Peter Molyneux is a familiar face at the Game Developers Conference. He often uses it as a platform to unveil new features in Lionhead games - remember 2007's infamous dog revelation?
But Lionhead has yet to announce its next project, and this year Molyneux didn't have any news to share. Eurogamer sat down with him to find out why, and to have a bit of a dig around in his brain. Read on to find out what's whirling about in it (briefly: parrots, vomit, disease, EA, Miyamoto being a "bastard", the Caddyshack films and the future of gaming).
Hanging about in the bar, meeting lots of independent game developers, meeting people I've known before, meeting bankers, meeting a whole raft of people... What's that on the back of your hand?
Obviously. What was it like?
What do you mean?
I'm also giving a talk, and it's one of my first real talks. I've been coming to GDC since the dawn of time and usually I talk about the game Lionhead's working on. I think some people go to those talks, and they go away and say, "Oh, that approach they developed is interesting." Other people say, "That's just getting me excited about the game, and not telling me anything about the way Lionhead works."
So this time I'm talking about what if you want to innovate in games, and do mad things like put dogs into RPGs...
...Then how do you do it without breaking the bank and going totally insane? I'm showing some Lionhead experiments and making the case that first of all, a lot of them aren't anything to do with me, and they're very successful. Secondly, experiments allow us to be brave, and we feel safe about doing experiments.
No, it's not. Although I've always said we should have a Game Journalists Conference where we pretend not to release details of the next game, but we actually do.
I didn't see that. How does he work?
Hmm, yes [nods knowingly].
Wow, it's the same! Unbeknown, I work the same way as Miyamoto! The bastard got it out before me! How funny, that's exactly the way we work...
At Lionhead we have these little prototypes, and they have what we call sponsors. Anyone who's senior management can sponsor an idea. The prototype projects can last from one week to 12 weeks, but that's the core of what the experience is. The dog in Fable would not exist without one of those experiments.
Well, no one's going to slag it off if Miyamoto uses that technique!