Designing Fable: The Journey

Develop 2011: Fable: The Journey will be a more family-friendly entry into the franchise, with a revamped visual style that explores the less-familiar fringes of Albion.

Who was there: Tak Sato, lead artist at Lionhead studios.

What he talked about: Sato started by talking about the thinking behind the development of Fable: The Journey. The studio saw the need for a Kinect game that would appeal to core gamers as well as the more traditional family audience and thought that Fable was a good fit. "Revamping the fable visual style" to appeal to both family and core audiences was key to this, Sato said. This meant maintaining the British aesthetic, as well as its graphical chunkiness and some of the dark humour the series is known for.

The Fable art team is very proud of its horse.

The look of Fable: The Journey will be defined as "a heightened reality, a world full of visual drama as seen through the eyes of a naive young adventurer," said Sato, quoting Lionhead's art director's edict. This naive young adventurer is the hero of The Journey, a young member of a nomadic tribe who is trying to rejoin his friends and family after being separated from them.

The Journey will be set in "the less familiar fringes of Albion," which draws its inspiration from primitive and rural 18th-century Britain. This included the Scottish highlands, Yorkshire moorland, Irish bogs, and thick woods, Sato said.

However, Sato also revealed that part of the ethos for The Journey involved making a lighter Fable experience than the main games. As well as changing the visuals, this will result in a reduction of the black, adult humour that has traditionally featured heavily in the series.

Sato also offered a few details about one of The Journey's other main characters--your horse. The Shire horse provided the inspiration for its visual design, Sato said. Getting the horse right is important, Sato said, because "in this game you're looking at this horse all the time."

Takeaway: Fable: The Journey will be a lighter and more accessible experience than previous Fable games. It's being aimed at a broader audience than before, affecting every level of its development.

Quote: "I could look at this horse for hours. Which is a good thing, because in this game you're going to be looking at this horse all the time."

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Discussion

53 comments
smghottie
smghottie

It's a horrible idea to make me look at a horses a** all game. Not impressed...hopefully it's fun..

Noblegame
Noblegame

Come one people the game isn't even out yet and for those of you who think it's a rail system game its not they just removed the navigation system for the press conference.I agree that the series has had it's down sides but i for one loved fable 2 and i really like fable 3 although iv'e never played the whole 1'st game but im sure the game wont be as bad as all of you think.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

They dumb down this franchise more and more with each installment... and Fable 1 was so good... jerks.

cbb1018
cbb1018

I love Fable and I really need a least one hardcore game for my Kinect and Im pretty sure that this and Ryse will be the ones i get

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

I'll stick with Skyrim for now, thanks.

deepNraw
deepNraw

Wow, if these comments are anything to go off it would seem Fable is screwed before it can even be pre-ordered lol. These interviews and previews prove that Monleneux has gone mad with 'concepts' I really wish they would make the series more difficult. I only ever died once on Fable II, and that was because I was too drunk to smash buttons effectively

Davhut
Davhut

I feel that Peter Moleneux needs to rethink this whole thing out, if he is under pressure from Microsoft to get Kinect to appeal across a broader market range, then he is being mislead. Commercially successful RPG games are not going to grow through a family oriented market. Kinect is still in its infancy and should not be linked to an existing franchise without it being tested on new IP. Fable has the potential to move into the sphere of Oblivion, Red Dead Redemption or any of the other massive triple A titles. Rethink this direction strategy Lionhead, the current one is not good.

Cruisemissile
Cruisemissile

"The Fable art team is very proud of its horse." What the hell! are they on? Quote: "I could look at this horse for hours. Which is a good thing, because in this game you're going to be looking at this horse all the time." PROOF THIS GAME IS ON RAILS!!!! ITS GOING TO FAIL!!!!

Keaze_
Keaze_

Most people don't play fable because it's too family friendly. It's a game for kids, and it's way too easy. Now they're making it more family friendly? What will this game be about? Rainbow riding horses singing sing-along songs?

Averagamerblog
Averagamerblog

I don't understand what they mean by 'accessible', as if any Fable game was ever difficult to play or to grasp. Fable 1 was kind of difficult, maybe you would die a few times. Fable 2 you die a little but even so death is a minor inconvenience. And in Fable 3 if you died more than once during the whole game there is something wrong with you, and even if you did there its even more insignificant than in 2...

okassar
okassar

No one wants My Little Frikkin Pony Fable edition. There was some potential to this project, but now it's gone.

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

This is some weak-ass mediocrity. What happened to you fable?

FuryX-4
FuryX-4

Fable to be family friendly? Son, I am disappoint!

omenjamlord
omenjamlord

They're proud of their horse? He better be able to sh*t rainbows just so they can finish franchise with a bang before....well...make bad games, its sad to see, but Fable is long since dead.

emperiox
emperiox

Family friendly Fable driving game? Yup, you already know it's going to be retarded...

Da1ShrpSh0trGrl
Da1ShrpSh0trGrl

@SolidTy Am afraid they may be confusing "family friendly" with dumbed down.

Da1ShrpSh0trGrl
Da1ShrpSh0trGrl

I read fable and got excited. Now that I know what this is about I feel all disappointed.

sammoth
sammoth

Kinect only rail game = FAIL.

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

nice knowing you Fable series but I fear this is the end for you....

LokiHero
LokiHero

So, basically, they're taking Fable, changing the artistic style, the writing style, taking out the trademark dark humour and staying away from the world we've seen thus far? How is this Fable?

mdboomer
mdboomer

Peter is an idiot! Apparently you can make a worse game than Fable 3. Too bad since I really loved the first two games.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Surefire 'Fail' for me as Fable 3 knocked the series to its knees, Fable:TJ will be the KO for what was 'once upon a time' a great game with a bright future ahead of it. Shame....

vic484
vic484

whos funding this idiot???

Morbissus
Morbissus

How much more family friendly can this series get? It's always been family friendly. Further proof these guys have no idea what they are talking about.

IceJester45
IceJester45

I was disappointed by all three Fable games. If Lionhead can make a good rail shooter...or whatever...out of Fable: The Journey, I would gladly take that over another disappointing RPG.

deathstream
deathstream

I'll withhold judgment until the game is actually released, but taking a game as centered around adult humor as Fable and making it family friendly is strange. If this gives them more time to sit around and ponder the MANY, MANY things that were HORRIBLY wrong with the AWFUL Fable 3 (loved first 2) before making Fable 4, then I am all for it. But it does create a branding issue with the "Was that a fireball?" attitude of the regular games and a family friendly game.

Cobra5
Cobra5

I guess they finally realized they're no good at making real games.

anthonycg
anthonycg

Family Friendly = dumbed down garbage. IN MY OPINION of course...

SuddenEvil
SuddenEvil

Kinect is going to ruin alot of games. Just like fable

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

nail in the coffin of an already dying franchise.....

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

" The studio saw the need for a Kinect game that would appeal to core gamers as well as the more traditional family audience, and thought that Fable was a good fit." - there is so much wrong in that statement I don't know where to start..

sexyweapons
sexyweapons

I im a HUGE fan of Fable i have,no idea what to epect from this

Rocker6
Rocker6

Someone should really explain to Molyneux that his games arent anymore revolutionary or masterpieces.He could make great games if someone helped him to open his eyes,because this Journey is a destruction of a solid franchise(never was exactly a fan of Fable games,but few of my friends are).Its really sad to see a great creator of games to lose touch with reality.

Coordin
Coordin

Why Why Why ruin a great IP like this?

lightkemuk
lightkemuk

what happen to fable series...i miss the old fable gameplay. Microsoft don't mess the fable franchise

zellwood69
zellwood69

I've played 1, 2 and 3. 1/TLC was the best, 2 was good but was going down hill and 3 well not going to say. But now this. I still have and play TLC when i want to play Fable how it was ment to be.

BadKarma63851
BadKarma63851

You lost my interest at "family-friendly." I really really don't like the sound of that.

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

fable TLC was the up most best fable and one of the best games i ever played. Fable 2 was bad, sold it back. Fable 3 i looked at for about 5 minutes and never looked at it again. Now fable journey...all i can say is that i thought it could never get worse than the third one. i was wrong. you fail lionhead. go back to the hero age!!!! hell make a prequel to the first one!

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

And still they keep pushing kinect with games that shouldn't be partnered with it.. New games Micosoft!! Come onnnn. Gears and Fable don't need Kinect.

shenron43
shenron43

I always enjoyed Fable games, yet this one looks disappointing.

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

Spending untold hours on a horse and losing the trademark Fable "dark-humor" isn't good. It isn't good at all.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

"The studio saw the need for a Kinect game" I need the "studio" bit clarified because since lionhead and Microsoft got together quality has decreased and time between games shortened If the studio really saw a need for a kinect game why fable? Black and White would of been a much better choice I mean the in game cursor was already a hand you used to manipulate everything like making patterns to access spells, interacting with your creature even building things I would actually go out and buy a kinect for this game But ofc fable makes money......oh well I could be wrong and lionhead could come up with something amazing here I shall reserve my judgement till I see some gameplay footage Edit:Oh oh oh!!! Chicken kicking mini game FTW!!

djnotti
djnotti

This is hugely disappointing... Fable 2 was an epic game, full of humor, action, role playing elements and a lvling system that felt customizable... it was one of the most enjoyable games of the decade. When beginning Fable 3 you could feel all of that begin to fade and although it was still somewhat enjoyable, the series could have remained one of the best series out there if it kept along the Fable 2 path and not direct itself toward a "family-friendly" experience. I was hoping this would be a realization that was made by lionhead when Fable 3 was released, but that does not seem to be the case. Microsoft and Lionhead - you have ruined a series that could have been one of the greats - FAIL!!

SinStarship
SinStarship

Somehow I think Microsoft has had great influence in this game. The fact that it is as Kinect game screams this. Fable doesn't have to be Kinect. Bring Fable back to it's roots. The previous game's have been great fun to play, though I feel like good features, mechanics and enemies were dropped in the transitions between each game, but this is just a niggle. I just feel that this The Journey just won't have the charm that makes a Fable game.

meralonne
meralonne

I find this article's lack of meat disturbing.