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Peter Molyneux Apologizes for Fable 113

Posted by Zonk
from the at-least-they-tried dept.
InFoMaD writes "On the official Lionhead Studio forums Peter Molyneux apologized for announcing features that did not make it into the final version of Fable." Their forums are already getting hammered. Post text available below.
Text from the Lionhead Studios Post -

A message from Peter Molyneux.
There is something I have to say. And I have to say it because I love making games. When a game is in development, myself and the development teams I work with constantly encourage each other to think of the best features and the most ground-breaking design possible.

However, what happens is that we strive to include absolutely everything we've ever dreamt of and, in my enthusiasm, I talk about it to anyone who'll listen, mainly in press interviews. When I tell people about what we're planning, I'm telling the truth, and people, of course, expect to see all the features I've mentioned. And when some of the most ambitious ideas get altered, redesigned or even dropped, people rightly want to know what happened to them.

If I have mentioned any feature in the past which, for whatever reason, didn't make it as I described into Fable, I apologise. Every feature I have ever talked about WAS in development, but not all made it. Often the reason is that the feature did not make sense. For example, three years ago I talked about trees growing as time past. The team did code this but it took so much processor time (15%) that the feature was not worth leaving in. That 15 % was much better spent on effects and combat. So nothing I said was groundless hype, but people expecting specific features which couldn't be included were of course disappointed. If that's you, I apologise. All I can say is that Fable is the best game we could possibly make, and that people really seem to love it.

I have come to realise that I should not talk about features too early so I am considering not talking about games as early as I do. This will mean that the Lionhead games will not be known about as early as they are, but I think this is the more industry standard.

Our job as the Lionhead family of studios is to be as ambitious as we possibly can. But although we jump up and down in glee about the fabulous concepts and features we're working on, I will not mention them to the outside world until we've implemented and tested them, and they are a reality.

Thank you for reading.

Peter.

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Peter Molyneux Apologizes for Fable

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:37PM (#10406323)

    Where's the apology for Black & White? :-P

    • by sgant (178166) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:44PM (#10407195) Homepage Journal
      Black & White wasn't a bad game. Sure, there was a ton of hype about it, but not all of it from Peter. The press had a ton of hype about it also.

      And when all was said and done, it wasn't that bad of a game. Over-hyped for sure, but not bad.

      I had fun with it and it brought a smile to my face...what else should a game do?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It may not have been bad, but it wasn't a game.
      • Black & White wasn't a bad game. Sure, there was a ton of hype about it, but not all of it from Peter. The press had a ton of hype about it also.

        And when all was said and done, it wasn't that bad of a game.

        There are faulty game mechanics that tends to mess things up.

        For example, try kidnapping villagers from an enemy village and replace them with your own missionaries. If you take and replace them oneat a time, you will eventually have an enemy town full of missionaries that still believes in the

  • Reality. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JavaLord (680960) on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:37PM (#10406325) Journal
    It's Gutsy for him to come out and say it. His statement:

    However, what happens is that we strive to include absolutely everything we've ever dreamt of and, in my enthusiasm, I talk about it to anyone who'll listen, mainly in press interviews. When I tell people about what we're planning, I'm telling the truth, and people, of course, expect to see all the features I've mentioned. And when some of the most ambitious ideas get altered, redesigned or even dropped, people rightly want to know what happened to them.

    Anyone who has ever developed software for a living knows this is the truth. Early on you spec out cool features, come up with great ideas, etc, etc. Your game/app is going to be the "BEST EVER!"...then somewhere along the way in the development process reality kicks you in the face. Bad features sometimes get added, good ones need to be dropped for technical reasons or time constraints.

    The crappy part about it is, usually you only talk to people in your company about an app early on. Or maybe if you are in a small shitty company you talk to the press and no one cares. But the "big name" programmers are expected to deliever on everything they say and then some. It takes a lot of guts for Molyneux to step up and say sorry I couldn't give you everything I said.
    • "It takes a lot of guts for Molyneux to step up and say sorry I couldn't give you everything I said."

      I'd be more sympathetic if he didn't do this with every single game he's ever made. Remember how the creatures in Dungeon Keeper were going to learn your personal playing habits and adapt to them? Remember how Black and White was going to end world hunger? I'm frankly surprised that people can be disappointed with Fable, since they should know better than to listen to the crap that comes out of Molyneux
    • Re:Reality. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668)
      yes. but the guys a pro. he should know better to not shoot his mouth off about things that are not certain.
      except that by now he has probably figured out that big hype == big pre-orders and that big promises == big hype.

      games biz is almost as much about the hype(pr) as of creating the actual games, big pre-hype enables them to get funding without questioning.

      and for example, the trees could still have been made to evolve probably somehow, just with a differenct tactic(without wasting some magical 15% of
      • Re:Reality. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nocomment (239368) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:34PM (#10407058) Homepage Journal
        and for example, the trees could still have been made to evolve probably somehow, just with a differenct tactic(without wasting some magical 15% of cpu time on it).

        I was wondering that too. Why not instead of gradually grow, they jump a little? But only when they are off screen and not visible, and not during combat, if the hieght changes were subtle you would not notice them grow, just one day they are bigger, and you don't have to have the cpu calculating every second how to draw them.
        • It's real easy to sit there and say, "Well, how hard could it have been to do x?" Unless you're actually working in the code, you have no idea. If the decision was made to drop a feature, there was very likely a damned good reason for it.
          • oh I understand that. I'm just brainstorming ways they could have though of re-doing it. I"m not going to play or buy fable so this doesn't affect me in any way. It seems to be the reason they dropped it was because it took 15% of the cpu to do.
  • by Sentry21 (8183) on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:39PM (#10406352) Journal
    I dunno, but as long as he makes it clear that whatever features are what he wants to have in the game, if adding them in is reasonable, then he should talk.

    I don't know about you guys, but personally, I love talking with friends about theory, however practical or impractical that might be. What would be cool in a game, how you could implement it, races, ships, whatever. I think Mr. Molyneux should talk with the enthusiasm that he has for his games, as long as he's not promising that those features will be there.

    Let's be realistic: trees growing doesn't matter. I mean, really, it's immersive, but also irrelevant. I'm not going to notice if it's not there (well I might, but I won't care). That being said though, just talking about the possibility opens up dozens of possibilities in my mind, ideas and theories that I can discuss with my friends, and we can say 'wouldn't it be cool if we made a game that could do this or that or the other thing?'

    As long as he's not influencing sales by guaranteeing anything, I'm fine with him saying 'we're working on realtime tree growth and you can watch the textures change as paint dries, and the shorelines will gradually recede or encroach depending on the phase of the moon and the changing climate and passing meteors'. If they really are working on it, then A+, and if it doesn't make it in, then hey, that's the way she goes.

    --Dan
    • Perhaps it's not so much that he shouldn't talk about features, as perhaps the media that he talks with shouldn't report those features as "In the game" despite it being in development? So long as you precursor it with a disclaimer that they are ideas, and not yet reality, then it should be okay to have a discussion of ideas.
  • Standing firm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by M3wThr33 (310489) on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:42PM (#10406394) Homepage
    Usually the creator of a title should stand firm behind the final product. It doesn't happen often enough with apologies that I honestly don't know what to think either way. The Nintendo side of me feels confidence in all my MS-hating ways to see hype fail, but at the same time, he made a game to the best of his potential and realizes he's human. I make games, I can understand his enthusiasm to add lots of cool features and see them get removed at the last minute.

    What I'd really like to see is an apology from Warren Spector for DX:IW, but all we got is that post-mortem on IGN on how he prefers console games and that it was a wonder the first Deus Ex didn't completely bomb.
  • by override11 (516715) <cpeterson@gts.gaineycorp.com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:44PM (#10406411) Homepage
    ... is that I beat it in about 9 hours of gameplay. I guess I really expected it to take a lot longer than it did (and yes, I did side quests, maxed fame / karma, got up to 17 silver keys, etc, and opened all but 2 demon doors) While the character development was pretty kewl, I was disappointed at the end. I was left feeling like, 'Thats it???' Dont get me wrong, I enjoyed myself a ton while playing the game, and there are a ton of cool features scattered around, but overall I was disappointed.

    Anyone know of a nice long RPG in the works? I remember playing Wizardry 7 for months before I was able to get all the way through it.
    • > Anyone know of a nice long RPG in the works? I remember playing Wizardry 7 for months before I was able to get all the way through it.

      You completed Morrowind and the 2 expansion packs?

      It's no Ultima 7, but it's pretty good.

      Peace

      --
      Original, Fun Palm & Web games by the Lead Designer of Majesty!
      http://www.arcanejourneys.com/ [arcanejourneys.com]
      • I agree, Morrowind is a unique, lengthy RPG. The only caveat is that items that items that increase your running speed are a key factor to have an enjoyable game. I recommend everyone that wants to give Morrowing a try to play a Breton and look for the location of the Boots of Blinding Speed in one of the many FAQs for the game. Once the walking speed becomes tolerable, there's a fantastic game hiding underneath.

    • by scot4875 (542869) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:12PM (#10406765) Homepage
      Anyone know of a nice long RPG in the works?

      Not in the works, but already out: Tales of Symphonia by Namco for the Gamecube. Took me 49 hours to complete, and that's without doing much of the optional stuff (though there isn't a lot of it). I'm also not a slow player...

      I found the story a bit cheezy at times, but that's pretty standard for Japanese-style RPGs, no matter how serious they try to be.

      Beten Kaitos is coming out in November, also from Namco, and has been receiving positive buzz since its release in Japan last year.

      --Jeremy
      • Blech.

        Tales of Symphonia, while a good game, is barely an RPG. It blurs the lines with action/adventure.

        When are publishers going to get over this recent craze and realize that turning battle into a crappy button mashing version of SNES street fighter isn't going to make the game appeal to new audiences, and it's going to alienate existing fans. Star Ocean and the FF VII sequel are like this too. Add to that the delay of Xenosaga and this has been the most disappointing year for RPGs in memory.
      • I find the TOS gameplay very compeling. It is a nice mix between the 80s and 90s beat'em ups, and a standard RPG.

        The history has some nice turns and twists, and there is a lot of extra things to see. I was not a fan of Namco until this game. yay!
    • Black-and-White was the same way. It was beautiful. It was fun to play just because you could sit there and watch things happen around it. But the enemy AI was so weak it was just as fun to play the game alone.
    • Tales of Symphonia - Fairly good RPG. I call it the game of anime/RPG cliches, because it is, but it's fairly long(40 hours+) and fairly enjoyable.

      Star Ocean - 1-3 hours of utter boredom and then the game gets good. About at the 30-40 hour point.

      Shadow Hearts - Just came out a few days ago, haven't played it yet, but I've heard good things about the series.

      Baten Kaitos is coming out for the Cube in november. It's got a wierd card-based combat system.

      Paper Mario should be pretty good, albeit wierdly
      • In the non-Japanese milleau(sp?), Gladius was great for turn-based combat and leveling madness. Along with many long side quests (you must get a Minataur to join your party). The story is fairly thin, but I don't dig on Japanese melodram anyway.

    • Anyone know of a nice long RPG in the works? I remember playing Wizardry 7 for months before I was able to get all the way through it.

      Are we talking Xbox only?
      Jade Empire
      Star Wars KOTOR 2
      Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (done up as if a japanese style CRPG)
    • That's because Wizardy 7 was brutally hard. :) The whole rattkin area practically drove me to tears. Still, one of the best RPGs I've ever played. I always thought the roaming NPCs that could beat you to the maps was pretty cool. (And then you could track them down and kill them to get it back. Handy, that.)

      Have you tried Wizardry 8? Still pretty cool, although a definitely different feel from 7.
    • Ultima 7, both of them.

      The games are more than 10 years old, but still the best couple of RPGs ever produced, imho.
    • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Friday October 01, 2004 @04:20PM (#10408258) Journal
      Anyone know of a nice long RPG in the works?

      Well, this Life game I heard of takes about 70 years or so. Don't know if it's any good though. I have heard really good things about Life II, but it may turn out to just be vaporware.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I hear Life II is open to beta testers.

        I can arrange for you to start playing if you'd like :)

      • I've been playing Life for a while. The only complaint I have is that it costs a lot, constantly. Other than that, the graphics are sweet - I think I'll keep playing unless a better version comes out - then I'll upgrade.
    • You could try importing your Wizardry 7 party into Wizardry 8. IMO a good (but late) end to Sir Tech and it's flagship title.
    • If you haven't already played it, you should definitely try out Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

      It took me 78 hours to complete, but I taking my time, and I think I did pretty much all of the side quests that I could.

      And the best thing about KOTOR is its replayability - I finished it playing as a light-side Jedi, and I intend to start playing again soon, as a dark Jedi. Will be a completely different playing experience, different side-quests are available, different force powers...
      • Uh, the different side quests are minimal. The different force powers are very nice, absolutely, but for a Guardian like myself it's not a drastic change. That was a very overhyped feature if you ask me. The game just asks you whether you want dark or light points every once and a while, big deal. And the dark side option almost always gives better rewards!

        Still, even the small differnces between light and dark are just a bonus to an already exceedingly good game, and I can't wait for the sequel....*drools
  • Refreshing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paladin128 (203968) <aaron@traaNETBSDs.org minus bsd> on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:48PM (#10406481) Homepage
    I must say, it's nice to see someone with as big a name as Molyneux apologize to the community for this. Most people that are in the "industry pioneer" category tend to be just [johnromero.com] a bit [mailto] arrogant [penny-arcade.com]. He made some claims about features, gamers were pissed they weren't there, and he took the blame. Admirable.

    Maybe next time, he won't blab every wild feature he plans.
    • In what ways was John Romero arrogant?
      You're relaying the rubbish spouted forth on messageboards and the general "it's cool to hate on Romero" attitude everyone else does.

      The only time Romero has ever been linked with arrogance is the "make you his bitch" advertisement, which happened to be made up by someone else and he said "what the hell"

      There's a HEAP of gamers who've emailed him personally and had pleasant responses from the guy. (go do a comment search on shacknews.com - there's several people spout
      • I don't have time to search for links to interviews, but he basically stated things like:

        Daikatana would be the game that not only changed the industry, but would make people stop playing all games that existed before it.

        He whined about the stuff that happenend at iD, and basically took all credit for Quake being good.

        Ion Storm would be God's gift to gamers, and the way he ran it is the only intelligent way to run a studio.

        Now, post-Ion Storm Romero is a different story. After he was taken down a few k

  • Could be worse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jammer2kbigfoot.com (726158) on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:53PM (#10406536)
    At least he doesn't act like Derrick Smart. We need more developers like him, willing to admit things are perfect. Never played any of his games, but like his style.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      We need more developers like him, willing to admit things are perfect.

      Don't be ridiculous; Dr. Derek Smart, Ph.D, is more than willing to admit that he's perfect.
  • Fable Features (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MilenCent (219397) <johnwh&gmail,com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:00PM (#10406625) Homepage
    A feature in a game like this doesn't mean much unless it adds to the gameplay.

    Is it possible for real-time tree growth to improve gameplay? In fact, yes. Remember, Nintendo was planning something a little like that in the (vaporware) N64 sequel to Earthbound/Mother, where the player could plant a seed in a location and come back later, when the passage of time detected from the machine's real-time clock would tell the game when it had grown to a point where it could be harvested for useful fruit. Not quite the same thing that Molyneux's talking about perhaps, but indicative of the kinds of ways tree growth can improve a game. However, if the tree growth is merely decorative it doesn't influence the game *that* much.

    I was actually fairly jazzed up about Fable until recently. The more I read about it the more I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't be so excited after all. I was hearing things before about a world that evolves around the player and dynamic gameplay, but now I'm hearing things that sound more like a 3D Zelda with Harvest Moon elements mixed in. Perhaps an interesting game still (HM isn't *that* bad, and if you're gonna copy, copy the best -- it's still better than almost anything else I'm aware of for X-Box), but it no longer is making me consider buying an X-Box again to check it out.
    • Is it possible for real-time tree growth to improve gameplay? In fact, yes. Remember, Nintendo was planning something a little like that in the (vaporware) N64 sequel to Earthbound/Mother, where the player could plant a seed in a location and come back later, when the passage of time detected from the machine's real-time clock would tell the game when it had grown to a point where it could be harvested for useful fruit. Not quite the same thing that Molyneux's talking about perhaps, but indicative of the k

      • Re:Fable Features (Score:4, Interesting)

        by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:28PM (#10406984) Homepage
        Actually, this should be a real enhancement, where plants (potato, wheat, lettuse, tomatoes, need to be planted, harvested, in order to "sell" to the local inn. That way, people can be farmers for real and when wizards and ghouls wan to kill the farmers just for fun, the local musclemen will go knock their heads, because they want to eat in 2 weeks/3 months.

        This should also apply to woodcutters. Want a wooden shield? Need some wood, buddy. "but there isn't a single tree for thirty leagues!". "Well, then, better plant some, no?"

        Also, fish, and ore. Ore should be interesting. It has to be mined. Miners are needed to go down there and the more "enterprising fellows" should be able to hire people to mine the mines and extract the ore. "Want a full body armor? Need 50 kilos of metal ore, buddy." "But, there isn't any ore around here!" "Well, then, better mine some, or get a wagon and go to the land of the dwarves and bring me back some."

        This would then effectively create a merchant class.

        It would also be fun to have food shortages, and fights outside the inn to break into the storage and steal their food so the 30 paladins could be bested by three enterprising thieves and three oxen carts, for lack of food.

        Of course, same goes for leather. Want leather greaves? Find me a cow and a tanner. "But there's not a single cow for miles!" "Well then, buddy, wanna wooden shield instead?"

        And a million GP won't make a difference when you hear "Wizard needs food, badly".

        Finally, rangering skills would be invaluables: "Just got this deer, we can eat folks."
    • Re:Fable Features (Score:2, Informative)

      by hibiki_r (649814)

      While I find Fable to be a good, albeit short, game, it has very little to do with Zelda or havest moon. No 'dungeons', in the zelda sense, about 2 puzzles in the entire game, lack of a sense of exploration (you walk on 'tracks', no expansive countryside/ocean to explore. It's more like a more RPGish version of an action RPG like BG:Dark Alliance. If you're looking for Zelda+Harvest Moon, you're better off with Dark Cloud & Dark Cloud 2 for the PS2.

    • Re:Fable Features (Score:3, Interesting)

      by prockcore (543967)
      Remember, Nintendo was planning something a little like that in the (vaporware) N64 sequel to Earthbound/Mother, where the player could plant a seed in a location and come back later, when the passage of time detected from the machine's real-time clock would tell the game when it had grown to a point where it could be harvested for useful fruit.

      And nintendo did exactly that with Animal Crossing. You can plant an apple, after a few days it'll be a full size tree, after a few more it'll produce apples.

      Plu
  • Sure it was a little short, no doubt but it was unique, which is typical of Peter.

    Black and white sure copped him some flack, but the man is always coming up with wacky new idea's, look at Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Black and white - Populous - the man does things differently and he's not frightened to experiment.

    Too many 13 y/o fanboys are whining their butts off (and I beleive it's school holidays giving them too much time to boot) because the game doesn't alsorts of outlandish things.

    I do admit I've bee
      • ...brilliant audio, a fairly good storyline AND lady grey has nice boobies boot!
      13 year old fanboys... you don't say!
      • You can see why they loved and hated it at the same time - opposite ends of the spectrum so to speak, much like peter's games, black and white - good and evil ;)

        I'd mention my girlfriends boobies, but then everyone would definately know I'm not a real slashdotter for sure then ........
    • Black and white sure copped him some flack, but the man is always coming up with wacky new idea's, look at Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Black and white - Populous - the man does things differently and he's not frightened to experiment.

      I wish for a remake of Syndicate and Magic Carpet. What I would really love would be Syndicate with more maps/areas (smaller countries), ability to play more players in multiplayer, and so forth. It was one of the coolest games I've ever played. Add TCP/IP options to Syndicat
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I respect him for coming out and making a statement like that, but the game is still pretty disappointing. It's a decent enough RPG. You can see tiny glimmers of greatness as you play the game, which makes the game's flaws stand out even more.

    I am not just referring to missing features. Those were disappointing enough, particularly given how much this game was hyped. For years this game was presented as the second coming of RPG's. The results were so far from the boasts one can't help but be disappointed.

    • - awkward controls (WHY DOES AUTOLOCK KEEP POINTING ME TOWARDS THE FREAKIN BARREL WHEN I AM FIGHTING 5 BALVERINES!)

      The barrel is considered very special... there's a small chance it contains an ultra-rare artifact... :)

      I can't comment here, as I don't know exactly what Autolock is supposed to do. If it is a bug that autolock is choosing the wrong object, then this sort of thing should have been detected during the testing period.

      - clichéd story elements... honestly, aren't we passed the forced

  • There has to be more to it than that. 15% just means that you create an to turn it off. Or put it in a patch. No big deal unless it impacts the gameplay.

    That's one thing Doom 3 did differently than most games: They kept in all the CPU intensive stuff, and made it possible to turn it off. The knew that in a year, people would rather have it in there than not.
    • A few flaws with this:

      1) It's a console game. No patch. No hope of having more CPU power in a year.

      2) It was supposed to be something that affected gameplay as well... not just prettiness.
  • 15%.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheVoice900 (467327) <kamil&kamilkisiel,net> on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:27PM (#10406970) Homepage
    Often the reason is that the feature did not make sense. For example, three years ago I talked about trees growing as time past. The team did code this but it took so much processor time (15%) that the feature was not worth leaving in.


    I'm no game programmer, but this seems a bit ridiculous... what kind of code were they using for this? Is time passing so fast in this game that you need to be constantly updating the trees?
    • You also have to take into account the *total* number of trees. This is no meager amount to have to process. You not only have to update the trees, you are also checking to see if they even need updating. This means wasted CPU which may not even result in tree growth.
      • well you don't seem like a programmer either.

        you could easily just check the areas trees when you move into a new area.

        it wouldn't really have taken that much of imagination to do it.

        of course it's a completely needless feature with apparently no point at all, so they just dropped it and came with this excuse.
        • you could easily just check the areas trees when you move into a new area.

          And you don't seem to have played Fable either.

          Because if you'd played it, you'd know that areas are ridiculously tiny, and that the load times for walking between them are already almost unbearable. 15% longer load times just to update the trees when you cross a boundary would be unacceptable.
    • You're dead right on this - I really just can't fathom how they managed to come up with a tree-growth algorithm that takes 15% of the processor speed - all you'd have to do is just one small subtraction calculation whenever you load a scene. Whenever you're about to enter a new area, you load up all of the trees, calculate how old they are based on their born on date, and then put the necessary model into the scene. When you're loading stuff of a disc the processor isn't doing a lot since you're just waitin
      • Its not the tree growing itself, but you have to do that for the entire tree population probably and that basically means constantly updating stats for thousands of them.
        • Not really, just whenever you enter a new area, you can calculate the age of all trees there and then use the appropriate model for the tree. This means just checking one property per tree... As a poster said below, the 15% figure is probably some BS that PM made up to make it sound like he was right on the verge of creating the ultimate game..
    • Re:15%.. (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, in order for the feature to be the least bit useful, the trees would have to look significantly different from one another. Generally, when rendering a large number of similar (or identical) objects in 3D space, one can take a number of shortcuts--for instance, the objects may share the same texture maps, and the engine can perform certain transforms on one copy of the mesh, instead of having to do so on each instance of it.

      From what I understand, there are also some pretty heavy costs in generating

    • by tc (93768)
      Okay, this is standard bullshit technique. Molyneux probably has no fucking clue how much processor time the growing trees feature would take. Mostly likely because, in all probability, it was never really implemented. However, by making up a specific number to tell people, he is able to give the impression that the feature was a lot further developed than it really was. If he just says "it would have been expensive", then that's not very impressive, whereas if he says "15% of CPU" that sounds a lot more co
      • Re:15%.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kreyg (103130)
        Molyneux probably has no fucking clue how much processor time the growing trees feature would take

        That is quite likely... on the other hand, it very well could have been a crappy implementation, or simply completely unoptimized - iterating over every tree in the world every frame could suck up a big chunk. Programmers are exceptionally scarce resources in game development, probably better to have them fix show-stopper bugs or implement features more central to gameplay than make trees grow.

    • Re:15%.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by atarrri (580364)
      Seems to me that his programmers have some problems with optimization. Frankly I'm surprised that Microsoft allowed a game to be released with a sub 20 fps (my estimate) in many key areas of the game. So I'm not surprised at all that his programmers told him that it takes 15% of frame time to do growing trees. There are certainly methods of getting some form of growing trees in the game with minimal cpu usage.

      Common sense is that you should never ever mention features that have a high probability of get
    • I'm no game programmer either, but the list of things they said would be included seemed a tad optomistic even to me considering this was developed strictly for the Xbox. If they had done it on PC it may have been more surprising.

      However I did enjoy what was there of the game. I only wish it were longer. That's my only complaint.

      More items and a less button mashing fighting style would be all else I'd ask for.
  • by orion024 (694922) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:34PM (#10407059)
    IMHO, the biggest missing "feature" of this game was the fact you could not play as a female. My wife was somewhat interested in this game (which is quite unusual), but when she found out she couldn't play as a female she completely and utterly lost interest.

    In fact, I consider the ability to play as either gender not a "feature", but a requisite when playing an RPG.
  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Friday October 01, 2004 @03:40PM (#10407834)
    I didn't follow Fable during production, so I don't have any real problems with features that are missing

    *Try to get your combat multiplier even HIGHER!*

    from the game, but it is extremely clear that the game was released unfinished. While enjoyable, it suffers from a number of

    *Try to get your combat multiplier even HIGHER!*

    annoyances, to the point where the two missions you want more than anything in the game are to beat the crap out of the guy holding the camera, and kill

    *Try to get your combat multiplier even HIGHER!*

    the guy that made the controls 'default', but not customizable.

    -Z
  • Fable: its the best steak ever realy come out to my house and ill give it to. Customer: /Walks to houes Fable: Heres that apple i promised isnt it the best apple you ever tasted. Customer: it is a very good apple but wheres that steak.

    Well thats what the game feels like to me anyway the game was hyped as being this large game with things you did early in the game affecting the outcome of the game later.

    In actuality the game is a small game that is fairly tightly scripted and things you do seem to h
  • he sounds sincere. and i believe what he is saying. it's kind of like when you are doing a show (theatre) and you have all these ideas you talk about and you know you can do them. but money runs short or the stage can't support the kind of thing you want or people who were involved drop out, etc.

    i am glad the game is out and won't let this effect my enjoyment of it.

    i do wish the save system was good. i hate the way the saves work. it forces you to take a long time playing to get to one point and some
  • It's interesting to compare this situation with that experienced by the developers of City of Heroes [cityofheroes.com]. There, the developers blabbed about their pie in the sky ideas to the press years before the game came out. As the launch came closer and massive revisions of the original concept were done, disillusioned fans rose up in arms. A good subsequent design and a successful launch has since made CoH a fan favorite, but even today Jack Emmert (the lead designer) states that that was the biggest mistake the team m
    • I dont know, his interviews are more like a geek babbling over his latest creation. The problem was probably that he didnt get the direct feedback over forums until this game, otherwise he probably would have cut back on the early designs talk after black and white.
    • What's interesting is that Statesman - sorry, I mean Jack - is now doing nearly the opposite on the CoH boards. He's very careful about what he says, because he's learned if he so much as hints at a feature people will expect it. And god help him if he gives anything resembling a timetable for anything.

      This does not, however, stop him from teasing the fanbase by answering questions like "Feature X and Feature Y would be neat, but I don't like Z, what's the plan?" with nothing more than "Soon."
  • my subject line speaks for itself. I wonder if more game designers would be more accountable to their loyal fans in order to keep them? This sort of choice in apologizing for the missing features really only makes me like the guy more!

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