Posted tagged ‘Peter Molyneux’

The Bread Crumb Trial: Why Fable 2 should be wary of half-baked design choices

May 26, 2008

In Ultima VII: The Black Gate, it was possible to bake your own bread. You would collect the ingredients and, tediously it must be said, combine them to cook on a fireplace. You could eat the result. For years afterwards, a PC PowerPlay colleague and I would jokingly cite “baking bread” as the must-have feature for any game proclaiming “endless player freedom” or the capacity to “do anything you want”.

Randy Smith has written a quietly defiant column over at Next-Gen – which originally appeared in a recent issue of EDGE. Quiet because the former Ion Storm designer has an easy-going, almost laidback style. Defiant because he’s railing against – albeit in a casual way – a prevailing trend in game design: hand-holding, or to put it another way, the design philosophy that states the player should always be having “fun”. What’s interesting about this last aspect is that it’s implied that there’s only one way to have fun, and the game designer knows best.