Let's talk Telltale...

For those who don't know me personally, you probably know my story. My name is Mark Darin. I was one of the people recently laid off from Telltale Games. No warning. No severance. After nearly 14 years of hard work and dedication it was just, "Thanks, bye."  But those 14 years were hardly a waste.  I learned so much in my time there. I worked with some of the most talented people in the business.  Despite how it ended, I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world.

There is a lot of negative press out there right now about how poorly the company treated their employees, and while they're not wrong, it didn't start out that way.

Way back in 2005, I was finishing my degree in Multi Media Design as well as wrapping up  development on Nick Bounty: The Goat in the Grey Fedora.  I heard news that some former Lucas Arts folks were putting together a new company called Telltale Games and were bringing back Sam & Max.  This sounded like a dream job and I immediately started sending the heads of the studio (Dan & Kevin) updates regarding how well Nick Bounty was doing and how much I'd love to work at the new studio.

They took in a fresh inexperienced designer and let me grow. I got to write dialog for the CSI game, which in 2005 was the shit!  Hearing the cast of the TV show performing my dialog was the ultimate thrill.  Then I was told I was going to have a lead position on Tales of Monkey Island.  I was speechless! Monkey Island was my favorite game of all time!  And I got to drive Ron Gilbert around in my car and talk about thanksgiving burritos!  These were magical times.

But even in the later days, when we were basically pumping out games on an assembly line, the people I was making the games with continued to inspire me everyday.  Walking Dead: The Final Season was turning out to be something very special.  The writers and designers had creative ownership again and it showed.  The amount of love and sweat put into that game was a reflection of the passion the devs had for this game.  I was right in the middle of wrapping up Episode 3 when the plug was pulled on TTG.  It's heartbreaking that the world will never see a version of that episode that we envisioned.

Whew... It's tough trying to touch on my feelings about my 14 years at Telltale. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Yeah, that's right.  I went there.  I'm not above corny ass quotes when the mood hits me.  Especially when I can't think of anything that more accurately describes the experience.  

And now, it's onto new experiences.  It's both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Wish me luck!

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Not only have you createfd Nick Bounty, whom I am a big fan of, but you worked on some of my favorite titles! I did not know this at all! (Seriously, you wrote the dialog to the CSI-games? That's awesome!)

I'm sorry about the sudden news of TTG laying people off and shutting down. Needless to say, to us fans it was a shock to the system, so I can't even begin to imagine what you employees must have thought and felt.  

I wish you the very best of luck, and with your track-record and 14 years of experience from TTG, you're sure loving  grooming personal projects (Like Nick Bounty 3) I'm keeping my eye on you, good sir! Keep up the good work and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing your personal projects in the future, while my nostalgia is drooling over the ones from the past.

Thanks so much for you kind words!  My years in game development has been a long strange journey!  Some of it good, some of it really frustrating, but I still love  it and hope to be making games for years to come!  I hope you enjoy Nick Bounty 3 when it comes out!

Oh so true. The game industry is a gloriously weird and frustrating one to work in. But it's one of the best industries to be involved withe because it's filled with amazingly talented people.

14 years!  Wow that is an exceptionally long time to work at a single software company.  I am happy to see you taking some time off and working on your own projects.   I've enjoyed your work over the years and look forward to what you come up with next.