Molyneux: I've Never Made a Great Game

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Molyneux: I've Never Made a Great Game

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The millions of sales he's accumulated over the years aren't enough for Lionhead Boss Peter Molyneux - he needs an enormous hit before he'll be happy.

Peter Molyneux's biography makes for some impressive reading. He's founded two game studios, he pretty much invented the god game genre with Populous in 1989, and has been honored by both the British and French governments for his contributions to the arts.

For most people, this would be an incredibly respectable list of achievements, but Molyneux says he won't be happy until he's released what he thinks is a "great" game. Molyneux thought that he had made some good games, but never one that someone might put in a top-five list of his or her favorite games. He said that someone might consider adding one of his games, but they would never make the final cut.

He didn't consider his attitude to be humble, however, instead he thought that every designer should be willing to accept that not everything he or she made was perfect, and should be inspired by their mistakes. Molyneux said that he would actively seek out criticism of his work by posting under an alias on gaming forums and trying to spark a debate. His goal, he said, was to make it into the "triple-A club", which meant making a game that sold over 5 million copies.

Molyneux's willingness to admit to his own mistakes is possibly one of his most admirable traits as a designer, even if he is harder on himself than most reasonable critics ever would ever be. With Fable 3, which has apparently taken the mistakes of Fable 2 and corrected them, coming out next week, Molyneux might finally get that five million selling game he longs for.

Source: MCV

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Inb4 Molyneux sneaks into this comment section and lights up a debate about the flaws of Fable 2

Awwww...Molyneux.

I consider the Black & White games pretty great.

I don't care what anyone says: I love Peter Molyneux.
He's the most enthusiastic game developer/designer/idea-man I've seen in the industry. Ever.
He tries new things, he puts his ideas to the test, he's his own worst critic, and he's willing to admit when he screws something up. Seriously, even if he over-promises on some aspects of his games: The guy has a real heart for the industry, and a real passion to keep things moving.

Hang in there, Pete!

Lots of people seem to not like him but I think he's a legend... and I'm seriously looking forward to Fable 3.

Huh, interesting coming from him. Not to put the guy down or anything, but I kinda agree with him. The Fables weren't bad, just not so good. And the only other game I can remember at the moment, Black and White 2, just did so many things wrong despite it's huge potential. When Peter's games actually ARE what he says they'll be, that will be a grand day indeed.

Well, I'm certainly not arguing with him! Is he trying to get people to take pity and buy Fable 3? It's a marketing technique not usually encountered... but it's not going to work on me!!

Peter? Hello? The Movies?! The game that I have been begging you to make a sequel for?

Make it. Then you'll be a truly great dev.

Oh, and your Fable III thing looks pretty good, but doesn't it always?

Baby Tea:
I don't care what anyone says: I love Peter Molyneux.
He's the most enthusiastic game developer/designer/idea-man I've seen in the industry. Ever.
He tries new things, he puts his ideas to the test, he's his own worst critic, and he's willing to admit when he screws something up. Seriously, even if he over-promises on some aspects of his games: The guy has a real heart for the industry, and a real passion to keep things moving.

Hang in there, Pete!

Quoted for extreme amounts of truth.

Fables were good games, they just have some flaws, sooner or later we will have that truly great game.

I like Molynuex, I like all the games he's made plus he's so damn enthusiastic!

Peter is awesome... if a little over enthusiastic sometimes, but ill try and help him by buying Fable 3.
He is one of the people responsible for introducing "casual" games to "hardcore" games and I love him for that. In fact, if I'm ever to make a videogame mount rushmore he will be on it

Baby Tea:
I don't care what anyone says: I love Peter Molyneux.
He's the most enthusiastic game developer/designer/idea-man I've seen in the industry. Ever.
He tries new things, he puts his ideas to the test, he's his own worst critic, and he's willing to admit when he screws something up. Seriously, even if he over-promises on some aspects of his games: The guy has a real heart for the industry, and a real passion to keep things moving.

Hang in there, Pete!

He used to be a joke around my home town. He promised so many things and was simply never able to follow up with them. I love his dedication though and his ability to stand up and say "I'm sorry, my expectations were simply too high. I fucked up"

It's a great trait

The first Black and White was a great game. Other than that I agree.

I'm not sure whether this unexpectedly shows him as being human after all, or just annoyingly emo.

Maybe no one game has made it to triple-A (possibly because his true magnum opii were released before there were enough gamers in the world for it to be possible), but spread across all of them, it must have happened several times over. He's a visionary and a bankable talent. And that's enough ego stroking, just in case he's said this because he's feeling insecure and wants a bit of ass-kissing to soothe his psyche...

Ben Gepfrey:
Fables were good games, they just have some flaws, sooner or later we will have that truly great game.

Any game that ends with a SINGLE moral choice that renders every last thing you did before that irrelevant is not a good game. The fables are bad, bad games.

I've been saying he doesn't make good games for years, I'm pleased he and I are on the same page.

AugustFall:
The first Black and White was a great game. Other than that I agree.

That game consisted of hour after hour of trying to get something without a brain to something useful. You need seven loads of wood to make a wheat field while only one for a house, how is that not retarded?

Baby Tea:
I don't care what anyone says: I love Peter Molyneux.
He's the most enthusiastic game developer/designer/idea-man I've seen in the industry. Ever.
He tries new things, he puts his ideas to the test, he's his own worst critic, and he's willing to admit when he screws something up. Seriously, even if he over-promises on some aspects of his games: The guy has a real heart for the industry, and a real passion to keep things moving.

Hang in there, Pete!

I agree with this pretty much 100%. The only thing abour Molyneux that kind of irks me is how he sells a game, you know, talks the shit out of it and then it's turs out to be a vague cousin of what he said or not nearly as great ata all. But all in all, he is good for the industry, and I think he will one day make that GREAT game.

For once, I can take what he's saying without drinking down a bottle of 100% Dead-Sea water... wow...

Now if only he could remember this while hyping up the current Fables.

Bullfrog Studio.
That is all.

*thumbs up for Pete*

UberWaddles: No shit Molyneux, now stop wasting my time. Dont you have some crappy game to build hype about?

manythings: I will however concede that I often can't figure out how to play his games properly. maybe because of having been a happy little pirate waybackwhen and so not having the manuals ... but still... Syndicate was about the only one that was in any way intuitive. Populous was confusing, and Magic Carpet... well, just wierd.

Well ahead of its time in offering red/blue, autostereoscope and flicker-glasses 3D though.

Yes, Peter, we know.

Want to know a reason why? Because you let your ego/mouth write checks that your mind (or development team, whatever) can't cash. And once word of mouth gets around that you failed, again, to live up to your assertions, the disappointed masses don't buy your games.

I loved the Fable games, I thought that, despite their flaws, they're immensly fun and enjoyable.
Plus, they always had the greatest character shaping of any RPG I've played, and for RPGs, that's a pretty big thing for me.

Black & White is easily a great game in my mind. Sure it didn't do all it claimed, but nothing could or ever will be able to due to how outrageous some of those claims were.

Populus was also incredible for when it first came out, as was Syndicate (which I believed he worked on).

I also had a great time with Fable: The Lost Chapters, replaying it several times.

It's a shame he seems to be classifying a great game as one that sells well. There's so many examples were that isn't true, in both the way its meant and the reverse.

Couldn't agree more Pete.

Just because you make up a load of stuff about what your games will include doesn't mean they eventually will. Most developers are enthusiastic about games, that's why they make them. The difference is that the majority of them have the attention span (or rather, self-control) to know what they want to do and execute it properly.

Also: learn how to really emotionally-engage the player, not just "oh, you can touch your girlfriend in the game and it creates this great connection".

Just no.

Populous was pretty awesome...

Okay Peter, since you are opening up like that, here's a tip:

Gamers want games, not reality simulators. A game can choose to be immersive or not and still be great either way. But a great game HAS to have great gameplay.

Black & White was good, so was Fable 1, 2 (although it had flaws), and 3 looks awesome.

That's very good Peter; accepting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

The only game I've ever heard associated with his name was Fable. First one was OK, sequal was pretty bad, and I'm gonna give it a while before I decide whether or not to get #3. He may be enthusiastic and all that, but right now I think my precious money would be better spent on New Vegas.

I thought Fable: TLC was certainly a great game. It's weird to see Peter being humble though.

I much prefer his attitude to Mr. "I'd rather make a best-seller than a great game". Hey, maybe the latter could lead to the former? Wait, no, he's not listening, he's building a chest-high wall.

Aww, I liked Black & White 1 and the Fable games. They weren't the end all/be all game he said they'd be but they were still good. I'm very excited for Fable III.

I hope the day in video games comes when Peter says it's gonna be the best game ever and it actually happens.

As much as I admire Peter and love almost everything that came out under Bullfrog and Lionhead, I guess he is right...none would make my final cut as top 5. Dungeon Keeper, Sim Theme Park, Fable and Black and White games were all excellent, but all had their flaws. I guess that's kind of the point though; they're creative and risky, which is what makes them so memorable.

I like his willingness to accept and learn from mistakes though. I can certainly relate to the feeling, although not in the same context (other than mental hypotheticals...). Fable 2 was a bit of a let-down to me given that Fable became my standard for the genre, and always just felt like a trial/transition into Fable 3, but this is just my opinion; a friend of mine considers it a better sequel to a near-perfect game.

Anyway, it's good that he holds himself to high standards. It shows that he's all about the craft, not the profit, which is increasingly seeming like an issue in the industry today.

Is it weird that I'm starting to like this guy?

I'm not too keen on any of his games, but I can't help but admire his enthusiasm for his medium.

Sure, he's a bit nutty and he hypes his games to high heaven. But y'know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.

Well good for him, I love molyneux and am looking forward to fable 3.

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