With SXSW 2014 underway here in Austin, Gamnesia has you covered on any new details on this year's most anticipated games. Speaking of which, Telltale Games hosted a panel earlier this morning where they discussed the inner workings of developing Clementine in The Walking Dead.
Later this afternoon, there was another panel specifically for Tales from the Borderlands. The illustrious panel showing off Tales from the Borderlands featured Anthony Burch, Matthew Armstrong, Kevin Burner, and Harrison Pink, and was hosted by The Indoor Kids' Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon.
The story of how this game ever even happened revolves around alcohol. The guys from both studios got together and just started talking about a collaboration. Telltale felt that Borderlands had a rich world with a really great narrative, and they felt it would be a good fit to make a game about Borderlands with the style of Telltale Games. Many fans these days fail to recall Telltale's history of funny games – Sam and Max, for example, or Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People – so Borderlands' tendency for humor fits well with them, and they're a bit relieved to be moving away from the darker stories of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
Tales From the Borderlands is set after all the events of Borderlands 2 and all the DLC. It is not Borderlands 3, and it will be cannon, but it's a story all of its own, one with focus on the idea of giving the world more heft and meaning. When you're not playing a vault hunter, there's more "dramatic tension." Pandora is a very nasty place, but there are people that have to live in that world, who have families and friends, people they care about. Those stories can be very interesting.
"In Pandora, you're either greedy or you die." Like many post-apocalyptic stories, it's very selfish. Greed always has consequences, but you can't opt out of greed in Pandora. Greed isn't good or bad, "it just is," and it all affects us differently.
In Tales from the Borderlands, you're rewarded from lying, cheating, and stealing. You'll be playing as two protagonists, one boy and one girl, both of whom are "lying jerks," and the truth lies somewhere in between. That statement is somewhat innocuous, but there’s a mystery in this story, and finding the truth will require the player to look in between the lies. In lying, in greed, in deception, there are always two sides to every story, and Telltale finds that to be very important.
The first protagonist, Rhys, works for Hyperion, and is not at all in any way Handsome Jack; that said, Handsome Jack does have an effect on Rhys. "Rhys is a Hyperion man through and through."
Our second main character, Fiona, is more of a snakeoil salesman, a scam artist; she's deceptive. Telltale pointed out an interesting aspect of her career, though: when being a con artist, you eventually run out of places where you can make your trade, as too many people will recognize who you are. It looks like Fiona is running out of options, which will certainly affect her motivations.
By making these two protagonists, and unlike their past games, Telltale wants to have a bit more control over the narrative. Anthony believes that when a character gets too whacky, you have to ground them with some humanness or sadness. That said, the developers don't want fans of the original games to worry: there will be tons of action and quite a few guns. The key is that this time, it will all happen "in a Telltale way."
For a final note, the developers did state that Rhys and Fiona will run into other characters from the Borderlands universe...but Telltale isn't ready to talk about them just yet.
First Screenshot from Tales of the Borderlands:
Tales from the Borderlands will be coming out later this year, will be a fairly typical Telltale series, and will have more specifics announced later. They also were not ready to release the number of episodes at this time or announce console availability.