When creating the world of The Walking Dead, the development team at Telltale Games built the story around Clementine, protagonist Lee Everett's charge and the figure who would serve as his moral compass, according to an interview with Telltale in the most recent issue of Game Informer.
"From the beginning, the designers knew they wanted a character that would act as a moral compass for the main character as he progressed through the game," art director David Sakai said. "The designers envisioned a smart, honest, and capable girl around eight years old."
Clementine's personality, fashion sense and straightforward way of speaking were inspired by Sakai's own daughter, who said that the less he hears his children say, the smarter he believes they are.
"If Clementine came off annoying, people would be trying to find the button that sends her straight into a herd of walkers," said voice actress Melissa Hutchison.
Hutchison came to voice Clementine after a long search that left Telltale wondering if the character would even work with the game. According to the team, children could not convey the the emotional complexity of the role, while adults didn't fit the bill.
"When I read Clementine's character description, it struck this chord in me," Hutchison said. "I really related to Clementine. Her personality description kind of matched that of my own when I was a child, sans the zombie apocalypse thing.
"I can actually say that this is the first job in my voice-over career that has actually brought me to actual, physical tears," she added.
Check out the rest of Game Informer's article here or in the January 2013 print issue.