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Submitted by Kevin Bruner, posted on March 04, 2005

Image Description, by Kevin Bruner

Here's a screen shot from Telltale's first game! It's a simple "casual" game that tries to emulate TV style poker. Most of the technical effort was put into getting the 1800+ lines of dialog and animation into the game while keeping the download size small (20 megs). Though it doesn't have a physics engine, a terrain renderer or any fancy rendering, we think it's a great simulation of a bunch of friends sitting around playing poker, and a great example of what a bringing good characters to a "casual" game can do.

Technically the game uses a number of Open Source projects. The audio is OggVorbis compressed. The data is compressed using Zlib and the game logic and AI is scripted using Lua. There a very nice integrated Lua debugger built into the engine that uses Scintilla. The debug build also use Paul Nettles excellent memory manager (available right here on flipcode!). The game was created in about 12 weeks by 7 people, though many old friends stopped by to lend a hand from time to time!

Telltale itself is a bunch of ex-LucasArts people who have decided to go the "independent developer" route. Most of us worked on the ill-fated Sam & Max 2 project. We're trying to make smaller games that are focused on characters and story, so hopefully you can look forward to much more than "Texas Hold'em" from us in the future!

Download the free demo at!

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

March 04, 2005, 10:24 AM

Nice.. very nice. Looks like a short film instead of a game. Great work.



March 04, 2005, 11:14 AM

It looks nice, and plays nice.
It's just too bad you only get to play a few hands in the demo, you don't really get a feel for how good your opponents are, or how humanlike they play. Gonna give it a few more goes, and then i might even buy it, just to find out.

Brandon Bloom

March 04, 2005, 01:23 PM

"Most of us worked on the ill-fated Sam & Max 2 project."
A sad story for sure, I really enjoyed the original. Any chance the sequel will ever be finished? (can your independent team obtain the rights?)

I played the Texas Holdem demo. It's superb! Very nice work. I can't wait to see what else you guys put out. The game looks and plays very smoothly. The table chatter is hysterical, but it feels a little rigid. I would like to see more dynamic and lively chatter rather than more one liners.

Keep up the good work!


March 05, 2005, 06:21 AM

Great Stuff, checking out your other projects "Bone" also looks like a nice
little IP.

I belive you've picked a good part of the market to go for, There are not many
people making games like this any more, plus with stylized computer graphics being popular in films these days.... lots of potential I think.

Hopefully you get your games shown to a wide range of customers, this
is the first time I have seen your work. I hope you will get the demo on
as many demo download places as possible!

What I would like to see is a bit more creative use if shaders and lighting though. I can see how your above scene could be lit much better imo from an artistic point of view


March 05, 2005, 10:58 AM

looks nice, but i cannot try the demo, i have just linux on my laptop. so i cant say much about the game, but about your website. i think if you have a game that is like on TV, you should have some videos on your website, for the people who cannot or do not want to download the demo. then your screenshots should be available in large format, not just in thumbnail...

then one thing more: there are several poker games on the market, but often these are low quality products. so if i would visit your website, then at first i would think "another simple poker for $15", why should i buy it? there are certainly people who would buy it without thinking about it, just because there are some nice (small) pictures on the website and because of your advertisments. but if you want to reach also players who want to buy just good quality games, you should make your homepage a bit more serious and the visitor should see that you are really people with experience (lucasarts) and not just some hobbyprogrammers.

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