Q&A with Fable III's Louise Murray

We get the skinny on Lionhead Studio's action adventure RPG from Fable III's producer

I see you guys have changed the interaction system as well.

Before we had the big wheel and you picked what gestures or actions you were going to do.

Now the game kind of picks for you to a certain extent, but the more chests you have opened, the more expressions you’ve got and the more the interactions change. They will decide to marry you, they might give gifts and even quests, which they have never done before.

Now they might ask you to collect things for them. Potentially, every single person in the Albion world is a quest-giver.

Fable 3’s world looks a lot bigger than Fable 2's.

It is actually.

It must have been a challenge developing the game that is so much bigger than the previous one.

The team that developed Fable 3 was the same team that did Fable 2, so they are all veterans at making this game. They all love it and everyone went absolutely mad with all their ideas and what we do and how big it got.

We had to cut the game down a couple of months ago because it got so big it was unmanageable to finish it.

There was so much enthusiasm for it and so much talent and knowledge about how to make this particular game.

Fable 3

So we should be looking forward to some pretty sizable DLCs?

We are going to finish this one first and have a think about that. I wouldn’t rule it out for sure. We have a few bugs left to do.

The humour and style of Fable is very interesting in that it is very quintessentially British. There used to be a lot of games incorporating that kind of humour but they seem to have died out a bit.

Fable is the only one really that is left, we think. I think it’s that blend of humour and not taking ourselves too seriously, but it’s blended with quite a serious, quite dark compelling drama on top of it.

It’s just the inhabitants are funny. It’s not that the story itself is funny, it’s just you’ve got guys with this kind of accent going on asking you to put on a chicken suit.

That in itself is just funny.

Is that Fable’s formula for success?

For us it has been. I think video games take themselves very seriously and I think a lot of people take themselves very seriously with them. We don’t, and that’s possibly part of our formula.

We like to have fun.

Is it too silly? Oh, all the time! Every time I see the game character farting on somebody’s’ head I go “Really?”

But of course that is optional; you don’t have to do a fart on somebody’s head. It’s there for whoever wants to fart on somebody’s head.

You guys roped in John Cleese to be in the game. That in itself is pretty impressive!

He is the butler. Every time you go in to the sanctuary there, he will talk to you. He is in the real world at the beginning of the game — you find the Sanctuary together. He is the guy who helps you and he will lay things out for you and make suggestions to you.

You got this great adviser in the form of Jon Cleese, which is so cool.

What was his response when he was approached to be in Fable 3?

Pretty much everybody we approached about it, we told them all about the Fable franchise.

They were interested to learn more about it. Then everybody was very enthusiastic because I think it’s a great game and it’s got a great feel to it. They see games as the next entertainment platform, no longer is it geeky to be playing games.

Games are now a cool entertainment experience.

Was John Cleese a Fable fan before?

I don’t think he was, no. But he has been introduced the Fable world since then.

The touch mechanic in Fable 3, which allows players to hold the hand of other characters, is quite interesting and unique. How did you guys come up with the idea?

Fable 3

It was an idea we started playing with earlier on. In video games, you don’t touch anybody, so we wanted to go and touch somebody. So now you can hold the hand of anybody else in the world.

You can lead them to safety or you can lead them to danger. There are points in the main core story where that mechanic is very important but it’s also available all the time.

And we have particular quests which require you to use the mechanic; like rescuing somebody’s child from wolves. It just creates these great emotional moments and really quite compelling gameplay.

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Spandas Lui

GamePro Australia
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