The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales Exclusive Interview – Design, Crossovers, and More

The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales Exclusive Interview

In light of the recent global launch, had the opportunity to speak with Jaejun Lee, Producer for The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales. Read on as we learn about the inspiration for the game, the work that went into it, and why the choice for match 3 gameplay, among other topics.

Don't Miss:
The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales coupon codes

The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales global launch impressions

FreeMMOStation: Can you introduce yourself to our readers and explain your role in the development of The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales?

Jaejun Lee: Hi, I’m Producer Jaejun Lee and I am in charge of directing The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales. I started my career in the gaming industry as a game designer in 2002 and since then have held positions such as game design, leader of the design team, and producer. I joined Com2uS Group’s Novacore in 2017 and began the Walking Dead project after my business trip to LA in January 2020, so it’s been about 4 years and 10 months.

FreeMMOStation: How did you come up with the idea of mixing Match 3 gameplay with The Walking Dead? What was it that made it sound like an appealing blend to you?

Jaejun Lee: I’ve worked on multiple projects for gamifying IPs into games. I worked on gamifying SpongeBob, a globally known IP, and the webtoon Hardcore Leveling Warrior. Throughout this process, I pondered how to represent the game either by focusing on the universe of the IP or by emphasizing game mechanics. Based on my experience, I've come to the conclusion that a great way to gamify an IP is to start by creating interesting game mechanics and then incorporating the IP's universe appropriately. I believe that designing with a focus on game mechanics is the right approach. Of course, during development, I made an effort to reflect the IP's universe when determining character skills and attributes, and when creating illustrations. I communicated with the original creators about this.

Our dev team wanted this game to be both popular and intricate. First and foremost, to appeal to a wider audience, we opted for match 3 gameplay. Mobile games have become a widespread pastime for anyone with a smartphone. However, there are still fewer gamers compared to the number of people who enjoy other media like TV shows, movies, and animations. The biggest reason non-gamers often give is that they don't know how to play games. You might not fully grasp this if you're reading this, but if you ask your non-gamer friends, you'll understand. However, in South Korea, we have a game that got people of all ages and genders into mobile gaming – Anipang. Match 3 puzzles have simple and intuitive rules, making it easy for anyone to learn and enjoy. When I looked at screenshots of The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales, I hoped that the match 3 puzzle system would make it easy for anyone to start and enjoy.

But I mentioned before that I wanted the game to be popular. Well, when you actually play it, you'll find it's an intricate RPG with strategic battles. We shouldn't sacrifice the depth and strategic fun of RPGs just for popularity. Most RPGs perform calculations during combat situations. They determine targets based on internal rules, calculate probabilities, and display the results through attack and skill animations. The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales simply visualizes the process of choosing a target and engaging in combat with the enemy using match 3 puzzles. As you enjoy playing these puzzles, you'll naturally start thinking about the elemental relationships based on character attributes, the order of skill combinations to deal more damage to the enemy, and which characters to involve in battle. Our dev team wanted to create a game that's easy to learn and enjoy for a long time, and that's why we chose the match 3 puzzle system.

FreeMMOStation: Which mechanics in your opinion deserve to be highlighted in the Match 3 part? What is it that you feel like it gives the game a unique hook?

Jaejun Lee: Lots of games that use the match 3 mechanic have found long-term success in the market. You might think that match 3 is an overused and simple puzzle. But at the same time, it’s very intuitive and not too exhausting. The rules are clear and it’s easy enough to play casually, but you also have move limits, requiring you to engage with the enemy within a certain number of turns. This makes match 3 particularly appealing, as it can develop into an interesting puzzle. Isn’t it fascinating, a simple but comprehensive puzzle? You can create a very strategically intriguing RPG with familiar rules and a moderate level of complexity by linking a character based on RPG rules to a puzzle block and hitting the enemy based on the location of the block in the puzzle that matches 3.

The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales Exclusive Interview

FreeMMOStation: How many characters did you bring to the game from the comics, and how many characters are original creations for the game?

Jaejun Lee: We have most of your favorite characters, including Rick, Lori, Carl, Negan, Glenn, Michonne, Andrea, Tyreese, and more. But Daryl Dixon, the most popular character from the series, does not feature in our game as it’s based on the comics.

We don’t have many original characters at the moment. You’ll meet an original character called Morris in the early game, and a few more as you progress through the game. I don’t want to give any spoilers! *laughs*

FreeMMOStation: In terms of the construction gameplay, what do you think makes it different from other games of the genre, including some that feature zombies, such as State of Survival?

Jaejun Lee: I personally want this game to become a masterpiece. We want players to be able to immerse themselves in the world of The Walking Dead franchise within the puzzle RPG genre. Our dev team traveled to the United States to record the voiceover with voice actors to deliver authentic dialogue for the entire season one. We also composed all of the music, using real violinists and guitarists to emulate an analog experience, without computer-generated sounds. We created lots of storytelling illustrations, so if you’re a fan of the original comics, you will be able to relive the story as you play the game, and if you’re new to the series, the story itself will be a gripping experience.

Other than the artwork mentioned before, we removed most inconveniences and clunkiness. We made various quality-of-life improvements so character growth is more user-friendly compared to older puzzle RPG games and removed situations where enemies cannot be targeted by matching puzzles. Combat and growth balance was also designed to be more user-friendly. You can only find this out by playing, so please give it a try.

The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales interview

FreeMMOStation: How faithful is the game to the comics speaking of lore? Did you follow a certain timeframe, and did you add anything original to the stories?

Jaejun Lee: It’s probably easier to explain with numbers. I think it embodies 110% of the original comics. What I mean is that this game follows the exact storyline of the comics. It’s not easy to tell a story in a mobile game. That’s why we’ve presented the original story as visual artwork, so that players who are familiar with the story can relive the moments. The development and timeline of characters and the story in the game are nearly identical, but you’ll find some new episodes in between, such as the introduction of a new character. It’s a game where you can enjoy the original story as well as new events.

We would like to thank Com2uS USA and Skybound for reviewing the game’s content and providing feedback on how well it matches the original comics. The Walking Dead comics are published in various versions of books, and there’s a combined set of 4 books. Based on this set, the opening spec covers the story of the first book. The dev team has prepared 2 books worth of the story so far. The story is so vast that we can continue to service the game based on the original story. In a few years, we’ll have to start introducing the backstory of the characters. Michonne’s and Negan’s stories before the apocalypse are pretty interesting.

FreeMMOStation: Are you considering crossovers with other franchises, or even The Walking Dead television show for the foreseeable future?

Jaejun Lee: The Walking Dead franchise expands its universe by building on the universe of its original characters. It’s an interesting transmedia strategy that pushes the boundaries of a completed comic.

Although our game is new to the market, we have a lot of content prepared over the past 4 years and 10 months. We don’t have plans for any crossovers with other franchises, but bringing characters from the TV show to our game is an interesting idea. Especially since characters are portrayed differently on TV and in our game. For example, Rick is portrayed as having a foot injury as we follow the comics universe. It’ll be interesting to have both of these characters in one game. I also want to add Daryl Dixon to the game.

A great thing about games is that you can have conflicting universes or characters who cannot exist at the same time.

FreeMMOStation: Anything else you would like to say to our readers?

Jaejun Lee: There are so many games out there and a lot of them are played every year. We want The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales to be a game that people can remember. Our dev team and the Com2uS ops team value your feedback. So please give it a try and let us know what you think about the game. Thank you.

If you click on a link and sign up for a game we may receive a small commission. Read our affiliate policy.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Myspace