The lights are on
Coming off The Walking Dead, its
most successful and widely acclaimed graphic adventure to date, Telltale Games
has finally found its stride. While previous titles like Tales of Monkey
Island and Back to the Future only found niche audiences, The Walking Dead
brought Telltale’s episodic storytelling into the mainstream. Though it was
light on gameplay, it lured in gamers with its interactive narrative, gripping
its audience emotionally by giving them power over the story and allowing them
to forge bonds with the characters. What do you do for an encore after creating
such a captivating formula? You build on it, of course.
[This article originally appeared in Game Informer issue #241]
Telltale is ready for this
challenge with a new project: The Wolf Among Us, based on Bill Willingham's
Fables comic book series from Vertigo. In Willingham’s world, classic
fairytales collide with reality. Every character is real, but lives in a
separate world. Once an evil entity named the Adversary threatens their
homelands, they flee to a place he would never look: our world. They hide among
us with their powers intact, living an everyday existence, hoping to keep their
secret under wraps. These famed characters also have a darker edge than the
stories we’ve heard about them. Happy endings? Forget it. Prince Charming is a
womanizing cheater, and Cinderella uses her good looks to exploit information
as a spy.
interpretations have won him much fanfare, as the Fables series has topped the
comic charts and won numerous Eisner awards. Imagining our favorite fairytales
in a new light is a trend that is dominating popular culture right now. It
breathes into our entertainment channels from movies like Snow White and the
Huntsman, Jack the Giant Killer, Mirror Mirror, and Hansel & Gretel: Witch
Hunters to TV shows like Once Upon A Time and Grimm. Much like picking up The
Walking Dead license right before the TV show started getting popular, Telltale
is striking while the iron is just as hot with Fables. The company acquired the
license at the same time as The Walking Dead, mainly because both series were
dominating the bestseller lists for comics. Telltale focused on The Walking
Dead first, but now it’s finally showing us the seedy side to the fables we’ve
all grown up with. When we discuss The Wolf Among Us with Telltale, the excitement
and confidence about the new project is palpable. “The Walking Dead has been
getting a lot of attention; now it’s Fables’ turn to shine,” says CTO and
president Kevin Bruner. “Everything just feels right about it for our next
Making Fables Spring
As Telltale has learned
firsthand, there’s more to success than just acquiring licenses. The pressure
is always on to do justice to longtime fans’ favorite franchises, and Telltale
has always taken that very seriously. To start the project on the right foot,
Telltale asked for input from not only Willingham, but also DC Comics.
“From day one, we shared the
story seeds, the look, and the character design with the folks at DC and with
[Willingham],” Bruner says. “Everybody’s contributing to the process, so it’s a
really healthy, good relationship.”
Telltale’s love of the comics
drew them to Fables, so a lot of care is going into the project. “We have the
luxury at Telltale [to] pick and choose our projects based on things we really
love and that we’re fans of, and that we really think we can make an enormously
kick-ass game out of it,” Bruner says.
Telltale prepped for The Wolf
Among Us with as much precision as possible. Lead writer Pierre Shorette
absorbed himself with the comics and lore as soon as he was on the project,
going as far as making James Jean’s illustrated covers for Fables the wallpaper
for every device he had. Shorette wanted to make sure he knew the personalities
of the characters to a tee, which meant going back to the original source
material: the fables themselves. Shorette’s goal was to create a story that
felt like it was written by one of the comic’s writers. “I think that Fables
fans will be happy and think that we are filling in some of the gaps and
opportunities opened up by the comic,” Shorette says.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I've heard about this book, but I've never read it. I wonder if somewhere Brian K Vaughn is thinking 'I need to meet these guys.'
loved walking dead, and can't wait for this...matter of fact, i'm playing back to the future right now and plan on playing all of telltale's games for trophy...great stories, and easy trophies...thank telltale!!
My favorite article from the last issue was the one on this game. First time I had heard of it before. Now I am looking forward to it VERY much! Loved TWD, enjoyed BTTF and even liked JP. Each game Telltale puts out is better than the last!
This should be pretty heart-wrenching then...
Interesting. I've always enjoyed stuff Telltale, Vertigo, and Image put so I'll most likely check out.
This should be pretty good.
i am VERY interested in this game. i have never read the source material, but just reading the article about the game and seeing these gorgeous visuals (that color makes me salivate) makes me impatient to play this game.
I personally can't wait for this! I love Telltale, and I dark, twisted, fairy tales are some of my favorites
I remember reading this before, and it looks intriguing if nothing else.
Wonderful Feature Kim! Enjoyed it in the magazine and just had to read it again.
I can't wait. Telltale is on a roll this generation with Walking Dead and Back to the Future.
Oh Tell Tale,Your slowly becoming one of my favorite companys...I mean this just sounded...perfect to me..A murder mystery noire adventure game centered around fairy tales?! ...yes..just so yes..all of my money..my house,my dog all of it just take it,i need this..
Telltale has earned my respect with both Sam and Max: Season 2 (iMac), Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse (iMac), and The Walking Dead (2012). Each game crafted a unique story that grabbed me by the collar and took me on an enjoyable ride. I can't wait to give The Wolf Among Us a try once it arrives in the near future.