Molyneux Interview '08: Fable II & Beyond

Our frank interview about Peter's future as a designer, how he misses PC development, Fable II, and fresh chat on the top-secret Project X - formerly known as Project Dimitri.

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Kikizo: OK... well, consider us all 'fooled' then, Peter. Do you mean there's a new name for it internally, or it is it a new name that we should be calling it by?

Molyneux: There's a new name internally, I can't obviously tell you what it is, because I would get killed. I would love to tell you now. It's based upon a breakthrough that we had about a year ago, over a year ago now. We have always been experimenting with AI and simulation, and how that can feed into gameplay. And we've now got a significant enough breakthrough that I really believe that we could be on the front page of Scientific American, or Nature or whatever. Because I think the game that comes out of this breakthrough is truly something that you would never dream possible that you could experience.

Kikizo: Well, previously you've said - and it was certainly earlier than a year ago - that it's a game in which you relive your own personal life.

Molyneux: Yes, I did say that, didn't I?

Kikizo: Is that still the sort of premise? Or has it changed?

Molyneux: Well, the funny thing is, when you see the game, you'll understand - it'll all sort of fall into place. And I think the ambition of doing that - kind of reliving your life, your personal life, laying that down to everyone and saying, "wouldn't it be great to have a game where you could feel that you could recognise bits of yourself, and bits if your children", led to this breakthrough.

Kikizo: Can you confirm if Fable II and Dimitri are still the only two projects at Lionhead right now?

Molyneux: Yes. But we're not calling it Dimitri any more. Project X, or whatever.

Kikizo: Sorry. Do you think you may ever resurrect B.C.?

Molyneux: It's absolutely amazing; you know I spoke about B.C. - but not for that long, and people are always asking me what's happening with B.C., can we resurrect it. And we could, but I'm wondering if it's the right thing to do because I think people's expectations looked so different to what the actual game was. It sort of took on a life of its own, so I wonder if it's really the right thing to do.

Kikizo: Do you miss PC development?

Molyneux: Yeah, I do. I do miss PC development. I think the PC has now... it's not dead as a games platform, but it's down to a few genres. But I miss developing, I miss the mouse, and I miss kind of the freedom that's involved. There are some fantastic things about developing for console now, which is absolutely brilliant. You know, you've got a very defined and 'knowable' thing that you're developing for. I love the mouse actually, I think the mouse preceded the stuff that we did, by several decades! You know, such an easy-to-understand input device, which we never really exploited to the full. The mouse created genres of games like RTS's, which has never been done properly on consoles really.

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