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gdc 2013

Telltale: Why Fewer People Saved Doug In The Walking Dead

by Kimberley Wallace on Mar 28, 2013 at 09:31 AM

During an empathy and character choice panel at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Telltale's Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin revealed why they think few people saved Doug in the first episode of The Walking Dead.

Originally, Telltale wanted a big gut-busting choice by making you choose between two characters to save. When data showed that only 25% saved Doug, while the overwhelming 75% picked Carley, Telltale took a step back to examine why this happened. 

The team wondered if it was a superficial thing. After all, Carley is an attractive news broadcaster, and Doug is...well, a dorky developer. But it goes much deeper than that. By examining the opportunities the first episode gave players to build context with these two characters, Telltale realized Carley had way more relationship-building moments. You watched Carley save Duck, she told Lee she knew his secret and still trusted him, she showed concern for our darling Clementine, and shared the horrific experience of watching a woman kill herself with you. Doug on the other hand was a passive observer through the rescue of Lee and his group and only worked with you once to hatch an escape plan. Also during that plan, you're forced to lie to him about it being Lee's family's store to protect his identity. "We never gave the player the chance to learn who Doug is as a character," said Jake Rodkin. 

Did you save Doug? If so, why?