Lionhead head honcho Peter Molyneux is an industry legend bristling with more ideas than a quantum gigaflux-powered think tank and a man widely respected for his vision and continuous pushing of videogame boundaries. So when it comes to face-to-face interviews, in the great videogame world Molyneux's mind is certainly one of the best to pick and a lucky computerandvideogames.com competition winner got to do just that when the man himself was present at a signing in London recently to celebrate the grand release of Lionhead's Black & White 2.
Interview conducted by Paul James Webster.
Have you thought about approaching different genres of gaming? (FPS, Sport, etc.)
Peter Molyneux: Good question - I would love to do a different genre, there's not one genre I wouldn't like to do. I would like to do a sports title and I have had some thoughts on a first-person shooter. A lot of it is not approaching a genre like doing another first-person shooter but actually to do a proper really innovative first-person shooter .Quite often it is the genres that haven't changed very much which are the most interesting one and so I would love to do a sports game. How you would do a sports game and how you would really make a big difference to a football game , that's the interesting question. Maybe a hockey title.
So there isn't anything we would not like to do. The other thing that is my absolute favourite thing to do is to do games which don't really have a genre, you can then get something very nice out of it, like you invented the genre, a bit like Populous that I did a few years ago.
Would you call yourself a perfectionist?
Peter Molyneux: I would call myself an idealist not a perfectionist. The reason is that I always, like in a design meeting, get very childish and I would insist that it has to have that in it and it's essential that something gets in, so that's a cross between an idealist and a perfectionist. But the reality is - like with Black & White 2, when you have lots and lots of good ideas - nowadays, where it's so different is that somebody would go away and say that means the game will not come out until 2010, then you can't be a perfectionist.
You have deadlines and you then realise that the 3D guys are waiting for you to make a decision and so sometimes you just have to give up the point, but I still go into those meetings with big ideas. When I'm working on a sequel on something I did before, that is all about trying to think of all the things that can be really, really different and being really idealistic about it and saying this time we are going to really want the world to feel real and want the characters more realistic.
Do you believe that the next generation of consoles will make PC gaming a thing of the past?
Peter Molyneux: Well that is an interesting point, you know. For years there has been a big difference between the PC and consoles and that big difference is online. Consoles have played around with it recently but haven't got it like the PC has it, but that will change with the next-gen consoles. So that's one more reason why console games are not unique. The most unique thing PC has is the mouse. Doing an RTS, especially an RTS game, or even in fact a god game on a machine that doesn't have a mouse is very hard to do. That is what is so interesting about Nintendo's console Revolution, the new control, as there will be games that you can only do on the Revolution.
Do you believe that there will come a day when computer games will replace reality?