Sean Vanaman, a former co-project leader and lead writer from the now-closed Telltale Games, has taken to Twitter to share some stories from his time at the studio. He reveals a number of interesting tidbits about the development of the first season of their breakout game The Walking Dead, including the fact that it was nearly based on Valve’s Left 4 Dead intellectual property.
– The Walking Dead's first prototype was all text and UI, built by @CarlMuckenhoupt and based around the L4D IP (someone talked to Valve about us doing it and it never happened but TWD did!)
Per the tweet above, the earliest version of the game, including just text and the user interface, was based on Left 4 Dead after someone at the company had reportedly talked to Valve about a potential deal. The game eventually became centred around another zombie property, The Walking Dead, made in collaboration with Skybound Entertainment.
Interestingly, Campo Santo, the studio Sean Vanaman co-found after his departure from Telltale, was acquired by Valve in April this year. It’s unlikely given this revelation that there’s a plan for Vanaman to work on a Left 4 Dead game post-release of their upcoming title, In The Valley Of Gods, due out next year, but to see him come full circle is interesting.
Vanaman also revealed a number of other interesting facts about The Walking Dead‘s production, including that the lead character of Lee was originally co-lead Clemintine’s elder brother.