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GDC 08: Molyneux Talks Fable 2

"I really love LEGO Star Wars," said Lionhead designer Peter Molyneux during his GDC lecture this afternoon.

An unlikely comment from a man involved in complex, high-concept titles, but easily explainable: cooperative play in his studio's upcoming RPG Fable 2 was inspired by the Traveller's Tales' series, featuring a single-screen co-op system for both players.

Molyneux then dropped a few more nuggets of information on the co-op gameplay. When another player is brought into your world, you have the power of deciding what percentage of experience someone recieves from combat. You can even hire your co-op partners on as henchmen, giving them no experience but compensating them monetarily.

As it turns out, Molyneux was only able to reveal 50% of the co-op feature list this week, but his hands are tied for the moment.

Another subject the designer touched on was familial interaction.

"What we did find is there are some sick and twisted people.. If you don't supply [your family] with gold, they go hungry," he said, explaining that testers would often eat their food in front of their starving families.

"Only 5% of the people that play Fable 2 will have the stomach to play evil," added Molyneux, a bold claim from a designer known for making them.

Perhaps not that far from the mark, however. As Molyneux explained, about 70% of players stayed friendly in the original Fable, 20% gave up the dark side after an hour of being evil, and only 5% finished the game as a true jerk.

"I'm gonna try and drive that [good] percentage down," he said. "Being good is about sacrifice."

Everything from combat--"We want the combat in Fable to be unbelievably simple to play"--to on-screen drama was discussed. Even the topic of mini-maps was broached.

"Mini-maps are shit. We've replaced it with this thing, and you're going to hate it, it's called a bread crumb trail," he said, explaining that it will be a system that dynamically points out which way to go based on the players' play-style.

With so many features planned, Fable 2 still has a long way to go.

"The engine isn't finished, the buttocks are [wrong]. I know that sounds odd."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 22, 2008 5:01 PM

    I'm really excited about this. Fable had its faults, but it also had a really cool art style and in my opinion a fun leveling/rpg system. Co-op just makes this incredibly cool too. I can play good cop/bad cop with a friend.

    • reply
      February 22, 2008 5:47 PM

      I enjoyed the combat, leveling, art style, and most that Fable had to offer. I absolutely hated how linear the levels were. At least the game was fairly open in what optional quests you did.

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      February 22, 2008 11:35 PM

      I didn't much care for Fable, mostly due to it's short length and linear gameplay, but from everything I've seen of Fable 2 it looks as if they're fixing everything I didn't like about it while keeping everything I did like. When I found out it was going to have coop it sort of sealed the deal for me. I really love the addition of guns as well.

      • reply
        February 23, 2008 11:31 AM

        Agreed linearity is a killer for me too. Thats why mostconsole oriented games make me yawn.

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      February 23, 2008 10:25 AM

      I enjoyed Fable. The one thing I wish they clean up the second time around is the invisible walls around paths and little grassy hills. You would see a path or a little piece of grass and your character would just stop dead and run in place right before getting to it. "Oh I guess I cant go there"

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        February 23, 2008 12:54 PM

        Yeah, after Oblivion that's just not acceptable any more.

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      February 23, 2008 1:13 PM

      Fable's faults were not on the disc, they were in the marketting.

      If not for the immense expectations churned up by Molyneux and Crew, Fable would have seemed a wonderful little game.

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      February 24, 2008 2:23 AM

      I admit I did finish it but it wasnt anything GREAT.

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      February 24, 2008 9:46 AM

      I think their leveling system was very underrated. It makes so much sense that the things you do the most you get better at. It simple and really effective.

      I know one of the lead designers of the game and they are very aware of everyone's nit picks about the original, assuming it doesn't get rushed out the door I think this one should be a lot more interesting.

      Peter has always talked to big about his games. Thats nothing new, but at the same time he does wonders with next to no marketing budget.

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