Dev process, lack of time prevented Fable III greatness — Molyneux

Peter Molyneux didn’t have enough time to craft Fable III into the game it should have been, the Lionhead Studios man has confessed, as a result pounding on his baby just a little bit.

One idea that he feels didn’t quite pan out was the in-world leveling. “I thought the idea of leveling outside the GUI, but leveling in the environment and the world was actually quite a good one, but I’m not sure,” the designer told Gamasutra.

“The real dream of that leveling process was that, as you went through each gate, there would be these tough choices for the player. Which chest should I open? This one or that one? The feeling that you’re going through the game at your own pace, but having to make these tough choices, was never actually realized.”

The blame for that is put on the development process itself: “The process, the way that we designed, and the way that we crafted — meant that the game came together very late. That is one of the things that we’re changing; that is just such an old school way of working.”

Due to there being “so little time to balance and refine,” Molyneux adds, “what could have been a great mechanic turned out to be a good idea.”

“I don’t think that good ideas are a reason to do something; I think it has to feed into the overall experience to be a great idea. I liked the idea of not pressing the pause key and going to some abstracted GUI; I think that worked reasonably well.”

Still, “we didn’t have the time to craft that into what that dream was.”

“Lionhead — especially me — has never created projects in less than two years. This was the first time we ever did that.”

The studio now has a “a very, very different process of designing” though.

“We’ve spent a long time thinking about that and doing our research on how you can have a creatively-led production process and how you can take the complete randomness out of the way that a lot of ideas are developed and evolved.”

Here’s hoping such mishaps won’t be presenting themselves in the future then.

Lionhead is currently working on another Fable title, Fable: The Journey, with Kinect in mind.