Fable III Dev Lobs a Few Word Bombs at the Haters

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Fable III Dev Lobs a Few Word Bombs at the Haters



The lead combat designer of Fable III goes off on why his game wasn't received better.

By most accounts, including Susan Arendt's [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/8249-Review-Fable-3], Fable III was no masterpiece. It was good, sure, the game had some great features while others that were just annoying. Both the critical and commercial reception to the game was a collective, "Meh." True to the shining example of Lionhead Studio's fearless leader - Peter Molyneux - lead combat designer Mike West had some choice words for those who didn't like his game, while talking about what PC gamers can expect with the port that is available today.

"Generally what happens when there's any information about Fable or about Peter Molyneux, you get a complete black and white - pardon the pun - split of forum replies. Half of the people, whatever it's about - if Peter has made the most sensible comment about games development ever - just spout obscenities and terrible, ridiculous things," West said.

But it's the people who criticize the story that really bug him. "People saying the story wasn't very good was unfair. It's an interesting situation of you gather people together and then defeating the main bad guy. It's a pretty good story and it's pretty fun," he said.

Part of the problem may be that gamers don't know what they are playing. "It's a frustrating situation to be in because we make good games, but people expect something that no one else is doing," said West. "We're making a co-operative role-playing game - there aren't any co-operative role-playing games out there, we're the only one."

The difference in tone is also something West doesn't think people understood. "[Fable III is] a different type of game: it's more of a fun, comedic TV show than a serious Lord of the Rings film. I think a lot of people that play it think it's a Lord of the Rings - and it isn't.

The vocal talents are something that he wishes got more credit instead of some random FPS. "I'm slightly disappointed we haven't won any audio awards to be honest, because our music's great, our vocal talent's great - and then you'll see a standard shooter get an audio award. I just think that's because they're more popular than us."

So how did it work adapting the game to the PC controls? "We didn't want to make it feel like a port. The main thing was to completely redo the control system. It's a modal system now where you switch between modes and the mouse buttons do different things," he said. "The second big change is the engine, with the high resolution and the 3D as well. Fable and Albion have never looked better for anyone on any machine. The Xbox guys got it first, but the PC guys are going to have a much better version.

"This is definitely the best Fable PC - it's much better than Fable 1," West said.

Well, seeing as there was no PC version of the second game, that's a pretty short list.

Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-05-17-making-a-better-fable-iii-for-pc-interview]



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Saucycarpdog

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Sep 30, 2009
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Greg Tito said:
The vocal talents are something that he wishes got more credit instead of some random FPS. "I'm slightly disappointed we haven't won any audio awards to be honest, because our music's great, our vocal talent's great - and then you'll see a standard shooter get an audio award. I just think that's because they're more popular than us."
He speaks the truth!

Honestly, I could care less that some people absolutely hate fable. I think that it is a good game that is made by a developer that puts much more compassion into its games than many developers out there.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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Dec 6, 2009
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Oh, so opinions count as facts do they now, Mike West?

Fable 3's story was awful, as a co-op game there is little to do besides make the already easy combat even easier for another player, and it's not even amusing like the last Fable was. It's really really terrible.

At the end of the day though, it doesn't matter what he says because as soon as Peter wants to start plugging Fable 4 he'll be ripping on Fable 3.
 

Fr]anc[is

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May 13, 2010
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Summary: "Nuh uh! It is good! You're all poo poo heads!"

Greg Tito said:
We're making a co-operative role-playing game
Oh ho ho that slaps me on the knee
 

Andaxay

Thinking with Portals
Jun 4, 2008
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Whilst I agree on vocal talent (even if the voice of the main female character was bland and flat) and music, I disagree on story. It was dull, predictable and unimaginative. I loved Fable II, but the same can't be said for III, it didn't suck me in, I didn't really like the characters and I traded it in because I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

Co-op was miles better than in Fable II, though.
 

Wolfram23

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Mar 23, 2004
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If it's better than Fable 1 I'll definitely get it. Sure they're not perfect games, but I love how pure FUN they are!

I really want to know if there's any conceivable way to do co-op on PC without buying 2 copies of the game though. Would love to try playing with my girlfriend.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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Ah the age old argument of "You just don't get it, man!".
Foolproof.
 

Dr. wonderful

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....Forget what they say, Crawler is the scariest enemy ever seen.

Sure, he does NOTHING to kill you, but the way he is there...Oh god.

In terms of story...I actually like it, but one thing that annoyed me was they keep using the word "Revolution." You are not performing a revolution, you are staging a coup and a damn good one at that. The 2nd part of the game in terms of story is pretty much the best storyline in the fable series.


What are you willing to give up to save your kingdom? Of course it's simply easy to buy every single house and shop, set the rent low and you be raking in the cash faster then you can say "Chicken kickin."

All in All, I just wished to go back to fable style. Become a hero in the guild, fight in quests and get marry or be a insane evil prick.
 

Zero_ctrl

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Feb 26, 2009
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Andaxay said:
Whilst I agree on vocal talent (even if the voice of the main female character was bland and flat) and music, I disagree on story. It was dull, predictable and unimaginative. I loved Fable II, but the same can't be said for III, it didn't suck me in, I didn't really like the characters and I traded it in because I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

Co-op was miles better than in Fable II, though.
Huh, that's about the same story as me.
I just couldn't get as much play out of it as Fable II.
I played through Fable II about four times. I almost played through Fable III twice, but I never finished both times.
 

Podunk

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Dec 18, 2008
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That's a whole lot of excuses. Really if Fable 3 didn't have glaring plot flaws, an incredibly rushed third act, any kind of interesting or enjoyable boss battle(at any point, but most particularly the thing at the end- who my friends and I just called 'Mike', as he was about as un-threatening as a monster who only has the power of insults can get,) or the slightest amount of common sense.(Too many to list, but the 100+ day skip to the final battle, certain characters hating you for making one choice they disagree with even after you single-handedly slay every criminal in town, as well as not even fighting off the invasion until it reaches your city- I can't see any reason why the protagonist cannot just stand on the border and cast area magic until all the weak little beasties are taken care of then and there.)

I got Fable 3 because I really liked the concept, it sounded good enough to get over my prejudices over the first 2 games. Unfortunately the ending pretty much totally ruined my experience and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
 

Mr Companion

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Jul 27, 2009
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I find Lionhead a little embarrassing, not in a horrible way. Its just that they put so much effort and passion into their games that somehow always end up... just plain bad really.
Im sorry they are! I liked the first few games (black and white, Fable the lost chapters The Movies ect) but other than that Black and White 2 and Fable 2/3 were all arguably very poor games with plots significantly weaker than advertised which makes it even more baffling that each time the creators boast about how fantastic its gonna be. Fable 2 was mind blowingly overhyped when really the story was riddled with holes, the combat was flicky and unsatisfying and the levels lacked pacing or structure.

Lionhead complains that gamers don't like their games, which is reportedly because gamers are all stupid and have no taste. But if the majority of your target audience dislike your game then I think the mindset of "Its them who are all mad not me" fails to be practical.
 

Wierdguy

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Feb 16, 2011
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Remake it so it doesnt contain humor that you grew out of at the age of 10 and I might actually like the games.
 

Canid117

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Oct 6, 2009
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Is this going to be a new trend? Execs of games that have decent scores and a mild hatedom coming on the internet and throwing a tantrum at gamers and telling them they are wrong? Do we really want the people who make games to look just as stupid and entitled as the truly awful members of their customer base?
 

Diligent

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Dec 20, 2009
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That's a pretty bold claim, that they're the only ones doing co-op in an RPG.
I must have imagined playing Diablo 1 and 2, Baldurs gate 1 and 2, baldurs gate dark alliance, Icewind Dale, Titan Quest, Guild Wars, Phantasy Star Online, Dungeon Siege 1 and 2, Neverwinter Nights, Sacred, and any MMORPG I've ever played with a friend.
 

ninja51

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Mar 28, 2010
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So... people dont love your game because they're just stupid is sorta what your saying? Fable the Lost Chapters waas great, loved the hell out of it, very fond memories. Fable II was a pretty fair disappointment after following all the hype and very little of it coming true. Fable III was exactly what the article said, meh. The vocal work is truely great and they should be applauded for it. The art styles fantastic and the story does have a number of interesting bits. Problem is they manage to fuck up ALOT. The lead combat designer should be appologising for being a main problem with the last two games. Its smooth, but really boring and just badly designed. Alot of things have no depth, they're all cookie cutter things, easily removed or added in with no impact.

I do love the arguement though, "Its not well recieved because people dont understand what type of game it is." Oh contrare monfrare, we understand exactly. Its a very disappointing massive waste of potential type of game
 

MasterChief892039

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Jun 28, 2010
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AC10 said:
Ah the age old argument of "You just don't get it, man!".
Foolproof.
That pretty much sums it up. If people don't like your game, don't get whiny and defensive and start talking about how the game industry is a mainstream popularity contest - just work to improve your game for the next time. Although perhaps too much "improvement" is Fable's problem - the franchise has been steadily declining since Fable 1. Remember when we had real boss battles guys?

Diligent said:
That's a pretty bold claim, that they're the only ones doing co-op in an RPG.
Can you really even call it a co-op RPG? Like sure, you can play online with another person, but considering that the multiplayer is so frustrating (not least in part due to the camera) that I doubt anyone played it with a friend for any longer than the five minutes it takes to get multiplayer achievements. Fable's a single player game and we all know it.
 

sunburst

Media Snob
Mar 19, 2010
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So calling a bad story bad is being unfair now? I'll definitely keep that in mind. It is an interesting scenario but that does not a good story make. It's slightly hampered by its complete inability to make me give a shit. Also doesn't help that you force my character to make retarded decisions. What if I want to roleplay as a reasonable leader? That option is conspicuously missing. Gaming the system is the only smart choice possible.

Mister West should feel blessed that his mediocre at best games consistently receive far more praise and attention than they deserve.
 

Ham Blitz

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May 28, 2009
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My opinion about this seems to be the same as everyone else, this seems like a lot of opinions beings called facts. The story wasn't bad, and that plot twist that explains your brother's tyrannical behavior was actually fairly awesome, it was just that a lot of the big moments felt kind of weak. The end game was pretty easy and was mostly just a short walk through part of the town, though that part I could live with. The part that really disappointed me was the Revolution. The actually one had some cool moments, but the fighting actually seemed fairly small scale. Maybe I my judgment for how epic the revolution would be was swayed by the trailer, which even though it didn't show much, made me think something more epic would happen.
The game wasn't terrible, but sadly I still like the first one better, and that's not just nostalgia. I've gone back and played the game in the past two years. If everything they have done in the third game remained the same but the fighting system returned to the first game's system, I would be happy.

MasochisticMuse said:
That pretty much sums it up. If people don't like your game, don't get whiny and defensive and start talking about how the game industry is a mainstream popularity contest, just work to improve your game for the next time. Although perhaps too much "improvement" is Fable's problem - the franchise has been steadily declining since Fable 1. Remember when we had real boss battles guys?
Kind of. Those battles weren't that hard, especially Jack of Blades. In the first one (I never had untold chapters) that final fight was sad. I still enjoyed the hell out of the first game.