Eurogamer: You've also been showing off the overhead map today. When you look at the game like that it almost looks like an RTS...
Peter Molyneux: It does, but don't think you're going to be sending troops and making tanks and all of that stuff - you're not. You're going to be able to feel like, 'This is my kingdom. OK, what's happening over there?' I've got to be careful of spoilers but there are some functionalities we haven't talked about, within the ruling section, which make that really important.
You're not going to be suddenly playing an RTS game, it's still very much an action adventure. It just so happens that if you are ruling Albion you need to see this map and have a feeling of what's going on. You will be able to do things like set taxes, and you will be able to see things going wrong - that's important.
Eurogamer: How concerned are you about the move away from RPG to action-adventure? Don't you risk alienating some of the series' fans?
Peter Molyneux: Yeah. I mean, I said this line about how people are going to get pissed off, and I think this is really what I was talking about. I'm a little bit worried about it but I think Fable had already made that transition already. We had tweaked the experience, we had a tenth of the numbers other role-playing games like Fallout and Dragon Age have. They've just got numbers everywhere.
Rather than saying, OK, we're an RPG but we're trying to broaden the RPG, what we're saying is we love the idea of RPGs in terms of levelling up and feeling powerful and collecting things. Those are great mechanics which you don't often see in the action-adventure category. So why not take all that stuff and then say hey, we're more like action-adventure than we are RPG?
I'm not saying we're not going to have all that cool stuff from RPGs. I'm saying that if you were to describe this as the first Fable to the press, you probably wouldn't say it's an RPG - you would probably say it's an action-adventure.
Eurogamer: What's the thinking behind the changes to the combat system?
Peter Molyneux: We're going back to games like Soul Calibur and Street Fighter, and saying, 'What makes those games such great fighting games? Why can't we have that sort of validity and smoothness?'
That again makes a game like Fable feel less like an RPG. Because traditionally RPGs are more about turn-based stuff than they are about making combat feel fluid and smooth. They're more about, OK I'm fighting with the +5 sword, rather than fighting with your own sword which has been crafted by you.
Eurogamer: Where does Natal fit into all this?
Peter Molyneux: Um... These are things I will possibly talk about later on... I mean I do think Natal does enhance the Fable experience. But you can expect us to use Natal to make you laugh and to surprise you and to give you this feeling of power.
There are some very obvious things we could do, like controlling the GUI in Natal, and it doesn't really excite me. What I want to do is give you things which really add to the Fable world. There's some cool stuff.
Eurogamer: Have you seen anything of the PlayStation Move?
Peter Molyneux: Yes, I have seen some of it. We're not really surprised, are we? I mean at E3 last year we saw they were having a wand, and that's kind of what I expected. It looks like they've taken a step forward but it's not as big a step as something like Natal, I don't think. This is purely me talking personally, but I think maybe it's slightly more a device for the core than it is for the casual market, because I think it's quite precise.
As a designer it's another one of those things I'd love to get my hands on and to play around with. As a consumer, everyone's talking about motion control now - I mean, I'm starting to get confused. It's kind of like the arms race, with the Wii MotionPlus and now the Sony Move and now I'm getting kind of confused.
Eurogamer: Is your invisible magic stick better than their magic stick?
Peter Molyneux: To be honest, it's all down to what us poor old designers do with this stuff, because all these guys do is make the hardware. Whether we utilise that hardware in a real way or whether we just take shortcuts, that's really going to be where we succeed or not.
All of this stuff is making all the designers sweat. I've met lots of designers at GDC and we're all very bleary eyed at the moment because every rule we've got, we're having to throw away. We haven't got buttons any more - we've got motions and arms legs and faces, and that really is tough.
I don't think the first wave of these motion control titles will be what you expect. Just as with every hardware chain, it's the second wave where they usually come up with stuff that's interesting. So the second wave could be really cool.
Fable III is due out for Xbox 360 later this year.