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Saving Doug: Empathy, Character, and Choice in The Walking Dead


Telltale's The Walking Dead should be, by most historical measures, a failure as an apocalyptic zombie video game. It has no dedicated combat button, the main character has no exceptional skills or abilities, and it explores issues of race and gender under a mechanical and thematic milieu of "choice." By focusing completely on characters and "designing with empathy," we were able to create a story-driven game experience that has become both a commercial and critical success. Join designers Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin for a discussion of The Walking Dead's characters, its world, its moral choice moments, and where the player fits in to it all.

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  • GDC 2013
  • Jake Rodkin
  • Telltale Games
  • Sean Vanaman
  • Telltale Games
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design