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Peter Molyneux On Developmental Experimentation

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the imagine-portal-with-furniture dept.

Games 55

Gamasutra reports on a talk given at GDC by Peter Molyneux, founder of Lionhead Studios and designer of games such as Black & White and Fable. Molyneux discussed some of the experimentation that went into the development of their various games. Quoting: "After his overview of the process, Molyneux demonstrated a number of actual experiments. He began by showing an early version of Fable II's dog, which he himself designed and which ended up factoring heavily into the full game. 'This is probably one of the most valuable experiments we ever did,' he said. Using the original Fable engine, the team asked itself, 'Why don't we think how the dog can actually move and be a companion to the player?' They decided to focus on exploring what a dog would do, rather than try to slot a canine into existing typical video game companion tasks. This led to the mechanic of the dog running out in front of the player, rather than beside or behind the player as most game AI companions are positioned, which had a huge impact on the dog's role."

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Fuck you Molyneux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27385195)

I'll give you Theme Park and Dungeon Keeper, but I waited for the hyped up piece of shit that was Black & White.
After the the long awaited critical patch it was STILL a piece of shit, so FUCK YOU.

Re:Fuck you Molyneux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27385377)

Seconding that, after completing Flood [wikipedia.org] I received this forced ending...

The ending cutscene featured Quiffy being run over by a car after reaching the surface. This is considered very anti-climactic considering how much work is required to complete all 42 levels. This is supposed to be humorous, also reminiscent of Douglas Adams' humour.

And I reckon I'd be one of the few people to play Fusion.

Re:Fuck you Molyneux (1)

Doctor Morbius (1183601) | more than 4 years ago | (#27393497)

You forgot 2 other great games by Bullfrog, Populous and Magic Carpet.

Re:Fuck you Molyneux (1)

Doctor Morbius (1183601) | more than 4 years ago | (#27393583)

I forgot about Powermonger and Syndicate.

Fable II: Did we mention the dog? (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385203)

Spoiler alert (4, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27387867)

Yes, they like the dog because it's probably the cruelest twist in the game. They think hey we'll hype the dog up so everyone wants to see what the dog does and play around with it THEN WE'LL FUCKING KILL IT.

At the end you get the choice between saving your dog who gets shot dead, everyone else in the world who died or getting 1 million gold.

So what they did was made the dog pretty fucking integral into the game, but made you feel like a selfish dick for reviving him rather than all the other innocents that died.

Molyneux is a dog killing bastard and he uses it against you and that's what he meant when he talks about bringing emotion to games! Me being a good guy thought hey, I'll choose sacrifice and sacrifice the god damn dog for everyone else and all I got was a letter of thanks from everyone. If I'd known that I'd have got my dog back or taken the £1million and let the damn peasants stay dead.

Seriously though, the dog was quite fun to play around with. The game itself was far, far too short though but that seems to be par for the course with these sorts of games now, Fallout 3 was the same - the main storyline last about 5 seconds and the rest of the gameplay time is filled with boring side quests that are as repetitive as the crap in MMOs. Ironically I got bored of MMOs because the content in single player or coop games was much more rich and interesting, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Frankly I'd quite happily say goodbye to the side quests altogether and have them work on the main storyline more for these sorts of games. Games like Deadspace show how awesome games can be if you just focus on the storyline.

Re:Spoiler alert (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#27390603)

Frankly I'd quite happily say goodbye to the side quests altogether and have them work on the main storyline more for these sorts of games. Games like Deadspace show how awesome games can be if you just focus on the storyline.

"These sorts of games?" Fallout (and presumably Fable, but I haven't played it) is an RPG, where side quests are the game. The main plot is simply an excuse to get the player wandering. Side quests are where you can "play the role".

These games try to be "sandbox games", but the current limits of AI means that pretty much everything has to be pre-scripted. I wonder how it would go if some real expert at AI would help develop them - would we get some really freeform emergent behaviour? Of course, one might argue that The Sims already does something like this...

The Sims meets SimCity meets Master of Magic meets RPG?

Re:Spoiler alert (3, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27391257)

Is that the only way we can play the role though? with side quests? I think developers often use it as a lazy way out.

Why not just have the main quest line be a lot more strongly related to your actions earlier in the main storyline and have a proper branching storyline.

I think what gets me really is the rigidity of the side questions - as you say, better AI could make a big difference. I find it somewhat inexcusable in this day and age that we have quests as mindless and dull as "Hi I'm Jim. Will you go to location X and kill monsters Y for you?" and you go and do it and come back and he says "Oh wow well done you killed it, here's 10 gold". It's that kind of side questing we need to get away from. I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't think you should even realise you're doing a side quest similar to what you were getting at I think. You should walk through the world and hear a scream for help and go and help. Not see a guy stood there like a gormless twit who when you walk up to he says unconvincingly "Oh no. My girlfriend has been kidnapped. Please head North West and kill the evil turd monster to rescue her. Oh, reward is 10 gold again by the way".

What about if you walk into a firefight on Fallout between two factions, and you end up having to fight for what side you wandered in on and simply the side you wandered in on defines who you end up having to fight for else they shoot you? How about that faction when you fight with them if only to save your life becomes friendly to you and helpful after like current faction systems but without the "Go to A to fight for faction a or go to B to fight for faction b". Don't like the faction you stumbled upon to help and wanted to work with the other guys? No problem! Go to the other faction camp and offer to betray those guys.

It needs to be a lot more free flowing, it needs to happen without you specifically going to questgiver X to get quest Y. It needs to be part of the world as you say.

FWIW, I do some AI development at work (for business not games though) and modern AI is certainly a lot more capable than the crap we have in games today. Even without any advanced AI implementations better decisions trees are more than enough to create far more convincing AI in most AAA RPGs today.

I think Mass Effect is the best attempt I've seen in recent years, whilst it still had the side quest setup, the main storyline did at least force you to make decisions on the fly that would change the outcome of the rest of the storyline somewhat.

Re:Spoiler alert (2, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27391501)

So what they did was made the dog pretty fucking integral into the game, but made you feel like a selfish dick for reviving him rather than all the other innocents that died.

Huh. I revived the dog and didn't feel selfish at all seeing as it was, you know, just a game. Now if any of those endless dead people owed me money, I might have gone a different direction. :-) Honestly, I'm baffled my Molyneux's drive to bring emotion to games like this. Is there really a demand for it? I have a totally empty and pathetic life and I'm not looking for games to give me a real one.

Re:Spoiler alert (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27397223)

Honestly, I'm baffled my Molyneux's drive to bring emotion to games like this. Is there really a demand for it?

I think there is a definite place for emotional connection in computer games. I do think, though, that there's not much space for Buffy-season-5-style character abuse. That was some of the most depressing shit I've ever watched, and if it had been a game rather than a movie I'd probably have stopped playing at that point. Nothing pisses me off me more in games than 'unwinnable' scripted losses.

Oh. Wait. (1)

Doctor O (549663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27435639)

Wait. You mean that this talk about choosing between the dog, dead people and cash wasn't a joke?

Damn. I feel like I did when I realized that the cheesy phrase "Kiss me again like you did..." that I read on Slashdot *really* was in that Star Wars movie.

At least stuff like that makes me feel OK with the fact I haven't been gaming for, like, 15 years. Doesn't seem as if I'm missing much.

Re:Spoiler alert (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#27392689)

Frankly I'd quite happily say goodbye to the side quests altogether and have them work on the main storyline more for these sorts of games. Games like Deadspace show how awesome games can be if you just focus on the storyline.

And Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time! Short, only a single story, but very awesome and fun to play!

Hilarious (0, Flamebait)

sympathy (1492055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385267)

Molyneux is a joke. He's never made a good game and always goes on about all this "experimentation" and "innovation" which is simply hype and hyperbole for the same boring, generic crap that every other dull, unimaginative dev churns out year after year. Suck it Molyneux, nobody wants your pathetic rambling.

Re:Hilarious (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385279)

I always thought Theme Park and Populous were pretty damned fine.

Re:Hilarious (2, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385371)

GP is a moron. Syndicate and Magic Carpet are other epic Molyneux games. I thought the first Black & White was pretty amazing too.

Theme Park is testament to the fact that some games just work better in 2D... I STILL break it out and play it for hours from time to time. I just wish they would make a properly updated version that runs nicely in XP/Vista.

In fact, I wish Good Old Games would get hold of the Bullfrog catalogue - now THAT would be worth paying for.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386241)

While I didn't like those first 2, Theme Park was awesome, B&W was amazing and Fable was a good game... It just didn't live up to the hype.

I didn't care for Fable 2, though... It seemed to be just more of the same without a story worth telling. I gave up on it after a few hours.

Re:Hilarious (2, Funny)

richard tarantula (1464545) | more than 4 years ago | (#27389111)

Powermonger FTW! :)

Re:Hilarious (2, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27399379)

Magic carpet's graphics were absolutely sensational when it came. It, Populous, and Dungeon Keeper had great gameplay, too. Where I think things started to go downhill was with Black & White, when PM fell in love with certain AI ideas, and thought a game about toilet training a giant cow would be fun. It was also apparently very buggy - I didn't play it very much, and not many games afterwards.

Re:Hilarious (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385501)

I disagree. Molyneux does experiment far more than any other major developer, for the most part. Of course, these days video gaming is pretty well established and there isn't quite the room to invent whole new genres like there was back in the 80s and 90s. But even so, he always seems to me to be trying to find new twists on existing genres, or to mesh genres together in a new way. Fable and Black & White are good examples of this.

The problem is that, despite what people like to think, experimentation and innovation don't often make for very good games. These days, making a good game is, like it or not, generally about polish, attention to detail, technical prowess and the shameless lifting of other people's innovations. Molyneux will put out something interesting and different, which fails to provide any kind of fun. Then a year later, somebody else lifts all of the good ideas and puts them into a package that actually works as a game. Look at how Black & White, which was undoubtedly one of the most broken experiences ever to be marketed as a leisure activity, laid down much of the groundwork for the modern virtual pet genre, which is seriously big money now.

I don't like the guy's games, but I think the industry is better for his involvement.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27385533)

Tamogochi laid down the groundwork for the modern virtual pet game, or at least the impetus. Also, there were sim-pets for the Apple II, and a pet dog doing stuff autonomously for the player in NetHack.

It's not a new idea.

Re:Hilarious (2, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385791)

Maybe, but the means of "tactile" interaction with the pet, which is at the core of most virtual pet games these days, is pure Black & White. When I see Nintendogs, I think of Black & White far more than I do the Tamagotchi.

Re:Hilarious (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385787)

"The problem is that, despite what people like to think, experimentation and innovation don't often make for very good games."

I disagree, peter has had hit games (through his experimentation) out of the gate (populous comes to mind, as well as syndicate, etc), of which which were totally original projects - and hit the ground running.

Sometimes it's just that the first games that experiment with new ideas usually don't get everything right and some games (black and white as you mentioned) ran into problems where the developer (peter) was clueless himself in where the fun in his creative vision was, he has said so himself by the way in more recent interviews that can be found by googling around.

Peter has some serious street cred, I'm not sure you're old enough (or aware enough) of all the games Peter has been involved in - us older gamers know Bullfrog productions (list of games @ link below)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullfrog_Productions [wikipedia.org]

Game developers have been in the process of learning to make better video games over the years, the problem was - they didn't have a process for finding the fun in games, that is now becoming a lot more of a scientifically based process of hypothesis - testing and experimentation before a game is released.

Even developers who take what already works, STILL have problems getting it right. Supreme commander comes to mind, where Chris taylor was disappointed they fell back on tanks and artillery and making the races mostly the same, when he wanted race diversity.

No game would have ever been made if it wasn't for experimentation, that is generating a lot of ideas and selecting the ones according to some selection criteria and seeing what sticks. The early periods of gaming, in the NES days there was lots of crap but lots of new ideas. For instance would you ever see Cobra Triangle today?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobra_Triangle [wikipedia.org]

Cobra Triangle was made by RARE (yes that RARE, of Killer instinct fame, and other N64 games

The real problem is that developers didn't have a complete handle on WHY and WHAT made their games successful (what worked and what didn't), it took a lot of trial and error for them to figure this out and even STILL TODAY many developers haven't figured it out... I can tell which developers have gotten it and which developers haven't by playing sequels in a franchise, I can always tell when developers don't understand what in their games were fun or not.

Re:Hilarious (3, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385855)

Oh believe me, I'm old enough to remember Molyneux's old games. I played Populus back when it was new. I remember the excitement of getting home with a copy of PC Format which had a 5 1/4 inch floppy on the cover with the demo of Powermonger. (Btw, I mostly liked your post, but comments about "not sure you're old enough or aware enough" do make you sound a bit petulent.)

But the industry has changed since then, as have the expectations of gamers. Back then, if you had a good and original idea, you could build a decent game around it with only a small team and a modest budget. Development teams were still led by visionary geniuses, who not only thought up the concept for the game, but also did a large chunk of the hands on development.

For better or worse (and I do think it's mostly for the better) the industry has changed. Putting out a decent commercial game these days requires years of development, a budget of millions and the efforts of hundreds of people (albeit maybe not all at the same time). The best developers today aren't the ones who can throw out 10 great innovations in game design before breakfast - they're the ones who can define the scope of a game, prevent it from creeping, decide which ideas to lift from elsewhere and then project manage the various teams of programmers, artists and QA people to produce the product on time and to a satisfactory standard, while keeping the publishers off their backs to a sufficient degree that the overall vision isn't compromised. If you look at some of the best games of recent years (I'd nominate World of Warcraft, Dead Space, Crysis and Gears of War), all of them have lifted ideas shamelessly from elsewhere, adding very little of their own but they've been delivered with degree of focus that results in a very polished end product (leaving aside crappy PC ports in a couple of cases).

Now, Molyneux isn't completely lacking in these skills. He's not John Romero and he hasn't turned Lionhead into a running joke like Ion Storm. But it's clear that having hyper-active, ideas-based management is holding Lionhead back from joining the top tier of developers. However, it's still good to have studios like that around, throwing out innovation-rich games for others to cannibalise. This is why I continue to buy Molyneux's games, even though I haven't actually enjoyed one since the original Dungeon Keeper.

Re:Hilarious (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386313)

"(Btw, I mostly liked your post, but comments about "not sure you're old enough or aware enough" do make you sound a bit petulent.)"

It wasn't meant as a jab or petulence, I couldn't gauge by your post whether you were an "oldbie" or a "newbie" releatively speaking. I agree with most of what you said as well.

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27386375)

Interesting how all the games you mention are about war.

Re:Hilarious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27387263)

The same Rare made Grabbed by the Ghoulies in between a StarFox game and Kameo....

And quite really devs SHOULD know what to do to make fun games, heck people at Nintendo sure know how to make a compelling package :
http://www.1101.com/iwata/

^^^ This link is why making video games can never be an art and will always be a product carefully crafted (at least the non buggy ones)

And LOL at having to having to have a HUGE budget and hundreds of people to make a game that will interest anyone, that wouldn't be so laughable if the top selling games since 2004 weren't something made by 9 people [wikipedia.org] or a glorified tech demo [wikipedia.org] .

We got to end with the preconceptions that making a great game is easy/require fundings up the wazoo/is treading the same old path

Re:Hilarious (0)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386219)

The problem is that, despite what people like to think, experimentation and innovation don't often make for very good games.

Luckily, treading the same tired old shit over and over again is a winning formula.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386805)

You mean `successful`...`makes a lot of money`. So do a lot of crap American films, but you'd not necessarily choose to discuss them at a film festival.

Re:Hilarious (2, Insightful)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386257)

I don't like the guy's games, but I think the industry is better for his involvement.

If on average it takes you 5+ years of development for each title you release, and in doing so you use up all of your own money, and all of the money from VC's, end up filing for bankruptcy, and then hand out P45's to your employees before being rescued at the last minute by Microsoft; I think it's pretty easy to make the case that people working in the industry in the guildford area would be better off without him.

You've got to give the man credit for the early bullfrog games, but to ignore all of his recent failings is taking a slightly blinkered view of the man imho.

Fable and Black & White are good examples of this.

I always read Fable as 'feck, B&W sales are not good, we need to get a more commercial offering out there to start making some money'...

Look at how Black & White, which was undoubtedly one of the most broken experiences ever to be marketed as a leisure activity, laid down much of the groundwork for the modern virtual pet genre, which is seriously big money now.

No, it really didn't [wikipedia.org] . B&W came five years later.

Re:Hilarious (1)

mahlerfan999 (1077021) | more than 4 years ago | (#27403701)

I've played both Fable games (and I haven't played Black and White), and well I like the second game. But the point is that they are not experimental or really new. I've seen it all before in other rpg games. I think the reason why I like the second game is because it's very polished and it improved upon or fixed the elements from the first game. Molyneux projects an image of being a wild and crazy experimenter, but honestly he's more of an innovator (improving upon what's already there).

For better of for worse (4, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27385535)

I've always enjoyed Molyneux games for the new ideas he tries to pack in. Black & White for example; a great game in that it provided some genuinely different game-play to anything else ever. A few of us played that game for an entire weekend once; it's slow enough to leave running while eating/drinking/sleeping, but involving enough to play when and if you want.
It was quite funny to wake up to find your creature had randomly taught itself to fling faeces at non-friendly villages and promptly eat all the villagers once this bizarre spectacle had converted the hearts and minds of an opposition village to your cause.

Anyway, the point is, the guy's trying to inject some originality into gameplay at least; some times it works, other times not.

Re:For better of for worse (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386773)

And sometimes it's like he's constantly releasing variations on Populous.

Re:For better of for worse (3, Informative)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#27389085)

That's what we call a genre. A RTS is a RTS, a RPG is a RPG, and in the case of Populous and Black & White, a god game is a god game.

If Only.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27385743)

Should have been a sheep. Yum. Then we'd really experiment. :D

Hey Peter, Where is....... (2, Interesting)

chrisG23 (812077) | more than 4 years ago | (#27385935)

Dungeon Keeper 3? Or any game like DK1 and DK2? If such a game exists, someone please enlighten me.

Re:Hey Peter, Where is....... (1)

mrrudge (1120279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386281)

You may like to have a look at Defense Grid : The Awakening ( http://defensegrid.hiddenpath.com/ [hiddenpath.com] ) which though a slightly different style of game ( with many less Dark Mistresses ), has a similar mechanic, defend defend defend.

No affiliation, just plenty of hours lost to it, and it *feels* similar to me.

Re:Hey Peter, Where is....... (1)

chrisG23 (812077) | more than 4 years ago | (#27387633)

Ive played Defense Grid and to me it doesn't feel too similar. Defense Grid is basicly nothing but a "towers defense" game. For me DK2 was more about the training and then slow offensive push of workers breaking into new passages and rooms taking territory backed up by multiple varieties of my monsters (and the humans/elves/dwarves I had impisoned and tortured into joining my side), throwing spells where possible, and having traps to back me up. Still haven't played a game quite like it. Slapping the workers to make them work faster was a nice touch. The game had tons of nice touch. Jeez, my nostalgia is making me want to play it now, gonna go look for it.

Re:Hey Peter, Where is....... (2, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#27387007)

You might like Dwarf Fortress. [bay12games.com]

Once you see past the total lack of pretty graphics, it's the kind of game DK might have evolved into. Multi-level dungeons, with their own geology, geography, local wildlife, economy, and neighboring civilizations.

Re:Hey Peter, Where is....... (2, Interesting)

chrisG23 (812077) | more than 4 years ago | (#27387559)

Thank you for the suggestion. I will check this one out again. I tried it once, but didn't have the time to learn how to play.

Wow, that brings back memories, having to learn how to play a game instead of the game either a) being really simple and intuitive (possible because of how simple it is) or b) being a copy of a popular type of game.

I was lead designer on Dungeon Keeper 3. (3, Interesting)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 4 years ago | (#27392181)

Peter had already gone to Lionhead by that time. EA killed DK3 about three months into prototyping, at the same time as they killed the entire Bullfrog brand. They moved the Bullfrog people onto Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter instead. It's hard to argue with that as a business decision.

Still, I was bummed it never saw the light of day.

More details here:
http://pcgtw.retro-net.de/index.php?id=games:keeper3 [retro-net.de]

Re:I was lead designer on Dungeon Keeper 3. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#27401783)

Thanks for linking to your write-up, very interesting history!

Are you still in the industry?

Yes, I'm now freelance. Details within. (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412379)

I'm a game design consultant and trainer, both helping out companies with their design issues and bringing junior designers up to speed. I also teach at a large number of universities and write books and columns on the subject. You'll find much more about me here:

http://www.designersnotebook.com/ [designersnotebook.com]

Re:Hey Peter, Where is....... (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27396705)

You could always try Evil Genius [metacritic.com] .

Fable 2 NOT the first RPG with dogs! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27386353)

Dogs, dogs, dogs.. Gah.

The Diablo clone Shadowflare also had an independent dog. This horrible abortion of a game was released around 2005 with a screenshot viewable here: http://www.welldownload.com/img/5299-6.jpg [welldownload.com]

Dog clearly visible for added luls. And it ran in front of you, rather than behind.

Peter wondered how much Molly knew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27386685)

Okay, why is Molyneux fucking relevant? He did one or two games over a decade ago which deserved critical acclaim. Nowadays he continues to ride those coattails, the games he's put out have sucked harder than Atari's ET the Extraterrestrial. Is he the only game designer who is available for interviews because the rest are hard at work creating decent, playable games?

Molyneux' games are okay, but that doesn't matter. (1)

huha (755976) | more than 4 years ago | (#27386895)

Credit where credit is due: Peter Molyneux has made some nice games, but that's not his greatest achievement. Molyneux has been, and still is, one of the few game developers who doesn't see himself as too good for answering press inquiries and doing dozens of interviews. I've seen some TV programmes about games and the gaming industry and in every single one of them, Molyneux gave an interview. He might talk overhyped trash from time to time (i.e. almost always), but at least he talks. If Molyneux wouldn't constantly talk about his games to anyone who's brave enough to ask, he'd long be forgotten.

Hype (0)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#27388643)

Mr Molyneux reads like a Microsoft press release: full of much hype and innovation, but by the time release comes around everything is hacked to pieces.

For example, he bragged about letting players directly factor in growing a town from a small collection of buildings to a giant metropolis. In the finished product? You are given a binary yes/no question and when you come back later the town is bigger.

Re:Hype (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#27389043)

From what I heard he makes game ideas up on the spot when interviewed and then acts as if they are already implemented. Usually the interview is the first time his dev team even hears the idea.

Re:Hype (2, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#27390511)

Yeah, always like that. In interviews he talked about how your Creature in B&W would observe you, and learn behavior. It actually "learns" like a Furby learns. It has a preprogrammed progression. It sees you cast a spell, now it knows it and uses it in a pre-programmed way. If you cast rain just to make it rain on some dude for fun, your creature will NEVER do that, it will ONLY use it to put out fires. Just a couple of binary flags turning on pre-programmed behaviors, and he acted like it was revolutionary AI and actually able to learn from you and mimic your actions.

saving (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27388883)

Who came up with the idea you can't save when you want in Fable II?

Oh, decisions must have consequences? Uh huh, that's why I play video games, so I can be *discouraged* from experimenting and trying different things. You know, Peter, experimenting- that thing you just lauded. Yeah, I really need my game worlds to be as unyielding and irreversible as real life. Especially when there is a stark good/evil morality system imposed by someone with whom I might have some real differences of opinion on that front.

And what's with the character model tweaking over time? I start out with a nice looking warrior woman and wind up with a seven foot tall linebacker by the end of the game.

Re:saving (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27396651)

The game is all about choices and consequences.

Aside: Anyone else here play Magic Carpet 2? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#27392241)

The terrain modification code in that game was incredible. You could create a volcano from the ground then tunnel through it and hide inside. I'm making an online fighter now, and someday I hope that I can modify my terrain like that.

Re:Aside: Anyone else here play Magic Carpet 2? (1)

Doctor Morbius (1183601) | more than 4 years ago | (#27393743)

That was one of my favorite bullfrog games. I liked creating volcanos on the enemies base.

all up molyneux's... (3, Interesting)

nnnich (1454535) | more than 4 years ago | (#27392751)

I don't see why everyone is all up molyneux's ass about games. his ideas really aren't all that innovative. there are SO MANY great game ideas that I've heard of over the years, but they all get shot/watered down by the time the project managers or whoever gets through with them. the only reason molyshit gets recognition is because he can apparently brown nose with the best of them to keep his "cool hip features" in the final cut of the games.

thumbs down molyneux, all of us gamers seeking quality and originality frown upon you and are tired of hearing your "genius" schemes.
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