The lights are on
Lionhead's upcoming Fable Anniversary is being designed with two audiences in mind. First, the game marks the first time the original Fable (and its Lost Chapters content) is available natively to the Xbox 360 – giving fans who jumped aboard with Fable II a chance to see where it all started. The game's also been revamped to give veterans a reason to go back to the game a decade later. I spoke with Ted Timmins, the game's lead designer and the series' newly appointed franchise director on what players in both camps can expect to see.
Timmins had celebrated his 10-year anniversary at Lionhead the day before we spoke.
Game Informer: Did you work on the original release of Fable?
Ted Timmins: Yes, I started as a work experience. I don’t know if you have it in the U.S., but in the U.K. when you come out of college, it’s quite common to get a one-week placement in a place of work. It’s unpaid – it’s a bit like an internship, just without money, and it’s only a week. And at the end of the week, Lionhead asked to keep me on to do a one-month testing contract, so for a month I tested the original Fable game, and then one month became three, three became six, and yeah, after a couple of years I moved into design and just continued from there really. Yesterday, I was also promoted to franchise director, and that was a complete coincidence. It was nice to be able to look back and go from pretty much the bottom of the ladder to now looking after a franchise and also being able to be the biggest fan of it. I consider myself to be one of the biggest fans. It’s been a nice 10 years, to be sure.
Yeah, yesterday was quite the day. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in going to the pub because we’re very busy obviously finishing Fable Anniversary, but at some point I will go to our local pub and have a few drinks I imagine.
Just to get this out of the way, Fable Anniversary was delayed until February. Were there any particular reasons, aside from needing additional time for polish?
Yeah, it’s just polish stuff really. We felt if we were going to hit our original date of October we would have to sacrifice too much quality and we weren’t prepared to do that. It’s never easy to make these decisions and to push things back, but we just wanted to make sure that what we release in February will meet the high expectations of our fan base. We’re still working late, we’re still working weekends – we’re not off the hook. When you push a game back, it doesn’t mean you suddenly get to see your family, it just means that you get a bit more time to make something that you’re proud of.
With anniversary being in the title, a 10-year anniversary sounds more prestigious than a nine-year one. My wife and I celebrated our nine-year anniversary this year, and we just got a frozen pizza.
Honestly, that’s a really good way of putting it. There were a few eyebrows raised when we decided to call it Fable Anniversary, but ultimately what we were trying to get at was when Halo Anniversary came out on its 10-year anniversary, I think what was great is that it set the expectations for what fans can expect from a first-party Microsoft remake. And we wanted to continue those expectations through to Fable. Sure, Fable Anniversary, the ninth anniversary doesn’t have quite so much a ring to it, but it might make people think of Halo Anniversary and what they can expect in terms of quality, polish, and the love that’s gone into it. We chose the title more based on that than anything else.
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Man, I love Fable: The Lost Chapters. What a great game. I'm looking forward to this game, too.
Remember Fable before it completely sucked.
That's pretty awesome how he started from one week of unpaid work to being the BMOC.
Can't wait! I've never played Fable: The Lost Chapters, only the original so I'm glad I will get to experience it now!
This was an awesome read. I was bummed out about Fable Anniversary being pushed back, but after reading this I now understand that they want to give fans the best possible Fable remake they can create.
Fable is the best game in the series, and the only one I truly loved. I can't wait to get this version.