Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Night out, Lionhead Style.

Is it just me who wants to sneak down to Guildford and go out with them for a drinky!?

Seems Lionhead really do do ''going to the pub'' the best.

Twitter link

Monday, 30 May 2011

The History of Lionhead

Some people might be interested in this down time before we hear some more Fable news to get to know the company that makes the game and the history of it. As mentioned below on one of the previous posts Molyneux was at the head of a lot of games before he got to making Fable, and the company has gone through a lot of chances too. So, below with the help of the Lionhead.com site is a potted history of the company and just shows off the types of games they have put their innovative sword edge too in the past. It's really interesting to look at the games of the past and what they might give clues too in the future. With something like Black & White especially you can see the element of choice, good and evil which followed through into the Fable series directly and has influenced plenty of their work since.

In 1987 Peter Molyneux founded Bullfrog Productions, along with his then partner Les Edgar in Guildford, Surrey, England to develop an idea he had for a revolutionary new type of strategy game for home computers. This first game, Populous, went on to sell over 4 million copies. Molyneux’s follow-up designs included hits like Powermonger, Syndicate, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper. Each sold in excess of 500,000 copies and firmly established Bullfrog as one of the most innovative game design studios in the world. Another Molyneux title, Theme Park sold over 3.5 million copies and became a sensation in Japan.

History of Lionhead.

Lionhead Get Creative

This is of course nothing like an official announcement of a next game, but Lionhead have indeed of late been working hard on their 'Creative Bender' as it was labelled on a big Industry Developer site. The premise of the bender was to come up with original ideas that really test the minds of the people working on major blockbusters and let them loose for a while - getting the creative juices flowing and maybe finding some gems in the meantime.

"The results were astonishing. In two working days (as well as a few voluntary late nights) a monstrous level of creativity had awakened within the Guildford-based studio.
Some people had designed entirely new game concepts for Fable, while others decided to test Kinect in ingenious and innovative ways. Others, like the two games highlighted below, are too impressive to remain mere concepts."

Below are a couple of links to the main stories and two interviews with a pair of Dev's about their games and what they thought of the day. Who knows, maybe the games that were shown on that day could find their way into the next Fable project?

Interviews with Devs
Main story

Molyneux voted #1 Visionary

The man behind Fable, Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Black & White has been named #1 in the games industry by his peers in a new poll taken this month. According to Eurogamer.net 9000 developers in the industry were asked who their number one man/woman would be and the results are as below.

(From 1. to 10.)

Peter Molyneux (Populous, Fable)
Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, Zelda)
Jonathan Blow (Braid)
Will Wright (SimCity, The Sims)
John Carmack (Doom, Quake)
Mike Morhaime (World of Warcraft, StarCraft)
David Braben (Elite)
Sid Meier (Sid Meier's Civilization, Sid Meier's Pirates)
Masaya Matsuura (PaRappa the Rapper)
Dave Jones (Lemmings, GTA)

The man with the dreams managed to beat off some great competition for the top spot and if this doesn't make him feel like he deserved his BAFTA then nothing will.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Fable III PC: Out Now!

It's finally here - PC gamers can now officially explore the world of Albion with all the trimmings and more.

Choice has always played an important role in the world of Fable, and PC fans will have even more choices than ever, without the consequence. Microsoft Game Studios and Lionhead are happy to announce that Fable III for Windows will be available right now through Valve Corporations Steam distribution platform, in addition to Games for Windows Marketplace and in retail stores simultaneously. No matter how players decide to purchase Fable III, they will have access to the same exciting content as Xbox 360 players, including riveting Game Add-ons like Traitor’s Keep, in addition to new features like a more challenging Hardcore mode and 3-D functionality.

Lionhead.com PC Article.

Re-Crafting Albion for PC

Eurogamer just had a fantastic interview with Mike West from Lionhead Studios about the upcoming (well released in the US already!) PC version of Fable III and also what he and the studio thought of the game since its release, and possible additions for the future of the game/franchise.

Below are a few choice quotes, and the link underneath contains the whole interview.

People saying the story wasn't very good was unfair. It's an interesting situation of you gather people together and then defeating the main bad guy. It's a pretty good story and it's pretty fun.

In future games we're going to have difficulty levels for everyone on every machine, but this time we wanted to give PC gamers something more challenging. We've upped the difficulty level; we've stopped the player's health regenerating all the time - the player has less basic health, the AI attacks more often. It's tweaks. A couple of designers had time to go in and really ramp it up and make it feel a lot more hardcore.

Fable III Eurogamer Interview.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Albion's Pubs

So being a Bard I do enjoy a fantastic pub or tavern, so I thought I would start a collection of the many different pub signs from around Albion. I have found a few concepts now, and will be updating with more as and when I find the artwork for it. So far I obviously have the fantastic 'The Bloody Stump' one from Fable II and a smattering of others from the rest of the games, especially Fable III. One of the main reasons for me doing this is because I loved the pubs from the first two Fable games and the atmosphere that they gave to the player, especially in the second game. I miss the want to go and see what's going on in the taverns and play my lute, so here is me getting back to that for a moment.

Here are a few others from today and my dredging around on the internet. Below is a list of the taverns from Fable II to begin with and as I said will update as I go.

The Cow & Corset in Bowerstone Market, where Keystone can be played
The Sandgoose in Oakfield, where the Cow & Corset variant of Spinnerbox can be played
The Bloody Stump in Westcliff, which might be improved to The Foaming Jugs. Both will have the game Fortune's Tower
The Leper's Arms in Bloodstone, where the Bloodstone variant of Keystone can be played.

The Making of the Fable 3 House

Pretty awesome video of some people building a 'Fable House'

I would love to live in that house lol.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ask Lionhead - The Answers

So Lionhead have stayed true to their word and have given us a smattering of answers to some of the questions raised a couple of weeks ago about Lionhead, Fable and indeed the industry as a whole. It's a great look into the background of the studio and where they will be going (possibly) with future endeavours in the Fable series.

Click to see the full Q&A

Q: Do you feel like the movements toward simplicity and accessibility worked favourably for the Fable series, and if not, do you think the experiences and feedback gained from Fable II and Fable III will help you to make a better game?

A: The Fable series has always aimed itself as accessible games that could be played by anyone and there are many people that tell me that the Fable games are the only ones they have ever finished. From that perspective they have been very successful for our target audience. However, we have received criticism from the more core gamers and I would expect that future games will be designed from the start to appeal to both casual and core gamers. Our first step to that goal was adding a Hard mode to the PC version.

Pretty interesting stuff and probably one of the questions I was most interested in seeing answered (even if none of my own were!). With this in mind could a future Fable game really be ''the one'' we all want?

On the link as well they say to leave your new questions in the comment box below for getting answered in the next round. So, get your thinking caps on and come up with a few questions to really put them in the hot seat.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Russell Shaw Hard at Work?

So this is going to be more of a speculative post than anything concrete, so count this maybe more as a rumour starter! But as I was looking over the twitterverse I spied something very interesting from the people at Lionhead Studios come up on my feed.

Now of course this could be just Mr Shaw playing around, but as the man behind the score of past Fable games could this indeed herald something new? Like mentioned at the start take everything here with a pinch of salt, and it could be for a completely different project. However, with E3 coming very soon could Lionhead be planning a reveal of some kind.

We shall have to wait and see.