LGF: Molyneux talks Fable 2

Lionhead chief at GDC London to discuss dynamic environments in sequel; reveals a new approach to testing the game's features.

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LONDON--As one of Britain's most revered games designers, Peter Molyneux had no trouble attracting a full crowd on the second day of Game Developers Conference London, which is part of the London Games Festival. The Lionhead chief used the session to talk to fellow developers about dynamic environments, with specific examples taken from his upcoming Xbox 360 sequel Fable 2.

After praising titles such as Assassin's Creed and Alan Wake, Molyneux described the vision behind his next role-playing game. The key theme for Fable 2 will be a "buy-anything" world, where you will be able to purchase nearly everything from a single store right up to an entire city with in-game currency. (Being an Xbox 360 title, the possibility of premium items being on Xbox Live Marketplace is also a strong possibility.) Arguing that he was tired of playing games where he had no impact on the environment, Molyneux claimed that being able to be a lord of the manor will increase your involvement with the game.

Molyneux also argued that a greater level of engagement is needed in the next generation of games. With Fable 2, the designer intends to introduce "unconditional love" as an important emotional factor, particularly with your family in the game. If you decide to have children, they will praise and look up to you whether you choose to be good or evil, which will have an effect on their outlook on life. On the other hand, spouses will always be looking for a better quality of life, and you must perform side missions in addition to the main quests to afford a better house and living conditions.

Molyneux also said that he was depending on typical Hollywood storytelling techniques for the setup of the game. Like the first Fable, the sequel will begin with the main character (who can be male or female), and the conflict will be derived from an "unspeakably evil" enemy character. Molyneux said that this was particularly important to fuel the player's hatred in the game and hinted at some sort of incident with your family as a mechanism to drive this.

At the end of the presentation, Molyneux dropped a new piece of information about the first showing of the game in action. Early next year, Lionhead intends to show off one of Fable 2's new features by letting someone outside the development studio try it out for the first time. Molyneux didn't comment on what the new feature would be, other than that it is both new and important.

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