The Walking Dead Video Game: Stealth and Scent

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The Walking Dead Video Game: Stealth and Scent

Picture this: you’re moving through an abandoned convenience store in the middle of the day, and light is pouring in through the front windows. The shelves have been ransacked and only a few items remain. You stop to investigate a roll of bandages on the shelf and, feeling these will come in handy later, you grab them and turn to leave.

A Walker grabs you and leans in for a taste of flesh! You struggle against his weight but can’t quite fight him off. His rancid breath is thick in the air between you as his mouth opens for a bite. Mustering all of your strength you push just hard enough to get a few inches of separation and then… You jam the blade of your knife through his temple and he slumps to the ground at your feet amid an explosion of blood and brain! After taking a final look around, you see that no others Walkers realize you’re there. You slip out of the store and continue toward your destination.

This is the world of The Walking Dead, a world where you can never feel safe because any moment may be your last. This is life, dealing with the constant threat of the Walker invasion.

The Walking Dead Logo Black

When Activision approached us to help them make The Walking Dead game based off the AMC’s TV series, the whole team went crazy. We are all fans of the show and couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. Immediately the team knew that an FPS game based on The Walking Dead was something we wanted to help bring the fans.

What we love about the show is how people must learn to survive in this new world while still trying to keep a sense of normalcy. Some people are prepared to keep holding onto the values that society has taught them while others are prepared to do whatever it takes to survive. There are even characters that are changing for what is perceived to be the better and we are excited to try and bring that into our game and let players experience it firsthand.

Fans of the TV show will immediately connect with our The Walking Dead video game. You will get the opportunity to put yourself into the shoes of Daryl Dixon himself and be shown how he first experienced this new world changing around him. The journey will show how he and his brother survived those early weeks and ended up with Dale’s group in the show. The Dixons are survivors and Daryl is one of the best. Through FPS gameplay and resource management the players will assist Daryl in making the right decisions to help guarantee he and his brother survive.

The Walking Dead Video Game: Stealth and Scent

When referencing the show, one of the things that stood out to us was how the Walkers reacted to sound; they were suspicious of gunfire. Seeming to know that only humans were able to wield weapons, the Walkers instinctively moved toward the sounds people made. They are also attracted to other sounds, so someone moving through that world needs to be aware of the amount and type of noise they make at all times.

We’re crafting our Walkers to react the same way. In the game, you’ll need to carefully sneak into and out of some dangerous situations and you may meet a few Walkers along the way. If you show up with guns blazing, you’ll quickly find yourself dealing with a much larger crowd and you could easily become overwhelmed.

Walkers also have the ability to tell the living from the dead by their sense of smell. Humans give off a scent that the Walkers can detect, and the longer we stand still (like when we are looking at a shelf for supplies) the larger the radius of that scent becomes. Stand still for too long and a Walker shambling down the street looking for a meal might just discover you standing inside a store.

Our goal in creating our Walkers is to make them as living (or, actually, as undead) as they are portrayed in the series. They see you, smell you, and hear you, and they won’t stop until they find you.

We hope you enjoyed this first peek at The Walking Dead Video Game; we’ll return with more insights on this new take on the series before it shambles onto PlayStation 3 systems in 2013.

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7 Author Replies

  • Have you guys played Day Z? You should look to that for some inspiration. They did a great job at making you feel like you are not some over powered super-zombie-killing machine.

    • We agree!! They have a great system to create a very realistic combat and survival aspect. We like to call it a really bad ass zombie simulator. Very cool in our opinion. Our game is providing the player with the unique experience of playing inside the world of the Walking Dead. Our rules and strategy are inspired directly from the show. The player will have to choose the best course of action to survive the journey to Atlanta. If he/she tries to play as a super-zombie-killing machine then they will be quick to realize the world will not allow it.

  • I’m indifferent about this…I really love the Telltales Walking Dead and I’m glad they’re making more after Episode 5.

  • i am worried about the game you guys may talk big about stealth but when i read”Walkers also have the ability to tell the living from the dead by their sense of smell. Humans give off a scent that the Walkers can detect, and the longer we stand still” that makes me concerned to me that sounds like a feature that sounds nice on paper but in game it ends up broken.

    • A valid concern, and this is something we are continuing to balance. Our game says that you cannot sit and camp for kills. If you try to do that then the world will respond accordingly. You might find a sweet hiding spot in a level but your time to make decisions is limited because it’s only a matter of time before you get detected. I personally love to play the stealth game so I can tell you that it’s something we are always fine tuning as we go along. We are pleased with our approach so far.

  • i have to agree with d-squad on that aspect. I dont understand why more than one dev team would work on the same title Although i know its from different perspectives/stories. im sure this too will be good but i cant help but feeling milked. i preordered telltail’s version anx playing it.

  • Why make it an FPS when shooting isn’t biggest part of The Walking Dead at all? The fact that Activision is the publisher worries me considering that almost everything that they’ve published other than COD and Transformers (Minus the movie tie-in) has not received much support at all.

  • I loved Ghostbusters, and I’m looking forward to this game. Congrats on the opportunity.

    Any word on a Vita port?

  • I think this is a good idea especially with what they are already saying some of the features will be like. I think it will help that the developers are huge fans of the series, can’t really go off-topic that way can they? I’m looking forward to this as I have also bought and played Telltale Games version of this series.

    • We’re glad you’re excited! We’re excited and so is AMC! We’re all big fans of the show, and we’re all working hard to deliver an unique experience that feels genuine to the world of The Walking Dead.

  • I think they jumped the shark with this one..

  • another FPS yay ¬_¬

  • I was interested until I saw the activision logo at the end of the trailer… pass

  • Awww guys/gals, let’s give Angel & Co. some suggestions like “having ammo being scarce” instead of outright bashing the title. Everybody grab an icy drink & allow the demo (if there’s one at all) & critic reviews be part of the deciding factor if the game’s for you.

    • I can’t give away too much, but resource management is a very important aspect in the game. I can tell you that the TV show runs continuously on our projectors 24/7. Every person on the team has watched each episode no less than a dozen times by now. This game is heavily influenced by the series. That’s where we find our inspiration, our characterization, and our do’s and don’ts rules. ‘Authenticity’ is a watchword here. We are always double and triple checking ourselves against what the Walking Dead TV series has done up to this point.

  • Seeing how the game focuses on Daryl and Merle is there any chance of some kind of co-op, be it the campaign or a stand-alone mode?

    • This is a cool idea, but we wanted to focus on the relationship between the two brothers. “Why did Daryl react the way he did when Rick told him they left Merle on the roof?” Brotherly love or something else? “Why did Daryl start to make a character change in the river after his brother showed up in his hallucinations?” To show his brother he isn’t who he says he is and he can make his own decisions? These are the types of questions we ask ourselves as we move forward with the game. AMC and Activision are providing us with the opportunity to help bring the story of the journey these two brothers took to end up with the Grimes group like we see in Season 1.

  • Don’t tell me it’ll be a FPS…

  • People shouldn’t get upset that it is a FPS getting made. As it can provide an advantage over other titles, providing camera views that prevent you from observing all your surroundings at once.

    The only sad thing about this announcement, is who the license was awarded to & also who will be developing the title. Not to be mean but Terminal has given me no reason in the past to rush out for their titles, and unless Activision is unloosing their purse strings for this title, I think we are going to end up disappointed.

    Now is your chance to prove me wrong Terminal Reality.

  • This is based on the show based on the comic books while Telltale’s is based on the ComicBook. I like Telltale’s take on walking dead. I feel it to be better than the TV show.

  • A drama based game? An FPS more of that? Im pretty skeptical on this one. Not going to say anything until I saw the gameplay though.

    • It is a challenge but we think it is not impossible. We want the drama to come out in the gameplay. Instead of listening to long cinematics to deliver story players will be part of the decision making process. A player will need to be quick with their decisions and their actions at the same time. Think you can make a split decision on when to pull the trigger and the result be what you want? You will get to experience that in our game. The pressure is on your shoulders. We think this is what fans of the show come to expect from the Walking Dead.

  • Connor_mufc_1985

    Please consider a wave based Co-Op survival mode , 4 players using Shane , Rick , Darryll or Merle in locations such as the Hospital from season 1 , the School and Hershells farm from season 2 and the Prison from the upcoming season 3 , this mode could be awesome :)

  • All I will say is that you guys better not lock the save data. I’m getting sick and tired of this locked save data to a console crap and black mailing us to have to pay for plus just to be able to back up a save data. That’s getting pathetic enough to where I have stopped buying games that pull that junk.

  • Oh and behold its a miracle lol. I can post again it just took me making a new account. let me record this on video camera so if I get blocked from commenting by the blog team for the sky is the limit time I will have it on record. I’m getting sick and tired of always getting blocked from expressing my opinions on these blogs by the blog team. You keep blocking my constructive criticism which I as well as everyone else has a right to and yet I’m the only psn user that is getting all the psn accounts I have to keep making and they get blocked. Way to treat consumers that buy your games and products. Anyways sorry for ranting on your post on Walking dead I just had to get that rant out to the blog team I know they are reading all the comments on every post anyways. Can’t wait for this game but if it has locked save data and I will look it up before I buy it then it will be a no sale for me.

  • Dang, why does it have to be Activision.

  • Cant wait!!

  • How much stelth there would be?

    Sneakin’ in crouch position? Backstabbin’? One-hit kills? Melee usage? Gadjets? Silencers? Crossbow? Is it possible to collect arrows after they’ve been shot?

    About survival aspect….

    Do Dixons need to eat/drink/treat injuries?

    How long the game’s in development?

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