Yesterday Microsoft held their event X10, in which they revealed many exciting facts about much of their exclusives planned for 2010. The most exciting one, no doubt is Fable III. Peter Molyneux’s studio Lionhead is perhaps Microsoft’s greatest asset, the team behind all the Fable games. The head of this studio is none other than Peter Molyneux, who is practically a genius when it comes to working on innovative titles. Molyneux started his career off by creating floppy disk games for the Atari and the Commadore 64, so he has a lot of long term experience in the industry. He has come a long way since those days, and he is what I like to call the pride of UK Video Game development.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Molyneux, to conduct an interview. It is one that I was very excited about. In the interview Peter talks about new additions that will be seen in Fable III, along with some general thoughts on the gaming industry. We have also provided some Fable III screen shots for your enjoyment. So without further ado, here is The Koalition’s interview with Mr Peter Molyneux.
Many people question Rare’s position with Microsoft, and also the fact that Bungie is currently only working on Halo titles. Yourself and Lionhead seem to
have more freedom, could you comment on this?
When we were acquired we really remembered our experiences when EA acquired Bullfrog so we were very careful to make sure that Microsoft knew how we worked and for us to understand how they liked to do things. Also although this sounds a bit sickly being nice people to do business with also goes a long way. Because everyone entered into the acquisition carefully but positively it has ended up working very well for both parties
So Fable 3 was announced at Gamescon last year, and ever since we have all been anticipating some new information, is there anything you can tell us about the current plans?
We just made a big announcement about Fable III and we are taking big steps to change what people think of the Fable series you can expect more drama and more uniqueness and so we have introduced some new game play mechanics – a feature called touch which allows you to reach out and touch other characters and objects. Also we have completely re-designed the combat system and indeed a great many other aspects of the game. Perhaps the most significant change is that you as player can become the King or Queen of Albion and once you are ruler you are then answerable to your subjects.
A few of the fans wanted to know if Theresa holds a strong significance to Fable franchise, could you elaborate on that?
Theresa was a an important force in both Fable and Fable II. I can tell you her story will continue in Fable III. She was one of the Fable characters that we war most passionate about from the very start .
What ideas are currently going in to Fable III to separate it from other western rpg’s out there at the moment?
We have changed the combat system and redesigned the way you fight I’ll boldly say the third iteration is certainly the most accessible and distinctive iteration to date ( but of course I would say that !) We have introduced touch which allows you to touch people, drag people, follow people and romance them all with this feature We have redesigned customization meaning you can customize yourself and everything you own, you can craft your own weapons and these will morph to reflect what you are like . We have also introduced extreme morphs which will truly reflect what you are like as a player and much much more
Greg Zeschuk of Bioware recently said that JRPG’s are beginning to lack innovation, could you share your thoughts on this issue?
JRPG’s have always been undeniable beautiful and well crafted although personally I find them somewhat confusing and lacking in originality but I am sure there are many millions of people who would totally disagree with me .
When you create a western based rpg, do you try to appeal to eastern regions as much as you can. Or is it that your culturally doomed from the get go, because they just wont embrace it to begin with?
I think when you consciously set out to try and create a game which is going to appeal to all cultures and people of all ages you are just going to end up tying yourself in knots . However there is an interesting ideas of doing conversion of something like Fable to have a more eastern flavour. For example Asian audiences seem to prefer less beefy, muscled heroic types of characters and this is something such a conversion could address.
Going back to Fable III specifically, will we see a return of guilds? If so will they play a part in the multi-player aspects of the game (if any)?
The Guild does feature again as we have something called the Guild Chambers which holds much of the power of XXX, this will also feed into multi player co-op.
You had a lot of plans for the first Fable game, and they could not all be implemented. Do you feel like you and the team will reach your ultimate
vision this time with Fable III?
We’re certainly refining what we think of as Fable . Even though it’s only been two years since Fable II the changes we making this time around are far more significant than the changes you saw between fable and fable II. Essentially we’re working through a list of the features which players found confusing in Fable II. It seems that over 50% of the people who played Fable II used less that 50% of the features available to them so in essence Fable III will be the ultimate iteration but don’t think by that that I mean last !
I know you can not comment too much on Project Natal, but what are your general impressions on the technology?
The tech is pretty impressive and it allows us to do things that even Sci-Fi writer would have struggled to imagine
What advice would you give to upcoming developers trying to make it in the industry?
This is an incredible industry to work in my advice would be know what you want , find out what you’re good at, choose your project carefully and stay passionate
Recently the UK government denied the game industry tax breaks, even though the industry generates more revenue than the government aided movie
business. What are your thoughts on these politics?
The Games industry is an invaluable part of the world wide entertainments industry but it seems to me that the governments view of it is shaped by just a few titles Personally I wish governments all over the world would focus more on the positive social side of gaming