Telltale’s The Walking Dead Could Have Been A Left 4 Dead Side Story

The first prototype of the game that would become Telltale’s The Walking Dead series originally started as a story-driven Left 4 Dead spin-off.

That little detail, and many more, makes up a new 10th anniversary documentary from Skybound Games about the creation of Telltale’s influential adventure game series, which premiered the first episode of its first season in April 2012. documentary (via Eurogamer) brings together various developers who worked on the game as well as The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman to look back at the birth of the series.

“The very first prototype of The Walking Dead was actually for a different zombie thing that ended up becoming The Walking Dead,” Jake Rodkin, lead designer and season director for The Walking Dead, said in the documentary. . “The first conversation was actually with Valve and it was like, ‘How about we do a side story in the Left 4 Dead universe?'”

As for what that first prototype looked like, it was what Rodkin describes as the “boiling pots or spinning plates” prototype, essentially a collection of character progress bars that would keep filling up until the player tackles them. Of course, a Telltale Left 4 Dead side story never saw the light of day, something Kirkman is ultimately happy about didn’t work out. There hasn’t been a new entry in the Left 4 Dead franchise, spin-off or otherwise, since Left 4 Dead 2 in 2009.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead series would eventually spawn multiple seasons and spinoffs of its own, and is best known for its fan-favorite characters like Lee and Clementine. This would establish the Telltale formula that would later be used in a host of similar licensed titles, ranging from Game of Thrones to Batman.

While many Telltale games like The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands were well received by critics and considered hits (so much so that both games got sequels), Telltale would file for bankruptcy and shut down. in 2018. After Telltale’s shutdown, which occurred while the company was in the process of releasing episodes for The Walking Dead: The Final Season, Kirkman’s own company, Skybound Entertainment, brought in numerous developers Telltale in order to complete the game. The last two episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season were released in 2019.

LCG Entertainment purchased the Telltale name and assets after the studio’s initial closure and is behind the upcoming second season of The Wolf Among Us with Adhoc Studio, a team of former Telltale developers. Tales from the Borderlands is getting a sequel later this year, developed by Borderlands developer Gearbox Software.

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