GDC '08: Molyneux opens up Fable II

Lionhead Studios managing director discusses his 'big three' ideas in Fable 2--drama, co-op, and combat--and why Americans hate nipples.

SAN FRANCISCO--Peter Molyneux's Fable 2 was shown at last year's Game Developers Conference, where he showed off its in-game dog. At this year's Microsoft keynote speech on Wednesday, he revealed that the forthcoming Xbox 360 role-playing game will have an Xbox Live Arcade game spin-off that will let you win money gambling that you can then spend in Fable 2. Much to the audience's delight, he also displayed the game's instant co-op options and how a head shot can quickly solve a character's marital problems.

Today, Molyneux treated a room jam-packed full of fans to a more intimate sneak peek of the highly anticipated role-playing game. He focused his talk on what he believes are the "big three" things in the game--drama, combat, and cooperative play.

Starting with drama, Molyneux said that he was incredibly disappointed that not more players chose to go over to the dark side and be evil in the first iteration of Fable. He said, "I was really disappointed in you lot. I expected more of you to be evil. Seventy percent were pure goody goodies, and only 5 percent managed to play all the way through the game as evil. So this time, I'm going to make it really, really tough being good."

Elaborating on this, he said, "Being good is about sacrifice. How much are you willing to sacrifice to be good? I don't want to give too much away, but about six hours into the game, you walk into a room, and someone will ask you to do something that will sacrifice something that is so precious to the character that it will make you put down your controller and think about that decision."

As the player becomes either more good or evil, the famous companion dog will also change. An evil player will get a mean-looking Rottweiler, whereas a good character will get a "happy, fluffy, lovely" Labrador.

Gamers can also choose to marry and have a family, and the family will also be affected by the character's actions. "If you're evil, your kids will be commenting on beating other kids up at school," he explained. "And they'll talk about how they're helping people out if you're good."

The character will once again be able to have sex in the game, although not graphically so. "We had sex before Hot Coffee in Fable," he said, proudly. "We have sex in Fable 2 as well--although the screen is black again, sadly. It's you Americans, you've got something against nipples."

Next up is combat, and Molyneux explained that there will be three different types, guns, swords, and fists--along with magic. But what he really, really wanted was to tell everybody in the audience about the co-op modes in depth, but he was only allowed to reveal about 50 percent of it, he said.

He did say that in the game, there will be no "gold drops" in missions. "We're not going to give you any gold drops at all when you're questing," he confirmed. "To get gold in the Fable 2 world you've got to work." A variety of jobs will be available, and players can choose to be employed as, for example, a blacksmith, an assassin, or a henchman. When a gamer is playing co-op in another player's game, they will get paid an hourly rate for helping out.

The game will not feature minimaps, because Molyneux doesn't like them. "Minimaps are s***," he clarified. "I've replaced it with a breadcrumb trail, which will show you which way to go." Part of the dog's job is to alert the player to things that are going on off the trail, by growling and barking, encouraging the player to follow and explore a new area.

He concluded his talk by demoing the co-op mode with a friend, with the two of them battling against some evil creatures called Hobs, and then visiting the player's home village to say hi to her husband and son. As he did in the demo, Molyneux also hinted that the player's family would become involved in the story.

"If you do care about something, don't expect us not to care about it when it comes to storytelling," he said. He also warned if a married player does too much adventuring, "Your family might be in for a bit of a rocky road."

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182 comments
Barry_McLeod
Barry_McLeod

I have been waiting for this game since I clocked Fable TLC in like ... well, let's just say it was ages ago. Anyway, I think the reason that people were good so much in the first game (I am guilty of this too), is that it required absolutely no effort to be a goody-goody. If you just played the game, as per what was required, you ended up being a goody goody anyway due to there being more quests being "good" oriented than "bad". And if you are bad, you couldn't align yourself with Bandits when you encountered them in the wilderness, which I think would be a good thing to add to games... Anywho ... In the first Fable, it required a drastic decisioin at the end to make you 100% evil, should you want to be evil, but before that, you had to go around murdering people, which took time and could have a lot of negative repurcussions, i.e. Trader's and Shopkeepers being slain. Well, I loved the first Fable and played it religiously, so I am hanging over the edge for this game.

Sharpy505
Sharpy505

I cant wait for this game =) ....BUT, when you were evil in the last game(70%! why be good:S?!)you got devil horns nd lost hair i dint like that, i dint mind it when my guy had a mean and grumpy face but NO HAIR! RED EYES! WRINKLES?!?! DO NOT WANT, ut the rest of the game was gr8 and this game looks to be tht too

Lexxzilla
Lexxzilla

@ eliasnaruto: Coolest avatar ever.

HiroArka
HiroArka

Make it harder to be Good .. I like the sound of that. It is sooo easy to be a good guy in games sometimes.

jellyjamsixpack
jellyjamsixpack

Hey buddy hes not saying its bad to be good hes just saying it will be hard. Its probably the same way backword so it might hard being bad to. What hes sayings is you mights have to save your sister but kill a village or save a village and kill your sister. You have to make sacrafices and i think its going to be really fun. Saving your sister might be bad because your killing alot of people but killing your sister might be good because you saving alot of people. Do you see what im saying? It will all work out in the end.

reckeweg
reckeweg

"I was really disappointed in you lot. I expected more of you to be evil. Seventy percent were pure goody goodies, and only 5 percent managed to play all the way through the game as evil. So this time, I'm going to make it really, really tough being good." Screw this guy, some of us aspire to play to the hero archetype in these games. So now he going to penalize the people who don't want to be evil. WTF??? Hey pal, if you expected everyone to play as an evil person and that didn't happen maybe your understanding of games and gamers is flawed. Screw this guy and his game, he won't be getting any money from me.

lukekruger
lukekruger

omg i cant wait for this game! idk about everyone else but i was sure to be completley evil through the entire game. if i got a little good for killing a boss or doing a mission, guess what time for some raiding and piliging of the villagers. IM with who ever said u should kill the good people for being evil. bye bye guild master :) also do what conan did add alittle nipples here and there keep a M rating though.

BloodWerewolf
BloodWerewolf

Oh, boo ho, Molyneux. Did you ever think that most people do not LIKE the thought of being evil? Or that we don't want soft-core porn in our games, nipples or not? Sorry pal, but you really pissed me off, so go cry to someone who cares.

-barker-
-barker-

graphics are looking alot like original fable graphics, maybe with some updated shading, camera blur, and more grass......but hopefully this means more "stuff." it WILL be bad a** nonetheless.

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

He did say a lot for the original Fable but when the game came out, half the features were missing. I mean Molyneaux is an ambitious guy, but if he delivers on all he has promised here and more, he will create quite an impression for himself in the RPG market.

RickKnight91
RickKnight91

"i love peter molyneux but hey lets face it .. he does lie alot about the features in his games" This time he has SHOWN us the features, so I think we can safely say that we are getting at least what we have seen. With the other Fable, we heard lots of promises, but they just never materialised into the game. This time I think he really is trying hard not to over-hype but still keep the hype reasonable. That said, I'm definitely looking forward to the game. I hope it is seriously difficult at the beginning, I like games with a staggered start. :)

Joshuaquixx
Joshuaquixx

Why not offer a download to upgrade to nipples?

VZA
VZA

I say bring on the nipples and up the rating.

spartan_sk8er
spartan_sk8er

this game is gonna be sweet!!!! this is a must buy!!!!!!!!

CCyberDDemon
CCyberDDemon

best game ever... for 49 dolar? gotta be kidding, oblivion is the master for now . we cant tell a thing about this new version, yet

Giant_Zealot
Giant_Zealot

This is way to much of a tease! They're talking about the best game EVER coming out and they wont even give us a release date!

CCyberDDemon
CCyberDDemon

so if i choose the good thing, my dog will be a ridiculous puppet?????:

Sammojo
Sammojo

I played one character though as good and one through as evil in fable 1. Being half and half wasn't worth it... I am getting a 360 just for this game.

Feghaa
Feghaa

co-op should be sweet

Fable_fan88
Fable_fan88

this sounds awesome, i can't wait for it to come out... i doubt they tell us when its going to be released this year, prolly wait and say it 2 weeks before it comes out, so everyones running to the nearest video gaming store and being a reserved copy... i kno i am!! everything sounds great... besides the no mini-map... hopefully the jobs will be cool... maybe even a prostitution.... i wanna be a male jigglo, hahah. hopefully fishing will be much cooler... remember the first zeldia on N64.... when u go to the little hut next to the lake, and u fish, that was cool. anyway i am getting this!!!!

minimartinliten
minimartinliten

Aww... the lionhead team still doesn't know why so few were evil... all the bosses and monsters were evil, therefore you got "Good" when you killed them, and even when you were evil the other bad guys attacked you.. thats the problem. If you're a bandit other bandits shouldn't kill you! And it's stupid that you had to kill the bad-bosses... and now they only make it worse making it hard to good..aww but otherwise this is the game i've waited for..

uberfire-x-
uberfire-x-

No gold drops and no minimap? This game might be just too darn annoying to buy. Hopefully there will be strategy guides with maps, and really good armor/weapons will drop during quests, because I will want to buy something GOOD at some point in the game. And at higher levels (like morrowind) I want to be a gold making machine! Wait a second... can't you just pick up really cool items in a quest and then SELL them after for gold like you do in any other game??? A bandit has to have a knife on him... honestly.

PNOIDSCHIZ
PNOIDSCHIZ

so far, this title is shaping up nicely. my only gripe is that the first title was too short in my opinion. i hope this title is a bit longer.

alex_b52
alex_b52

this game sounds like a very good game on the 360, but no, im not gettin it, im a proud ps3 owner!

itBit
itBit

i love peter molyneux but hey lets face it .. he does lie alot about the features in his games

Serious06
Serious06

yeah, Oblivion and Fable are two different games and can't really compare with eachother. I think Fable 2 will be as good as sounds so far. Even if he doesn't deliver all the things he's been talking about it should still be awesome.

Jenova_Flare
Jenova_Flare

Yeah don't compare this to Oblivion...We unfortunately will have Fallout 3 to compare to that...

cdo1536
cdo1536

I don't see how people can compare this to Oblivion. Oblivion was poop, 'nuff said. So many bugs, obvious things need changed, and it was nearly impossible to play in 3rd person view without saying "wow, how do I run like that?". Lots of unique stuff in this, plus added on to the stuff from fable. I wander what the "big decision" is that requires a hefty toll to be good o.O Maybe its the dog? I can't think of anything else the player would have thats precious to him since you just started. I'll probly end up bein a good guy, but I aint breakin my back for some fool cause he wants his farm back from some hobs if thats the case. Wait a sec... Didn't he say in the video he was going to buy from that trader? We never got to see a vendor screen or goodies =(

DonTonyDeluca
DonTonyDeluca

i cant wait to play this. the ideas and passion behind this game is mind numbing

Yadish
Yadish

i like nipples...whats wrong with him

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

Sounds cool. I'm looking forward to the inevitable PC version loaded with extras. It will be worth the 6 month to a year wait.

Kraige
Kraige

Sounds awesome can't wait for this game hope its soon!

TFrieden0928
TFrieden0928

This is tsomeof the most amazing **** ever! finaly we got a legendary rpg thats the same level as oblivion. fable 1 was one of my favorite rpgs of of all time because you could do anything you want, and this sounds way better. i know peter overexagerates sometimes but i know this is still gonna be superb, u can just tell. Im all over this one! its on my top5 this year that i have to play.

xatman911
xatman911

Instant sell out! I hope they do not release a Fable 2: The Lost Chapter version because it would be slightly annoying for people to replay the old story to access the new content. We want all things good in first go. Fable = Best RPG ever!

riotmaster1
riotmaster1

Finally, a Fable that may thrash Oblivion. the fact the areas were so linear really annoyed me. and the lost chapters was a complete rip off. only 2 new spells? this will definitely heal the wound though

Dreski83
Dreski83

Being a American myself... I love me some nipples action! :P As for Fable2, I'm definently loving what I see so far. More diverse modes will really help this franchise blossum, but the real under lining gripe is will all it be cram'ed into another 5 hour linear adventure?

max0150
max0150

i can wait to get the game and the arcade game is one of the best thing iv ever herd of, and i think nipples in a game isn't a big or bad idea, really every one's got them why cant game have them to?

noremac7
noremac7

He shot the husband that was awesome

crownhim
crownhim

Finally, we are going to have what we wanted in the original fable. Pure genius!

ilovejesus7
ilovejesus7

Good, frankly i don't want to see video game nipples...it really puts us gamers in a bad light when our girlfriends think were watching video game porn....i only like nipples that i can touch

Niffirg6
Niffirg6

nipples = satanic demons from the depths of hell!!!! jk :P

Niffirg6
Niffirg6

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

bobster_105
bobster_105

I like everything but the good thing. I think it sucks that he is making it hard to be good, i love being good and being praised and having a good family that is nice to one another and after he said that it makes me think twice about wanting this game. Okay i thought about it. I still want to get it lol. I like the idea about the family getting into the story a little. In the game im just going to be good. Everyone is going to love me lol and i would like to know what things i will have to sacrifice to be good. If anyone knows any information please tell me.

xRandyx
xRandyx

Molyneux is a genius in my opinion. The guy is one of the most creative game designers ever. I think the original Fable was amazing. But its a light hearted kind of fun not like mass effect or most other rpg's out there. Thanks for stealing my idea though molyneux! haha j/k, it'll make the game better. The part where you can get jobs in the game was def. my idea haha. I even read an interview with him where he was talking about using fans' ideas from message boards on different sites. I don't know who else would come up with an idea like that

boricualou
boricualou

I can't wait for this game. Oh and about the "black screen sex scene", mabey they should consider doing what Mass Effect did, at least for starters. Its going to be M for mature anyway, so why not up the ante? At least it will make better "story" telling.