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Fable Discussion

Romier S

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Here is an itemized transcript of the recent Fable developer chat I found on another board.


All I can say is............... :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:


Plot and Linearity

<[bBB]SimonC> The plot of Fable itself is fairly linear, but that's not the key thing about Fable. Fable is all about the choices you make while you're on the journey.


<[bBB]SimonC> We're very much hoping that people will make their own stories, and go on their own missions and quests. I personally intend to be the only person in the world to have killed 200 balverines while wearing a skirt.


<[LH]PeterDoug> Peopel have asked what Fable is: Well yesterday some of us tolk a version and played it for 12 hours solid. Fable is cloesest to a RPG set in a simulated world where the player is free to do anything (including just following the story though) this includes become a great hero, get married, own shops, trade, build weapons, boast, swear, learn skills, play pub games infact there is so much in this game that the story becomes very important


<[bBB]Dene> If I give an example - you know at one point that a certain piece of information leads to the bandit camp. How you get in there is up to you - kill, disguise, bribe etc.



<[LH]PeterDoug> Someone asked about the coop multiplayer: IMHO this is one of the best features in Fable. up to 4 people can playtogether all swapping from 'alter-egos'to the main character. when you play as an alter-ego you can attack, help the main player use the expessions etc. As you do this you earn the right to be the main player. also you can import your own hero into a friends world and he will continue changing


<[bBB]SimonC> Urk - yes, the coop mode means you can save your hero to your memory card, take it to your friends house, and play on his machine with him.


Great Game Moments

<[LH]AdamR> Someone asked what the funniest moment I've had in Fable is : one moment that springs to mind was trying to impress a woman by doing cartwheels on the ground in front of her, but failing and having her just laugh at me because she thought I was a fool :-)


<[bBB]Dene> We had a great scene where someone had a troll near a village. Two of the villagers were exceedingly pissed off waiting for a hero to arrive, so they went up to him and beat the crap out of him. Pleased with their work, their 'Friendliness' went up, so they shook hands and marched off as if they were the greatest Troll fighting team in the world.



<[bBB]SimonC> db-4 thingy - you can indeed buy your own house. Or indeed, houses, and you can even rent them out to other people.


<[LH]AdamR> We've been asked about the hero owning houses : you can indeed buy a house, you can rent it out and wait for tenants to move in, or you can live there yourself and if you manage to acquire a wife then she can live there and will expect you to visit her and keep her happy!



<[LH]AdamR> Ok, on recognition of feats, every single villager in the world of Albion maintains a multidimensional opinion of the hero, which is continually being influenced by many many actions the player can take, and also feeds into a shared opinion of the hero maintained by each village. These opinions influence subsequent reactions of villagers to the player's behaviour


<[bBB]Gothnak> To answer a few of your questions at once. The player does not have to be 'good' in Fable, their actions determine their path through the game. Also, what the hero does determines how they look, and how proficient they are at various tasks


<[LH]AdamR> On the subject of being a local hero, yes you can - the people of one village may hate you due to evil deeds perpetrated there, but you may have charmed people elsewhere into thinking you're a saint


<[LH]AdamR> On being good to people : yes it's not all about cheating on wives, beating people up etc - you're quite able to do nice things for people, which they will be thankful for, plus your wife in particular has many ways to be kept happy - also there are many rewards for the good path as well as the bad


<[bBB]SimonC> Reputations - yes it is indeed possible to become legendary in the world. We have a renown system, where you are competing with other heroes for fame. We also have a hero title system, which the BBB/LH communities have been invited to contribute to. Sam?


<[LH]AdamR> Towns throw festivals to celebrate the coming of a truly great hero. You may witness this in the early parts of the game, but ultimately when you achieve true greatness they will hold a festival for YOU when you choose to visit their little town!


<[LH]AdamR> <Darkgore> If my character becomes truly evil and frightening, will children run to their homes and people will stay away from me when I walk by? ---> of course yes!


<[bBB]SimonC> Re people being scared - watching the little tykes running away from you crying as you stand in the middle of a town, eyes blazing and straggly beard blowing - it's fun. :-)


<[bBB]SimonC> You'll always know how you're doing with good/evilness. Not only will it affect your appearance quite dramatically, you can always look it up in your stats. We've definitely learnt alot from feedback from B&W.


Compared to Other Games

<[bBB]SimonC> halvard_ls - Fable is different from B&W in terms of RPG elements in many ways. In Fable, you play one character, and what you do and how you play influences the way people respond to you, and influences other aspects of the simulation too. Whereas B&W is puts you in control of a simulated world, Fable puts you at the mercy of one.


<[bBB]SimonC> Morrowind was an inspiration, but we wanted to take the idea of simulating a world much further, and concentrate on making it as accessible as possible.


<[LH]PeterDoug> Lots of people have compared morrowind to Fable. I think morrowind was is good game, but in my option it was a PC game. Fable has a world where we let you do anything but we have really spend years on some of the mechanics like a really unique combat system, the ability for you to be the hero you want to be, some incredible effects, and amazing AI I hope when people play the game they will think it is totall unique


<[bBB]Dene> Regarding the closeness of Fable to KOTOR or MW - we weren't really trying to fit it into either category. There are lots of sandbox elements, and lots of 'guides' to give you something specific to do if you want to. I don't know a better way to put it across.


<[bBB]SimonC> Dene's right - with Fable we've not tried to follow a genre at all. As a result we've got a 3rd person action RPG simulation beatemup kind of thing going on.


Day/Night Cycles & Weather

<[LH]DrainBoy> Someone asked about whether world has a day and night system: the world has a day night system, with the villager behaviours reacting appropriately. Villages go to bed at night, wake up and go to work in the morning, go to the pub after work and get drunk, then stagger back to bed. Children go to school during the day, play tag and hopscotch out of school hours. Families get together for meals, everything mediated by time of day.


<[bBB]SimonC> Yes, the game engine does simulate wind. And rain. And snow. And the sun moving around the planet. And fog.


<[LH]DrainBoy> Currently the day night cycle lasts about 20 minutes, but this may change during testing and the player can always go to sleep if they want to jump ahead in time, but its not advisable



<[LH]Jamie-UK> Hoover. You won't be able to make your own food in Fable, but you will need to gain food for sustenance. You could always get your wife to cook for you.


<[LH]Gradius> Fatty foods like pies will increase your gut size. An apple a day keeps the healer away!


NPC Characters

<[bBB]Dene> Being a hero is a an honour in Albion, and requires a lot of training. As a result, they guard their glory fairly jealously and don't tend to join others on quests. However, there are plenty of hired swords in the world who will join you if you have the cash, and they think you are 'like minded'


<[bBB]Dene> We've a cast of 'main heroes' you'll come across again and again. Peter - how much can we tell them about story stuff? Will Cathy kill us?


<[LH]AdamR> Villager personalities : yes yes YES! - there are a multitude of different villager personalities. Some get scared easy, others start offf finding you ugly but perhaps are easy to chat up, and so on and on. The most extreme example is the bandits, who have a very different moral interpretation of your hero deeds, and who require a very different set of behaviours if you wish to win favour with them



<[bBB]Dene> There's not a single unspoken line of dialogue in Fable.


<[bBB]Dene> We use a mixture of 'characterful' and 'generic' voices depending on the importance of the character.


<[bBB]Dene> We found that giving the character a voice really really detracted from the feeling of 'being' him. It was never going to be as you imagined YOUR hero. So, what we did was try and deal with all situations in a way that didn't need the hero to speak.


<[LH]PeterDoug> people have asked about the hero speeking: The hero mimics the words he has heard like "shite" in a french accent



<[LH]Sam|WORK> The packshot recently released on teamxnox is the real packshot, the logo will be added later on yes.


Blood and Gore

<[bBB]Dene> Regarding blood and gore. Since you can decapitate enemies, I doubt you'll find a Barney patch any time in the future.



<[bBB]SimonC> Re the player's age - when you start the game he's about 12, but by the end of the game you will have aged to around 55ish.



<[bBB]Dene> Okay - it's real time. That's the first thing. You can mix up magic, missile and melee combat at the same time.


<[bBB]Dene> That was our major aim - we hated turn-based combat, and the lack of fluidity you usually see in RPGs.


<[bBB]Dene> So, there are rewards for timing your hits well, tactical decisions you have to make based on your enemy's current actions. If you button bash you'll probably eventually succeed, but it's a bit like trying to tunnel to work with a spoon. Or something.



<[bBB]SimonC> GameNova - there are non-aggressive creatures. Butterflies, birds, etc


<[bBB]Dene> No there are not Dwarves in the game. Nor elves. Nor any other Tolkien creature. Although loving Lord of the Rings deeply, we wanted people to look at this game and find new and exciting things when they wandered through our world, not "Level 7 Battle Orc"



<[bBB]SimonC> The terrain in Fable is not randomly generated, it's all carefully and cunningly designed by people like Dene and Jules. We couldn't get the results we wanted from generation algorithms...


<[bBB]Dene> We have mountains, grassy fields, a... erm... slushy area (I can't think of a better description), twisted choked dead forest, fire-blasted scree...


<[bBB]Dene> We started out with an Island about 8km square and reduced it down as we went, like whittling a chairleg.


<[bBB]Dene> If we got bored wandering between A and B, we whittled.


<[bBB]SimonC> Giant-Sheep - there are indeed 'internal' locations in Fable.



<[LH]AdamR> On wives : yes you can cheat on your wife, and if you're VERY clever you can have multiple wives - woebetide you if they find out about each other though! Plus, keep your flirting in the street away from your wife if she's about - she will not be at all pleased


<[LH]AdamR> Wives will go off you and leave for someone else if you make them unhappy - mistreating your wife is actually a very difficult path if you want to keep her with you while being so nasty to her


Committing a Crime

<[LH]DrainBoy> If you commit a crime and you're seen by a villager then that villager will try and alert the town guards. If they manage it or the town guards see you then you'll be declared a criminal. You can bribe guards and there's the option to apologise for crimes. Failing that you end up in jail. If you kill people before they tell the guards then you can get away with murder


Weapons in Villages

<[bBB]Dene> Yes, you can bring weapons into town.


<[bBB]SimonC> Albiino - it is indeed possible to wander into one of our villages and kill everyone, if that's really what you want to do, but it is illegal in the world. And certain things are *definately* off limits... :-)


<[bBB]Dene> However, one of the heroes in the game set up a system disallowing the use of magic in the capital.


<[LH]PeterDoug> People have asked about Weapons in towns: there are some towns and citys where you have to leave your weapons a the front gate. And there are places where you are allowed to take weapons in,, these places tend to be more lawless (great for using steath, steal, pickpocket) <[LH]PeterDoug> People have asked about Weapons in towns: there are some towns and citys where you have to leave your weapons a the front gate. And there are places where you are allowed to take weapons in,, these places tend to be more lawless (great for using steath, steal, pickpocket)


<[LH]DrainBoy> <roverjr> can you beat people up in a town with your fists? get in bar room brawls and such?: even in towns where you're not allowed to carry weapons you can still use your fists to beat people up, in bars or out of them


<[LH]AdamR> You can always have a punch-up, but there are always consequences. If you're maintaining a saintly persona, this may be a problem ;-)



<[LH]Jamie-UK> Freddo, You can indeed cast magic to slow down time. The more will you have, the slower time becomes.


<[bBB]Dene> There are currently 20 spells - each of which has multiple levels.


Physical Apperance/Aging

<[bBB]SimonC> Shimmeh - as you get damaged in Fable you do indeed get cuts, bruises and scars.


<[LH]DrainBoy> <Grit> can you grow a beard? Yes, and moustache and have a hair cut and get tattoos and a vast array of clothes and armour and weaponry


<[bBB]SimonC> Re aging - like everything else in Fable, how you quickly you age is partly down to the way you play the game.


Camera System

<[LH]DrainBoy> The camera system is constrained by the world, so it automatically dips under roofs so you always keep sight of the player, but it's also player controlled so you can get the camera angle you want.


<[bBB]SimonC> We've certainly done our best to make the camera in Fable as friendly as possible. In our efforts to implement the 'perfect' system we believe we've been through just about every possible iteration of camera system and taken bits of all of them. It's been a challenge!



<[LH]Gradius> yes you can fish, and you can keep the big catches as trophies to show off with.


<[LH]DrainBoy> Mini-games...me actually...there are loads of mini-games, in taverns, on quests, they'll be hidden all over the world


Hints to how far along the game is

<[LH]AdamR> Everything I am saying is in the game, I played it this afternoon


<[LH]DrainBoy> Same for me...everything I say I could show you if only you were here


<[LH]PeterDoug> Peopel have asked what Fable is: Well yesterday some of us tolk a version and played it for 12 hours solid


<[bBB]Dene> As games get to this final 'all hands on deck' stage, one of the benefits of being part of the Lionhead group is that we're all able to work together rather than struggle with fewer people than we need.



<[bBB]SimonC> Re trespassing. You can go into people's houses, you can even break in at night, and if you're discovered, our crime systems kick in.


<[LH]AdamR> On trespassing, like all other moral deeds, people react to this in a manner dependent on their opinion of you - if you as a scary powerful evil hero break into a good house at night then they ask in a very frightened voice why you are trespassing. If you're a little squirt with no renown then they properly express their anger ;-)



<[LH]Sam|WORK> Yes, sleeping in Fable is of use



<[bBB]SimonC> Regarding weapons - we have a system whereby you can take any existing weapon and customise it.


<[bBB]Dene> Yes you can take a weapon in two hands.


<[LH]Gradius> The 2 handed weapons require strength to wield. So you need to bulk up to use those warhammers, great axes and the like...



<[LH]GeorgB> The cutscenes are done using the in-game engine (as Fables engine produces beautiful moving images)


<[LH]GeorgB> megat: (on how many cutscenes)Depends...we try not to annoy people with cutscenes :-)


<[LH]GeorgB> Regarding Cutscenes: Next to cutscenes we have also other storytelling devices in place - which I will not go into detail yet :-)



<[bBB]Dene> We found that death in most RPGs was a real turn-off: if you died, you just reloaded again and again. In Fable, the main punishment is a loss of renown when you screw up. You're usually dragged back to the Guild by someone and laughed at for a good long time. It's far more painful than death.


Breaking stuff

<[bBB]Dene> Nope - destroying trees and houses is not in, I'm afraid, but you can smash smaller things.


<[bBB]SimonC> There are parts of the world we have to make indestructible, but equally there are lots of things you can destroy with your exploding potions, flaming arrows, lightning ability, etc. So go mad if you like. :-)


The Fable Engine

<[bBB]SimonC> Madjedo - the graphics engine in Fable is entirely written by Big Blue Box, written by our engine department, and lead by the hugely talented Martin Bell.


Being Female

<[bBB]Dene> No, you can't be female. It doubled all the work we had to do on the hero, clothing and morphing. We were really unhappy about it.


<[LH]DrainBoy> <[Hedgehog]> You cant play as a female, but can you team up with a female hero?: yes you definitely can group up with other heroes (and mercenaries) and, as some heroes are female you can go questing with a female hero at your side. It's a nice way to meet (virtual) girls


Developing for the Xbox

<[bBB]SimonC> Terrorsho - the XBox is a great machine, hugely powerful and fun to work with. But certainly we have features we've had to leave out because even the Xbox couldn't handle them.



<[bBB]SimonC> Re religion. The main focus of the world of Fable is the Guild, and the mysteries that surround it and the heroes who train there. You have the capacity to make people worship you.



<[bBB]Dene> No pets this time, but Ghostly Swords come close in terms of cuteness. :-)


<[bBB]Dene> I watched a little hoarde of them thwack their way through a haunted graveyard a few weeks ago. Brought a tear to the eye.


<[bBB]Dene> No - no pet animals, I'm afraid. The things we found took longest were the AI and the animation. Our creatures and people do a *lot*. We couldn't just have pets doing 4 animations and a 'home in and kill' AI.


Giving Gifts

<[LH]PeterDoug> Giving gifts to people in the world is very important, esspecially romatic ones


Easter Eggs

<[bBB]SimonC> Keito - we have more Easter Eggs than the Easter bunny himself on a particularly eggy day. Fable is all about discovering things nobody else has seen.




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Wow, that sounds very cool. Maybe I missed it, but the co-op is memory-card based as in, no online co-op?


Also, have they mentioned a release date yet?


Giving Gifts

<[LH]PeterDoug> Giving gifts to people in the world is very important, esspecially romatic ones

Uh oh, Morrowind meets DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball?? :lol:

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Oh, man I can't wait! This is gonna be the best Xbox3 launch title ever!


Seriously, I'm really looking forward to it. I even like the cover art.


But if you can take your character over to a friends, they mean you can play simultaneously, right? Or is it strictly like grabbing an Animal Crossing save from a friend?



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They're promising the moon on a stick...


Its a dangerous game to play. The hype on this one will be through the roof come release (in 2008). If they deliver it will have been worth it. If they don't well........


Hadn't you heard Brian? Fable is the greatest RPG ever made. 8)

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Its a dangerous game to play. The hype on this one will be through the roof come release (in 2008). If they deliver it will have been worth it. If they don't well........


Yup. It looks top notch, and I'm really keen to play it, but I don't like it when developers start promising everything people ask for/about. They've already made decisions to cut back content & features and the game still has a good length of development time left in it. It's the last three months that usually make a game what it is in my experience.

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  • 1 month later...

Community update from lhtimes here:




Currently the whole Fable Community is requiring most of my time and effort, as it?s most likely for this game to come out first. You heard me right; way too many people are moaning about a release date at the moment so I tell you here and now; Fable will be the first game from Lionhead to be released this year.


Also mentions the release is after made. Bottom of the page includes a new screenshot. It may not be an Xbox Next launch title after all ;) .

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  • 4 weeks later...

You know even with the multiplayer gone, (was suprised to hear it would be included when it was first announced anyway.) I'm still dying to play Fable. It remains one of my most anticipated titles this year and I hope to get it makes it to shelves soon.


The presentation also ends right when its getting good! Peter definitely has some interesting ideas about input devices and where the future will lead us control wise. Would have loved to hear the rest of his thoughts.

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Man...that's really looking sweet!!!!


I dunno...my gut reaction is that Molyneux and Big Blue Box are really going to pull it off. I think our expectations are going to be met. 'Course, I could be totally wrong but, I haven't seen or heard anything yet, that makes Fable look like an upcoming dud. Every preview I've read and every video I've seen just makes me want it more.


I hope that Albion is as big an island as Morrowind.

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I dunno...my gut reaction is that Molyneux and Big Blue Box are really going to pull it off. I think our expectations are going to be met. 'Course, I could be totally wrong but, I haven't seen or heard anything yet, that makes Fable look like an upcoming dud. Every preview I've read and every video I've seen just makes me want it more.


Y'know, you could replace Fable with Black & White in that paragraph, and it'd sound exactly like something I would have said a month before B&W was released.

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Originally posted by dogbert@Mar 6 2004, 07:56 AM

I dunno...my gut reaction is that Molyneux and Big Blue Box are really going to pull it off. I think our expectations are going to be met. 'Course, I could be totally wrong but, I haven't seen or heard anything yet, that makes Fable look like an upcoming dud. Every preview I've read and every video I've seen just makes me want it more.


Y'know, you could replace Fable with Black & White in that paragraph, and it'd sound exactly like something I would have said a month before B&W was released.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? :D

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It's definitely a Bad Thing. Seriously, guys, I think Fable's going to be fun, but I suspect if you hitch a ride on the Fable Hype Train, you'll be sorely disappointed when you arrive at your destination.



And yup, I know I'm being bitter & cynical.

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  • 3 weeks later...

New hands on impressions on Gamespot:




Of course, your character will also change over time by becoming more "good" or more "evil," and also by gaining a reputation at local towns. Part of being a "good" hero is lending a hand at nearby towns by solving local problems, like dealing with monster or bandit attacks. If you decide to help out, you'll be given a hero's welcome by admiring townspeople, though if you're rude to them by giving them impolite gestures, they'll grow to dislike you. Fable will have a full set of social gestures that you can use to interact with various characters in the game--anything from waving a friendly hello, to sneering derisively, to flirting, to giving the aforementioned impolite gestures. When you enter town, you'll actually be able to boast to your neighbors that you'll accomplish your next quest under extremely challenging conditions. For instance, you may tell the townspeople that you'll defeat a horde of monsters with no weapon and no armor--in your underwear, even. If you make good on your boast, you'll earn an experience bonus, and will increase your standing with the locals considerably. As a result of your various quests (either for towns, or for yourself), you may gaining enough "good" points to eventually become a saintly hero who wears a glowing halo above his head, surrounded by butterflies. By gaining enough "evil" points, your character will instead take on a sinister, demonic appearance with paler skin and a bald pate--your character's forehead will even sprout a pair of horns. To get to this state, you'll need to commit many evil and treacherous acts, like attacking traders and choosing the "evil" solution to quests.




Fable Hype Train




Seriously though, I'm not even concerned about the hype, I just want to play the damned thing. Been waiting to get my hands on the game for the better part of 3 years now (the waits been almost as excruciating as the 6 year wait for Morrowind!) I've read from several sources that development is nearing completion (with mainly framerate/bug testing being the biggest hurdle at the moment). It looks like the game is on target to release this year though which is good news. It would be ashamed to see it delayed to 2005....

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Conductor....I have my ticket!!!!! :)


Dogbert's right, though. There was QUITE a bit of hype for B&W. It didn't live up to it but, it was still pretty fun.


My fingers are crossed for Fable. I hope it pulls a "Halo" and not only lives up to the hype but, surpasses it. But, I guess what I'm hoping for the most is that I like it!

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New screenshots at Gamespot:




Also for more "real world" shots here is the game running at GDC (mind you they are TV captures and not of great quality):













Looks like its actually coming along. My god I just realized we may actually be playing Fable this year! The interface for the game definitely has a Zelda feel to it, don't know if thats just me or not but it instantly reminded me of Link and co.

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More pics and videos:




EDIT: Videos are not of good quality but they get the job done. I recently read an interview with one of the leads on the game who noted the clipping, lighting and AI routines (such as reactions to certain events) were still being heavily worked on and all together disabled in some of those shots. Not sure what to think about the "Halo" and "Horns" thing. Kind of liked the fact that your characters appearance change due to your actions, though adding something so visual seems to cheapen the effect.

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Just got this from EBGames.com:


Dear EBgames.com Customer,


Thanks for pre-ordering from EBgames.com! As an added benefit to ordering from us, we'll keep you informed of ship date changes. We are writing to let you know that we have changed the projected ship date for Fable to 9/1/2004. The publisher did not provide us with a specific date so this is our best estimate only and should not be considered firm. We will update this date again as we receive new information. As always, EBgames.com will not charge your credit card until we ship your order.



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