Lionhead's Peter Molyneux

The Fable creator tells all about the third iteration in the series...

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Why did you get rid of expressions?
As it turns out I think expressions in Fable and Fable II were more of a gimmick than a gameplay feature. We didn't really exploit them in the game. They were funny - they were more about making people laugh because of a fart joke in various ways.

There wasn't any real reward for them. Okay, we had this little thing where you got a gift, [but gamers want] features that are woven into the drama and the experience - there's a real gameplay reason to do it, we encourage you to do it, we give you a reward for doing it and it's something you can use over and over again.

So for example, in Fable II what really worked that could have been a gimmick, was actually the jobs. It was very simple, but they really worked - you really felt like you were a blacksmith.

What's so brilliant about [Fable III's] touch is that it really does change everything. If you're in Fable and Fable II you're presented with choices: Are you going to slay someone or are you not going to slay someone? Now, the fact you have to literally drag someone to their fate really does emotionally change things, especially when - and this is giving you more detail that I should be doing - there is enough space between when you execute them and where you are [at the beginning of the process] so they can make you feel just a little bit guilty. I'm going to pull on your heart strings a little bit. And that's why it's so different than just [pressing] A and B.

It's the same as love. When you first meet someone in Fable and Fable II, getting married was three presses of a button. There was no courtship. Now marriage has a real reason to it. There's a proper courtship that you go through. You can marry the daughter of the mayor of this village. If you marry her, she comes with a whole load of followers, because you're married into the family of the mayor. There's a gameplay reason to do that, because these followers are rally important. I'd love to tell you the reason why they're important but I can't. Yet.

Most players seem to take the good choices the first time they play and the bad choices the second. Is that your experience?
Almost always.

How do you make the bad choices rewarding enough to get players to opt for them?
That's what's so interesting. Again, when it came to Fable III and we were thinking: 'Okay, we've got to come up with 20 more moral choices,' you're going to struggle.

Now it's all about power and corruption - and with great power comes great responsibility. I can guarantee you that Gordon Brown has choices every day that to you and me may seem like moral choices. Should we pull out of Afghanistan? Should we spend all this huge wodge of money on the health service or should we spend it on the troops? These are moral choices, but they're also about power.

You may not think of them as good or evil choices, but the real interesting thing - the thing you're going to think about when you've stopped playing Fable III - is: Was that the right thing to do? That's what our rulers, kings, revolutionaries and rebels really do - they're faced with those choices. This might not be politically correct, but President Obama is a great inspiration to me, because this guy won the Nobel Peace Prize. He's the first person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize without doing anything. He won it on a promise.

Now, he said he'd close Guantanamo Bay within a year. To me, it's as simple as picking up the phone. But a year later, it's still open. What went wrong, man? That seems a simple one.

The story of Fable III is relevant to today's world - because you will hopefully feel idealistic by the time you get on that throne. And I know that most people will want to close the workhouses and turn them into schools. They'll want to get the beggars off the streets. They'll want to empty the coffers of their treasury and get it out there.

But you know what, man? I'm not going to make it that easy for you. There must be a reason Guantanamo Bay's still open.

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