Peter Molyneux's Question Time

Fable III! Project Natal! PS Move! Dogs!

How time flies. It's been a whole year since we interviewed Peter Molyneux at the Game Developers Conference, and now here we are again, interviewing Peter Molyneux at the Game Developers Conference.

But he's got plenty more to talk about as it's been a busy 12 months for Lionhead. Last June Molyneux unveiled Milo & Kate at E3. Two months later, he revealed Fable III at gamescom. And just yesterday, he delivered a big long speech at GDC.

Afterwards, Eurogamer sat down with Molyneux for a chat. So how is Fable III coming along? How will it work with Natal? How does Molyneux think Move compares? And how long did he manage to last in the interview before mentioning the word "dog"? Read on for the answers to all these questions. Except the second one.

Eurogamer: Can you talk us through the new Fable III information you revealed in your GDC speech today?

Peter Molyneux: The big things are the GUI and the combat stuff. We talked about making it more like Street Fighter and Soul Calibur than the previous Fables, and how the old GUI was a real barrier towards people getting into some of the things that worked in Fable - but that people didn't realise worked.

In the old GUI, everything was list based. Ever since I've been doing game it's been all about 2D GUIs. We're replacing that and saying, 'Right, we cannot have a single list in the game - everything you've got must be in the world.'

That caused us to invent these things called the Guild Chambers, which you discover after playing for about 10 minutes. Slowly, you unlock different rooms in the chambers which give you different functionality.

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Eurogamer: Like the dressing room?

Peter Molyneux: Yes. It's more than a dressing room, it's where all your clothes collections are. You've got literally everything from a sock drawer to a jacket drawer.

Then there's your armoury, where you collect different swords, guns and magic objects. There's also a little bit of extra crafting we're going to allow you to do within the armoury so you can enhance the weapons you've got.

We've got the treasure room, which is the place where we show off all your Achievements and we show how much gold you've got. It's really interesting because normally gold is expressed as a single number on the screen. In Fable I and II, that number just went up. Now you can physically see these piles of gold growing within your chamber. You can use Touch to pick up gold and rub it on yourself, if you so desire, which some people will really like.

Eurogamer: Is that what you like? Do you have a little treasure chest in the corner of your office at Lionhead so you can rub gold on yourself at any time?

Peter Molyneux: Absolutely, that's what I do every day. I open the treasure chest, pick it up and stuff it down my underpants. All those five and 10-pound notes.

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When you first discover the gold chamber, you've got a couple of hundred gold and it's this tiny little pile in the corner of this vast chamber. When you become king, the chambers start filling up with these mountains of gold. Then, because you have all these promises you have to keep, these mountains of gold gradually dwindle away. It actually makes the feeling of wanting to be rich more impactful because you can physically see it coming in and going out.

Eurogamer: Going back to the dressing room, you revealed today that John Cleese will play the butler who picks out your clothes... How did that come about?

Peter Molyneux: The reviewers who reviewed Fable III said, 'Ah, the humour's very British, it's a bit like Monty Python.'

So we thought, 'OK, we'll just go out and get the best Monty Python team we possibly can.' This is the new world of these big franchises. You can go to people who, just a few years ago, would have looked at you like were some lunatic if you suggested they do a voiceover for your game. The cast of Fable III, of which John Cleese is a member - I don't know of another cast in any game that's as big and strong.

Eurogamer: Did you get to meet John Cleese?

Peter Molyneux: It's done in two stages. One has just been done in LA - literally last week they recorded him and that's the first stage. Because he has so many lines, once we've put all his dialogue in we'll refine it and go back, and that's when I'll get to meet him.

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