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Completely fucking nuts: a Molyneux article

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Completely fucking nuts: a Molyneux article

Preview - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 8 August 2007, 14:58:40

Tags: Fable: The Lost Chapters; Lionhead Studios

Yes, I know. It's not the best title for a newspost, but it's really hard to come up with something better after reading this <a href=http://games.kikizo.com/news/200708/015_p1.asp?id=nn#>article[/url], featuring Peter Molyneux and Fable 2.


"Stupidly, the ambition on this thing [Fable 2] is I want you to measure this against any fighting game. It's amazing for a role playing game, because most role playing games are shit! Oblivion was a great game, but the combat was rubbish; we all talked about it being rubbish. So imagine you had a great role-playing game and really, really good combat system."
...
Molyneux explained that games today are mechanically too hard and too difficult, and that to reach his goal, some careful thinking will be needed. Lionhead's ambition, he said, is to make a "truly great RPG". And how will he quantify the success of this ambition? "As a designer I want as many people to enjoy my game as possible. I'll put a number on that: the number is five million; that's pretty ambitious, and to do that I need to innovate."
...
"...I've got to innovate combat. And the problem is an enormous number of games you see are totally unplayable for the vast majority of the population. Give Halo 3 or Call of Duty to a casual gamer and they will just run away screaming, they wouldn't have the first chance. But, hardcore gamers are getting so demanding now, they're requiring ultimate balance, enormous depth, and love experimenting throughout the whole of the game. Those are polar opposites, on one side accessibility, and on the other, depth. How can I create a combat system that combines both together?"
...
"I am certainly suggesting that a good proportion of [casual players] can't even control a character, and get stuck, and we're spending a lot of time getting that right. I could say draw your sword and they wouldn't even have a clue what we're talking about. But if you say push forward and just push the button more, they could get through the whole game like that. It would take them a lot longer, and the hero would look atrocious by the end of it, and wouldn't be nearly as powered up as 'your' hero, but they could finish it. And I want to do that, because I want more people to play the game."
...
Initiating a fight in the game, Peter starts with some 'button mashing' - hitting the button without any coordination or rhythm, involving little skill. "You would think button mashing would be one thing I'd want to get rid of, but I don't. For some people, it's what they want to do." The idea, he explained, is that the depth comes from getting more out of doing cooler things.
...
"How can I reinforce that?" he ponders. "With another new thing, which is using music, and effects, and camera cuts. I want you to think of the sword as a conductor's baton. As you're fighting, we'll be introducing different musical elements, the more successful you are. And we'll be upping the tempo of the music, the more abilities that you unlock. So you not only get more of a score, you get a cooler soundtrack. This is literally unlocking different musical instruments that are in there, which makes me feel more engaged with the combat."
...
"Remember, this is a role playing game; all the different weapons have different music sounds and give a very individual feel to the combat."
...
"Death... is rubbish. It makes me feel bored and it's tedious. We've got to think of another way to make combat feel like it means something. As we saw in Fable 1, the world reacts to what you're like; if you walk down the street and look heroic, people will greet you, but if you look evil they'll run away. And this is our answer to death. Very simply put, when you're fighting anybody and you see your hit points go down to nothing, your hero collapses, but instead of the screen going black, we keep the camera on the hero. The baddies will come in and start laying in to you - kicking him, punching him, slashing with a sword - and it's quite an emotional thing to see that with everybody laying into you.

What actually happens is your hero is getting permanently scarred all over his body. And those scars will never go away. The more times you die, the more you get scarred, the more ugly and disfigured you will look, and the more the world will react. We tested with loads of kids, and most people loathe looking like it, and the interesting thing is how that makes you feel. If you're willing to pay 500 experience, you can get up immediately and not be scarred at all, and continue the battle from where it was. The longer you wait, the cheaper it costs to get up.

That actually works; it makes combat so much more impactful, because the cost is not tedium any more; the cost is your look and how cool you are as a player, and that coolness is very important."​
...

Thanks, Lestat.

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