more sensational adventures feel more grounded. Moonraker, anyone? A story-driven adventure game Telltale's specialty would be a great way to highlight aspects of the Bond character that might have been been somewhat overlooked in previous games featuring the secret agent.

But it's ultimately speculation right now, and in the last six months we've also heard about Telltale's interest in both Star Wars and Game of Thrones. The latter has already been announced as an official game for the studio, so perhaps there's some weight behind Bruner's latest comments regarding the man from MI6.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 1 review">walkingdead2-1

I am Clementine. You are Clementine. In the second season of Telltale's The Walking Dead, we are all Clementine. But what kind of Clementine will we choose to be? The Clementine who trusts no one and does whatever it takes to survive, alone, in the unforgiving new world order of zombies, and assholes who will inevitably become zombies? Or the Clementine who wants to find a new family, who believes there are still good people walking among the dead?

I want my Clementine to be the latter. To be good. But one episode into season two of The Walking Dead, I've already made Clementine a killer, and not just for survival. For vengeance.

Every conversation in season two's first episode, "All That Remains," plays a very small part in shaping the person Clementine becomes. She's about 11, now season two takes place 16 months after season one and making life-or-death decisions 11-year-olds shouldn't have to make. It's like guiding a kid through the the early changes of puberty, except instead of deciding whether to lie to her parents about a concert, she's deciding who to trust with her life and who to blackmail.

It's a new take on The Walking Dead's young moral compass, but the rest of the episode feels like a return to familiar zombie-infested territory. Season one codified Telltale's formula for morally ambiguous interactive fiction, and nothing in season two's first episode changes the recipe. Telltale's The Wolf Among Us introduced a cleaner UI and livelier action scenes than the first season of The Walking Dead, and those changes have thankfully been carried over to season two. The combat QTEs are still the least interesting elements of Telltale's games, but they're more fun and less clunky this time around.

Press Q to apply rake.

Those morality-bending dialogue options are still The Walking Dead's main hook. Unfortunately, for roughly the first half of this one-and-a-half-hour episode, there are few people for Clem to talk to, and most of the decisions and dialogue options that come into play in the second half of the episode feel like groundwork for the rest of the season. I wanted more opportunities to talk to the survivors Clem meets, and more time to learn about them. Instead, she spends a good bit of the episode fending for herself, and we only get teases of backstory on the new cast.

When you finally get to make dialogue choices, it's clear that Telltale put a lot of thought into how Clementine should work as a protagonist. She can, for example, play on the sympathy of adults, whimpering that she's just a helpless kid. Clem's faux innocence is a fun and welcome change from season one's Lee, who couldn't turn on the puppy dog eyes and manipulate someone by saying "I can tell you're nice."

Clementine can. And I do. But I'm not sure how far I want to take that manipulation. Clementine isn't exactly a blank slate at this point she has seriously seen some things but do I want to make her jaded and cold, bitter about what she's been through? The answer is no. Protecting Clementine from walkers is the easy part. I worry more about guiding her down the darker paths Telltale offers.

Season two proves that Telltale can still subvert expectations, even within simple dialogue options. I readily agree to be friends with another young girl in return for her help. Being nice is good, right? After she she gleefully declares we're besties forever, I'm not so sure. I get the sickening feeling that my promise is going to come back to bite me when this girl goes full-on crazy town.

What The Walking Dead does best as a comic, television show, or videogame is show just how suddenly and violently everything can go to shit. That is the essence of Robert Kirkman's world, and those numbing I-can't-believe-that-just-happened scenes infect all the rest with a creeping sense of unease and dread.

"All That Remains" has one of those moments. It shocked me. After 30 minutes I thought I had the direction for the episode figured out, and I was feeling pretty clever about it. I was wrong. Not just wrong totally blindsided. And I turned Clementine into a killer. Only a character s death in season one's "Long Road Ahead" shocked me more.

Down low? Too slow!

It's a shame that the first half of "All That Remains" is so light on dialogue when character interaction is the beating heart (and often guilty conscience) of Telltale's games. While the second half introduces new characters, I didn't get a good sense for many of them; more than any other Telltale episode so far, this one feels like a prelude to the good stuff rather than a story that stands well on its own.

At 90 minutes, "All That Remains" is a good hour shorter than most of season one's more self-contained stories. If you had trouble waiting weeks between last season's episodes, consider waiting until episode two (or even the whole season) is available before diving in. "All That Remains" proves that Clementine will be just as compelling a protagonist as Lee, and I'm eager to see where her story goes. I hope I haven't completely eroded Clementine's humanity on the way.


Expect to pay: $25 for the season

Release: Out now

Publisher: Telltale Games

Developer: Telltale Games

Multiplayer: None

Link: The Walking Dead Season 2 site

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to That Walking Dead: Season Two trailer is hard to watch in a good way">Season-Two-Concept-Art-web

Bite your lip and pretend like you're not about to cry as you watch this new trailer for The Walking Dead Season Two, which will start December 17 with an episode titled "All That Remains."

The first teaser was bad enough, but this one is just brutal. Along with flashbacks to some of the best lines from the first season, we see Clementine getting into all kinds of trouble as she tries to survive in the woods and alongside shady new characters. Once again, we get a glimpse at Omid, but no other characters from the previous season or the 400 Days DLC. The tiniest bit of detail, gathered from the description accompanying the trailer, is that Season 2 will start "many months" after the events of the first season. We figured as much seeing as how Clementine doesn't seem much older and is still in the same clothes she wore when we last saw her, but there you go.

When I think back on the first season I can't point to one particular moment that made that game so worthwhile, and I think it's harder to get excited about a game that is so successfully bleak and emotionally exhausting. But when I watch the trailer, which is excellently edited, it all comes back to me. It's not about one particular moment, but a super effective, troubling mood that's created by great characters and writing. It remind me of how invested you can get in a game a rare thing. I suspect that the fact that this season will focus on Clementine and will carry over decisions made in the first season will make me all the more invested.

If you haven't already, you should definitely read our interview with Mark Darin, writer/designer at Telltale games, about what it was like to design a game with a pre-teen protagonist.

You can pre-purchase The Walking Dead Season Two now on Steam for a 10 percent discount bringing it to $22.49.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The Walking Dead: Season Two interview What it’s like to be Clementine">Season-Two-Concept-Art-web

Written by Stefanie Fogel

The Walking Dead Season Two is almost here. Telltale s Dennis Lenart, director of the Season Two premiere, and writer/season designer Mark Darin recently spoke to us about the series and its new pre-teen protagonist, fan-favorite Clementine.

PC Gamer: Child protagonists are not all that common in video games. Why did you guys decide to make Clementine the lead for season two?

Mark Darin, writer/designer, Telltale Games: I think choosing Clementine as a protagonist let us really experiment in the way that the gameplay plays out. It lets you experience--like you said, child protagonists are not generally used that often--but it provides us a unique perspective on a world that you ve already seen. You spent a lot of Season One playing as Lee bringing up Clementine in a way that you think is going to be best for her. Now, putting you in her shoes and seeing how that plays out, that s something that really resonated with us.

For me, one of the things that is really special about it is that she is not special. She s just a little girl dealing in this world of paranoid and intense people with zombies running around, and she has only herself to get through it. She isn t special. She s not running around with guns. She doesn t have any magic powers. She s just doing everything she can to survive, as any one of us would.

Clem s a normal child, but she did learn how to shoot in Season One. So, are we going to see some of that same kind of action gameplay in Season Two, and how is that going to work with a child character?

Dennis Lenart, director, Telltale Games: You re going to see action sequences at the start of the game, but it s not the same as Lee was. Lee was a full-grown man. The way he deals with people and the way he deals with zombies is very, very different from Clementine. She can shoot a gun, but she s not running around the world with a bunch of guns just taking out zombies right and left. She s got to use her environment. She s got to use everything she has to her advantage. So, the way we re approaching action sequences in Season Two is a little bit different. It s focused on her vulnerabilities and the different strengths that she has, which is very, very different from what Lee brought to Season One.

Does that mean Season Two will include more puzzles?

Lenart: Not necessarily, no.

Darin: I think a lot of Clementine s biggest struggles are not going to come from the action sequences, but it s going to come from the ways the world treats her, and the way you

have to interact with people, and that space that you have as a young girl dealing with new people that you re meeting. How do they trust you? Do you trust them? What level of manipulation is going on, and how do you perceive those things? These are all the really dramatic and intense things that are going to be happening across the season.

Writing believable and interesting child characters can be a bit of a challenge. We ve even seen this in AMC s The Walking Dead show with Carl in Season Two, who was not exactly a favorite amongst viewers. How are you guys approaching that challenge with Clementine?

Darin: A lot of shows and games fall into the pitfall of using a child character s inexperience to cause problems, and that makes you not like the character at all, because they re just causing problems. We try to be mindful of that when we re writing our stories, and that s one of the things I think that made Clementine not a hated character in Season One, made her a beloved character. She was not just causing problems through her inexperience, and we re carrying that through Season Two as well.

How much time has passed between the final scene of Season One and Season Two? Where is Clementine when we catch up with her again?

Lenart: That would be a spoiler. We re trying to leave some stuff for the excitement of playing the game for the first time. She s still not a teenager, we ll say that.

The Walking Dead is known for its tough moral choices. In Season One, it was an adult making them. Now, you have this child who could potentially decide who lives and who dies, or who might have to chop somebody s leg off with an axe to save them from the walkers. How is that going to work with Clem, and how will that affect her character?

Lenart: Well, one of the really interesting things you touch upon there is that in Season One, a lot of times, people made good decisions with Clementine around, based on wanting to show her this is how the world is. You need to learn how to survive, or You don t need to see this, I m trying to keep you, retain a sense of your humanity as much as possible. There s things you can do that she didn t know about, but now you re the one who s going to be making Clementine have to go through these terrible times and make these tough decisions. So, there s a lot more of the feeling of ownership, but also, at the same time, I think it really puts you in an interesting head space, where you really feel like the world is just all hits, pressing down around you. It s The Walking Dead, so no one s safe at any time. You know that everything you do has repercussions. So, I think the fact that it is Clementine that you re playing as, it makes every little thing a lot harder.

How will some of the choices players made in Season One affect Clementine?

Darin: Basically, we re always looking for little places to call back to things. The choices you made in Season One and the things you did with Clementine color who she is in Season Two. That s an important thing for us. We re trying not to be super heavy-handed with it, but we re really retaining that sense of feeling like the Clementine you helped raise in Season One, this is the logical progression of that arc that you went through with her.

Earlier this week, you guys teased a screenshot of Omid from Season One. What role does he play in Clementine s life at this point?

Lenart: That would be probably spoiler territory, actually.

What about the 400 Days DLC? How does that figure into everything?

Lenart: We did make the promise that 400 Days, and Season One, those choices are going to carry over. A thing that happens in both Season One and in 400 Days, those events, those choices that you made, they will figure into the story in possibly unexpected ways.

How much of Clementine s success as a character do you credit to Melissa Hutchinson and her performance?

Lenart: She s awesome, so a lot of it. Definitely. Melissa s performance is fantastic. She brings this innocence to and this need to want to protect her as well, and her performance--she s an amazing actress.

It s funny. I feel like even in the booth with her recording lines, you feel oddly protective of her as she s recording. It s really weird to be able to, you re sitting there focusing on a line, and you hear Clementine, and you just want to save her. Then you look over and it s Melissa sitting there with headphones. Oh, yeah, everything s fine.

Darin: I try not to look at her in the booth. It s just weird. You re sitting there looking at your paper, looking at the script and hearing the line, but you re picturing Clementine in the other room. You look up and it s Melissa. She s so good.

When you made the decision to cast Clementine as the playable character, were you at all concerned about how it d be received by an audience that s used to playing beefy space Marines and sexy adventurers?

Lenart: Not at all. For me, that was the draw to it, and so maybe it s not as much of a concern. To me, it was more excitement, I guess.

Darin: It s great being in the creative world, that you can jump into and have these meaningful relationships with characters and enjoy that and still be able to, when you re done with this episode, go back and shoot some aliens and have fun with that. There s so many different kinds of games, and you don t have to be limited to one kind. You don t need to stereotype people and say, This is what gamers want, they just want to run around and shoot things. They want a perspective. There s room for all these kind of games to exist, and people want to play a variety of things and they re offering that to people.

I think part of the core of this whole game, too, is making her the opposite of a space Marine. So, she doesn t have different guns. She doesn t have special powers. She s not super-oddly strong for a young girl. We really try to make you feel like you are a young girl in the zombie apocalypse, and you have all the same limitations that she would have. I think that s what we re really excited about with Season Two. It s a challenge that you get personally involved in. That s what makes it fun to play, is you put yourself into unique situations and you have to make the decisions, and you have to try to roleplay them in a variety of different ways. That s what s fun about it.

Thanks, guys.

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