Q&A with Fable III's Louise Murray

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

Was it hard trying to integrate touch into the game? I ask because it’s a fairly uncommon thing to do.

It was definitely difficult to do. I don’t think the programmers will mind me saying this, but the hands will occasionally break [graphically] in the game.

You have got to deal with the physics and all the rest of it but I think there was definitely an element of us going “It doesn’t look good enough! We can’t release it like this! It doesn’t look good enough!” But actually, Peter [Molyneux] is really clear that you get the experience from it and people will forgive the hands splitting a little bit if you have to turn a sharp corner or something.

It’s difficult to make, but I think it has worked really well here. And of course you can drag people around to places. You can take them to the work house and sell them; obviously they don’t want to go so you have to drag people along.

It’s quite an interesting mechanic.

In Fable 1 and 2, there really wasn’t much difference whether you played as a girl or a boy. Consequently, sometimes you didn’t feel like you really connected with the characters around you. Was that one of the things you wanted to address when you developed the touch mechanic?

Yes, because we want you to connect with the main character and with the rest of the characters as well, so touch definitely came into that. But I think also, the hero in male and female form now has a voice and immediately that links you to them a little bit more closely.

In Fable 1 and 2, you were sort of this mute character who stood around witnessing everything that was going on around you. We really wanted you to have something to say about the events.

We were kind of scared at one point of giving the character a voice, because that would mean we are giving them a personality. We really wanted to get you, the player, to give the character a personally. But actually, it draws you into the drama and really helps you connect to the role which, hopefully, worked out quite well.

When was the turning point when you put your foot down to say, “Right, we need to give the character a voice?"

Fable 3

Fairly early on. It seemed like an obvious step to take after Fable 2.

We’ve had the expressions and we’ve kind of played around with emotion and trying to connect with you. Your dog in Fable 2 was actually a part of that thinking and because, obviously, having a connection with an animal is something you can do a lot easier because they’re mute.

So we are really trying to take it to the next level with the touch and expressions and the hero voices.

Do you think Fable fans will be intimidated by the dramatically different inventory and levelling systems?

No, I don’t think so — I hope not anyway — because it is part of the story and we introduce it as that.

When you get to the Sanctuary, you, Jasper [Cleese] and Walter [your combat trainer] discover its powers and slowly Jasper slowly opens up all the rooms. So it’s really introduced bit by bit. But it’s all part of the drama.

So you’re easing the players in.

Yes, we don’t go “Here are a million things”. Your Sanctuary starts empty.

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Spandas Lui

GamePro Australia
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