Develop 2010: Lionhead studio boss confesses mistakes made with the first title

Molyneux: Fable 2 project hit 67,000 bugs

Develop Conference attendees may be making their way home from Brighton today with the peculiar assumption that Peter Molyneux doesn’t like either of the first two Fable games.

Because those lucky enough to attend Molyneux’s Fable 3 speaker session watched on as the Lionhead studio boss enumerate a string of criticisms of the famed Xbox series.

”At one point we had 67,000 bugs,” he said, “and when the Xbox test team tested the game they rated us super-black. That never had happened to a game before, Microsoft had in the past rated some games as ‘Red’, but never ‘Black’.”

He added: “It was thought that coming back from black was impossible.”

And though Molyneux only had an hour with the audience, he managed to find time to list a large number of bugs and flaws that dented the prestige of the first two award-winning titles.

”Map was boring and tedious,” he said before turning his crosshairs onto the “boring” inventory screens in Fable 2 which featured complex sub-menus and gigantic item lists.

”I told [the team at Lionhead] that, for Fable 3, I don’t want to see a single list in the entire game,” he said.

Later he added: “In Fable 2 all the female characters looked like Russian shot-putters”, before calling the voice-acted navigator “awful”.

Molyneux, though clearly proud of Fable 2, said the game “had some terribly messy things about it.”

Speaking of the tight deadlines in which the game was put under, he said “we kind of rushed it at the end.” He added that the game had huge design flaws, and the studio didn’t have enough focus on the game’s best unique selling points.

”A huge mistake that I’ve made is throwing all these game features on the player,” he added. “More than 50 per cent of people who played Fable 2 only used 60 per cent of the content on offer.”

After showcasing a demo of Fable 3, Molyneux promised that the new title in the series would have far more focus, and far less clatter.

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