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Gamelab 2011: Molyneux Addresses Concerns About  Fable: The Journey
Gamelab 2011: Molyneux Addresses Concerns About Fable: The Journey
June 30, 2011 | By Brandon Sheffield

June 30, 2011 | By Brandon Sheffield
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More: Console/PC, Design



The E3 demo of Lionhead's Xbox 360 title Fable: The Journey faced three main criticisms. First, it was presumed the game was on rails, a claim Molyneux has since refuted. Second, it's for Kinect, a platform seemingly ill-suited to lengthy RPGs. And third, the demo seemed very limited.

At the Gamelab conference in Spain, Fable creator Peter Molyneux addressed all these concerns as part of a longer talk on his game-making inspiration.

"Unfortunately the demo we showed [at E3] was very very short," he said. "Fable: The Journey is a Fable game, but using Kinect to play. Some people in the audience may think 'I don't need Kinect. I just want to sit down.' That's just thinking of a negative."

"What's the positive about Kinect?" he posed. "It can see you, and really do things we have never been able to do with the controller. First and foremost, the most important thing about Fable: The Journey is this: You can sit while you play it. If you want to jump up and play you can."

Molyneux said he wants to create "the best, most involving Fable tale ever," one that makes you feel like you're inside the world in a way a handheld controller can't replicate.

"The only thing that I, as a game designer, can see about you is your two thumbs. And that's a big problem," he said. "Getting your emotion from just these two thumbs isn't really what I, as a designer, imagine. I want you to be on the edge of your seat, I want you to cry, I want you to have a lump in your throat, I want you to remember this experience for the rest of your life."

The horse and carriage segment shown at E3 is a critical part of this, he said. The horse "is going to have so much feeling for you. Just taking care of him, grooming him, and healing him, he's going to be like nothing you've seen in games before."

The freedom of movement in the carriage will be a key point as well. "That simulation gives you the free momentum to go through the entire world," he said, adding that there would be some 300 square miles of space to explore. The off-rails play wasn't enabled in the E3, demo, but, he reiterated, "We have off-rails navigation, it works fine."

One of the main areas the new Fable improves on, he feels, is magic. "I hate what controllers do to magic," said Molyneux. "They preordain what you can do with magic. And I want you to feel like you can do absolutely anything you like. We're going to give you the ability to weave magic like you've never done before." You can twist it, pull it, compress it, and so forth, then cast it by throwing out your hands. The team is using a lot of the tech from the early Kinect demo Milo to make the experience more immersive, Molyneux said.

As much as he is happy to be working on Fable: The Journey, Molyneux also added that his preference is to do original work. "To be very honest with you, I'd always prefer not to work on a sequel," he said. "I'd rather work on something original, and go on that journey of creation." Molyneux said he wants to surprise people, rather than doing the same thing over and over.

"Fable 3 suffered a bit from that," he admitted. "There's this thing called the Fable bible, with everything we've done in the Fable wold, and I said there's things we're going to take from this bible, and things we're going to leave behind, because I felt it was getting a bit old. I hate the idea that people know what to expect from Fable."


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Comments


Alex Franco
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Oh peter, you keep contradicting yourself in so many ways

And now I'm finally at thenpoint where I feel sorry for you.

: - (

J Benjamin Hollman
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The real magic, Mr. M, would be in leaving Fable behind for good.



If there is a single person from that stormy little island of yours who has earned the right to go on that journey of creation, it's Richard Ga--I mean Peter Molyneux.

Glenn Sturgeon
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Its good there will be kinect support for the game but im realy glad they have to have controller support for the game too.

I won't likely get a kinect for years as if i did it would just set in the corner with my 360 which i only play 2-3 games a year on.



"And I want you to feel like you can do absolutely anything you like."

Thats a good outlook. Freedom of choice is a great thing in games imo.

You can't blame the guy for trying, even if things don't always turn out exactly as he wants or you expect.

He realy does come up with some good ideals but implementation is the hardest part.

Eric Geer
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The horse "is going to have so much feeling for you. Just taking care of him, grooming him, and healing him, he's going to be like nothing you've seen in games before."



Ease down hoss!



That's more than I want from a horse in a game. I just want a means of transportation with out the hastle---grooming...ok..but do we have to water and feed it and clean the barn too?

august clark
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"Getting your emotion from just these two thumbs isn't really what I, as a designer, imagine. I want you to be on the edge of your seat, I want you to cry, I want you to have a lump in your throat, I want you to remember this experience for the rest of your life."



I cannot listen to this man anymore. Is he really going on about how the real barrier to gamers having an emotional stake in his Fable games is a controller? Yeah that must be it, it couldn't possibly be the fact that the games are shallow, derivative, and until the most recent one, the players' only means of communicating with the denizens of the world were to insult, scare, sleep with, or fart on them instead of using actual words.



I think the worst thing about this drivel is knowing that this man has created some of the best loved games of all time. Now he continues to prove that he is about as out of touch with the times as Richard Garriott. Both of them need to go have a space vacation and get lost there.

Richard Vaught
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Ok, so the interaction model in the games was immature. Imagine that, immaturity and fart jokes in a game designed for teenagers... At least it was something different. There were a lot of things that the Fable series did well, not the least of which actually having a world that was actually effected by your actions in a way that did not feel overly contrived. Any and every game will have things that they could have done better. There are always sacrifices made that the designer would rather have not had to make. If the company wants him to make another sequel, you can't blame the guy for taking the job and making a living.



I am actually excited about the kinect features and some of the detailed elements like the horse. Being a father of very young children, I have watched the kinect open up gaming to my little ones in a way that controllers and keyboards could never manage. If they can make some of the actions, like spell casting, feel more organic, that will be a big accomplishment for the gaming community and offers up some interesting possibilities for future development. I know they tried with one of the Harry Potter games on the Wii, but the controllers were just not up to the challenge. Hopefully they have more success than I have seen from other Kinect games with fine tuning the controls.


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