The hype around the AMC’s Walking Dead Season 3 premiere this week is nothing short of phenomenal. Everything that this franchise has put out this year has been nothing but a super marketing ploy for their 3rd season. I don’t say that as a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s all been genius! Ever since Season 2 has ended AMC has kept you wanting more by developing some of the best marketing strategies I have ever seen. Everything they have done has been very consumer interactive which brings people to start to grow interest in something even if they have never had interest before.
Let’s take for example the Video Games that have been released this year. These games have been a great gap bridge between the comic books and the tv show as they bring you more into the plot behind the story. They stayed true to the comic book vision of the story and gave you behind the scenes glimpses into one of the characters that you never got to see before. The bonus for the TV show was that not only did you get something shortly after the 2nd season ended to keep your taste buds fresh, but by releasing a series of small games it kept people interested longer than 2 weeks. Just like the show every week people couldn’t wait for the next installment of the game which its final installment was just recently released.
Another great marketing gimmick that was use by the franchise was creator Robert Kirkman’s involvement in the San Diego Comic Con. With the help of Honda he built a car that he believes would help one survive in the zombie apocalypse. Some might have disagreed with his design (read: I disagree with his design), but no one can deny that the car still looked bad ass. It gave people a talking point and an opportunity for some photo shoots that would guarantee extra advertising when people posted their pictures all over Facebook!
Let’s not also forget the 2nd huge thing that the Walking Dead did for San Diego Comic Con. Namely The Walking Dead Escape! It was a run for your life thrill through the world of the walking dead as you navigated an obstacle course worthy of the apocalypse. Not only were you jumping, crawling, sliding, and of course running through the obstacle course, but you were also being chased by zombies at every turn. And don’t worry if you didn’t get your chance to take part of this epic thrill because it was on the West Cost. It’s coming to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA on October 27th. Which happens to also b the date of our next show at the Annapolis Comic Con. That weekend you also have Run 4 Your Lives in Baltimore MD. It’s an entire weekend of sweet zombie action! Of course I will be super sad if you don’t come and see us at the convention however. With as hard as I’m working on my next live presentation! (More details to follow!)
But The Walking Dead was not done there. When AMC heard that Dish was giving them the boot, they took those lemons and made gold. That may not be how the saying goes, but that’s exactly what they did. With arguably the best advertising campaign that AMC has done for the franchise, they made commercials at first asking people to tell Dish not to drop them. Then when the boot came down, they turned the commercials around and told everyone to drop dish instead! It would be interesting to find out how many people switched from Dish Network to another provider just to be able to watch the Season Premiere on Sunday. Their most popular campaign for this was the announcement that A. Zombie was running for President. At both the Democratic and the Republican national conventions, A. Zombie made an appearance to voice his political views for a brighter America where all would be able to watch The Walking Dead. An America without Dish Network. A little angry at Dish don’t you think?
All in all I would say that this has made for a wonderful marketing ploy for AMC’s number 1 show. I know many who are hyped about the premier and are holding viewing parties. As for me, I’ll probably record it and then stay off the internet until I can watch it the next day. In an unfortunate lapse of planning I agreed to spend the afternoon with my parents instead. A Sunday without football or The Walking Dead? What have I done!?
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Till Fate brings our Future…
There are dozens of video games out there either based on zombies, or with zombie elements. It seems with the start of the Call of Duty zombie campaigns and games like Left 4 Dead, the zombie craze was able to reach out to people who didn’t watch zombie movies, or read zombie books. It took a media many people were familiar and comfortable with and attempted to immerse it and the people who played video games in a world that is dark, gritty, sad, and somehow among all that awesome and fantastic all at the same time.
Now not only do we have the games that started the zombie game craze, but we also have other classics such as Plants vs. Zombies, and Dead Island. We have an entire website devoted to zombie based flash games for your computer. And all you need to do is type the word zombie into your app store on your phone to be flooded with an ever growing list of zombie games for your Android or iPhone. And among all of these games one game will stand out among the list, just as it has done with comic books and a madly popular TV series, The Walking Dead.
I tried to ignore this game. Trailers have been circulating for weeks and I have resisted on clicking on every one of them. Why might you ask? Because I’m broke and didn’t want to buy another zombie shooter I wasn’t going to get to play that often. Man am I glad I finally looked into this game.
Just like the Walking Dead series for both comics and TV, this game promises to be unlike any other zombie game you have ever played. Although there may be some shooting involved, this game play is more of a decision based, making the things that happen in the game change depending on what decisions you make. And we are not just talking about the A,B,C choice answers to questions. From what I’ve seen it can also have to do with what you decide to pick up, what order you decide to do things in, and how quick your response is.
Even combat with the undead seems to have this choice mechanic built in. You could see how this could make battle frightening in a zombie game. Instead of point and shoot, you may have to aim the cursor toward your leg, and then press the corresponding button at the proper moment to kick the zed in the head. Or you may reach for a weapon with the cursor then swing your POV around to focus again at the zombie before being prompted to swing at it. Because everything is decided by your choices, this could lead to making your fights different every time based on earlier decisions as well. Things that might seem unnecessary, like picking up the ax at the end of the hallway, may make your combat choices change. Even where you end up engaging in an enemy could mean the difference between life and death.
Let’s also talk about the graphics of the game. Telltale Games wanted it to be very clear that the storyline is based on the comic book, not the TV series. Therefore they decided to use comic book style of graphics in the game. This could have really gone either way for the game, either making this a novel game enriching us with the comic book essence, or make the game look really hokey. In my personal opinion, it did a little bit of both. I’m not saying the graphics look bad by any stretch, but I’m talking about how the graphics make you feel instead. On one hand Telltale was able to capture the Walking Dead universe exactly how it is viewed in the comics. Details like the layout of the farm or the one confirmed cross character, Glenn, transcribed beautifully. This made recognition easy and gives you the feeling like you’re really playing in Kirkman’s universe.
On the other hand you can see where the game lost a level of reality by deciding to go with this format. That doesn’t make the game less scary, and it’s not really a bad thing. But when people are used to games like Call of Duty, or even Mass Effect 3 where things look real polished and more lifelike, you have to wonder how well this look will be accepted by players. There are other games out there with this graphic style, but none of them have reached the popularity of these other “visually stunning” games. Let’s just hope that the name of the game will prompt people to try it out, then get sucked in by the high quality storytelling and unique game play, rather than judging it’s quality based on if it looks like Left 4 Dead or not.
If you want to find out more about Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, and see more behind the scenes footage including sneak peeks at game play, visit their website at www.telltalegames.com/walkingdead.
If you want to share your opinion on today’s blog, you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow Dead Future on Facebook and Google +. You can also follow me on Twitter and Google +.
Till Fate brings our Future…
Zombie Toy Review: The Walking Dead
Normally the toy review is done about a toy or series that was once popular, and at one point drifted into obscurity, and has since then become popular again. These toys fell to the bottom of your closet and have somehow clawed its way back up to the surface to bite off your face.
This time however I wanted to actually talk about a zombie toy. Now I have seen advertisements for these toys all over the internet and I’ve been wanting to get my hands on these for a while now. I’m talking of course about The Walking Dead action figures. There are 2 series of figures, one for the AMC TV Series, and one for the comic book. I will be featuring the TV series set, however I encourage you to check out the comic book series as well.
If you’re a fan of the TV show on AMC, these toys are a must have. Created by the celebrated action figure maker McFarlane Toys, these toys are sure to catch your eye. Series one was released in December of 2011, and consists of 4 equally awesome toys. Of course pictured above you will recognize as Deputy Rick Grimes, the reluctant leader of our favorite band of survivors. Also in the series you will find Darrel Dixon (the resident survivalist), a zombie walker, and a zombie biter.
The figures that were based off the main characters in the story are to scale models of the actors themselves. 3D technology was used to create a scan of the actor’s faces. The scan was scaled down and then transferred to the toys. What is neat about these toys are their accessories. McFarlane always provides quality and value with their work, so with the Rick Grimes figure you will also get a revolver, a shotgun, a baseball bat, a hand grenade, and what amuses me most, a walkie talkie. That’s right; enjoy recreating the highly ridiculed opening scene of season 2! Darrel’s figure won’t disappoint either with accessories like a crossbow, hunting knife, a fire axe, and again my favorite, a string of squirrels. Nothing says backwoods country survivalist like a string of squirrels.
Now unfortunately the zombie toys don’t come with nearly as many cool extras, however as I said, McFarlane still brings the value. I would like to point out that these aren’t just random walkers that they decided to put together. The designs of these toys were based on actual memorable zombies from the show. The Walker you may remember as the zombie that chases Rick from the bus wreckage to the tank in his trip to Atlanta. The Biter can be recalled as the zombie that was found gorging itself on a dead dear near the group’s first encampment, and although they beheaded it, the zombie kept biting until Darrel ended its unlife with an arrow to the brain. The due to lack of accessories with the zombies, these figures feature unique features, like the windup-and-walk feature for the walker, and a spring loaded moving jaw and dear meat accessory for the biter.
The prices of the figures are found for about $15 (USD) a peace depending on where you shop for them. The toys are currently being sold in local comic book shops through Diamond Comic Distributors, Toys ‘R’ Us and Barns and Noble. If you don’t feel like making the trip for the figure of your choosing, you can always shop online through e-bay, Amazon.com, and other retailers.
If you want to find out more about the figures, and see more pictures, visit McFarlane Toys’ website at www.spawn.com.
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You know how I love my YouTubes. I love my YouTubes so much. And I like sharing them with you, my loyal readers, or new readers, or intermediate readers, really I like sharing with anyone who will read my drivel. You also know how I love puppets. One of my favorite comedians, Jeff Dunham uses puppet in his act. I use puppets at conventions to sucker people up to our booth (or scare them away, whatever’s needed). My previous YouTube blog was about puppets, and this one will involve puppets as well.
Who has checked out Glove and Boots? No one? Well, averaging around 30,000-40,000 views a video I wouldn’t say they are viral, but they are defiantly worth a look. Now why am I talking about these puppets on a zombie blog? Well they have 3 videos in particular that will amuse us zombie fans. First, up is Zombie University. See the hilarious take on the fundamentals of Zombie survival, in a way that only puppets can explain. And how do they deal with the undead surrounding their home? Well same way I would… watch and find out.
Next one they have up isn’t as entertaining in my point of view, but everyone loves watching other people play Left 4 Dead. Can you imagine these knuckle heads playing a game that requires immense amount of concentration, skill and team work? I didn’t think so.
And who could not end a trio of zombie blogs without a mention of The Walking Dead? You saw Episode One of Season Two. Right? Don’t make me kick you out again, just watch the damn video.
Unfortunately, with the searching I’ve done, I have no Idea on who to give credit to for these marvelous videos, except by their YouTube name gloveandboots. You can subscribe to their YouTube channel here.
-Till Fate brings our Future
I used to watch zombie movies for entertainment. I now watch them for education. You see the great thing about great zombie film is that it’s very enlightening on what to do in a zombie scenario. The Walking Dead is no exception to this. This show is intriguing, entertaining, and most of all educational. Let’s look at some of the hidden lessons from The Walking Dead.
One thing I noticed from watching the first episode of season 2 of The Walking Dead was how important silence was to them. I mean it’s kind of obvious that you don’t want to make sounds to attract the living dead to you, but the extent that they took this to gives you a lesson to be learned here. For instance let’s take a look at one of the biggest noise causers, disagreements. In most groups there’s going to be some disagreements and arguing. Someone is not going to like what someone else is doing, or has to say or whatever. This group has just a little bit of dysfunctionality. On one hand you have the suicidal crazy bitch (Andrea) who wants a gun, and for obvious reasons, no one trusts her with one. On the other hand you have another who is trying to leave the group (Shane) but like a predictable soap opera is the secret baby daddy to the protagonist’s (Rick Grimes) son (Carl). Rick doesn’t know his best friend knocked boots with his wife (Lori) and they have kept it a secret from Carl as well. Regardless Carl looks up to Shane like a cool older brother. As Shane tries to create distance from the little tag along, he hurts Carl’s feelings, and this causes arguments between Shane and Lori. This along with disagreements on what to do, and who to blame for losing the other child Sophia, you can see there’s a lot to argue about. And argue they do, but quietly. There’s a lot to be said about this. The group even though they have their differences knows how to survive. And to survive you stay quiet.
Let’s also take for instance the number of walkers killed in this episode. To my count there was 7. One with crossbow, two with a big old friken rock, and four with bladed weapons in the church. Every kill silent. It’s not that they didn’t have guns. Hell, they even found a few extra along their journey, it’s that they understood that shots fired would be loud and start calling all the walkers back to them. Also it’s good to save ammo when you don’t have to spend it to accomplish your goal. I keep saying this time and time again and I cannot reinforce this enough, learn to swing a bladed weapon. Become proficient at it. Practice in the back yard on a hunk of wood. Learn how to strike hard and clean, and learn how to maintain a blade. A sharp blade may seem dangerous; however it is loads better than a dull blade. A sharp blade will make it easier to sink into your target, whether that is a rope, wood, or a skull. A dull blade may slip, or not sink into your target making you miss and wasting precious time and putting you at danger. Not to mention if you slip, there’s a danger of damage to you, either by pulling muscles, or by cutting yourself.
Scavenging techniques are also something that can be gleaned from this episode. By paying attention to what the group did right and what they did wrong, you can be prepared for your scavenging excursions. You can learn what to keep and what to throw out, how you should keep a look out, and be attentive to where you are and what’s around you. By knowing where to search and not leaving out any possibilities you may find a truck full of water, or a collection of weapons, or even that revolver that the corps is still clutching, long after the bullet in the chamber has passed through his skull.
Hiding techniques are also to be gleaned here. By staying out of site and staying quiet the group was able to avoid the majority of the heard of walkers in the beginning of the show. When push came to shove, hide among the dead bodies, walkers only want fresh meat anyhow. By simply putting yourself out of site and hiding under an uprooted tree, Sophia was able to escape the walkers and attempt to find a way back to the group. Also learn when it’s safe to come out. Just because you don’t hear anything, doesn’t mean there’s not something there. Hiding for a bit longer may be the difference between staying alive and becoming a monster snack.
Last thing I want to say about hidden lessons is that you should really pay attention to how the characters interact and deal with each other. This zombie story is all about the people, and that is what makes it great. You have different personalities, and different ideas of what should be done and how. Not killing each other is a key to survival here and in a situation like this; everyone’s nerves are going to on edge. If you tend to be a condescending prick and always aggressive with getting your way, you may want to learn how to get your way through negotiation or compromise, otherwise you may find your friends to be few and far between. Learn what to do and what not to do with people of different personality types from this show as it does a great job at portraying people in general. One day you may be put into similar situations with handling similar personalities, and sometimes the answer is to give the crazy lady a gun and hope for the best.
If you caught any other lessons that I didn’t please share them with me! You can comment below, or catch me on email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also Facebook us, or catch me on Twitter and Google+. Also don’t forget to enter your best zombie costume for a chance to win a copy of the Dead Future Anthology!
-Till Fate brings our Future…
By now you know what The Walking Dead is. The TV series by AMC that was based on the super popular comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. If you haven’t seen the first season, it is now available on DVD so hit a Red Box and pick it up. The makeup and special effects are out of this world and as far as I can tell it follows the comics decently well. With the new season beginning Oct. 16th fans are waiting with bated breath. Well if you can’t wait any longer, AMC has provided for your viewing pleasure 6 webisodes that may calm your hunger for just a bit longer.
Even if you haven’t seen Season One, don’t fret. The webisodes give nothing away for season one and it isn’t necessary to have watched Season One to understand what is going on, although it would help if you’ve at least seen the first episode. In the first episode Rick Grimes, the protagonist of Season One comes across a particular zombie that in a way was moving. Without a lower halve of the body it was left to its limited mobility of its week arms to propel it forward. You can almost take pity on it for its deteriorated state. She has come to be known as Bicycle Girl Hanna, and she is one of those zombies that leaves you wondering… how did that happen?
To answer those questions the six 2-4 minute long episodes does a wonderful job of telling this poor soul’s tail. You can view the webisodes on the official Walking Dead Website. What I liked about the webisodes is that just like with the actual series you keep asking yourself, “What would I do in this situation?” Also just because it’s a webisode, doesn’t mean AMC went cheep on you. They use all the great special effects that they did in the actual TV show which will leave you creeped out and feeling that this is all very real.
While you’re at the website you can also see behind the scenes footage of the shows, see highlights from the first season, play some free games, and get some cool wallpapers. Here’s the one on my computer now.
This has me all geared up for the next season and I hope it does as well as the first season did. Share your thoughts about the Walking Dead Season 2 and the webisodes in the comments below or feel free to email me at email@example.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and me on Twitter @PenguinPrince25. Also don’t forget to create your costume for our Dead Future Anthology Give Away! Deadline for the contest is November 1st so get those pictures in pronto! You can read more details about our contest here.
-Till Fate brings our Future