Fable III will be a more difficult game on PC, Lionhead has revealed - because desktop gamers relish the challenge.
"On Fable from the beginning I can remember sitting in a room with Peter [Molyneux] and him being very explicit with me that... I believe the direct quote, if I remember correctly, was, 'I want a blind child to be able to win this game with their feet,'" PC Fable III lead designer Josh Atkins told Rock Paper Shotgun."Clearly, that's an ambition, a general direction. For us, people should be able to finish the game.
"We've always kept that as a mainstay, but when the difficulty came up we were talking about what would PC players want. What would be important to them? The additional challenge, or the choice for additional challenge was something that we thought was important.
"Figuring out how to do that in a way that was both efficient and fair was challenging," he added. "We didn't just move sliders around: we actually sat down and looked at the creature types and looked at them as individuals. Rather than just say, "This one now does 10 per cent more damage," we made them a little faster, which gives them the perception of being a little bit smarter."
Other areas altered for the June release of Fable III on PC include a redesigned user interface that feels "a little bit more mouse-specific". Gloriously, you can click on objects with a cursor.
Atkins and team have also eradicated a number of Fable III bugs and lowered the item collection requirements for Achievements. And those collection elements have "a future", according to Atkins.
"Our hope is that people who pick up [Fable III] on PC think, 'Okay, this plays how I would expect it to play, it doesn't play like a half-done port,' which is the danger for PC games," said Atkins.
"Not to knock anyone else, but people tend to just rush games out onto the PC; they do the very quickest port they can and they try to do it as a financial model rather than let's try to make something that at least plays like it was designed for this platform, and respects what the platform does."
Reflecting on Xbox 360 Fable III, Atkins recalled reports from Lionhead PR about a female hairdresser declaring Fable III was the only game she plays. Atkins also had a friend email to tell him Fable III was the first game his daughter and he had ever finished. And she's nine.
Fable III is rated 16+ by PEGI. Does Atkins believe it's right to subject children to hefty moral choices such as whether a lover or innocent bystanders live or die?
Harry Potter deals with "some pretty heavy stuff", argued Atkins, and as long as the parents are "comfortable", then Lionhead likes making "the kid think".
"They're just a person, right, with shorter arms," said Atkins. "They're sitting a littler closer to the screen perhaps, but nonetheless they're still sitting there wondering what's the right thing to do."
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