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Molyneux Slips Additional Details on Fable II

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the every-dog-has-his-day dept.

Games 55

Via Xbox 360 Fanboy, and in the grand tradition of Peter Molyneux's history of saying crazy-awesome things in interviews, comes some fascinating revelations about Fable 2 and past games. Mr. Molyneux's tradition of honesty continues, with up-front admissions of problems with Black and White 2 and a few hints about what we'll be seeing in his upcoming fantasy game. "One of the tiny decisions that we made in Black and White 2 was to use Black and White 1 as the foundation stone for all the code for Black and White 2, and what we found was you had this massive amount of code and you were putting an even more massive amount of code on top, and underneath it was this quite shaky foundation stone, and that meant we had to rewrite quite a lot of stuff. And then it came down that the original plan for Black and White 2 - we thought we had it on time, but we didn't, we ran out of money to produce really - was that it was gonna be twenty-five lands, I think, fifteen to twenty-five lands, the creatures' intelligence could have been much more, we had a real plan to stretch the features out so that you didn't get them all by land, you know, third land I think it was, stretch those features out, there was an awful lot more about the RTSy side of the game, an awful more about the army side."

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frosty piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19238889)


The slip (0, Flamebait)

originalnih (709470) | more than 6 years ago | (#19238901)

"Fable II will feature incredibly boring storytelling and overwhelmingly cheesy acting, pushing the Molyneaux envelope even further!"

The Dog Companion (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239079)

Even though I love Molyeux games, I have grown extremely skeptical about the implementation of Dogs in the game play of Fable II. Have you ever seen a game where a dog sidekick added to the experience. I also am somewhat up in the air about having my emotional connection to dogs manipulated by game play to see dogs hurt and injured to kick an emotion. I don't know why, but the death of a character is a story arc, but watching dogs get hurt seems to be emotionaly manipulative.

Then again, we'll see how the game looks when it's done.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239401)

One word: Dogmeat

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239901)

Oh Dogmeat... Oh how my burst fire missed you.

Well, actually.. (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240027)

The main peroblem was that my burst fire didn't miss him. R.I.P. Dogmeat, you were a loyal friend all the way until we tried to take down those supermutants.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240445)

How about just Dog (Half Life 2). Dog kicked metric fucktons of ass.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

Doddman (953998) | more than 6 years ago | (#19241035)

If I could get a companion like Alyx's dog in any game, it would be the reason to buy it. That's a good idea for a mod for Fable 2 on pc

Re:The Dog Companion (2, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239523)

Have you ever seen a game where a dog sidekick added to the experience

Nethack. Teaching your dog to steal from shops, the fear of seeing them disappear through a trap door, the danger of them going feral, I think it added a lot to that game.

I agree about seeing animals get hurt, why is that more heart-wrenching than seeing people get hurt? Is it because animals are innocent? Because they are relatively helpless? I don't know, but I've always felt that way.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239803)

I've always felt that way too. I do think it's because they're innocent. I don't believe an animal has the mental capacity to really distinguish right and wrong (especially not in relation to our laws.) I also feel bad when animals get hurt because they can't understand what's happening to them. They just know it's painful.

Re:The Dog Companion (2, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#19241531)

So you'll be a vegan then, or does your capacity to empathise finish at your plate ?

Re:The Dog Companion (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19243047)

I can empathize with animals. For instance, there's this cow that's feeling particularly delicious today. Hehe. I tried the whole vegan thing for a year, man, I couldn't hack it. Oh God! The tofu nightmares are coming back... Get thee behind me, Seitan!

Tofu FTW! (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19249599)

Actually, after eating out in lots of asian places recently, I figured out that it's possible to make tofu really, really delicious. Tofu FTW!

Re:Tofu FTW! (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19253133)

Oh of course it's possible to make tofu delicious. I's possible to make nearly anything delicious if you deep fry it and slather it with tasty sauce. Oh man, there's this Thai place in San Francisco near SF General that makes the most delicious deep fried tofu with peanut sauce. That's the kind of tofu I like.

Re:Tofu FTW! (1)

mink (266117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256347)

The problem IMO is no one thinks about how to prepare it best so they make unappetizing muck with it.
For cooking it whole you need to press out the excess water and then marinate it.
It works well cut up and fried or stewed (again it will not add much flavor so you want a flavorful soup like hot and sour).
Get the soft style and fry it up like scrambled eggs with some seasonings.

I eat meat and I think tofu can be a great thing to include in meals. Just make it tasty.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#19268081)

Never mind, I'm sure you can use your weak mind for something else.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269779)

I'm a bad, bad man. Honestly, I really respect anyone who is a vegetarian out of principle. I know how bad the meat industry is. Bad for the planet, bad for people, bad for animals. And I mean really bad for animals, like the lowest depths of hell type of torment and suffering.

I'm not totally weak minded. I quit smoking. Honestly, quitting meat for the year that I did was harder. Way harder. With cigarettes, you just avoid them and the situations where you used to smoke. You can't do that with meat, it's everywhere, in your face. All up in your nose, tickling your pallet, saying "eat me, you know you want to!" You can't get away from it.

Most of the people I knew who were vegan or vegetarian didn't really like meat that much to begin with, and loved vegetables. I'm just the opposite, I've always hated vegetables and loved meat. I'm the guy who picks out all the meat and leaves the vegetables in the leftover Chinese food. I was volunteering with Food Not Bombs, Earth First, and the IWW in San Francisco at the time, so all my friends were activists, and a lot of them were vegan. Even with all that support, I failed. I'm weak, I know.

I'm sorry, cute little fuzzy animals. I'm really sorry that I'm so weak, the meat industry is so cruel, and you are so delicious. Why, oh why must you be so delicious?

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#19308105)

I've got fallen comrades like you. It would have been unimaginable to me 10 years ago that it turned out I couldn't trust them after all.
In all our decadence people die.

Let the rabbits wear glasses. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244189)

I empathize with vegetables a lot more, ever since brother Maynard opened my ears to the cries of the carrots. I will not participate in their holocaust.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19261195)

No, I won't be a vegan but I do feel bad for all the animals slaughtered for food. However, I understand it, and I do like meat. Animals need to be treated with respect and if killed for food, killed in a humanitarian manner.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#19268687)

But they aren't. So you don't like it but you do it anyway. You're drugged.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19278995)

Ahh, so you're one of them. The old black-and-white way of thinking.

No, I don't like it, and I still eat meat. But I would like animals to be treated better. Is that any different from so many other issues? I don't like pollution, but I use computers with mercury in them, that consume electricity, and I think global warming is a serious problem but drive to work. Sometimes I take airplanes across the country *gasp*. Should I become a homeless bum to save the environment? Isn't there an alternative to boycotting (which doesn't work?)

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#19308009)

It's called "direct action". The punishment metered out by the state should tell you how successful a strategy it. That's why speech is free.

The Reason I Sympathize More With Animals Than Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19242993)

I just plain fucking HATE people. I hate animals, too, but not nearly as much.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19247217)

It's because they're adorable. Nobody ever cries when a star-nosed mole [] gets shoveled, or a possum [] gets run over.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19253321)

Star nosed moles are so ugly they've wrapped right back around into cute. Kinda like pug dogs. Now, naked mole rats [] took a wrong turn after they hit ugly and veered off into monstrously hideous instead of wrapping back to cute. Most people would breath a sigh of relief knowing a naked mole rat got whacked.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239921)

Not dogs per se, but I have seen many games where silent, animal companions have added significantly to the experience. Shadow of the Colossus springs to mind as one of the best examples.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239927)

the cujo patch to quake one was certainly a good dog sidekick

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

remorsecode (829333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240069)

The old SNES action-RPG Secret of Evermore had a single main character who was accompanied at (almost) all times by his pet dog. The dog was involved in combat and (unless my memory has failed) some puzzles as well. The dog also changed "format" depending on which part of the story you were taking part in at the time.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

Dragon By Proxy (1063904) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244405)

Amen, my brother.

The dog had a few puzzles for itself, and it was physically superior to the main character. Too bad the dog wasn't the mandatory survivor...

Then again, the main guy could use Alchemy... Aah, how impossible a certain giant snake would have been without Hard Ball and Flash...

Re:The Dog Companion (2, Informative)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240091)

I saw the "Dog" presentation at GDC. It was probably one of the most impressive demonstrations of a companion system I've ever seen in a game and it was in a very rough pre-alpha state at the time.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 6 years ago | (#19241127)

Have you ever seen a game where a dog sidekick added to the experience.

Shinobi: Shadow Dancer.

Ninja dog. Hells yeah.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

nuigi (924821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19242669)

The dog in Secret of Evermore worked pretty well. It changes form in the different worlds; my favorite is Robo-Dog of course.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250159)

There's a dog sidekick that's playable in MDK 2. A six-armed pistol-packing dog no less.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

soupd (1099379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250869)

I used to be a real fan of Molyneux and Bullfrog - back in the Amiga/Atari ST days of Populous, Powermonger and Syndicate but the uber-hyped Black & White and it's lacklustre follow-up have just engendered an inate dread of any new Molyneux game. Better this time? Uh-huh.. lessons learned? Uh-huh.. The games always sound incredible but always seem with have some humungous gameplay deficiency or the game shipped before it was really finished/fleshed out (ignoring the damn bugs). There no doubt Molyneux is a a great game designer but I question his ability to manage a game project and deliver a complete decent game and not 75% of a decent game.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19252965)

Fallout had a bad ass dog companion.

And Fallout 2 had TWO of them.

Re:The Dog Companion (1)

mink (266117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256221)

Hewie in Haunting Ground (PS2 survival horror)that you can, to a limited extent, train to do things.

Seems like a sincere guy, but.. (4, Insightful)

ScotchForBreakfast (1060672) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239213)

Peter's enthusiasm is always nice, but does anyone put a lot of weight into what he says before a game is released?

His games are usually good, but never nearly as revolutionary as he talks about before they're released. The innovations he tries end up being around the edges of the game and the core game often is very... typical.

Re:Seems like a sincere guy, but.. (3, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239947)

No. And if they do, they shouldn't.

I mean, come on - what did he actually say in that interview? It's obvious he's excited, and that's neat and all, but he didn't tell us anything.

Except that death is going to be involved some how, some way. Maybe. But he can't tell you anything about how, or why it might be cool. But it'll be better. Or maybe just different. Or maybe not, but it's something he's thought about a lot.

And there'll be one-button fighting. If it works out well when people test it. If they have people test it. But that's risky.

Also there's this other thing that's super-duper awesome, but he can't tell you anything about it. Well, OK, he can. It's one word. But he can't tell you what that word is. But it's awesome.

I mean, I can respect the fact that you don't want to let the cat out of the bag prematurely when you're making a game and trying to innovate. And given his history, it's not surprising if Molyneux is trying to be far more careful than he's inclined to be about letting information out. But if that's your goal, then just say there isn't anything you can say except you're working on things that you hope will be innovative and fun.

It's a much shorter interview, I admit. But, brevity and wit and all that.

Re:Seems like a sincere guy, but.. (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244383)

From your post I got the impression that the cat is high on crack, and the bag is large enough to fit a 747. That does sound like Molyneux though.

Re:Seems like a sincere guy, but.. (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240049)

Not really. His ideas are great for what they are and have probably served as the catalyst for many other ideas in this industry. However, as with everything else, coming up with a new idea and implementing it are two entirely different things. Like you I usually enjoy his games, but I think a lot of that is because I play them as the game that they turn out to be, not as what I was hoping they would turn out to be.

Re:Seems like a sincere guy, but.. (1)

Tarison (600538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19247725)

It's probably worth stating that this was an interview by one of the members of the Lionhead community forums (fel64), who happens to run the fansite, Loinhead. Peter and Dene also did interviews for one of the 'The Movies' based podcast/radio shows (rjb2112/Roger). Details about them both here [] . The latter (TMOA interview) was probably a little more candid, in that the interview wasn't really as Fable-focused as the Loinhead one was.

Something extraneous, here... (3, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239587)

Molyneux's history of saying crazy-awesome things in interviews

You know, removing one word from that phrase would transform it into an accurate representation of reality.

All right, technically one hyphen followed by one word.

Re:Something extraneous, here... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#19242263)

Oh, they're still awesome. I just wish his claims had some basis in reality.

Love this part (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#19239953)

"So I haven't talked about death, there's another thing which I haven't talked at all about which is another word that you're gonna hear me use - which I'm not gonna talk about - it's another big thing."

That about sums it up...

Re:Love this part (2, Funny)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 6 years ago | (#19240409)

That word is "it." Yes, that's right, Fable II will have segways, a revolution in transportation.

Perfect term... (2, Interesting)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#19241967)

In the grand tradition of Peter Molyneux's history of saying crazy-awesome things in interviews... his upcoming fantasy game.
I think the accuracy may have been unintentional there. Peter makes awesome fantasy games. Sometimes they are set in the past, sometimes the future, sometimes, fantasy worlds, sometimes sci-fi settings. Unfortunately, what he tends to describe to the press, pre-release, are always "fantasy games" - fantasies of what the game could be.

It's a shame in some ways because each of his games have actually been amazing, particularly in terms of innovation, in their own right. They just always fall short of the fantasies he had in his head and described to the press and so always get judged accordingly. It's like a high jumper setting the bar at a mile in to the sky then jumping twice as high as the previous world record - everyone leaves disappointed that he failed to reach the bar he set for himself rather than impressed by what was still a great jump.

Re:Perfect term... (1)

vonPoonBurGer (680105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19242995)

It's a shame in some ways because each of his games have actually been amazing
Have you and I been playing the same games? Are we talking about the same Peter Molyneux? I found Black & White to be a tedious and frustrating take on the RTS genre. The giant animal pets were a nifty concept, but they just weren't backed up by good gameplay, there was far too much micromanagement and not nearly enough fun. I found Fable to be a boring, linear, uninspired take on the RPG genre. The thought of having your character's appearance change over time was a nifty concept, but it just wasn't backed up by good gameplay, the game offers less freedom than most classic RPGs and features a story that could not be more standard. To top it all off, the evolving character mechanic is pretty much the same "nifty idea" he had from B&W, just repackaged, and to be frank, both packages sucked. Black & White I actually made the mistake of purchasing, but Fable I was smart enough to borrow from a friend. Neither game comes anywhere close to deserving the title of "amazing" in my book.

As far as I'm concerned, Molyneux is good at coming up with interesting concepts, ways to build on existing game mechanics to produce new and potentially compelling gameplay variants. What Molyneux is bad at, however, is retaining the core mechanics on which his nifty ideas would be founded. In order for the evolving pet mechanic of Black & White to be any good, it had to be built on a solid RTS gameplay foundation, and it had to not detract from or interfere with that foundation. For the original Black & White, neither was true. For the evolving character mechanic of Fable, again, it needed to rest on RPG gameplay that was at least decent in its own right, and I just felt it didn't have that. When it comes to game design Molyneux seems to throw the baby out with the bath water, and his games suffer for it. I don't bother reading preview articles for his titles for this reason, there's no point in getting hyped up about something that in all likelihood will be a travesty of game design. Game journalists will always ask him about the new ideas, but for once I'd like a game journalist to ask him what steps he's taking to ensure he doesn't screw up the basic RTS/RPG/whatever elements of his new RTS/RPG/whatever.

Re:Perfect term... (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244051)

Amazing isn't necessarily the same as "fun" ;)

Populous amazed for its time - and was actually a huge amount of fun for the era.

Syndicate - a truly fun strategy based RTS before anyone coined the term RTS.

Magic Carpet - Any game, especially considering how long ago it was, that can render stereograms in real time to give genuine 3D (even if it sucks in practice) will manage to amaze me.

Dungeon Keeper - Regularly amazed with moments of humor and turning the dungeon crawl on its head.

Black And White - Admittedly didn't manage to hold interest across the full game but I'm yet to meet anyone who wasn't amazed the first time their creature decided to sit down and eat his own fecal matter.

Fable - OK, didn't play that one.

The Movies - If the goal is to amaze, look at the wealth of machinima that game opened up to people who'd never even thought of the medium before (granted, Stunt Island (way back in the day) and The Sims also both did that).

Each of his games contains innovation that makes you sit back, blink, and think "Wow". That, to me is amazement and therefore amazing.

Even looking at the games as a whole, not just for their one great moment... I'm not convinced any of them have been bad games. If anything, they've suffered from having a few truly innovative features that, unfortunately, blow their load in the first hour or two, making an otherwise reasonable game seem much poorer in comparison.

Dungeon Keeper was arguably the first of his games to start suffering like this. Had it not had the flourishes of genius that it got out of the way early on, it would have been a reasonably playable, 80% rating, kind of a game that quite a few people would happily play through to conclusion. Instead, we were so gorged on the dark humor, the plays on torture, etc. that the game that would have otherwise been perfectly fun seemed like a letdown from there on out.

Black and White was much the same. At its heart, it was still the same Populous game we'd always loved. Had it not been for the creatures, we'd have called it a decent if not inspiring game that a lot of people would have played through to the end anyway (albeit with lower overall sales). Instead, we wowed at the creatures, we played with the spells, we blew stuff up, then realized the next 20-30 hours weren't going to keep surprising us like the first few and gave up on a game that wasn't terrible - it just wasn't going to keep delivering the "ooh-shiny" hits.

STFU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19242987)

I can't even read the shit anymore that Molyneux pulls out of his ass all the time. Shut up and make the goddamn game, everyone knows it won't include even half the things you're blabbering about.

Not optismistic. (3, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244151)

I'm not expecting much from Fable 2. Molyneux obviously has a history of promising too much and then not delivering on most of it. I'm convinced he'd like to do everything he describes the problem is that ultimately most of it just isn't feasible given a reasonable budget and schedule. Ultimately his games suffer from feature creep.

The first Fable is a good example of it. The game is actually quite decent. It's entertaining. However, the story is extremely simplistic. In general the game is much more simple than Molyneux would imply. It's got many of the features he originally promised; the lead character's visual appearance changes based on his alignment, he can get married, his actions sort of have an impact on the world and he ages. However, the implementation for all these features is severely lacking.

Aging doesn't really affect anything because the developers clearly didn't have the nerve to profoundly affect the main character in any way. It's fairly easy to move alignment back and forth between good and evil because the scripting for that aspect is so simplistic. It renders alignment meaningless. NPC interactions leading to marriage are even more superficial. With the necessary items a player can pretty much go from being a stranger to a spouse within a minute. Changes to the world consist of NPC responses to the character. For all the supposed character development the fact that I couldn't really customize the look of my own character was a disappointment. And on top of all that the storyline is very linear and uninspired.

It almost feels like they spent too much time brainstorming about what they could do and not enough time actually implementing those features. Many of the features in the first Fable feel like they were slapped on at the last minute just so they could live up to some of the promises. Graphics aside I can think of quite a few Gameboy Advance games with more depth than Fable.

The team would have been better served coming up with a handful of ideas and sticking to those insuring a higher level of refinement. As I've mentioned, despite those shortcomings the game was fun. Well, specifically, I found the fighting to be fun. And I thought the game had potential. Fable 2 may address many of these issues, but given Molyneux's record I'm not optimistic.

Agree with most comments here (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245667)

Surprisingly no Molyneux bashers today, weird!

Peter definately does hype his stuff up and yeah they never are as good as he claims, that being said Fable is quite a good game and Black and white was certainly new and innovative fun for at least 8hours :/

I'm looking forward to Fable 2, although I must admit I couldn't care less about the dog sidekick or the terrible bland graphics from the demo but I'll still play the game, it'll hopefully be as good as Fable 1.

Also, Peter made Syndicate and really, that deserves a lifelong pass as far as I'm concerned!

Shut the hell up and debug more (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19250081)

I seem to recall both of Peter's Black and White games being riddled with bugs upon release to the stores.

Perhaps Peter should spend a bit more time debugging his code rather than sharing his "wisdom" with us.

Hope this is not considered off-topic (1)

ofcourseyouare (965770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256489)

I hope this is not considered off-topic, but IMHO Molyneux missed a huge opportunity and perhaps they could put it right...

Lionhead's game 'The Movies' is essentially two things:
- a ho-hum management game based on running a movie studio
- an extremely powerful machinima generator

When The Movies was released, it was released as a management game -- you have to play for a couple of hours to get to the machinima maker. Most people weren't interested; the game was a flop, and contributed to LH being bought by MS.
What they should have done -- and still could -- is drop the idea of the management game; and just release the machinima maker, not as a game, but as a cool way to make your own movies. If Apple owned it, I'm sure they'd have released it already, calling it "your movie studio in a box" etc.

Not too late -- would be great to see Lionhead get something back for all the work they put into the game.

Re:Hope this is not considered off-topic (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257317)

If Apple owned it, I'm sure they'd have released it already, calling it "your movie studio in a box" etc.
And then it wouldn't just be a failure, it'd be a failure that no one played.
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