Peter Molyneux: Fable III Was a Trainwreck. I'll Never Make my Perfect Game

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Peter Molyneux: Fable III Was a Trainwreck. I'll Never Make my Perfect Game

Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux says he will never be able to make a game that matches the "perfect gem" in his mind.

Peter Molyneux, creator of Black and White, Fable and most recently Godus in an interview with Develop has claimed that Fable III was a "trainwreck", and that he will never be able to make his "perfect gem" of a masterpiece, as the creative process is subject to "empirical decay" from inception to final product.

Molyneux has built up a kind of infamous reputation as someone who likes to over-hype his games with outlandish claims that never come to fruition in the final product. Molyneux explains that his claims of grandeur are never meant to be misdirection, just his unbridled passion.

"The trouble with me is I do this stupid thing, and I always do it, where I start talking in an excited way about what I'm working on before I'm finished."

"In my mind, as a designer, whenever I'm making a game I have this perfect jewel in mind," he said. "Fable for me was this beautiful, incredible, amusing, funny, artistic, wonderful gem of a game that anyone could play, that tugged on the heartstrings and that was instantly engaging. The gem that was in my mind has never come to be, it's always flawed in some way."

He went on to claim that while Fable II made some great strides in the right direction, Fable III fell very flat. "Fable III was a trainwreck. It was built to be much bigger than what it was constrained to be and eventually ended up as."

Source: Develop

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Glad to hear you admitting what we all already know Peter. Somehow I doubt it'll stop you from making the same mistakes over and over though...

That's pretty much what I always thought he did. He was always talking more about the game he was dreaming of, and got a bit over-excited. I still like most of his stuff, even if it isn't the "perfect jewel" he wanted it to be. Most of 'em are good or great games. I have fond memories of Black and White; I managed to play it without hearing the hype so I went in with my judgement unclouded and had a lot of fun.

He sounds unhappy, though. Wonder if it's all finally getting to him?

And so the man who wishes to make others play god, reaches the epiphany that he's simply too optimistic in this day and age. But, yeah, thanks for pointing out what we already knew and all that.

You won't make a perfect game with that attitude Pete!

I really don't have a problem with designers talking about their grandiose plans. Everybody can have drams. Why should game designers be kept quiet? They're creative people. Many of them actually need to talk about their ideas to help them think.

I still believe that the aversion against people like PM for talking too much is a part of the current trend of secrecy and carefulness where nobody actually associated with a game can talk about it and all we get are carefully constructed press releases and trailers.

No thanks. I'll take PM talking passionately about his ideas every day over some soulless marketing hyping bullshit made up by bean counters.

I thought Fable III was pretty good, right up until the last half hour or so. Introducing that new villain half way through really raised my hopes and I was expecting great things at the end.

Instead, I got a regular bandit fight that all I had to do was dodge-roll, dodge-roll, strike, repeat. Only the ending fell flat for me. The rest of the game was great.

Although I've never played his games (du fuks an Ex Box?), I will concede that he is at least passionate about what he's doing. Everybody want's to make the 'Perfect Game', but once you've got perfection, where else are you going to go? It's like what Yahtzee said about Will Wright; having made the most popular god games (the Sims), Spore wasn't going to live up to it.

At the absolute least he's made a name for himself and gotten millions of people to play his games, which is more than what a lot of developers/designers get.

its absolutely amazing how a little humility and admission of error can completely erase your negative opinions of someone. glad to see peter is finally realizing what everyone else discovered at the age of 19; what you want in your head and what's available in reality very rarely match up.

Aww it's okay Mr.Molyneux, I liked Fable III quite a bit. There is no such thing as a perfect game anyway.

ScrabbitRabbit:
That's pretty much what I always thought he did. He was always talking more about the game he was dreaming of, and got a bit over-excited. I still like most of his stuff, even if it isn't the "perfect jewel" he wanted it to be. Most of 'em are good or great games. I have fond memories of Black and White; I managed to play it without hearing the hype so I went in with my judgement unclouded and had a lot of fun.

He sounds unhappy, though. Wonder if it's all finally getting to him?

Maybe. I can get why Molyneux would hype his game's up like that; he's passionate, and that's no crime. The problem is in execution, and while I say that being optimistic is'nt a bad thing, being overly optimistic can cloud your judgement. "You are your own worst critic" as they say. I don't hate the guy, but I DO have some advice: He should get a better idea of WHAT exactly he wants first...What I mean is, what story does he want to tell? What does he want to do, the combat, the mechanics, the setting, etc.? Once he does, he should write or type a rough concept, have others review it, give their thoughts and add any ideas to add and/or improve it, then hammer out the details until it fits something close to what he wants. Yeah, I know it's not that simple, but it's something at the very least.

Evil Smurf:
You won't make a perfect game with that attitude Pete!

I concur! Keep trying, just try not to obsess over TOTAL perfection, it'll wear you down, and besides that, it's just not healthy.

I actually liked Fable III, hell of a lot more than I liked Fable II. It was a good game, right up until when you become King. Because that's the part that majorly screws over lawful good players by making them grind a ridiculous amount of money. Whoever thought up that part was a fucking moron.

I'd settle for making a game that lived up to its promises.

Shocksplicer:
Glad to hear you admitting what we all already know Peter. Somehow I doubt it'll stop you from making the same mistakes over and over though...

Like making batshit promises that nobody can realistically keep?

Sgt. Sykes:

I still believe that the aversion against people like PM for talking too much is a part of the current trend of secrecy and carefulness where nobody actually associated with a game can talk about it and all we get are carefully constructed press releases and trailers.

No thanks. I'll take PM talking passionately about his ideas every day over some soulless marketing hyping bullshit made up by bean counters.

Peter Molyneux is just as full of shit as any of those marketing bean counters:
http://www.neoseeker.com/news/16034-molyneux-admits-he-lied-about-game-features-to-keep-journalists-awake/

Or then there was the time he lied about Fable: The Journey being 'definitely not on rails!'
http://www.destructoid.com/review-fable-the-journey-236153.phtml

Or the time he claimed that Godus is not 'free to play' but 'invest to play'!
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/peter-molyneux-says-godus-is-invest-to-play-not-free-to-play/1100-6417794/

I suppose if someone is going to continuously mislead you, you might expect them to put a bit of passion into it.

I didn't mind Fable III really much at all, I still love Fable II more than the other two but III's story and forcing a time limit on you for the first time in a Fable game didn't exactly sit all too well with me and in the end just gave us roughly two endings which kinda sucked, at least in Fable 2 I had a reason to roughly replay the game 3 times, each playing out differently and having 3 different endings.

But still I'd love to see something like Fable II but being a little more complex and bigger for a world yet still retaining the art style since it grew on me over the years I've come to play it.

It's ok, I forgive him. I hope he keeps trying to make that perfect jewel that's in his mind, because it sounds really good! If he can't quite get there at least I'll have some new Fable games to play, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Zachary Amaranth:
I'd settle for making a game that lived up to its promises.

Shocksplicer:
Glad to hear you admitting what we all already know Peter. Somehow I doubt it'll stop you from making the same mistakes over and over though...

Like making batshit promises that nobody can realistically keep?

Precisely, and he only seems to be getting worse about it with time.

Shocksplicer:

Precisely, and he only seems to be getting worse about it with time.

The good news is, he's running out of ways to top his ridiculous claims. I mean, unless he says his next game will bring you to orgasm and let you literally see God....

ellers07:
It's ok, I forgive him. I hope he keeps trying to make that perfect jewel that's in his mind, because it sounds really good! If he can't quite get there at least I'll have some new Fable games to play, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I thought MEter Polydeux was out of the Fable business.

Zachary Amaranth:

Shocksplicer:

Precisely, and he only seems to be getting worse about it with time.

The good news is, he's running out of ways to top his ridiculous claims. I mean, unless he says his next game will bring you to orgasm and let you literally see God....

I don't know, he is literally naming it Godus. Might not be a good sign...

Shocksplicer:

Zachary Amaranth:

Shocksplicer:

Precisely, and he only seems to be getting worse about it with time.

The good news is, he's running out of ways to top his ridiculous claims. I mean, unless he says his next game will bring you to orgasm and let you literally see God....

I don't know, he is literally naming it Godus. Might not be a good sign...

I thought Godus was already out. Shows how much attention I pay to PM these days.

Zachary Amaranth:

Shocksplicer:

Zachary Amaranth:

The good news is, he's running out of ways to top his ridiculous claims. I mean, unless he says his next game will bring you to orgasm and let you literally see God....

I don't know, he is literally naming it Godus. Might not be a good sign...

I thought Godus was already out. Shows how much attention I pay to PM these days.

I think it's in alpha. He's been doing less of his trademark shtick than he usually does, so you'd be forgiven for being confused. That said, he has described it as "Invest to Play", so make of that what you will...

Maybe you should do less hype and more beta testing.

That way, while you may not make your "perfect gem" of a game, you'll at least make a game that f**king WORKS PROPERLY.

Can't fault him for it.

Ok maybe a little. But his heart is in exactly the right place. He has so much enthusiasm for his work and is constantly striving to be better. He might not always succeed but he is aware of his own pitfalls and it's clear he has much passion for the art of games and game design rather than the profits.

Considering that his visions usually involve an interactive world on a level that would require true AI personalities or real world simulations to fully realize, I get the feeling that it's not so much the creative process that's going to keep him from his magnum opus, but more the fact that he doesn't have access to technology from 2300.

Fable 2 improved on fable..? No, just no. It took longer to beat but that's not an "improvement". As for the number 3, I got if free from the gameswithgold program and only played for an hour.

I've always liked Molyneux,he seems to be a person who enjoys the creation of a game so much. Whenever he hypes up a game I always see someone who is yearning for something out of their reach that they can never have, yeah they're not going to get it but not due to lack of trying.

Hey Peter I have this awesome idea for a game.... get this...

Your like a god and you have little subjects running around with their own AI and... Oh right yeah you already did that about 9 times right.

BTW, Godus is crap, give it up, your best work was Populous.

fluxy100:
but not due to lack of trying.

You havnt played Godus have you?

That's lack of trying.

I know I am typically hard on ole Pete and his bad case of verbal diarrhea, but honestly it's kind of refreshing to see him engaged in some deep introspection and humility. Good luck on your next project sir.

Oh and by the way. While I can't speak to what the games looked like in your head (which I still suspect is a very scary place filled with dreams of Trash 80 business simulators and baked beans), it can honestly be said that you have made several truly perfect games. Or at least as near perfect as was reasonably possible. Games that still hold up as great games today. Populus 1 and 2 and Dungeon Keeper are just amazing. Honestly in looking at them the only thing that could possibly make them closer to perfect would be TO GIVE US MORE OF THEM! Theme Park while not a perfect game in and of itself, did however create a wonderfully perfect genre or niche of the gaming world that has flourished with the further and further refinements your fans and fellow developers have brought to the table.

Dammit, Molyneux! Just give us the "Make Your Own Scene" tools for The Movies and give us an infinitely respawning hiring list (a la Theme Hospital) instead of capped hiring lines and your Perfect Game will be complete! D:

Dead serious, by the way. "The Movies" with player-created scenes and better employee hiring would be, for all intents and purposes, entirely perfect.

So close, Peter.

So close.

Fable III was okay - it just doesn't stand up to a second or third playthrough.

It's quite the strange beast, honestly. Albion has always oozed charm and personality, but outside of that very keenly assembled container, what was in it was surprisingly bland.

Part of that, I think, has to come from the fact that Fable might benefit from a character creation system closer to Saints Row IV's. I know morphing is more or less the aesthetic point of the series, but it would've been nice to be able to start the game as an already fat and feckless piece of shit - someone who *looks* like they're destined to sour everyone's day. On the other hand, being able to put together some sort of stereotypically heroic figure would have also helped, because we all have some conception of what a badass hero or heroine looks like.

In some ways, I keep thinking Molyneux should have paid attention to the way open-world games are starting to become a pretty serious standard. For all of his talk about decision-making, he was pretty keen on pushing story beats on the player. Getting lost in Albion's wider (and wilder) ranges would have helped.

Yeah. I guess making things less neat and clean and a little more rugged and freeform would have been awesome.

Well, they say the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you have one.

Is he going to try to stop selling us on the perfect game every time he develops one?

Fable II is better than the first Fable? Haha...no, because we all remembered how amazing the first Fable plays out and I guarantee that no other Fable game or any RPG have done something like that in its time. The combat feels more invigorating and the story contains more emotion even though it is a bit short. Peter Molyneux need to have the mindset for the first Fable and not the second one if he want to succeed, because the only problem with the first Fable is it just too darn short.

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