TellTale Games Need A New Game Engine

TellTale Games Need A New Game Engine

TellTale games have become major players in the modern industry. Darlings of the critics, favourites of the consumer, life is good for TellTale. They’ve been securing license faster than Funko. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Borderlands Minecraft and Batman form the current core catalogue of licences TellTale have access to. That’s a whole lot of brand power.

The Walking Dead Season One wad the point in which TellTale blew up. They suddenly went from somewhat unknowns to stars of the industry. Known for their ability to tell mature stories, laced with heavy decisions, The Walking Dead became a ‘modern classic’. TellTale followed up their success with a second season, as well as The Wolf Among us.

By early 2015, TellTale’s Game of Thrones and Tales From The Borderlands had hit the market. Life is Strange had also entered the scene, packing a much more technically diverse engine. TellTale’s games suddenly started to look dated.

Tales From The Borderlands represents TellTale’s best work. Smart, funny and perfectly in tone with the game world, it’s truly a fantastic experience. The game’s engine worked well given the visual style of Borderlands. Game of Thrones suffered a different fate. Looking past the problems with scripts and boring stories, Game of Thrones showed how dated the game engine was.

From a visual perspective, Game of Thrones was a muddy mess. Scenery looked ugly, awash with smudged looking textures, and bizarre squared off shadows. Even though the game lack visual finesse, each episode featured various technical problems. Stuttering frame rates became more of a issue with each episode. Animation appeared robotic and unnatural, detracting from the attempts to very Human characters.

TellTale’s game engine is in dire need of updating. Their games may not require top notch visuals and performance, but it helps. They spend so much time and effort creating immersive worlds, only for the game’s engine to drag the player straight out of the experience. Facial animation has never been the engine’s strong point. Robotic movements, stiff expressions and uneasy lip syncing has always featured in Telltale titles involving Human models.


2016 is already shaping up to be a big year for TellTale. Three of their titles heavily feature Human character models. The current game engine is simply not good enough to allow players to fully emerge into the game world. Frame rate issues need to be solved, animation addressed and visuals sharpened. TellTale are no longer the only major players in the genre, the time for a new engine is now.



Sean Halliday

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