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The Epic Story of Black and White

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the pudgy-flying-demons dept.

PC Games (Games) 26

Disgruntled Goat writes " The Guardian Gamesblog recently visited Lionhead Studios, and had a chance to talk to Peter Molyneux about the future of the Black and white series. From the article: 'Among lots of other interesting details, Lionhead chief Peter Molyneux reveals that there will be five installments to the series, each game following the progression of the relationship between the citizens in the game and the god, represented by the player.'"

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26 comments

Frist Psot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12761538)

COCKSUCKERS!

Sorry Peter (2, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761571)

I'd like to believe you about all of the wonderful things you'll be giving us, but after Fable (possibly the most overhyped game I've ever played) I just can't trust you. What you promise today just might not be there tomorrow.

Re:Sorry Peter (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761644)

fable didn't disapoint me.... because I remembered how much pre hype BS he spread about every other game he's been involved in

Fable? (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761709)

I stopped caring about what Peter Molyneux was doing after Black & White. It wasn't absolute garbage, but it was extremely overhyped and underdeveloped. Very disappointing, because it was one of the few games I had actually purchased in a long time.

Obligatory scoffing..... (2, Funny)

Red Moose (31712) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761572)

In separate news John Carmack announced that there will be a total of 6 games in total in the Doom series, and that everyone should keep buying them based on his name.

Five of them? (1)

mmaddox (155681) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761621)

Five? Five Black and White games? For god's sake, why? I thought the first iteration was an interesting exercise, and it made for a few good times, but did it and its subsequent add-ons sell enough to warrant a continuation? I suppose the sequel is a given, but planning 4 more seems a bit silly. Kind of like the Duke Nukem sequel...

Focus on One at a Time, Please... (5, Insightful)

wuie (884711) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761641)

Lionhead should focus on the game at hand instead of projecting 5 total games in the series. It's a bit worrysome that they're already talking about having 5, and the hype machine might get rolling incredibly early on all these games.

Going along that thread, it says that by game 5, the citizens will outclass their god (player), with examples such as throwing rocks vs. cannons and fireballs vs. atomic bombs. They then say that B&W as a series is focusing on letting the players feel all-powerful and do extraordinary things (at least in the early ones). It seems a bit contradictory, and with the last installment of the game, I have to wonder if it'll even be worth playing. I personally like the theory of manpower vs. godpower in the philosophical sense, but I'm not too sure on the gaming sense. The allure and fun of the B&W series is being omnipotent, and if you strip that out, what will be the game's selling point?

Re:Focus on One at a Time, Please... (3, Insightful)

Momoru (837801) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761679)

I think maybe your not familiar with the Lionhead development cycle: 1) Hype up a game beyond belief...it will be the most realistic best game ever made, with such detail your brain will explode 2) Game is delayed for years 3) Game is released to much praise 4) Game has a bug so bad it cant be beaten (Black & White) or Players lose interest in game after about 2 hours (Fable or Black & White) Their ideas are neat, but their execution is always half assed.

Re:Focus on One at a Time, Please... (2, Informative)

wuie (884711) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761936)

I think maybe your not familiar with the Lionhead development cycle

I played B&W1 when it was released, and I never got past the third island due to sheer boredom. The first level was alright since you got the creature fairly early, and the second level was basically a playground where you could teach your creature tons of miracles and shape most of its personality. The third level was such a bummer for me because it's that level where the player's creature is captured (iirc). I had spent all that time teaching my creature to do all sorts of miracles only to have it locked up for a whole level.

Couple that with villages that are never happy (it's impossible to get all the flags on the Village Store to disappear), and it made for one overhyped game that I only enjoyed on the second level.

Re:Focus on One at a Time, Please... (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 8 years ago | (#12763105)

The other problem with the game is that even though you thought you quit early, you had almost beat the game. There were only 5 levels. I expected it to be like 50 levels as much detail was supposedly involved. After all, they are still training you on the 1st and 2nd...then you lose your creature for the 3rd. And the 5th had the bug so you couldn't beat it....obviously i'm very bitter about the whole thing.

Didnt miss out, Levels 4 and 5 are super hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12767801)

Level 4 is a complete bastard.

Fire and lightning rains down on you village constantly until u beat some troll guy.

We all know how painfully slow it was to create a village.

I ended up moving it to the next valley so the fireballs bounced off the other side.

Level 5 is IMPOSSIBLE!

Each village has 2000+ followers to covert (honestly).

Your creature continually gets smaller and smaller due to a curse.

The enemy god was the big bad guy.

I was half expecting, the game to force me to lose on purpose to continue the storyline.

Re:Didnt miss out, Levels 4 and 5 are super hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12768900)

impossible? I just cast a bunch of fireballs into it until there was almost no one left, then converted it, then started casting fireballs into the next town.

The first b&w was retarded gameplay wise, but I have faith in the father of starcraft may, just maybe, deliver a very playable game.

Re:Focus on One at a Time, Please... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 8 years ago | (#12761748)

Yeah, it doesn't sound very exciting, especially when Will Wright [gamasutra.com] seems to be doing everything you'd ever want in a Black & White type of game.

Re:Focus on One at a Time, Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12765168)

Actually I think you're on to something there. Spore does seem to have a few features in common
* Open ended game
* Play god to a collection of creatures
* Creatures adapt based on your playing style
* City building + RTS + Tamagotchi

I think they're going about their execution of those ideas in a different way, both will have their own unique parts, I look forward to playing both.

Of course if I had to choose what to pay for based on reputation I'd probably go with Will over Peter, as Peter has had a pretty poor record with Lionhead.

Re:Focus on One at a Time, Please... (2, Funny)

Jacius (701825) | more than 8 years ago | (#12766022)

See, they've already got an idea all planned out:

- In the first game, you'll learn all about controlling your creature and caring for villagers.
- In the second game, you'll discover a rival god as well as a friendly ally, and you'll have to use your creature to defeat the rival while getting useless tips from your ally. At the end of the second game, the rival will take your creature away from you in some sort of cut-scene while you are alienated from the action, helpless to interfere.
- In the third game, you spend a very long, very frustrating time trying to get your creature back from the rival, having absolutely no fun and considering abandoning it and the later game altogether.
- In the fourth game, you and your rescued creature will return to the world from the first game, only to discover that it's being ravaged by an even more evil rival god.
- In the fifth game, you will follow the super-rival to his home turf and try to defeat him, all the while your creature slowly becomes diametrically opposed to you in alignment due to a curse. Players will have no fun in this game either, and they probably should have stopped playing back at game 2.

I must say, I'm excited by the prospect. These are brilliant concepts! I've never seen anything like them!

(I shouldn't be telling you this, but they already have plans for an expansion pack to the fifth game: you and your creature, through some stupid plot device, end up on an island with lots of other stupid, wise-cracking creatures. You will engage in dozens of pointless mini-games and your creature's AI will be modified so it doesn't feel like the same creature anymore. You will spend the entire game wondering: why, oh why, didn't you actually abandon the series at game 2!? But on the plus side, your creature will gain some pointless accessory you can show off while playing the game's ill-conceived multiplayer mode.)

Interesting, but... (3, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#12762120)

Molyneux and Friends come up with some interesting game ideas on a regular basis. I liked the concepts behind Black and White, and thought it was a marvelous-looking game, but after you played it for maybe ten or fifteen hours, you started to realize that there were serious problems in terms of execution (competition against the computer was repetitive and boring, and training your creature was often confusing) (not counting the bugs).

It's sort of like the concept of the MMORTS. SOE worked on that concept for a couple years with Sovereign, but cancelled the project when it became clear that while you could come up with an interesting concept, you couldn't execute it properly without creating significant problems for some segment of the playerbase (generally, that you had to pick between hardcore gamers and casual gamers, if you planned to have persistence in the game).

I wish Molyneux the best of luck. He's a thinker, and there aren't enough thinkers these days in an industry that just keeps cranking out FPSes, fighting games, and GTA. Unfortunately, he's also very proud of what he thinks of, to the point of blindness of his games' flaws, and that means I probably won't be buying another Lionhead game before I get the chance to read several reviews of it and peruse some message boards about it.

Oh goody (4, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 8 years ago | (#12762302)

Now I can spend another 8 hours trying to get my creature to poop in the right place.

Re:Oh goody (1)

imr (106517) | more than 8 years ago | (#12763048)

'Among lots of other interesting poop, Lionhead chief Peter Molyneux reveals that there will be five poops to the series, each poop following the progression of the relationship between the citizens in the game and the poop, represented by the player.'

Re:Oh goody (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#12766687)

It will be easier in the next game, because it will have toilets, which the creature will recognise and use. Instead, you should now teach it to flush afterwards, and not leave the seat up (unless you play Evil, in which case you SHOULD leave the seat up).

VILLAGERS NEED FOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12762422)

no more

Re:VILLAGERS NEED FOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12763977)

After reading that, I don't even want to play B&W2 now.

zerg (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 8 years ago | (#12764065)

It turns out that the very last game in the series is actually (temporally) the first! And when people play it, they'll be all "Whoa!"
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