NEWS - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Wrapping Up Fable

The past year has been an incredible one for Fable and now we're getting to the stage where it’s finally finished! More and more people on the team can finally say they're done with their work and can have some more time off, while others have to work twice as hard to make their deadlines. This of course is only a good thing; as only two and a half months are left for the team to get the game out. From that point the version will be pressed on a DVD and shipped to the different stores around the globe; Fable will be released in September in the US and somewhere in October in Europe. Why postpone the European release by a month you ask me? Basically because all European languages are being put on one disc (e.g. so Belgian gamers can play the game in English if they wanted to) and Microsoft needs a month to translate our 22,000 lines of text, a 160,000 words, in all European languages. I think this is understandable and not worth worrying about. The game itself is looking so polished now; I was especially surprised by the whole ending of the game. Without revealing anything about the story - that's one of the best kept secrets regarding Fable - I can tell you something happens to your family and as you play your way through the whole story most of it becomes clear. In some way or another that is, because there are many different twists and ways to deal with certain events. The final chapter for example can result in four different endings for the game, all depending on the different choices you've made during the time you played Fable. It's also complex and interesting to discover; the whole story leaves a lot of possibilities for the future. As you come across many different characters and places, you learn more about Albion and its people. This will answer many early questions but - and this is typical – raise new ones! The story is fucking amazing as it hooks you in right form the very start. After you finish the game, it becomes even more interesting; as you can go back to all places in the world of Albion and do all the stuff you missed or had forgotten about, you can continue to go on a quest or experience life in the villages and towns. Or explore the world! It's cool and guarantees an almost infinite replay-value. You will also be pleasantly (or not so) surprised by the effect that completing the game has - as some things will have changed for good in Albion… The final balancing of the game is also being done and tested, and sometimes this brings forth a funny story. Ben Huskins and Josh Atkins are mainly the ones responsible for this aspect. It's now for example possible - after you decapitated an enemy - to play soccer with the head you just sliced off. If you manage to hit someone with it (the head that is), it will do a little bit of damage! Crossbows haven't been dropped; gay marriage hasn't been dropped, etc... but in these final stages the team has to make difficult decisions about certain features and if certain bits are left in as they are or completely cancelled. Sometimes it's impossible to finish a certain feature before the deadline, but I am sure the team tries to reduce this to an absolute minimum. Currently only a few things had to be changed or cancelled, but as a community pet (and your voice to the team) I plead to keep everything in, even if it doesn't work! Sometimes people don't like it for example when I try to raise the point regarding Horns and Halos again, I get angry looks from around the office, or the occasional punch. Funny! Sam, Community Pet Lionhead Studios


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