Lionhead chieftain Peter Molyneux claims that his original vision of a “physically correct” creature for Black & White ended up with an artist threatening to pull a knife on him.
This can get filed under the header “Things I never thought I’d find myself writing”:
While speaking on a podcast with IGN UK (via iTunes) during the Gamescom event in Germany last month, Peter Molyneux mentioned that the sausages in the recording booth – because those Germans have sausages everywhere or something – reminded him of his earlier game Black & White.
Specifically, they reminded him of the creature’s penis.
Now, if you’ve played Black & White, you probably know that the creature didn’t actually have a (visible) Sgt. Peppy. No, this monstrous wangerdoodle was only in an early prototype of the game: “I for some reason had this obsession to make them anatomically correct. So the first version of this giant ape had this sort of beautifully physically correct – I’m going to say the word – penis dangling between its legs.”
And in case the mental image in your head wasn’t bad enough, said member “morphed depending on how excited your creature was.”
That sort of thing would never fly in a game, of course, and Molyneux knows it. “I don’t know what was going through my mind. I wasn’t even on class A drugs! It was this bizarre thing,” he says, and don’t think we didn’t notice that “class A drugs” qualifier, Peter. “It was this bizarre thing. Especially in America! Even if you show nipples they go insane, rating it under-the-counter product. It just goes to show you just how rubbish I am as a designer, really.”
Nevertheless, Molyneux initially persisted, and the poor modelers working at Lionhead had to create the creature’s morphable schlongalong. “The artist that modeled it ended up going completely insane. [He] threatened to knife me … absolutely true story. He went on to found Media Molecule. Chap called Mark Healey.”
Having never met Mr. Healey myself, I cannot say whether or not the founder of the LittleBigPlanet studio is likely to threaten to knife somebody (if only in jest). In all fairness, spending your work day painstakingly rendering a monster tallywhacker would probably drive most people insane, so it’s hardly just him.
“Driven mad by making huge, sausage-like penises on apes – that’s the sort of thing I get people to do at Lionhead.”
Whether or not you believe Peter Molyneux’s story here – because the only indication we have that this is the truth is the eccentric designer’s word alone – I think we can all agree that it is, in fact, a story. A very interesting one. About a game artist going crazy from working on an animated giant monkey porker.
Happy Friday, everybody.