As usual before each new game by Peter Molyneux, it is that time of the year when he admits that last year’s masterpiece was actually rubbish and promises to fix all its flaws – in addition to world hunger – in upcoming games.
“I thought the idea of leveling outside the GUI, but leveling in the environment and the world was actually quite a good one, but I'm not sure...,” he said in his latest interview.
“The real dream of that leveling process was that, as you went through each gate, there would be these tough choices for the player. Which chest should I open? This one or that one? The feeling that you're going through the game at your own pace, but having to make these tough choices, was never actually realized.”
Molyneux then explained that the development studio’s inner process was to blame for preventing him from achieving his artistic vision. “The process,” he explained. “The way that we designed, and the way that we crafted -- meant that the game came together very late. That is one of the things that we're changing; that is just such an old school way of working.”
The late blooming of the game’s design left the team with little time to balance and refine it, and “that meant that what could have been a great mechanic turned out to be a good idea.”
“I don't think that good ideas are a reason to do something; I think it has to feed into the overall experience to be a great idea. I liked the idea of not pressing the pause key and going to some abstracted GUI; I think that worked reasonably well,”Molyneux pondered before admitting that they “didn't have the time to craft that into what that dream was.”
But this is all going to change from now on. “It's because of those things that, now, when we approach development, it's very different, because we want to know precisely how long the experience we're crafting is up front, rather than waiting to the end, so that we have a clear idea how each of these mechanics is used, how they're meted out, how they're exploited, and how they're really used to amplify the whole drama of what that is.”