Legendary game designer Peter Molyneux has been notorious for hyping his games up beyond our wildest dreams. He’s said things like Fable II being the “best, most complete game I’ve ever worked on” and that it would “set the standard for which all RPG’s are compared.” However, in an interview with Retro Gamer Magazine, the designer revealed that this isn’t always his intention. In the interview, he spoke about his career, games, and what he has learned over the years from his experiences. Molyneux specifically talked about his biggest game, Fable.
“Fable was another one of those games which people were very excited about, and it was another which was a little over-hyped to be honest with you,” he said. “When I did Fable I learned a real lesson about talking to journalists.”
Fable, even more so than its sequel, was immensely over-hyped. It was a wonderful game, but it certainly lacked numerous things Molyneux claimed the game would achieve. Many features were cut, and many features he talked about were simply concepts never put into action.
“With Fable and with Black & White, I really was just actually being a designer at this point, saying ‘imagine we’re going to have this game feature, and it’s going to do this and this is why we’re going to have it and why it’s important,'” continued Molyneux. “And of course the poor games journalist writes down all these things and it comes across as ‘oh my god, it’s going to be amazing’ but really they were just words because a lot of the time with Fable and with Black & White I was actually talking, I wasn’t really demoing.”
Molyneux said he has learned a lot from his past experiences. He’s much more careful about promoting his games, and he said he won’t talk about something unless it’s actually in the game. “…whenever I talk about a game feature, I’m going to show it and be honest about it, and if it is an experiment, I’ll call it an experiment. I won’t call it a game feature,” he stated.
Right now, Molyneux and his team at Lionhead are working on Fable III. He said the game is expected to release sometime in late 2010. The game will revolve around the player trying to become the king of the fictional land of Albion, leading the people to happiness and the kingdom to glory. He promises the game will be something bold, a completely different experience. Players will be given more control over their actions. As king, a player’s charisma will be put to the test. Players have to keep their promises in order for the people to accept them as king. “Look at Obama, he’s not looking as fresh-faced as he was, is he?” Molyneux said.
The designer has a lot of plans for the third game in the series, but will he deliver? Based on the lessons he has learned, expect to see more show and less tell when it comes to Fable III. Peter Molyneux has made a point not to repeat his past mistakes.