The Walking Dead EP22: Lampshading Zombies

  By Shamus   Jan 23, 2013   148 comments


Link (YouTube)

This might not have been Kenny’s original zombie plan, but apparently he’s thinking that it would be a good idea to cram five people onto a 30 foot (10 meter) boat and… what? Put out to sea? Go fishing in the river? Travel someplace? I’d love to know what he thought they would be doing the day after tomorrow.

Can you imagine spending all day on a boat that size? Nothing to do. No privacy. Exposed to the elements. No way to cook the fish you can’t catch because you don’t have any fishing gear. It might be workable as a moving base for a few days. Maybe you could load up on fuel and scavenge your way up the coast. (Although I’ll bet coastal towns are thoroughly picked over.) But as a long-term plan, this boat is a Viking funeral waiting to happen.


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  1. Deadpool says:

    It’s amazing how many awful plot points can get overlooked thanks to a strong emotional connection to the characters…

  2. Isy says:

    The interesting thing about the guy on the radio is not only Clem knowingly telling him things and hiding it from us, her comments on the man (“he’s nice, he wants to help!”) and his to her (“I have your parents!”) kind of indicate she may have gone over the fence to him willingly, and then gotten forcibly dragged off. It’s a huge screw up that results in a lot of deaths, but no one really seems to acknowledge it.

    I left Clem behind. Molly didn’t die. You have to shoot a zombie before it gets to Molly, but it wasn’t hard.

    I should have seen the twist with Crawford coming, but it caught be utterly by surprise, and I really appreciated it. I felt Crawford was the best part of the game (combined with the worst, more on that later) because it syncs up with all the themes before it and all the themes after. This was a camp of uber-neo Nazi hardcore survivalists who did everything they could to be cold and ruthless and practical… and they’re all dead. It didn’t matter. People complain about the choices in this game not mattering, but Crawford is when you realize that from the thematic standpoint of the game, they shouldn’t matter. You can’t change what happens. So when you look back on what you did… was it worth it? Are you proud of yourself?

    If your choices in game mattered it creates an “optimal route” that you can go through where you have people picking things based on the result they want, and not what they would actually say. Things like “oh yeah, you can save Doug, but you have to give him the apple and then pick the right options with Lily…” It would ruin the point of the game, I think. That’s NOT to say here weren’t many things the game could have handled better, or that the people who are complaining aren’t right to do so. The choices are the game, so when you realize they affect little, you feel disenfranchised. It’s an interesting problem.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      They still affect lee,and by extension the player.So Id say that the choices matter a lot.Even the ones that dont change a thing about anyone else(saving duck or saving shawn) still affect what kind of a man lee is.

    • Deadpool says:

      Are you implying someone could play the game WRONG?!? If they’re enjoying the game, what is the problem?

      Btw, what is this POINT of the game that would be ruined by choice?

      • Nick says:

        Because you can load an earlier save point, and pick the other option, or try a different route. If you’ve got one path where someone dies and another where they don’t, players of your game are probably going to reload until they can get the good option, even if there’s an alternate story arc from that choice point.

        Basically, if you make an optimal path through a game like this, then most of your branching paths are just not used, and that’s a waste of a lot of resources.

        Now, if you make the choice between two mixed blessings options, then the player has a reason to pick either. This is the original episode 1 Doug/Carley choice – until it gets negated by episode 3, anyway.

        As Isy said, the theme is that your choices don’t (always) matter – or perhaps a better way of saying it is that your influence on the world and events is finite. If you can save people or not, you’re going to choose to save them. If you have to choose between that and, say, getting revenge on someone then you have a more interesting choice, but that’s not actually the focus of the game

        • newdarkcloud says:

          And really, in a zombie apocalypse your choices probably wouldn’t matter that much anyway, either. You’d mostly have to rely on luck, since there would be so many unknowns.

          • Deadpool says:

            That’s another argument that never made sense. Surely as the world gets more dangerous and less safe your choices would matter MORE rather than less, no? Besides, we’ve lived in a world where we aren’t at the top of the food chain before. This wouldn’t exactly be a new situation for our species…

            • newdarkcloud says:

              I am not saying that your choice wouldn’t matter at all. I am saying that a good chunk of what happens to you in a ZA is a what you face and how you adapt to it. For the most part, that’s luck-driven.

              • Dasick says:

                Huh. Sounds a lot like every single Rogue-like *ever* (even the bad ones to a lesser extent). (Why yes, this is a subtle dig at TWD, how did you know?)

              • Deadpool says:

                No it isn’t. What you face is partially luck driven, partially choice driven. And how you adapt is all choice driven. That’s a 75/25 split on the side of choice here…

            • krellen says:

              I don’t think the species “Homo Sapiens” has ever lived in a world where they were not the top of the food chain. I’m not even sure it has ever happened for the genus “Homo”.

              • Deadpool says:

                Homo Habilis was a scavenger…

                • krellen says:

                  Unless something explicitly hunted it for food, it was still the top of its food chain.

                  • Deadpool says:

                    A carrion scavenger on top of the food chain in nature would be strange. Generally you scavenge because you can’t bring down prey on your own. You let bigger, more capable predators bring down the prey, hide until they are done eating, and eat the left overs. Not the actions of “top of the food chain” material.

                    But quite a few large predatory animals at the time had a regular diet of Homo Habilis.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinofelis

                    This little fella is an easy find, but there were more.

                    • krellen says:

                      Alright. Poor little Homo Habilis.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      To be fair, you are correct in that “top of the food chain” is not exactly what I meant. Maybe “apex predator” would be a better suited term?

                      The point I was making is that being a small, largely outnumbered by predators outside our “base” border is essentially how every hunter-gatherer society has lived since our species began.

                      Truth of the matter is, the whole “choice wouldn’t matter with Zombies” idea tends to come from the idea that all Zombie stories are about the inevitability of death, but the truth is, the setting lends itself far more to the inspirational, “human kind can overcome anything with ingenuity and determination” kind of stories. The situation isn’t THAT much different from what the Grimaldi Men and their contemporaries dealt with and we are smarter and better equipped…

                    • Dasick says:

                      I think this is the premise of The Zombie Hunters webcomic. Humans are survivors, and it’s just exploring how human-kind would deal with the problem.

                      Yeah, any zombie story on a large scale is either going to be an inspirational thing about how humanity is awesome, or it’s going to need *a lot* of Plot-powered Zombies and Idiot Balls to go around.

                    • Thomas says:

                      ^Very good webcomic (I don’t have anything actually intellectual to contribute =D)

        • Deadpool says:

          But players STILL go back and reload save to undo a mistake and etc. The game actually goes out of its way to pretend there is choice, and enough people believed it to the point that they did that.

          And actually, if players aren’t seeing one content, then reloading and seeing another, how is any of it wasted content? Actually, if anything, we’d have MORE people seeing MORE of the content they produced than there is right now. When choices don’t matter, people don’t replay the game, so having multiple dialogue choices goes mostly the waste. Having choice matter would have people replay the game the see different options and experience more content.

          But it’s hard to argue whether or not it would ruin the “point” if the game if you can’t figure out what the “point” of the game IS.

          • Dasick says:

            Actually, if anything, we’d have MORE people seeing MORE of the content they produced than there is right now.

            When choices don’t matter, people don’t replay the game, so having multiple dialogue choices goes mostly the waste.

            Why not NOT give the audience any choices, and just let them see ALL the content being produced in ONE sitting, show them one finely crafted, focused picture, and not force ANYONE to replay the same parts over and over again to get the scraps of unique content they’ve missed?

            • Deadpool says:

              Which is fine. But that isn’t what this game DOES.

              There is different content. You can, for example, get hit by Molly or take down Molly. That’s two different cutscenes that were created, and payed for. That is content in the game that someone might miss. And by being COMPLETELY pointless and meaningless, there is zero incentive for a player to go ahead and replay the game to watch BOTH.

              The game already HAS mutually exclusive content. The game already HAS a method to go back and let players experience all of the different content. What the game lacks is a reason why anyone would WANT to.

              What I fail to see is how providing THAT (ie a reason to actually replay the game) would somehow HURT this mythical “point” of the game…

              • Dasick says:

                The game already HAS a method to go back and let players experience all of the different content.

                It’s a pretty terrible method. In order to access the different content I haven’t seen, I have to experience all the content that I’ve already seen and don’t want to see because I’ve seen it already and I want to see the different content.

                • Deadpool says:

                  Yes, you do have to replay the game to replay the game, yes. But this being episodic allows you to restart per episode as opposed from the very beginning, which does make things easier than most games with actual branching storylines.

                  • Dasick says:

                    Easier, but there is still the overhead of having to sit through material you’ve seen. What about cross-episode choices? Isn’t there a better way to do this?

                    • Deadpool says:

                      There COULD be. We could have auto saves before every choice. Would that really be worth the trouble though? I mean, if people want to replay the game, why not let them replay the game? I did like Alpha Protocol’s (and before that, Chrono Cross) ability to fast forward cutscenes in later playthroughs…

                      We seem to have veered off so far off the point I’m not sure you know what you’re arguing for or against anymore…

                    • Dasick says:

                      Oh, I *know* the point I’m arguing for. I’m arguing the same thing I’ve been arguing for since the beginning of the season, I’m just driving at it from a different angle.

                      if people want to replay the game, why not let them replay the game?

                      I imagine most people don’t really want to replay the game, they just want to see all the unique content. If people want to replay the game because they want to experience it again, then there wouldn’t be an issue of ‘lack-of-replayability’.

                      Saving before each quote-unquote decision is kinda tedious and it’s hard to put it in context, plus, some choices have far reaching consequences, and you’d still be replaying a high percentage of content you’ve already seen to get to the unique bits.

                      My personal fix to this kind of problem is YouTube. That’s how I experienced all the good bits of Mass Effect 3 without any of the tedium of the thing they call “gameplay” and undesirable content (*cough* Some Kidd *cough*).

                    • Deadpool says:

                      Isn’t “experiencing game content” the same thing as “playing game”?

                      Your point is still not clear. There are games out there with large story choices that greatly affect the path of the game. Most of them require replaying from the very beginning to experience all of them.

                      Even if Walking Dead forced you to restart from the beginning of episode 1, it wouldn’t disqualify it from having decisions.

                    • Shamus says:

                      I must say: You guys (Dasick, Deapool, and the other participants in this ongoing conversation about choice in games) have been at this exchange for a long time, over many post, and covered a ton of territory. And yet you’re still thoughtful, polite, and earnest about it.

                      Thanks to both of you. I’m enjoying the exchange, and I appreciate the patience and thought you’re putting into this.

                    • Dasick says:

                      I don’t think that ‘experiencing game content’ is the same as ‘playing the game’. If I rip the music from the game folder onto my MP3 player, or watch a cutscene on YouTube, I’m not really playing a game, but I’m experiencing the content. In the situation you described, ‘playing’ is an interface to getting to the ‘content’, and as far as interfaces go it’s a bad one.

                      The point I’m making is that when you’re replaying a game to see all the content you’ve missed, you’re only seeing like 10-20 percent new content in what, a ten hour playthrough? I’d call that wasting my time.

                      Same deal with TWD – if I want to see what I’ve missed by choosing one option over another, they’re still choices, but they’re much fewer and farther apart.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      Isn’t that just semantics at this point? I mean, sure, in some games that may be true. But we are talking about THIS game. What’s the difference between clicking play on a youtube video and see Lee tell Kenny to go to hell and clicking the dialogue option that makes Lee tell Kenny to go to hell? How is one “playing” and the other “experiencing game content”?

                      As for waste of time? Isn’t that for the player to decide? And it’s only a waste of time here because of what kind of game THIS is. One of the earlier examples of game choice is Tactics Ogre, and old Super Famicon turn based strategy game that had 3 wildly different paths. There’s one Chapter 1, two Chapter 2, three Chapter 3 and one Chapter 4 (with wildly different classes and characters available, but essentially same plot). You get to enjoy same game play while seeing new dialogue, new characters and new strategies. Great use of choice, not a waste.

                      And in this game… Imagine if choice MATTERED. Imagine if every Chapter had a point where Clem could die and each death would split off into its own time line so we end up with X different paths where X is the number of Chapters. Would replaying THAT game be a “waste of time”?

                      Maybe something simpler, what if Chapter 3-5 had a Lily and Carley/Doug path to counteract the Kenny/Ben path? You take the RV and don’t go to Savannah at all. Would you prefer to watch 3 Chapters on youtube or just replay them yourself? What would be a bigger waste of time?

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      If we’re talking about THIS game, I would say having branching plots to encourage re-playability is a terrible idea. This isn’t a game with gameplay capable of supporting multiple playthroughs. The gameplay elements in TWD consist of puzzles and QTE–both of which just become boring on a second playthrough, when you know they’re coming. They exist solely as tools for emotional manipulation that the developers use judiciously to keep you engaged with the characters. It is not designed for multiple playthroughs

                      In your example, all playthroughs share the same Chapter 1 and the same Chapter 4. That doesn’t work here. Replaying any chapter means watching the same sequences again, solving the same puzzles again (pharmacy was bad enough the first time), listening to all the dialog again, with no variation beyond slight cosmetics.

                      In Tactics Ogre, the story and the game are two disparate elements of your experience–you can put up with a repeat of chapter 1 because you can choose differing parties, try your hand at different tactics, and just ignore the story. In TWD everything is put in place in-service-to and integrated-with the story, and all repetition is just going to be treading over content you’ve already seen before without engaging you.

                      Having multiple outcomes means nothing–no gameplay, no story, no content–can be repeated across branches, branches can’t converge, and branches have to be in place from the opening scene on. In other words, you have to create two completely separate games. The way TWD did it is the only way it will work, unless you radically want to change the type of game it is.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      The gameplay isn’t just puzzles and QTE. It’s also DIALOGUE CHOICES, which branching storylines add an IMMENSE amount of replayability to.

                      I’m not talking about making this like Tactics Ogre, I was just pointing out that replaying games for new story isn’t always a waste of time.

                      But I am confused as to your argument that it wouldn’t work in THIS game when, in the last paragraph, you explain exactly how it WOULD work. Replaying is a waste of time here BECAUSE there are no branching plot lines. Not the other way around. Branching plot lines WOULD make this a worthwhile game to replay.

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      You missed the point where I said branching storylines won’t work unless you create an entire new game for each “branch.” In order to do it right, you can’t branch, you can only make parallel stories if you want subsequent playthroughs to be engaging. At that point, you release the two “branches” separately because they’re two fully realized games independent of one another.

                      You’re right, I suppose I should have included the dialog choices in the gameplay. My points still stands, however, because they suffer at least as much as puzzles and QTEs from a lack-of-replayability standpoint. That is, once you’ve seen a particular dialog branch once, you’re never going to enjoy the same impact from experiencing it again. It isn’t engaging to have Lee tell Larry off the second time, but you have to in order to see what happens if you choose Doug instead of Carley. Adding branches only adds replayability AFTER the branch. Before the branch you’re just going through the motions to get there, similar to when you do an adventure puzzle for the second time–all you can do is blithely fill in the checkboxes so you can reach the next waypoint in the narrative.

                      This is not only boring, it defeats the purpose of having a branching storyline to begin with, because you never have a chance to become engaged since you’re just following a rote recipe to get to the branch.

                      A lot of people justifying the lack of branches say “it’s too expensive.” I would argue that the issue is not so much a question of economics, but rather a question of priority. Adding branches only serves to deliver a substandard narrative to players willing to suffer the repetition, in a game that’s all about using player interaction to enhance the emotional impact and audience engagement in the story. Even ignoring the cost, significant branches just don’t fit with the goals of TWD.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      This is not only boring, it defeats the purpose of having a branching storyline to begin with

                      Pause. It may be boring (player choice really) but it doesn’t defeat the purpose of a branching storyline because the purpose is to give the choice MEANING the first time around. Even IF every subsequent choice is devoid of meaning (which, if you do it right, it’s not true), at least you had ONE playthrough where it mattered.

                      You see the problem with Walking Dead’s lack of choice is, partially, that this is a game ABOUT choice (as seen at the beginning of every episode) and your choices don’t matter. Which makes this a game about NOTHING.

                      It’s a game where making choices is your primary means of interaction, but don’t choices don’t change anything, making this a largely non-interactive member of an interactive medium. It is a glorified short animated series. It’s the American FLCL. But good.

                      It’s a good story. Good characters, good animation, good voice acting. I enjoyed it quite a bit. But it’s only a game in the strictest of senses.

                      Also, your major complaint about replaying the game for a branch would be EASILY solved by a check point at the end of each Chapter (ie. where the achievements kick in) that you could reload to, and a fast forward option. Boom, boredom removed.

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      The boredom is less important than the complete lack of engagement. Whether you’re fast-forwarding or you have to suffer through it, you aren’t going to be engaged in the story. Further, if you want to argue from the perspective of “your choices should have more weight,” I would counter that adding a fast-forward button removes all weight from choices–why does it matter what you can pick, when you can reload and fast-forward if you don’t like the consequences?

                      It’s a game where making choices is your primary means of interaction, but don’t choices don’t change anything, making this a largely non-interactive member of an interactive medium. It is a glorified short animated series.

                      After I’ve finished the game and watched a few other people play it, I think that was actually the goal. When I look at all the interactive elements in the series, I can’t think of a single one that’s there for the purpose of “gameplay.” Every single instance I can think of seems crafted to evoke a specific emotional response or make the player feel closer to Lee.

                      The QTEs aren’t included for gameplay value, they are there to make the player feel panicked, to feel the specter of Death riding close on their heels. The puzzles aren’t particularly challenging or engaging, but they provide a break for the player to step back and reflect on recent events. Even the dialog options follow this pattern–they aren’t a device for the character to exercise their individual wills on the gamespace, they’re a device that allows the characters to give their voice to Lee. In this way, whenever an NPC disagrees or supports Lee, they are indirectly arguing with or supporting the player, adding a new level of immersion to the inter-personal conflicts being depicted.

                      Thinking of it in this light, it just doesn’t make sense to let the story branch that much. I understand that it would make you feel the weight of the choices you make more poignantly, and make you feel like you accomplished something when you reap what you sowed, but that isn’t the point. The point is to tell a story, and the detriment brought about by adding branching paths vastly outweigh the benefits gleaned from them with regards to the story.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      Whether you’re fast-forwarding or you have to suffer through it, you aren’t going to be engaged in the story.

                      Up to a point.

                      With branching storylines: First playthrough, you actions matter. You are engaged and actively trying to perform a task (either play Lee as you would act yourself, or better than yourself, or worse than yourself, as you see fit).

                      In subsequent playthroughs, you would either fast forward previous parts and THEN be engaged in the new ones (either continuing previous play style in new branch, or actively being completely different, or anywhere in between). You are still engaged in the game, only not through 100% of it.

                      WITHOUT branching plotlines: In the first playthrough you aren’t engaged at all. You’re just pushing buttons to continute the plot.

                      In subsequent playthroughs… Well, they don’t exist. There’s no point for have one. So you have 0 engagement here.

                      You see the difference? Now, yes, some people may use the branching plot line to just watch every different outcome, but that’s THEIR choice. That’s THEIR idea of entertainment. And hey, if the game is entertaining, then it’s doing its job.

                      Meanwhile some people may only play it once, see their version of the plot and stop. And in this case, branching storylines are ALSO better since it gives them a reason to ACTUALLY consider their choices and have a real emotional connection with the game. So here the branching storyline ALSO an improvement.

                      Whether you are experience the game through a root menu, or an organic development based on your choices, or a youtube Let’s Play, the game is ALWAYS improved by having branching plotlines.

                      After I’ve finished the game and watched a few other people play it, I think that was actually the goal.

                      Two things: First, if they honestly set out to make a non interactive game about choice, it actually makes this worse. Motives are rarely excuses and if you want to make a cartoon you should just make a damned cartoon.

                      Second, going by their interviews about it, it sure doesn’t seem that way. They tell players their choices matter quite a bit.

          • Nick says:

            From a publishing/marketing perspective it can be seen as wasted content, because it reduces the length of one playthrough of the game, which might be all one player sees of your game. And there are lots of people out there who will complain loudly that the game is too short, that the price is therefore too high and dissuade others from getting your game.

            Personally I’m fine with having that extra content for some replayability, and I hope Telltale does a better job of at least obscuring some of the not-really-a-choices (or better yet, more branching choices like Doug/Carley that don’t end quite the same) in the sequel series

            • Dasick says:

              Even though I have seen all of the content of Xcom, I am still playing it. Even though I’ve seen Star Wars, I will see it again.

              But yeah, consumer expectations are pretty …interesting… these days.

              Every extra ‘choice’ Telltale has to account for is another story they have to tell. This means more writing, more screenplay, more modelling, more voice-acting, more programming, more puzzles etc etc. They either need a bigger budget (time, man-power and $moolah$) or to split the existing one. If you’re splitting the budget, everything is going to come out crappier. BUT, if you’re taking on a bigger budget (which is a hard thing to do in the first place), you need to make sure the game sells well enough to justify the budget, but to do that, you need to make your game more ‘accessible’, ie blander and safer. And if you ignore publisher “advice”, they’ll pull the plug on you, and you’re going to end up with something Obsidian can relate to.

              • newdarkcloud says:

                I do wish that choices had more profound effects in TWD than superficially altering scenes. I wouldn’t say your choices are “false” or “invalid,” but they become less meaningful once Episode 3 dispels the illusion of choice.

                • Dasick says:

                  Question of the day: how does Telltale (or anyone really) add profound effects to their choices WITHOUT massively inflating their budgets and schedules?

                  • Thomas says:

                    Honestly, the very worst place of negating impact of choices for me involved Telltale scripting extra scenes.

                    There are a couple of places where people leave or die or you encounter people who die, where them living or dying would have had no impact on further story. If when you saved the St Johns life they didn’t immediately cut to a shot of their imminent death if Saving Ben didn’t lead to him dying right before all the cast members get written out anyway

                    Or they spent a huge amount of effort scripting the Crawford and following scene for the various combinations of people you can take with you (11 different scenarios I believe?). If they cut all that work and put it into having an ending where Clem acts differently depending on how you’ve chosen, along with not including that extra scene they made for Ep 5, it would have satisfied me.

                    • Dasick says:

                      This is more a question of focus then. But as Isy pointed out in the root comment, the focus of TWD is a theme of ‘futility’. It’s undercut by magical plot zombies, but that’s still the focus.

                    • Thomas says:

                      It’s true. But it’s not surprising a theme of futility undercuts the idea of player choice =D If they were making the game with a slightly different theme it would have been pretty manageable.

                      I just generally hate that theme. If it’s all pointless and futile then whats the point? I’ve said before, I don’t need a game to teach me nihilism.

                    • Keeshhound says:

                      Nihilism doesn’t have to be a bad thing, you know. It’s a little counter-intuitive, but once everything looses it’s meaning, it falls to you (and everyone else) to give it meaning.

                      If a proposed choice will always result in the same outcome, no matter what, then it frees you to make that decision not based on some future calculus of variables, but on which choice you believe to be the most preferable regardless of outcome.

                      So don’t think of it as telling you your choices don’t matter and everything is going to turn out terrible, think of it as freeing you to make decisions without fear that they might have unintended future consequences.

                    • Dasick says:

                      What is the value of freedom if there are no limitations? What is a decision without consequences?

                      future calculus of variables, but on which choice you believe to be the most preferable regardless of outcome.

                      See, that’s still calculus of variables in the future, it just has a different goal and scope. Instead of survival it shifts to making the most out of your time.

                      And to be honest, Roguelikes are a genre dedicated to this idea. Remember Dwarf Fortress motto: “losing is fun”? That’s cause those games aren’t about completing the game or getting the best ending, but rather exploring and mastering the basic mechanics, with a score system to tell you how much better you were than the last time.

                    • Thomas says:

                      ‘If a proposed choice will always result in the same outcome, no matter what, then it frees you to make that decision not based on some future calculus of variables, but on which choice you believe to be the most preferable regardless of outcome.’

                      I’ve never found that argument convincing. I’m with Dasick (I think) in that all thats really saying is that you’re calculating either on very long term variables or very short term variables. Option a will make you more happy or whatever.

                      Happy is okay because thats about having your brain being pumped full of chemicals for obeying some evolutionally programmed need and so passes off all goals to a pseudo-random survival urge.

                      But I’ve never been particularly happy with happiness and any other goal that#s self set requires some kind of aim which doesn’t seem to compatible with futility. If you want to help people then you can offload the responsibility of having an aim to someone else, but then that person you’re helping has to have an aim for you to help them with which again is incompatible with futility.

                      At best I can see a sort of freedom in a Goonesque chaotic random lifestyle where you make choices deliberately to have no pattern or aim and take pleasure in that but otherwise to me there needs to be a non ‘rocks fall everyone dies’ outcome to take satisfaction from anything.

                  • Deadpool says:

                    Well? Impossible. But this holds true for EVERYTHING: Game engine, voice acting, graphics… Even distributing it in more than one platform adds to the cost. That’s life.

                    There is a cheap and cheesy way to make your choices matter more to a game. It doesn’t improve gameplay much, but it doesn’t add much cost and it would make players consider their choices a bit more at the cost of sequel possibilities: An epilogue.

                    I don’t think it would have been good enough, but it’d be an improvement.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Correct. While bringing Clem guarantees that Molly will survive, you can still save Molly yourself if you don’t bring Clem and are skilled enough. Though many people complain that it’s difficult.

    • Dasick says:

      The point of the story is already heavily undercut by zombies having MAGICAL PLOT POWERS and everyone being a fairy-tale DRAMA QUEENDOM. What you chose didn’t matter, because the only winning move is not to play rigged games.

      • Keeshhound says:

        “The only winning move?” That seems a little unreasonable. Your choices not mattering doesn’t mean that the entire experience is meaningless. You can still enjoy the character interaction, for instance.

        • Dasick says:

          Yes, I can, TWD is not without merit. And thanks to YouTube, I can enjoy *just* the merits without pretending to be making ‘important decisions’ that are going to be negated by MAGICAL PLOT ZOMBIES and the explosion at the IDIOT BALL FACTORY.

          • Keeshhound says:

            I would argue that the act of making a choice still has merit, even if the outcome is fixed. Take Larry’s death, for instance; no matter what you choose, he doesn’t make it out of that freezer, regardless of that outcome, the choice to try to save him, or aid Kenny in executing him is an important one because it allows for an examination of one’s core values. Sure, you could discuss those values at length after watching the scene on youtube, but no amount of discussion with hindsight is going to match up with a decision made on the spot.

  3. Nytzschy says:

    I really didn’t see that twist coming. Mostly because exactly none of the walkers so far have had a gait even remotely resembling that of a healthy human. So, add mimicry to their list of improbable magical powers, along with teleportation.

    Hm. Maybe when you eat someone’s brains, you absorb their gait? Sort of like eating someone’s heart to get their courage, or their pancreas to get their sardonic outlook on life.

    Also, dear Spoiler Warning crew, your geography is terrible. Everyone knows that the Sea of Marmara is unnavigable this time of year because of the ice floes. There’s no way to get to the Gulf through that in such a small boat.

    Edit: Chris’s Tales of the Black Freighter style suggestion could have a shot, though.

    • Viktor says:

      Just watching here, I actually recognized it as a zombie from the gait in the 2 seconds you see it walking. Watch again, no human would move like that.

      Edit: 20:00 exactly, look at the head. He’s looking up while walking forward, for no discernible reason. And he shuffles a bit, before stopping in the open for, again, no reason.

      • Nytzschy says:

        I’ve watched it several more times, and I just don’t see what you’re seeing. Walking with one’s head tilted up, or taking a few steps and stopping, isn’t outside the range of human behaviors. Take me on a pretty day, or when I’m walking around absentmindedly, for instance.

        In contrast, most walkers in this game walk like they’re carrying parts of their bodies as dead weight, limping or leaning to one side, or as if they just don’t know how to walk properly (which they don’t). Look at how this walker walks and stands: it holds itself upright and symmetrical, and even makes subtle movements of the upper torso as though it were turning its body slightly along with its head. It reads as a live human to me.

  4. anaphysik says:

    Those dialogue options at 1:13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrdpQ65WH70&t=1m13s are an example of a dialogue I /really/ hate. Why can’t I say all three? Why is this timed?

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Vidjagaemz! Tenshun! … etc. etc. I also really dislike that sort of stuff. Alpha Protocol was extrememyl frustrating and awful in that regard, with pretty much every conversation being forced into this kind of bs format.

      • newdarkcloud says:

        There’s also that example towards the end of the Fallout 3 season, but I won’t spoil it since it is being re-posted.

        • Hitchmeister says:

          Now on more than one occasion I’ve been accused of being a proponent of cats and dogs living together, but I can’t believe we’re worried about spoilers for Spoiler Warning.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            Okay, since you insist. After the whole incident at Raven Rock regarding the Enclave, Super Mutants, Dad’s dehumidifier, and FEV, you had back to the Brotherhood of Steel where the Elder asks you what you’ve learned. You are given several options including revealing the FEV mutation plan the president had, that the Enclave was fractured, the Super Mutants came from Vault 87, and something else that was important. You are only able to tell him ONE of these things before the game throws you into the finale.

  5. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    I was going to launch into a diatribe about how “mankind are the real monsters” is a workable theme, but not one I buy. Good Lockean that I am, I don’t accept Hobbes’ state of nature without government and full civilization, but rather believe that people can find many ways to cooperate -and don’t generally act like monsters to each other when they don’t have to. Psychopaths and the “dirty 7%” of criminals excepted.

    But then I listened to the commentary and the horrible, horrible puns and I have changed my mind.

    Hobbes was an optimist.

    He thought it would be short.

  6. hborrgg says:

    Watching the credits I remembered something. Molly was wearing a medical mask at the beginning of this episode, which seems like a pretty smart idea for a zombie apocalypse, but she never seems to put it back on again. What happened, did she think it made her look like a dork? was that just her last of a package of disposable masks?

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Leaving her is definitely not the only sane option.Last time you left her with christa,omid and ben,and she still got out,while neither of those three noticed(ok,omid was wounded,but the other two were not).And now,you have to leave her alone with just the wounded omid?Thanks,but Id rather personally defend her against armed humans then leave her to wander alone through the zombie infested streets.

    That,plus the walkie talkie guy is still stalking us.

    In real life,Id choose to stay with her in the house,while the rest go to crawford.But if I was forced to go there,and the situation was the same(she sneaked out earlier,and now only the sick omid would stay with her),Id bring her with me.

    • Khazidhea says:

      I pretty much thought the same, Clem’s shown that she likes to explore and has a tendency to follow/try to help out/not stay when she’s told to, so I thought that it would be much safer to bring her along somewhat under my control and ability to keep safe, rather than having her follow on her own with zombies and (in my mind) anti-children armed, alert and crazy people populating Crawford.

      Another thing about this part was, as soon as they said the boat could only take 5 people, I instantly started trying to decide who to take. Clem and Lee were obvious, and I liked Molly from what I’d seen of her. I hadn’t really grown attached to Omid and Christa, but thought I should take Kenny as, even though he has many flaws and source of potential problems, we’d been through a lot together and was a known factor, and he’d probably be the best choice to take on the boat. That leaves only Omid and Christa, who wouldn’t want to be split up, and Ben, who I didn’t want to take at all. And I continued deliberating like this up until I find out later that this wasn’t even a choice I could make at all.

    • BeardedDork says:

      On my fist play through, I didn’t want to expose Clem to the dangers of the expedition.

      On my second play through, I accepted that pretty much everybody but Clem and Molly were mostly useless, so in addition to keeping her safe from radio guy by bringing her with me, I wanted her along so somebody I could trust would have my back. In retrospect I really thing the arguments for bringing her with you are stronger than those for leaving her behind.

    • Steve C says:

      I took Clem with me for real reasons rather than meta game reasons. Putting aside all the story specific reasons, I’m not going to leave a kid behind somewhere that is not safe especially when there’s a good chance I won’t be able to return.

      1. It’s not safe at the house. Omid can’t protect her and may be a threat himself.
      2. She could leave on her own or against her will. Then what do I do? Even if she’s fine, I’m stuck in Savannah looking for her.
      3. It didn’t turn out very good for the last kid left in the house. If I don’t come back that could very well be her fate.

      I didn’t want to go to Crawford. It’s a stupid idea. However bringing Clem doesn’t make it any more stupid. If I leave her behind then I’m also tied to that house. If Clem is with me then there’s nothing tying me to the house, or to the rest of the group. I feel bad for Omid but that’s the only person I feel for at this point. He’s the only one that hasn’t wronged me. The cancer patients shot me in the head for no reason (I reloaded) so I don’t want to help them. Kenny, Christa, Ben and Molly all lost a 9yr old and didn’t care. Screw them.

      So my final response was to take Clem and NOT go to Crawford. I shut off and deleted the game.

    • Zukhramm says:

      I was really nervous about bringing Clementine to Crawford. Not for her but for Omid.

      • I brought Clem with me because I felt bad that I didn’t get to check out the Marsh house with her. Curse her giant Disney puppy-dog eyes!

        A testament to what this game did accomplish is that I was emotionally manipulated by a character I never thought was well-written in the first place.

  8. X2-Eliah says:

    Ouch. That crawford zombie guard was rather obvious, though.. Normal humans would probably exhibit more random movement (slight swaying, shifting weight between legs). Also, the colour of his hands was, well, zombieflesh 101.

    I do hope that there’s a good explanation as for *why* Crawford is now zombie central and, say, the refuge of cancer patients is not.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Short version:because they were douchbags.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        … As in, because purely of their morality? If so, then that’s a *terrible* reason – that’s just the writers asserting their sense of right/wrong and putting in the ‘bad things happen to bad people’ trope, without any regard for logic/logistics.

        • StashAugustine says:

          Later on, it reveals that one of the people they were oppressing- a woman forced to get an abortion to get rid of her kid, because the no kids rule totally makes sense- tried to escape, killed a few people along the way, then presumably they turned into zombies and started attacking people.

        • anaphysik says:

          The actual explanation given in-game: a lady gets preggers, & the doc tells her she either must abort or leave Crawford (i.e., either follow Crawford’s rules or leave). So instead she goes crazy, murders him, takes his gun, & goes on a murder-rampage.

          And yes, it very much is a case of “just the writers asserting their sense of right/wrong and putting in the ‘bad things happen to bad people’ trope, without any regard for logic/logistics.”

          • Klay F. says:

            But you know that in any society with such absurd rules, eventually someone is going to rebel against their situation. Plus there are two in-game examples of people bending the rules for their own or their loved ones’ well-being. It would not be a stretch to surmise that the actual number of people ignoring the rules is much higher.

            • newdarkcloud says:

              As I said in last episode’s comments, Crawford is stupid! It was BOUND to fail in a spectacular way.

              This is what happens to HARDCORE SURVIVALIST GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

            • StashAugustine says:

              It’s the combination of a) they don’t allow kids, which is questionable at best, and b) one zombie can take out any group, which is stupid but a genre standby. So it’s a combination of two handwaved things.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            It’s more a case of “These rules are stupid and the oppressed people finally told you to go screw yourself because you deserved it, you dummy!!!”

  9. Jokerman says:

    I left clem with omid, thought she would be safer with him….even if he did turn than she would be in a base armed to the teeth…and Molly lived! So i can give you a 100% guarantee that she can live either way. Honestly i didnt even know she could die.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I actually accidentally shot her :(

      That zombie wrestling sequence is hard when you’re using a 360 controller. The movements are so erratic it’s difficult to lead the shot (which you have to with the clunky controller gun controls), especially when you don’t see the sequence coming.

  10. Talby says:

    The “no kids” rule is the one thing about Crawford that makes no sense at all. What was their long-term plan? Die of old age?

    • Nick says:

      Probably to allow kids again at some point, once the world had calmed down a bit and most of the walkers had died off, at least locally.

      But yeah, it’s pretty short sighted

      • ehlijen says:

        So instead of allowing already born and somewhat educated kids around age 10 now, they’d rather start over from scratch with the whole pregancy and toddler caring stage later?

        I think this is more a male power fantasy gone wrong than an actual survival plan. As in, whoever runs that place wanted his or their offspring to rule the world after.

        • BeardedDork says:

          Wow, I hadn’t considered that, it makes a depressing amount of sense.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            And also, children can be used as a form of menial labor. If you have absolutely nothing non-combat that needs to get done, you’re doing it wrong. I don’t think anyone will call you an evil prick for forcing children to do chores in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

            Bottom line, everything about Crawford makes absolutely no sense.

            • Dasick says:

              Oh it makes perfect sense. The story needed a bunch of EEEVIL people to do EEEVIL things and get punished for it, to deliver a message to the audience or something.

              • newdarkcloud says:

                This is the part where I would defend the game, but seriously fuck Crawford. That was so stupid.

                • Zukhramm says:

                  Crawford is stupid, yes. But I didn’t mind because, well, people are stupid. They were stupid and eventually got them killed.

                  • Dasick says:

                    Sure, people can be stupid in real life, though their stories always end with “I thought it was a good idea at the time”. But raw, unfiltered real life doesn’t always make for the best story. Just like dialogue – people often stutter, correct themselves, misspeak, go …uuum… and use parasite words like ‘like’ and ‘so’ that don’t mean anything, they’re just something the speaker is using to denote one train of though from another. Yet good dialogue/ good actors don’t do those things, and it makes for more interesting stories (less frustrating to be more precise, because you don’t have to try and interpret what the character is trying to say, you’re just given a very clear, very concise idea).

                    I think of entertainment as a concentrated extract of “reality” or “realistic” or “believable” or whatever you want to call it when a story about zombies makes sense.

                    • Zukhramm says:

                      Know what’s also realistic? Gravity!

                      While reality is not in itself necessarily positive for a story, the reverse and absolute form, “it’s realistic, and stories shouldn’t be realistic, therefore it needs to go” is worse.

                      Real life does produce some great stories, seemingly even better ones when stupidity is involved.

                    • Dasick says:

                      Stupidity makes for hilarious stories, but I’m not sure TWD was going for the “Comedy” award.

                      Unfiltered real life accounts can make for great raw material, but when we retell them there is usually a huge amount of editing going on. For example, say something happened 3 days apart. You’re not going to retell in full detail, minute by minute what happened in the span of those 3 days, would you?

                    • Zukhramm says:

                      I just don’t see what that has to do with me not being bothered about Crawford?

                    • Dasick says:

                      Just cause people are stupid IRL, doesn’t mean it necessarily makes for a better story. I’m not actually saying anything about the Crawford section, but an asspull is an asspull no matter how likely it is to happen in real life.

                      This is more of a general point about nothing rather than an argument to anything you’ve said.

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      Erm…isn’t an asspull exactly related to how likely it would happen in real life? My understanding of the term “asspull” is that it’s defined, “something that strains believability.” Isn’t “likely to happen in real life” the polar opposite?

                      My acceptance of the Crawfords as a thing stems from the fact that I think many people would be exactly as stupid as they were if given the chance, if not moreso. Heck, they threw people out based on their physical development, something that actually matters when it comes to survival–how many groups do you think there would be who shut people out because of their race/ethnicity/religion or relegate all the women to the menial (or worse) tasks?

        • Deadpool says:

          Well the THEORY would be that by the time you DO allow children, the Zombie situation will be more manageable.

          It’s not a bad idea per se. But “strongly advising against having kids” and “killing all pregnant women and children” are two widely different things…

    • It becomes easier to swallow Crawford’s bizarrely self-defeating rules once you stop thinking of it as a town. It was not a society or a civilization; it was a cult. And cults aren’t about “making sense”. They’re about crazy.

      SEE: “Heaven’s Gate”, those Emmy award-winners who castrated themselves because of a comet.

  11. Klay F. says:

    The problem is that we just don’t know the state of the rest of the world. Its possible Kenny could have just sailed north along the coast until he either hit civilization or outran the spread of the infection. If the whole world was already infected, then yeah, dumb plan.

  12. Adam says:

    I know some Vietnamese folk in California who say the Boat Plan worked for them.

  13. Even says:

    I took Clem with me solely on the reason that the creep/stalker on the radio could still be out there and with only sickly Omid with her in the house seemed like the worst idea ever.

  14. Awetugiw says:

    A boat might make sense as a safe and (more importantly) mobile shelter. You’d still need to get on land in order to collect supplies, but you can do so while:
    a) having a safe place to retreat to and
    b) being able to take your shelter with you when you have exhausted the supplies in your current location.

    You’re still going to die if there is a hurricane, of course. But it beats some of the alternatives.

  15. Katesickle says:

    Here’s a boat plan that might actually work: instead of piling as many people as you can in there and heading off, put just two or three people in the boat and have them scout up the coast in search of other survivors, places that would be good to hole up in, or areas that could be scavenged for food/supplies. THen they either take things back with them, or one person takes the boat back and picks up the rest of the group (or they do multiple runs, or whatever).

    After all, right now they’re in a somewhat safe location. Even if the house isn’t safe they could probably hang out with the Crawford refugees for awhile.

    But whatever they do withe the boat, I REALLY hope they find some sunscreen somewhere. Because otherwise…>.<

  16. Hitchmeister says:

    Kenny doesn’t seem to ever explain his plan beyond, “If we find a boat, everything will be fine.” But I still want to give him (probably undeserved) benefit of the doubt that the boat is just walker-proof transportation to help them find someplace safe rather than a destination in itself.

  17. BeardedDork says:

    I am also creeped out by the dog-boy picture, but the room is mostly balanced out by the picture of the distinguished looking gentleman on the opposite wall.

  18. Paul Spooner says:

    I really liked Rutskarn’s (Man that’s hard to spell. Get yourself a better looking moniker or something! Sheesh.) insight about “cenimatic” game design and player attitude. Players will naturally treat their characters as some sort of “remote bomb disposal robot” since this is effectively what they are.

    The only way I’ve found to get around this is to take away control of the character during “moments of extreme stress” and then try my darndest to make their actions match the history of decisions the player has made up to that point.
    Have you been playing an intrepid explorer? Maybe you DO keep your cool and examine the body-double more closely. Have you been playing a hassled desk clerk? Maybe you do a comedic double-take. Have you been playing an unsettled paranormal investigator who understands the implications? Maybe you scream and run. Have you been playing a time traveler? Maybe you deadpan with an “Oh shit.” and shake your head.

    Point being, if you want the players to act “in character” during extraordinary situations, a good option is to make their character do “the right thing” and then afterwords convince them that’s what their character would have done based on how they have been playing them. Otherwise the detachment and over-thinking will take all the tension out of the situation. Let them make real decisions when the pressure is low, and then have their character act autonomously (and in line with those decisions) when the pressure is high.

    Just my two cents.

    • Dasick says:

      I think that the reason players treat their characters like “remote bomb disposal robot” because there are no consequences for their actions that can’t be save+loaded away. Roguelikes certainly don’t have that problem.

      The solution you are suggesting seems prohibitively expensive. I mean, how would you even do it, technically speaking?

      • Paul Spooner says:

        Yes, consequences definitely raise the stakes. I’m pretty harsh with killing the PCs if they do something particularly foolish. Keeps the players “believing” in the campaign.

        Oh, I was talking about a live GM running an in-person campaign with other real people.
        To implement it in a computer you’d need an AI GM capable of creative thinking… which would be AWESOME! Specifically, an AI GM who would be explicitly designed to terrify real people… so, actually… maybe not the best idea?

        • Dasick says:

          Oh, you’re talking about PnP RPGs. Hmm. I’m not that experienced with those, but my knee-jerk reaction is that the system itself probably doesn’t lend itself to proper roleplaying. I mean, take a look at the Misery thing Rutskarn (I know right? Seriously, it’s like a 12-year old came up with that name and mis-spelled it horribly) created. Because of the system, players have no option other than play the role of someone in a horror story.

          I’m pretty sure using a real AI as a GM would be kinda like slavery. Unless it’s having fun… and I’m not sure which is worse.

        • Even says:

          I think the AI Director in the Left 4 Dead games is probably the closest thing to a working creative GM AI. While I suppose the complexities of your average RPG would make coding and making such a thing actually work properly a major pain in the ass, it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibilities.

          • AyeGill says:

            That depends on the capabilties. Something that manipulates the story a bit behind the scenes is doable. Full-on creative thinking isn’t really something we understand well enough to implement it in computers yet.

    • Alex says:

      I would not play with a DM who thought as you do. If you want to control every character in the story, write a book. Don’t offer to run an RPG and then snatch it away just because your understanding of the character differs from their creator’s.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        I see where you’re coming from. And yes, the kind of action I’m suggesting can easily be abused. However, the GM always needs a certain level of authority.

        If the player says “My character climbs the tower of evil and kills the bad guy with his eyelashes!” and I respond with “You approach the tower and are awed by its glassy smooth surface.” I have, technically, taken away control of the character from the player. But there has to be, absolutely must be, a point at which the GM can say “your character does such and such” in despite of the player’s (or even the character’s) wishes. If the player says, as soon as the campaign begins “My character ascends to the heavens on wings of night and slays all the gods.” what am I, as a GM, supposed to do?

        Both GM authority and Player freedom can be taken too far. Perhaps we disagree on the threshold, but I doubt we differ at the endpoints.

        • Alex says:

          There’s a huge difference between defining the setting and simply seizing control of the PC’s thoughts and actions. Even in the case of griefing, I’d be more inclined to remove the disruptive player from the game than to constantly fight their attempts at sabotage.

        • Nidokoenig says:

          The problem is as much the method as the goal, though. You could, instead, use a system of granting extra exp or other resources for greater in-character behaviour, or make characters examining or touching their doppelgänger’s dead body have sanity-related effects, making it a systemic issue and a known(-ish) quantity for the players, rather than GM fiat, which is what it looks like in the way you describe it.
          And if the player wants to climb the glass tower(you did make that clear to the guy with the climbing skill and equipment beforehand, right?) then let him roll for it and fall on his arse.

          • AyeGill says:

            But if you’re forcing him to roll for it, you’re restricting his freedom to have is character do as he wishes. He wished to climb the tower. You’re saying he can’t do that without rolling.

            Yes, this this absolutely reasonable, but the rules of the game are just restrictions on player freedom that happen to be random and (mostly) impartial.

            • Dasick says:

              Look at Doom. The player wishes to get to the end of the level, but if the player can just press a button to get to the end of the level, it wouldn’t be any fun (by itself. Maybe if there’s a juicy, dramatic cutscene at the end…). Setting limitations and forcing the player to find creative ways to accomplish goals is the cornerstone of game design.

              It applies even to DnD, although the basic mechanics are ‘roleplaying’ (not roll-playing as some people might think), so the DM should allow the players to do whatever, provided they can roleplay it well enough. This is where the restrictions come in, and yes, it requires a relationship of trust between the players and the GM. If you don’t have that, no amount of impartial rolling is going to mediate the game into something fun.

            • Nidokoenig says:

              True, but leaving it up to the dice at least makes it part of the agreed upon mechanics, meaning you can’t improvise a railroad or do things on a whim, you have to be honest. Having the restrictions make sense in the context of the game helps immensely. Sure, if the players trust you to not dick them around GM fiat can work, but it’s generally better practice to present a consistent, rule-based world so the players can understand it, grok it and get immersed.

  19. stratigo says:

    In a zombie apocalypse a boat is flat out your best bet unless you can get your hands on an APC or something equally ridiculous. onestly, Shamus, take a moment. Scavenging a problem? Well trying to stay in one place and you pick the place clean in weeks. Zombies a problem? travel by foot or ground vehicle and you are vulnerable.

    Boat you are both mobile (And more mobile then you’d be in a car, cause infrastructure doesn’t last long) and most importantly SAFE from zombies. You can survive as long as there are coasts to scavenge. And hey, run out of fuel? Well you aren’t chained to the boat.

    Ultimately the only viable long term solution IS a static farming community… or I guess a nomadic hunter gathering lifestyle, but that’s a lot harder to do then farming is unless you for some reason grew up shooting bows and hunting for food low tech.

  20. The Snide Sniper says:

    Lampshading zombies sounds like a slightly effective and very amusing anti-zombie tactic.

  21. Irridium says:

    Wait, Molly can die in Crawford? How? I left Clem at the house and she lived.

    And yeah, I left her at the house with a gun. My rational was that Crawford sounds like a seriously awful place and I really shouldn’t bring her. And if Omid turns, she’ll either have to take him out or at least lock him in the room. And if that guy comes for her, she can defend herself.

  22. Chris says:

    Ruts rolling with the puns making everybody suffer is the one reason to come back to the show, seems so invalid to chuck watching the show because of a bad pun or puns.

  23. Wraith says:

    That pun gave me cancer

  24. Eljacko says:

    I would absolutely love to see Spoiler Warning cover Hitman: Absolution.

  25. Khizan says:

    As a note, it would be fairly easy to cook fish on a boat.

    There’s several options available. First, and easiest, would be a small propane camp stove, which are cheap and fairly safe to use. Propane would likely be too precious for that, though. So you could use a small charcoal grill. I’ve got a couple of different types out in the shed, from camping, and using any of them on board a boat of that size would be fairly easy to do. And while charcoal might also not be as common as you’d like, you could also burn wood in most of them with little difficulty.

    They’re small enough and self-contained enough that they’d be safe to use on board a boat as long as you were cautious and avoided using them during heavy weather. All you’d need is a bucket of river water and a bucket of sand on board, in case you had to put it out in a hurry. And once you’re done cooking, all you’d have to do is use a pair of heavy oven mitts or the like to dump the coals out into the river. If that wasn’t safe, I’d just cover them in wet sand(which I’d have from the buckets) and clean it later.

    Hell, I remember the Survivorman doing things like “making a small fire in a hubcap, and then sleeping with it inside a wooden shelter.”

    As long you have the means to make a fire, and you’re careful with it, cooking the food should be the least of your problems.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      And there’s the fact that it’s, you know, fresh fish straight out of the ocean. Cooking it is a sensible precaution, but as long as you’re not eating apex predators(which you’d need a bigger boat for) or carrion eaters, parasite risk is low and you can just cut it up and chow down. Certainly low enough to make eating raw a sensible alternative to making fire in a confined space.

  26. PhantomRenegade says:

    I’m not going to unsubscribe from the channel, but then again i’m not subscribed right now.
    Mostly because i like to read the insightful commentary on the blog posts that is never present in the youtube channel.

  27. The Nick says:

    “And you can’t complain, because they lampshaded it.”

    I automatically clicked my side-mouse button (my Ventrilo/Teamspeak mic button) and said ‘boo’ because that was so terrible/awesome.

  28. Axion says:

    I took Clementine along because I’d spent the first 3 episodes reinforcing the idea that she should stay with me and we should work as a team, and for the whole of episode 4 she had been calling me out on how I kept leaving her behind all the time (to my chagrin since the game forces that on you). I figured she’d more than proven herself useful and deserved the chance to come along and help. More than Ben at least. -_-

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