Tһe Wаlkinɡ Deаd Mаtсһ 3 Tаles Direсtor On Brinɡinɡ “Oriɡinаl Comiс Book to Life”

The director of new mobile game The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales discusses bringing the elaborate universe of the franchise into the puzzle genre.

The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales characters with the SR Interviews logo below.


  • The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales is a new puzzle game that combines matching mechanics with settlement building and a Walking Dead narrative.
  • The game stays true to the rules of The Walking Dead universe, using advanced visuals to maintain coherence and adhering to feedback from the original creators.
  • The game features brand-new comic book-style art with lively pen strokes and adds motion to still images, creating a vivid “comic book” experience.

The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales brings the long-running franchise into the world of puzzles, creating a new kind of experience set in the universe fans have come to know over the years. The game comes from Com2uS, a long-time mobile developer which has previously produced other titles like The Walking Dead: All Stars. While the title mainly uses the matching mechanics of games like Bejeweled, gameplay also incorporates elements of settlement building and an overarching Walking Dead narrative.

Unlike the developer’s last project The Walking Dead: All Stars, which was focused a collection-focused RPG, Match 3 Tales is a puzzler at heart, taking players to the front lines of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The game aims to continue the storied legacy of the comics, with brand-new art approved by the original creators. Alongside the main matching mechanics, players will build up a settlement through building upgrades, unlock new characters and items, and can even engage in PvP raids.

Walking Dead Universe TTRPG Art showing a man holding a spear-like weapon facing a horde of zombies.


The Walking Dead Universe RPG Interview: “A Rich & Evocative Sandbox”

Joe LeFavi and Mattias Johnsson Haake discuss creating the new Walking Dead Universe TTRPG from AMC Networks and Free League Publishing.

Screen Rant interviewed the game’s director Jaejun Lee via email to discuss translating The Walking Dead into a puzzle game, adding in Easter eggs for fans, and keeping the core of the franchise intact.

Jaejun Lee On The Walking Dead Match 3 Tales

Screen Rant: What were the most important things the team kept in mind when it came to making a new adaptation of the Walking Dead universe?

Jaejun Lee: Certainly, the most important aspect was staying true to the rules of The Walking Dead universe. The Walking Dead has a vast universe, but it doesn’t have a perfectly organized lore bible for secondary works. We received various files explaining the universe from the original publisher, but we encountered situations that we hadn’t anticipated. With no official lore bible, we had to create a sense of “coherence” within this universe. For instance, in the game, if you keep upgrading buildings, advanced facilities that seem to run on electricity are introduced. However, this world has limited electricity, so placing too many electricity-consuming buildings would contradict the universe. But from a game design perspective, upgrading buildings should clearly show progress. So we used building images with attached solar panels, giving the impression of using electricity even though there isn’t much available. We strived to maintain the rules of the universe while making significant changes to the building designs to convey advanced visuals.

In addition, we worked closely with the Com2uS US branch and Skybound, exchanging feedback to adhere to the rules of the universe. Some interesting and detailed planning was required, such as the fact that animals don’t turn into zombies, Glenn Rhee has no last name, and overly pristine gold bars or cheese wedges don’t fit the setting of a post-apocalyptic world with no mint-condition facilities.

This game features brand-new comic book-style art, what was the design process behind that like?

Jaejun Lee: As the director of this game, I wanted to bring the original comic book to life in a playable form and create an art style that captures the essence of a comic book with lively pen strokes. When researching, I found many full animation videos in a comic book style on YouTube, which were captivating. So, we aimed to create comic book-style art and infuse as much movement as possible into it.

One day, it struck me that when people think of The Walking Dead, the first image that comes to mind is the comic book-style artwork. I started thinking about why comic books remain popular for so long in the United States. The most compelling aspect of comic books is that they consist of fragmented images, and the reader’s imagination fills in the gaps. Each individual reconstructs the omitted actions in their own mind, creating the best possible images. Comics immerse readers like no other medium and stimulate their imaginations to create fantastic virtual visuals. Furthermore, comic books can depict dramatic expressions that are impossible in traditional acting or realistic illustrations. We focused on these features and added a touch of motion to still images, creating a vivid “comic book.”

This process involved the efforts of many people. Our development team collaborated closely with Com2uS headquarters, the US branch, and Skybound. Early sketches were discussed with Skybound, and feedback was exchanged before finalizing the sketches. Once that was done, we added rough colors and continued the communication process. Only after this thorough back-and-forth did we proceed with the final coloring. Through this close collaboration, we were able to create a comic book-style game that vividly preserves the feel of the original work.

What kind of Easter eggs have you included for fans as they play?

Jaejun Lee: Well, these days, when working with major publishers, you have to be careful about Easter eggs as they can become sensitive issues. Humor is somewhat limited in our game. The primary focus is to convey a serious message. The original intent of this game, Walking Dead: Identities, was to show how various human identities evolve in a zombie apocalypse scenario. I believed this was a reflection of how humans adapt in such a world, which is also a key message of The Walking Dead. So, many designs showcase the multiple facets of one character. The loading screen, in particular, is a meticulously planned piece of work, showing a reflection of Rick’s image on the broken mirror on the floor. The shattered glass symbolizes the broken world, where a single individual can take on various forms. We aimed to capture the complexity of an individual’s inner self, symbolized by the fractured glass.

Walking Dead Match 3 Banner showing the title, text that says

What were the biggest challenges that came along with adapting the Walking Dead IP into this style of game?

Jaejun Lee: Overall, it was an enjoyable project, and The Walking Dead IP is so popular that the project went smoothly. The biggest challenge we faced was surprisingly in designing the stage levels. Usually, as stages progress, more powerful and threatening enemies appear. Powerful enemies aren’t just about having high stats; their strength needs to be visually conveyed. Players need to feel the connection between the image and the actual difficulty to create persuasive level design. This is straightforward in fantasy games. You can create gigantic monsters without limit, but in The Walking Dead IP, since people turn into walkers, their appearances are generally similar. Even if you design a character with a large build and height, it can’t be justified with vastly higher stats. So, our development team tried to feature infected terrifying bears or large walkers wearing rugby gear. However, this approach felt forced and lacked credibility. It seemed unnatural to see a walker in a forest wearing rugby gear. Moreover, bears don’t fit well in this universe, as animals don’t get infected. Just a bear wouldn’t be that menacing. In this game, the images need to be fitting, but the images also need to be expanded horizontally. For the raid bosses, all but the blocks on the far left and right of the puzzle need to be hit. However, this cannot be achieved with human-based designs.

We addressed this challenge by incorporating background elements. Negan, for example, is a formidable opponent, but he doesn’t come alone. He always appears with a truck and a group of Saviors in the background. This approach represented a powerful enemy not as an individual but as part of a group. In the case of the Governor, he arrives with a tank as a backdrop. This design also fits into The Walking Dead universe, where the concept of strength increasing with the number of individuals aligns with the story. I remember the Skybound team being very enthusiastic about our raid boss design ideas.

What do you think will surprise fans the most about the game?

Jaejun Lee: I hope this game becomes a single “work of art.” We aimed to provide players of this game, set in the established framework of a puzzle RPG, with a full immersion into The Walking Dead IP universe. Our development team traveled to the United States to record the voices of the actors, delivering the entire Season 1 dialogue with lifelike voice acting. We also composed all-original music, featuring real violin and guitar players to convey an analog sensibility. The sound is not computer-synthesized, but genuine performances. We created numerous illustrations for storytelling, and for players familiar with the comics, playing the game allows them to reminisce about the story and relive it, remembering all the details. For those who haven’t read the comics, the story itself will be intriguing.

In addition to the artwork mentioned earlier, we meticulously removed most of the inconveniences and dull elements that players encounter in this genre, focusing on player-friendliness. We changed the character progression in a way that differs from traditional puzzle RPGs, and designed the combat and growth balance to be more user-friendly compared to competitive games. To feel the difference, you’ll need to play it. So, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.

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