From Major Themes to Inside Jokes, Telltale Devs Share Their Favorite Moments from Our 2017 Releases

Telltale endured a great deal of change in 2017, but our team of talented, hard-working artists, writers, designers, and more still managed to release some amazing episodes across four equally amazing series: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two, and Batman: The Enemy Within. In order to reflect on and celebrate all that hard work, we asked some of our developers to share their personal favorite moments from the games they helped create. Here’s what they said (all spoilers marked):

From Major Themes to Inside Jokes, Telltale Devs Share Their Favorite Moments from Our 2017 Releases

“My favorite moment from Guardians was the opportunity to create the flashback between Drax and his daughter Kamaria in episode four. As we were in the early days of crafting the story of episode four, it was clear that Kamaria’s death was the defining event of Drax’s life, and showing a meaningful moment of their history was the key to making players care about Kamaria. The moment we decided on was Drax giving Kamaria her first tattoo. We don’t see much from Drax’s culture beyond his extensive body art and thought the moment between a proud father and his slightly nervous daughter could help externalize some of the feelings we wanted the player to explore this episode.” Matt Boland, Designer

“I really enjoyed our season theme of mothers and sons. It’s a very personal theme for a superhero project. Throughout episode one, we put a lot of effort into Peter’s relationship with his mother. We wanted players to understand how cool Meredith was and how much impact she had on Peter’s life. At the same time we introduced the idea that Hala, our season’s villain, was a mother too. Both characters lost someone important, and it affected them deeply. Finding different ways to conditionally close out this complex emotional theme in episode five was my favorite aspect of the season.” Molly Maloney, Designer

“Have you read all the emails on Peter’s computer? I really love those. Josh Trujillo wrote most of them for episode two, and I remember getting them back and cracking up at the one Drax sends Peter. It was fun playing later episodes and seeing how the emails evolved and jokes got added to. I wrote one from Rooks and laughed when I saw Peter’s response in the next episode followed by the ‘failure to send’ notice. It felt like a little running joke between the episode teams.” Nicole Martinez, Writer

“So one of my favorite things that ended up in the game was what is now being called the ‘candy mystery.’ I can’t take credit for it though. Molly Maloney came by my desk one night and I was showing her the Milano hub. Episode one was closing at the time and she told me there was a ‘look-at’ that she wished she could put in. That’s when she pointed out all the candy lying around the ship. She did the whole bit ending with the ‘It was me!’ from Star-Lord. I told her we were adding it in. She may have thought I was joking, but now it’s there for the world to see. Just follow the candy.” Also Nicole Martinez, Writer

“My favorite moment from Guardians is hands down the ‘Shambala’ montage in episode three. Each member of the team has such a strong personality, and often we rely heavily on dialogue to demonstrate that. So to be able to show them navigating their relationships with one another in a purely visual way through their actions in a music montage was very special.” Mark Droste, Episode Director

From Major Themes to Inside Jokes, Telltale Devs Share Their Favorite Moments from Our 2017 Releases

“My favorite New Frontier moment was the ‘Spinach or Cake’ scene with Joan in episode three, Above the Law. The goal was for players to feel off balance and nervous about how to navigate this meeting with new people who they were supposed to impress, and presenting the choice up front of siding with one or another person about what kind of food you thought more appealing provided a neat personality test. Plus it gave me a chance to bring in chocolate-spinach muffins (which are tastier than they sound) as a treat for the table read of that scene.” Alyssa Finley, Executive Producer

[SPOILERS] “My favorite moment happens in episode five, when David decides to take back control of his family by trying to convince Gabe and Kate to leave Richmond. When a defiant Kate shows her love for Javi, David flies into a violent rage, punching Javi in the face repeatedly. Depending on the player’s choice, Javi retaliates or tells David ‘I love you, brother’ as his face is beaten badly. The intensity and complexity of the scene allowed Jeff Schine (Javi), Shelly Shenoy (Kate), Alex Hernandez (David), Melissa Hutchison (Clementine), and Raymond Ochoa (Gabe) to experiment vocally with love and anger, and each actor expressed themselves at a level that surprised us all.” Connor Stock, Voice Director

From Major Themes to Inside Jokes, Telltale Devs Share Their Favorite Moments from Our 2017 Releases

“One of my favorite things about Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two is Beacontown. It’s a fun environment with all kinds of wacky elements: an enormous purple octopus straddles Main Street, a hamburger balloon floats quietly overhead with a blue whale, a pirate ship is a back-alley adventure shop, a treehouse sits next to a lava-spewing skull, and so on. It’s bonkers but somehow it works. Beacontown was inspired by all the incredible things people build in Minecraft: massive cities, gravity-defying structures, derpy statues, etc. We wanted our world to have the same fun, spontaneous feeling, like a box of toys dumped out on the ground. Getting all that crazy to work and play well together took some time, but I’m proud of how Beacontown turned out and hope you enjoy it!” Mark Hamer, Art Director

“I think I’d have to say the trivia contest from episode four, where the player has to answer a bunch of questions to enter Fred’s house. It went through a ton of revisions until we landed on what’s there. It was such a funny change of pace from the rest of the episode, and it was a little ‘old school adventure gamey’ too. One of my favorites.” Brian Freyermuth, Lead Designer

[SPOILERS] “Hands down my favorite moment from Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two is deciding who to leave behind, Nurm or Lluna, in episode three. We had two characters that were pretty universally loved, and watching players have to choose between them was gut-wrenching. This was not necessarily a very popular choice for everybody on the team, as we’d invested a lot in making them likable and important characters in Jesse’s life. But in the end, it was that very attribute that made the choice so difficult and therefore compelling.” Steve McManus, Designer

“My favorite thing about MCSM: Season Two is less of an individual moment and more of a collection of moments throughout the season. There are so many references and little Easter eggs to discover that really can appeal to everyone, keeping the player interested throughout the season. As someone whose job it is to be constantly aware of content as it changes every day, it amazes me that I can continue to come across little moments that make me want to keep exploring the game, not only as a tester but also as a player.” Tim Johnson, QA Lead

“My favorite moment in Season Two happens in episode three, set inside an interdimensional prison run by a lonely, self-absorbed madman and his social-climbing sidekick, the Warden, who punishes Jesse by suffocating Radar in a head-crushing machine. Afterwards, Radar realizes he can survive on his own, transforming both his attitude and appearance into the relatively tougher ‘Prison Radar.’ While [voice actor] Yuri Lowenthal’s Radar voice was always a challenge, since its pace and pitch are hard to maintain, adding a prison gruffness to Radar opened up a world of fun possibilities and gave Yuri a lot of creative flexibility.” Connor Stock, Voice Director

From Major Themes to Inside Jokes, Telltale Devs Share Their Favorite Moments from Our 2017 Releases

“When I joined Batman, I was primarily responsible for producing the character art team. So when I think about The Enemy Within, I definitely have a special place in my heart for the characters in the series. Not only did we want to improve the overall quality of our existing season one characters (shout out to Gordon’s new stache), we also had the opportunity to create a fresh take on iconic characters such as The Riddler, Bane, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, and The Joker. It was super exciting when episode two released and we could finally show off the full squad in all their glory! Now I can’t wait for you all to see how our characters evolve throughout the season.” Graciela Ruiz, Associate Producer

“My favorite thing to work on so far would have to be the cafe scene in episode two. When I first saw the script, I was struck by the great writing and the tone being a refreshing departure from the procedural nature of the game. Performance wise, the cafe required nuance and intimacy that probably hadn’t been seen in Telltale’s Batman before, so striking the right vibe with the acting and assembling the scene was the result of deep interdepartmental collaboration and a lot of trial and error.

Both Troy Baker (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Anthony Ingruber (John Doe) were totally committed to getting it just right, and I think we recorded and assembled four different versions of the scene before we were satisfied. I know we made the choreography department crazy with all of the rolling changes, but Michael Gambino and his team understood that, to some degree, the success of episode lived or died on that scene being believable. I’m grateful to everyone at Telltale who contributed, and I’m thrilled with how it’s been received by the fans.” Joe Moeller, Voice Over Department Director

And that’s a wrap on 2017! What were some of your favorite moments from our games this past year? Join us on the forums, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and let us know. And of course, a huge, humble thank you for all your support. The adventure continues in 2018…