We talk with the respected game developer about Project Ego, developing on consoles, and Lionhead's future plans.
It's not much of a stretch to say that Peter Molyneux has had a hand in some of the most influential PC games to hit the market over the last few years. Since tantalizing gamers with their first taste of godhood in Populous, Molyneux has taken gamers to some unique and interesting places on the PC, most recently with Black & White. Console gamers first came to know his work via conversions of his PC games on home consoles starting with Populous' appearance on the Super Nintendo. While the ports did they best they could, given the limitations of the hardware they were on, they didn't quite capture the unique experience offered by the games from Molyneux and his development teams. Molyneux's upcoming console game, the tentatively titled Project Ego, is his first dedicated foray into console development, and it finds him teaming up with Lionhead satellite studio Big Blue Box to take a fresh approach to the RPG genre. We recently spoke with Molyneux about Project Ego, console development, Lionhead's upcoming titles, and the changing state of the industry.
GameSpot: Tell us about Project Ego's development.
Peter Molyneux I'll be completely open and honest about this, it's the first game I've ever designed specifically for consoles. I've been thinking about Project Ego's game design for 20 years. I've been playing role-playing games forever. I've played a huge number of them and loved every second of a majority of them. The first thing I realized coming to a console for the first time is that it's like going back to school. It's like a new job. There are assumptions you make on the PC about the way people play games (how they play games, what they use to play games, where they're sitting when they play games, what their attention span is when they play games) that you have to completely rewrite. So I found that immensely rewarding and enormously challenging.
GS: How much did you have to change your approach when you started work on the game?
PM: Well, when I say it was like going back to school, it was. Sitting down and thinking about the simple things. A really simple thing is that--and this is oversimplifying it a lot, but it's actually true--PCs are things that you set up and sit in front of and play a game for hours and hours and hours and there are no other distractions around. Console games are things that you go down to the pub, you get half drunk, you come back with your mates, and you play a game. And that is the difference, in film terms, between writing a documentary and writing a feature film. It's totally different.
Console games are much more about entertainment, much more about dramatic scenes, much more about giving you a feeling of the game in an incredibly short amount of time. Thinking that the player may not have played the game for a week and is not going to be playing it day in and day out. And that makes a huge difference. The other element, which can't be stressed enough, is that the mouse on the PC allows us to make certain sorts of games. And those sorts of games really shouldn't be brought to consoles, except in very notable cases. The gamepad on the consoles allows us to make certain types of games that really shouldn't be done on a PC. So the control mechanism, the way people play the game, the sort of content that we're providing--it's all completely different.
- Player Reviews: 976
- Game Universe:
- Fable: The Lost Chapters (PC, XBOX, MAC),
- Fable III (X360, PC),
- Fable III: Traitor's Keep Quest Pack (X360, PC),
- Fable: The Journey (X360),
- Fable II: Game of the Year Edition (X360),
- Fable II (X360),
- Fable (XBOX),
- Fable III: Understone Quest Pack (X360, PC),
- Fable II: See the Future (X360),
- Fable II: Knothole Island (X360)
- Number of Players: