Telltale Games has been busy of late. In the last year alone, the Californian developer has wrapped up Minecraft: Story Mode's first season and has started on its second; it's launched its narrative slant on Batman and has this month debuted its Enemy Within chapter; and it's brought us a typically Telltale interpretation of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Job Stauffer, the company's head of creative communications, even appeared on PC Gamer back in March after losing over 50 pounds playing a VR game. After catching up with Stauffer at Gamescom, he told us what he'd love to see Telltale tackle next: Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror anthology series.
It should be pointed out that despite Stauffer's personal interest, his comments do not necessarily reflect Telltale's official position. To this end, Stauffer asked that I quote him in full so to ensure "perfect context" in relation to what he'd like to see Telltale approach next.
"What would I personally like to see Telltale do? I'm really proud of the work that we've gotten to do over the years, and a lot of the surprises we have in store," he tells me. "But personally, and this isn't something that we're doing, I've been a big fan of Black Mirror and Charlie Brooker's work. [It's] a phenomenal, phenomenal series. It's a mind-blowing anthology with every season.
"This is my personal take, please don't confuse this with something that we're actually doing, but Charlie, if you're out there, we would, I would, love to do something on Black Mirror."
Elsewhere in the conversation, Stauffer discussed the evolution of Telltale and how it now sees itself as a somewhat hybrid developer, positioned between games and television—something it reflects in its instantly recognisable interactive storytelling. I suggest to Stauffer that while Telltale boasts a strong following, some of the criticism levied at the developer points to its uniform mechanics, and how some players find its systems dated.
He responds: "What has changed mechanically with content down in the language of cinema? What mechanically changes in television? What mechanically changes with film? Maybe special effects and CG, but really storytelling is storytelling. When you're telling different stories, you're making different movies and different TV shows. While we have a similar mechanic, we're telling different stories. Minecraft story mode is a vastly different game than The Wolf Among Us. It was similar mechanics and a similar format, but that familiarity is what makes things signature for Telltale.
"Now, will our signature format continue to evolve, will it continue to change? Yes. Is it always going to be the same? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, we're starting to see things change mechanically this year and we've got a strong commitment internally and creatively at the studio to push the format forward into 2018 with the final season of The Walking Dead, and with The Wolf Among Us. You're seeing some of that stuff changing right now with Batman and in particular Minecraft Story Mode season 2. [That] has some mechanics that we've never done in a Telltale game—there are boss battles in that game that almost feel like you're playing a Zelda boss fight.
"There are things that we're experimenting with incrementally that, three to six months from now, episodes and event current series can implement things that we've never really been able to pull off in a Telltale game."