Interviews

Peter Molyneux, part two

The British gaming visionary reveals new details on Fable 2, Lionhead's second project and "lady flowers"

Welcome to part two - and the concluding part -of our extensive chat with Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux. Missed part one? Tut tut. But fear not, because at the mere click of a mouse button you can play catch-up before sticking a nose into the second half published below.

Obviously you have a background as a PC developer. What part does PC gaming have in your future plans?

Molyneux: Certainly I think the PC is going through some difficult times at the moment. Not only because PC games aren't selling as well but also there aren't a huge number of unique PC games on there. The PC gaming market is really focused on a small number of titles - The Sims and World of Warcraft being two examples.

I still think it's a really exciting place to develop for, not least because the mouse is a different input device to the controller. But certainly we're just focusing on Fable 2 Xbox 360 at the moment - I can't really say anything about our future plans or whether the second title is PC or not.

The original Fable was one of the best selling games on the original Xbox. Does that put any pressure on you to make the sequel perform well?

Molyneux: Absolutely it does. And also what gives us an enormous amount of pressure is that because my slightly incompetent way of saying things, I kind of over-promised and slightly under-delivered. I think it was interesting how it went. I think on the first release there was quite a few people maybe that really were disappointed that they didn't have some features in there that they had heard about, and then after a while people said 'actually it's quite a cool game'. That puts a lot of pressure on us.

What I want Fable 2 to do is to innovate and to have some really big surprises in there, not just to be a sequel which is a different story with different weapons but actually look at the way you play a game and what's important to you in something like the Fable universe. So you know, we're being pretty ambitious in fact.

What can you tell us about your second project?

Molyneux: Obviously there's nothing I can say about the second game - the only thing is that bits of that second game have been experimented with at Lionhead for many years. I don't think it's what you expect from Lionhead but that's what I love doing - I love doing the unexpected.

If you were to go back and piece together all the bits that I've been talking about over the years, there's a lot of that in it. That's all I can say really.

How would you sum it up in a few words?

Molyneux: Well there's very little I can say about the second title other than there's lots of though being put into it. Anything I say is either going to get me into trouble or be meaningless.

Is it the same as Project Dimitri then?

Molyneux: Again, there's nothing I can say - I can't confirm or deny that. I think we would've been stupid to throw everything away, wouldn't we? And I never said really much about Project Dimitri but some of the interesting things are certainly there.

And Fable 2?

Molyneux: We're trying to be as ambitious as we've been in any title. It is definitely focusing on quality; the features that are going to be there are going to be pretty amazing features that we're really going to polish beyond all polish. And one of the big features that I feel is a big feature for myself is something that is going to be totally unexpected that I will be revealing at GDC next year.

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