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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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  • 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.
  • He shouldn't (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @01:52PM (#10406520)

    He shouldn't apologize for not getting this or that feature in, but he might consider apologizing for not making games that are actually fun.

    With 'actually fun', I mean "beyond the first hour". Every recent Molyneux game is the same. Hype, hype, hype -- which he "explains" above (personally I feel that it goes beyond him getting exited about his own product, but that's me). Then the game comes out, gets rave reviews (like B&W getting "9.1" from GameSpot, IIRC) and impress people who watch it but utterly fails to deliver a good game

    I think the problem is that he's having his fun actually developing the game, forgetting that the people who are to buy it doesn't get to share that.

  • 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 MobyDisk (75490) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:14PM (#10406806) Homepage
    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.
  • 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?
  • 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: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.
  • 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.
  • Re:Impulse Control (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CodeWanker (534624) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:40PM (#10407144) Journal
    Yup. I remember the painfully pretentious National Public Radio [npr.org] bit on Black and White. And it sounded like you'd get a Ph.D in philosophy by playing the game.
  • Re:Fable Features (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prockcore (543967) on Friday October 01, 2004 @07:24PM (#10409900)
    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.

    Plus if you don't play in a while, your town will be overgrown with weeds and the residents of your town will wonder where the hell you've been.
  • by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:16PM (#10410212) Homepage
    Well, you understand if they were to do females accurately, they would have to portray her chest growing as she aged. How would you decide that in the game? How would you avoid pissing off a woman who wanted a bigger/smaller rack? Think of the nagging!!!!!

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