Gamasutra reports on a talk given at GDC by Peter Molyneux, founder of Lionhead Studios and designer of games such as Black & White and Fable. Molyneux discussed some of the experimentation that went into the development of their various games. Quoting: "After his overview of the process, Molyneux demonstrated a number of actual experiments. He began by showing an early version of Fable II's dog, which he himself designed and which ended up factoring heavily into the full game. 'This is probably one of the most valuable experiments we ever did,' he said. Using the original Fable engine, the team asked itself, 'Why don't we think how the dog can actually move and be a companion to the player?' They decided to focus on exploring what a dog would do, rather than try to slot a canine into existing typical video game companion tasks. This led to the mechanic of the dog running out in front of the player, rather than beside or behind the player as most game AI companions are positioned, which had a huge impact on the dog's role."
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