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Molyneux Talks Fable 2

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the telling-tales dept.

44

Eurogamer has some details from a discussion with Peter Molyneux, on the upcoming Fable 2 and the as-yet-unnamed 'Project Dmitri.' The site comments on Molyneux's obvious enthusiasm for his work, and manages to get a few tidbits of information from the designer on these in-production titles. From the article: "I think it's exactly what Lionhead stands for - it's uniqueness, it's originality and it's taking something and doing something with it that no-one's done before. And that's really what the core of what the whole of Fable is. Fable 2 should be everything you expect, then 10 times more that you don't expect — and that doesn't just apply to this one feature ... I almost said it then! — that applies to the whole game."

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Fable (2, Insightful)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744254)

Fable was a cool, fun, good looking game. It was just, well, short. I mean, one sitting to finish it. I don't think I even hit 10 horus, whereas I'm almost halfway done with Suikoden 6 and at about 45 hours(I goof off a lot in that game).

But Fable was fun, I just didn't want to repeat it b/c of the "Hero Academy" BS, which should be shortened, eliminated, or given a skip-thru, at some point, it's too obvious and too much of the same things.

But it was fun, just, you know, short.

Re:Fable (2, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744415)

The PC version was about 1/3 longer than the Xbox version. I found the PC version to be long enough that I got to develop my character, but short enough that I didn't dread having to play it again with a new character.

Re:Fable (1)

StillAnonymous (595680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746075)

Longer? Are you comparing the PC's version which is the "Lost Chapters" against the original XBox game? The XBox also has the platinum hits version which is Fable: The Lost Chapters and should include the same content.

Re:Fable (5, Insightful)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744434)

It doesn't help that it was initially hyped as being a hyper-sandbox, where everything you do is unique. Really the only unique thing was character customization, which triggered different scripted events. I know lots of people who would try to make a character a certain extreme way, only to get sick of dealing with the same thing over and over again (constant marriage requests, or the inability to enter any town at all, all with the same time-consuming results).

Lionhead's problem, and Molyneux's especially, is that they hype their games as if they were something entire new and unique. They're not. Black & White was an updated Populous game, only really short. Fable was similar to a Baldur's Gate/Zelda hybrid, only really short. They've got good ideas, but they spend so long fleshing them out that they end up chopping up half the game and the only thing left is a very short adventure for the amount of enjoyment people are supposed to have. 4 real worlds in B&W for a "play god and have complete customized control" game? 10 hours for a "create a unique character that exists in a unique world" game?

If Fable developed the story at half the rate it did, focused less on the characters reaching their more-or-less finished state, and gave the user some in-depth exploration, it would've been tons better. But, more than likely, Fable 2 will suffer the same fate as B&W 2 did -- it'll fix a lot of things wrong with the first game while presenting a bunch more problems that make the game plain unfun.

Re:Fable (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744884)

Fable wasn't even very unqiue. I see it more as a more simplistic Elder Scrolls game that had more focus on the story. It's more of an action\adventure game than a RPG. But still, it's just way to short.

M'Aiq the Liar says: (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15748249)

"People always enjoy a good fable. M'aiq has yet to find one, though. Perhaps one day."

Molyneux is so crazy (0)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744259)

What will he think of next

Direct link to the video interview (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15744267)

Link in summary goes to the introduction of the video. Click here to watch the video [eurogamer.net] .

More hyperbole from Molyneux (4, Funny)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744272)

Fable 2 should be everything you expect, then 10 times more that you don't expect - and that doesn't just apply to this one feature... I almost said it then! - that applies to the whole game.

Good to see that Molyneux has learned his lesson about over-promising!

Re:More hyperbole from Molyneux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15744346)

Good to see that Molyneux has learned his lesson about over-promising!

I know, I'm still waiting for my cow in Black&White to stop eating its own poo. Let alone perform like "The most advanced AI in the world!!!!!!!11!!!111!"

Good at innovation... (5, Insightful)

Exsam (768226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744298)

Horrible at content! Yes, the lionhead games are unique and different and some of the gameplay features are very fun, however that all means squat if the game you make doesnt have the content to make it worthwhile. For example Fable was a very fun game, but its also the shortest RPG i've EVER played, totaling all of 8 hours of gameplay. I expect 8 hours from a FPS but from a RPG I expect to get at least 30 hours of normal gameplay out of it before i've finished the main story. So go ahead and make your new and innovative features Lionhead, but while your at it make sure you add in some content this time around and if you find you are not up for the job hand the engine over to someone whose proven themselves able to do such a job; Bioware for instance. Just my $0.02.

"Look at me, I'm so unique!" (5, Funny)

stnf (982894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744322)

I think it's exactly what Lionhead stands for - it's uniqueness, it's originality and it's taking something and doing something with it that no-one's done before.
And you are doing a sequel now, right?

Fun game (3, Funny)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744326)

A lot of choices, a lot of possibilities. But it still came down to: "Do you kill your sister or not." Oops... spoiler.

I'd like to see a game that let's you play through the original and let you use your orginal charecter, even if he is god-like. Kind of like with Baldur's Gate.

Another thing I'd like to see is weapons that make a difference. In Fable you used the katana or the hammer because they did the most damage. That was basically it. Adding powers to weapons was nice too.

The game was far too short. I tried to complete as much of the game as possible, but that didn't seem worth it. Another gripe I had was the 'attractiveness' attribute. I didn't like the fact that if I thought my charecter looked cool in white leather, and he was a good guy that every person in town asked you to marry them. It got so annoying I had to slaughter whole cities for some peace and quiet!

Re:Fun game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15744517)

A lot of choices, a lot of possibilities. But it still came down to: "Do you kill your sister or not." Oops... spoiler.


I just started playing Fable yesterday... thanks!

Re:Fun game (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744565)

I just started playing Fable yesterday... thanks!

chicken chaser...

Re:Fun game (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745564)

" 'ow 'bout a wedding ring for my finger, eh?"

Re:Fun game (2, Funny)

lotsotech (848683) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744576)

Then you've already beaten it.

Re:Fun game (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15748268)

I just started playing Fable yesterday... thanks!


And you STILL didn't finish it yet?

Re:Fun game (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744962)

I'd like to see a game that let's you play through the original and let you use your orginal charecter, even if he is god-like.

The much-maligned FFX-2 sort of lets you do this; you restart with stats back to level 1, but pretty much everything else in hand, including all your accessories that increase stats by what is an obscene amount even by the end of the game.

In Fable you used the katana or the hammer because they did the most damage. That was basically it. Adding powers to weapons was nice too.

If you want to play a "weapons management" game, try Angband sometime. Working out what to wear and wield is surprisingly challenging.

Re:Fun game (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746207)

Angband was fun to program and play because it had one of the largest ranges of distinct attack types for the various monsters or item/spell effects, and you could obtain resistences against these via the unique artifacts, but Omega and Nethack were similar, although the "monster memory" in Moria & Angband made it possible for your character to learn what attacks a monster would make, and what the monster was vulnerable to as you tried different things.

Meh. heard it before (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744330)

While I enjoyed Fable and will certainly buy Fable 2, we heard the same lines about how innovative and different Fable was going to be. Then it wasn't. I don't really see anything to get excited about here other than that there will be a Fable 2, which we already knew.

Lying sack of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15744349)

Sweet, more bullshit from Peter the Great.

That man lies like no tomorrow. It's pathetic. /ex-Fable programmer

how about a little less hype (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744487)

The best thing they can do for Fable 2 is to perhaps go easy on the hype. With the first one, after the hype that it was the best game created since pac-man and the delays in its release anything they did was doomed to be a disapointment. Once the game was finally released it was pretty and fun but so short that most gamers and reviewers just said "meh".

Spend some time creating a bit lengthier story and concentrate on gameplay rather than interviews and hype, if its truly worthy the reviewers will give you more hype than you can handle anyway.

The Molyneux Curse (3, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744510)

I just hope Fable 2 breaks the Molyneux curse. His games always have a fantastic premise and are executed quite well, but always have one or two fundamental flaws that are difficult to ignore.
  • Theme Park was a blast but NPC pathfinding was weak so areas of your park would get trashy and puke-riddin, and guests would get lost behind fences.
  • Black and White had awesome potential as a "hands-on" (pun intended) god game with a cool creature that developed a unique personality, but the game lost its sandbox appeal in lieu of an average RTS with a counter-intuitive interface for that genre.
  • Fable (for PC) was very pretty, had great voice acting and tons of personality, but was short and basically a world full of several simplistic minigames.
  • The Movies was a surprisingly fun tycoon game and making your own movie was really nifty and amusing, but there just weren't enough scene emotes and the post-production editing suite was too bubbly and dumbed-down.
I'll definitely check out Fable 2 but I just can't look forward to Molyneux's games with the same starry-eyed enthusiasm anymore. His games are wonderful the first time around, but unfortunately when you go back for a replay the first thing you notice is the most annoying bug you encountered last time.

Regardless, Molyneux is a risktaker and an innovator and the gaming world has a lot to thank him for. It's tough to do something right the first time around, and many successors have built empires atop his various foundations over the past couple of decades.

Re:The Molyneux Curse (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744748)

> Regardless, Molyneux is a risktaker and an innovator and the gaming world has a lot to thank him
> for.

Yeah, but for my money BF2 for instance, despite being `just another war FPS game` by one definition, was also the best game I ever played. I was impressed with Populous, once, but I got bored of it pretty quickly, whereas BF2 got better and better as you improved with experience. I mean, eventually I got bored of that, but not as quickly as I've got bored with Molyneux taking himself and his `innovation` a little bit too seriously. Innovation is ok, but an entertaining game is worth more to me.

Re:The Molyneux Curse (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746361)

Fable for XBox (was there a PC version?) had some of the worst voice acting of any game that I was able to sit through. It was full of idiotic bugs, the controls were sub-par, they didn't deliver on half of what they promised, and what they DID have was pretty blase. I can buy houses and make money! For what? So I can buy more houses and make more money? 'Just because'?

You can get married and then your wife gives you stuff if you dote over her, or you can not get married and just find the stuff in treasure chests anyway (and throw it away because what you have is better anyway). You can unravel some story about some woman who killed her sister. You can do side quests which add nothing to the game but time.

When playing Fable, I was reminded a lot of Jade Empire (which I had played first). After my roommate had played Fable for a while, I tried to encourage him to try JE, beacuse to me, JE is 'Similar to Fable, but more polished in every way.' The music isn't repetetive, the voice acting isn't repetetive, the character models in towns aren't repetetive, and the world seems real and fresh and alive. Fable, on the other hand, promised all of this, but delivered none of it. I ended up playing an evil character, not because I enjoyed killing townspeople, but because I just didn't care. The main storyline isn't affected by your alignment, only your appearance. Compare that to Jade Empire, where you feel like your decisions are impacting real people, and evil takes on a whole new meaning.

Fable was a great game until I'd experienced everything it had to offer, and that didn't take long at all. I only beat the game for the sake of doing so, in the hopes that I'd get an actual ending, and not just 'Well, the hero killed the bad guy. The end.'

So please, Molyneux, deliver on what you promise, or promise what you'll deliver, but don't get our hopes up again just to ship a half-assed shadow of your original grandiose vision.

Re:The Molyneux Curse: unskipable intros (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15748764)

The problem with Molyneux games is the VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY annoying unskipable intros.

Magic carpet was a great game, but a slightly dodgy CD-ROM drive meant I quite literally spend longer watching the cruddy video then playing the game.

This continued in B&W, where the stupid tutorial wouldn't leave you alone if you wanted to try out different styles of play from the beginning.

Still from the person who brought me Populous and Syndicate (no idea why this was so good, but it truly was) I will forgive a lot.

For Gamecube? or Wii (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744530)

I doubt it, but it would be pretty cool because I havent found a fun RPG game like fable for the gamecube.

Re:For Gamecube? or Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15744935)

Microsoft owns Lionhead, so... draw your own conclusions.

Re:For Gamecube? or Wii (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15744993)

Cool, so that means it will work on the Wii but not Gamecube then?

Re:For Gamecube? or Wii (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745728)

Above this page, below the article resume is the section called "related articles"

Article #3 in that list is titled:
Microsoft Buys Lionhead Studios.

Fable 2 on Wii or GameCube? Yes you are right to doubt it.

It could happen tough... i'd not bet anything above a penny on it, but it could happen.

Re:For Gamecube? or Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15747771)

I highly recommend Tales of Symphonia. It's like everything Final Fantasy X constantly promised, with the upside of it actually delivering.

Lionhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15744778)

= half baked games that frustrate, annoy and always end up in the firepit.

Fable had potential. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745211)

For all the promise about how open-ended Fable was supposed to have been the gameplay was extremely linear and the other features such as alignment had little bearing on anything in the game. I didn't like that I couldn't customize my hero; the selection of armors, and other accessories was limited. I also didn't like how scripted interactions with NPCs here. I could hit the same emotion 50 times over and within 30 seconds be able to have any character fall in love with my hero. The storyline also felt weak and all the side quests seemed intended to pad gameplay. In general the game was lacking.

That said, it was an entertaining game. I really liked the fighting system. I didn't mind that it was short; I didn't feel like I had to give up all my free time for several months just to complete the game.

It had a lot of potential. With Fable 2 they really need to make the game feel more substantial and in particular make player actions have real consequences. And they can't be afraid to make alignment and age actually mean something beyond changing external appearance.

He never learns (3, Insightful)

Swordsmanus (921213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745354)

Unique? Innovative? Most of everything in Fable had already been done better by Bioware with several of their past games. Changing your character's looks depending on if you're good or evil? KotOR. Good/evil storyline? Just about all of their games. The rest was done better a few months later by GTA: San Andreas - superior in-depth character customization, better sandbox, better action, etc. I bet by the time Fable had come out, the stage of development San Andreas was in still topped all of Fable's features.

This time make it really about good vs evil (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745981)

Evil, true evil is not just doing things that benefit you, but doing things that even may hurt you just because they hurt others. But good is even harder. The 3 childhood "quests" to start your character off do NOT have you do good for goodness sake. You do good for your own self advancement.

For those who haven't played it you get the main quest of buying your sister a present. Your father will reward any good deeds with a shiny gold piece and there just happens to be a salesman with a box of candy for sale.

The last quest is too simple, either protect some barrels or destroy them.

But in the end being good gets you no hazzle and 3 gold pieces. Being evil gets you hazzled and the same 3 gold pieces. You still end up spending your hard earned money on your sister, who at this point has done nothing to justify being given a gift. Yes she will be important later in the game but right now she is just sibling A apparently demanding you work your butt off to give her candy.

My problem with the game is that it just doesn't seem to reward evil and doesn't make you pay for being good. If the game would have just allowed you to pass the teddy of as a present allowing you to keep your money then being nasty would have been worthwhile. Who is going to join the mafia if they pay the same as the cops? On the other hand a truly decent cop would probably find life a lot harder to deal with as he lives in world were most people are in the grey area between good and evil.

Fable has none of this.

You also had precious little chance of influecing the story. No choices for instance on how the story of the side characters fate turned out. The PC version had an extended bit where you learned the fate of the original characters but I at least never felt as if I had been the one to set them on their path. Just side stories on a preset path.

For all the romance crap in the game, wich in the end was little more then spamming moves until you score enough points, you never get the chance to romance a named char. Evil? Incest. Good, get the black girl.

Fable just felt shallow. Yes, Planescape Torment and the Fallout series probably have spoiled me for life but even the bards tale was more of an RPG. Both these recent "RPG"'s light just seem to be more about hack&slash then about story and roleplaying.

Give us the lone hero, the troubled pragmatist worried about his soul, the evil maffia boss who own everything but has nothing. Give us STORY!

Oh and this time, make the weapons a bit more like their real world counterparts. Swords, katakana's and axes are not ALL the same weapon and should at minimum at least be swung differently.

When the list is made of the greatest RPG's in history, fable will be one of the also rans. Total mediocrity.

Anyone else want to join on a raid to capture the people behind Fallout and the entire Baldur Gate line of games and the people from troika (and some excellent bug squashers) and just put them in a dungeon and force them to make RPG's?

Re:This time make it really about good vs evil (1)

MyMistake (620068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746544)

SmallFurryCreature wrote:

Fable just felt shallow. Yes, Planescape Torment and the Fallout series probably have spoiled me for life but even the bards tale was more of an RPG. Both these recent "RPG"'s light just seem to be more about hack&slash then about story and roleplaying.

Give us the lone hero, the troubled pragmatist worried about his soul, the evil maffia boss who own everything but has nothing. Give us STORY!

It remains my favorite genre, but there's never any real role playing in any of these RPGs. I grew up with Dungeons and Dragons, played some Shadow Run and a few others. There is no comparison.

When you play a role-playing game, you are telling a story that nobody has ever told before (even when you use packaged content). The game is alive. The DM must take the player's actions into account and make up the story as it goes. It is a creative act for the DM and for all the players. The best stuff happens when you have a great DM and innovative players who know the rules well enough not to let them get in the way of the story.

With computer games, the player is not creating anything. The entire genre is misnamed. These are all adventure games. They might be fun and some of them are terrific, but they are all more like reading a story than writing one.

Re:This time make it really about good vs evil (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746595)

You still end up spending your hard earned money on your sister, who at this point has done nothing to justify being given a gift. Yes she will be important later in the game but right now she is just sibling A apparently demanding you work your butt off to give her candy.


Actually, it was her birthday, and your father demanded you work your butt off to give her a gift this year.

Re:This time make it really about good vs evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15748514)

Yes - because she did something, anything at all, to cause her own birthday. Good one.

Re:This time make it really about good vs evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15747616)

But in the end being good gets you no hazzle and 3 gold pieces.

Huzzah! Is there a way to both get the 3 gold pieces and yet still end up with some of this mysterious hazzle [google.com] in your inventory?
 

Re:This time make it really about good vs evil (1)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15748431)

Anyone else want to join on a raid to capture the people behind Fallout and the entire Baldur Gate line of games and the people from troika (and some excellent bug squashers) and just put them in a dungeon and force them to make RPG's?

You don't think they could escape your dungeon? They've spent their whole careers training for that!

Re:This time make it really about good vs evil (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15750656)

Anyone else want to join on a raid to capture the people behind Fallout and the entire Baldur Gate line of games...

I would, but from playing recent RPGs I think I'd have to level up first by massacring slimes.

I wonder... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15748280)

Why won't they just create an expansion pack instead? A BIG one? Like, five-ten times the size of the original?

The basic gripe with Fable is that it's too short. The engine is fine. The idea is okay. The game is cool. Why reinvent the wheel and build a completely new engine and not build on the one tried and true?

There are quite a few games that could really use a sequel that doesn't do any engine remake, or just minor tweaks to fix worst annoyances. Especially these "too short" ones.

No Content (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15750478)

I read that interview and wasted my time.

Molyneux: I'm working on new games! They're incredible! They've got amazing new features I can't tell you about!

Call me back when you have a screenshot or something.
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