Ask anyone under 20 years of age if they enjoy point-and-click adventure games, and they usually won’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not an odd genre, it’s just a vastly underused one. But take a few minutes to describe it to them, and you might get an answer like this.

“Oh, I know what you mean! You’re talking about The Walking Dead.”

What do The Walking Dead, Borderlands, and Game of Thrones all have in common? They all have point-and-click adventure games made based on them? Yes, but more to the point, all these point-and-click games and many others were made by Telltale Games.

Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, before Call of Duty and Skyrim, before World of Warcraft and League of Legends, point-and-click adventures dominated the PC gaming world. With classic games like Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, and Grim Fandango, gamers were treated to not only challenging puzzles but great story. However, the late 90’s were seeing a decline in point-and-click as a justifiable option, ironically because of the increase of technology. The Myst franchise is often credited as the downfall of the genre due to its incomprehensible gameplay. Other kinds of PC games could bring its players all new experiences, experiences that point-and-click simply couldn’t recreate, and after the adaptation to 3-D technology, they were changed forever. Everyone had moved on, labeling point-and-click adventure games as out-of-date and obsolete. Point-and-click needed LifeAlert, because it had fallen and it couldn’t get up.

Telltale Games really started to be in the spotlight in 2012 when the announced the first season of The Walking Dead. But would you be surprised to know that Telltale has been making games since 2005? Nearly seven years before gamers couldn’t get their fix fast enough, Telltale was making poker games, CSI games, the Sam & Max series, Tales from Monkey Island, Jurassic Park, and many many more.

In fact it was their release of the first episode of Sam & Max titled Culture Shock in 2006 that really brought the point-and-click genre back from the grave and onto players screens. The new franchise brought them moderate success, enough to continue on from there.

In 2012, people couldn’t get enough of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Those that had never read or even heard of the comics were suddenly introduced to what they had been asked for for years. A depiction of Zombies that was scary and disturbing again. Everybody wanted in on The Walking Dead, and it wouldn’t just be the revival of zombies, but also the revival of the point-and-click adventure.

Telltale now stands at the top of the mountain with the big players, most people not even knowing about their humble origins, but now it’s this developer that everyone wants a piece of. So with such a vast and strong foundation from which to stand on, what is their next move? While Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands still have more episodes to go in order to finish off their prospective seasons, a new project has just been announced. Minecraft: Story Mode.

Seems like it wouldn’t work. Minecraft has a fan lore of its own created off of the character Steve, the name of the character you play in Minecraft, who seems to be the last human trying to survive in a world with monsters and pigs. So how can this translate into a world that Telltale can tell us a story through. Well for them actually, this is right up their alley. Telltale doesn’t want to retell a story. The Walking Dead doesn’t have you play as Rick Grimes and Game of Thrones doesn’t have you play as John Snow. It may be the same world, but never the same characters. So creating something in a world that is open with very little in its background fits Telltale to a tee.

On top of Minecraft: Story Mode, a third season of The Walking Dead has been confirmed, although currently nothing is known about it, other than we will likely see the first episode of the season sometime this year. On top of that, it is known that Telltale has the desire to make a second season of The Wolf Among Us, but no one is sure when it will happen. It seemed like 2015 would bring us the second season, only now it has been pushed back to 2016. Now it just seems to be hanging in limbo with no real certainty that it will ever reach production.

So what does the future hold for Telltale Games? Something extremely ambitious actually. For now they’re calling it Project Super Show, and its a blend between tv and video games. Kevin Bruner, CEO and co-founder of Telltale Games, explained it to the audience.“So a Super Show – our first Super Show- is going to be episodic, the way a Telltale game is. But every month or so you’ll be getting a Telltale game that you can play, and like a 40 minute television episode that you can watch that are designed together.” This is a very interesting twist on the usual Telltale formula, especially considering the fact that you have the option to decide what you will interact with first, the cinematic portion, or the interactive, and how things can be slightly different, depending on what you choose. “For instance, if you play the interactive episode first, certain elements of the scripted episode portion will be tailored to reflect some choices made in your interactive playthrough.” Bruner said. “If you watch the show before playing, some elements in the interactive portions may be presented differently than if you played first. The interactive episodes will never release without a scripted episode, they will always come out together.”

This isn’t the first time that television and video games have attempted a blend. The most recent being Defiance, a show on the Syfy channel that had an online video game tied together with it. The general concept was players would be given options and quests in the game to follow through with, and the actions and outcomes of the player would then change the television show. Unfortunately, it wasn’t successful and found itself brought down to a free-to-play model in 2014. The biggest issue for Defiance was the separation between the video game and the television show. Obviously these are two separate mediums, but the disconnect between the two was so vast that they couldn’t thrive together.

Telltale doesn’t have this same worry. “If you haven’t caught on yet, Telltale games are very cinematic.” Bruner commented when asked how the project would work better in their hands and not repeat past failures. Project Super Show will have partners in the cinematic field to aid on the other end of the project. Currently the only confirmed partner is Lionsgate, although according to their head of communications, Job Stauffer, they won’t be utilized in the very first Super Show, maybe not even the second, just at one time or another. Who will be responsible for the cinematic portion of the Super Show’s episodes in the first season is currently unknown, but hopefully will be announced soon.

Does all this mean a shift in direction for Telltale? Will they return back to their roots and find themselves in a more lighthearted field again? Not really, according to the team. They’re happy just going wherever the wind drives them. “We think of ourselves as interactive storytellers. And we are kinda coming from an era where we did a lot of mature rated games. Of horrible, horrible things. But I think its more anecdotal. That’s where there were some great stories to be told so we dove into that.”

At least Telltale can take a moment to find humor in their work. “I do think we all felt a little relief, particularly on Borderlands. After you spend two years, day after day trying to figure out how to torture a little girl, you’re ready for some fart jokes,” joked Bruner.

So steer the ship Telltale, as long as Bruner’s wind is filling the sails, we’re happy to be taken along for the ride.

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