Fable Anniversary Interview

VG247 has posted an interview with Fable franchise manager Ted Timmins, centered around the recently released remake of the first title, Fable Anniversary. Here's a couple of snippets:

The most immediate thing to notice is the visual upgrade of the game. But what do you hope the players will discover after spending some time with Fable Anniversary?

I fully expect someone on the forums to do a complete side-by-side analysis of the entire game, which is going to be interesting. There are a lot of little touches here and there. We've done the big things like the visuals, the brand new interface and the save system to go with that. But on the other end of the spectrum there were lots of loose ends that I really wanted to tidy up. I've been playing the original game a lot over the past year and I'm constantly remind of not just the flaws of the original but you want to stay true to the original as well. We don't want to go too far that fans think it's an evolution of the original.

As an example, in the original game when you get an item it would show you just an image. Then you would have to press A to close the screen, go to the user interface, sort through the different panels and screens and eventually get to the item you'd just received. For me, it was a real no-brainer to allow players to equip the item from the item screen. And we needed them to be able to read about the item, and if it's a weapon they need to see if it's more powerful than their current weapon. So things as small as receiving a new item we put a lot of thought into implementing and improving it. There are tens of those examples that we've tried to fine tune for 2014.

Some of those design issues were of the time. They were standard 10 years ago but have since been made obsolete. You obviously can't go about chopping huge chunks of gameplay or code out of the original game either, so were there any aspects of the original Fable that you've found frustrating as a designer, things you're unable to change?

It's really difficult. I came to terms quite early on that this game will never get a 10 out of 10 review. That's just the reality of doing a remaster. Unless you just happen to have a games reviewer who is the biggest Fable fan. When we worked on Fable 2, for example, we were aiming for the tens. With Anniversary we're hoping for 8s. Of course if we get a 9 no one is going to complain.

So when you start working on the design stuff I think some of the quests are a little outdated. Being frank, some are just a little bit rubbish. But then you can also look at it and see it as part of the charm. As much as I think something might not be great, there may be players out there who remember that quest as their favourite part of the game. For that one person they may be longing to play that again. Of course there are frustrations but we were constantly reminding ourselves that it's a remaster and people will be picking this up because they want to relive it. Some people have told us its the first game they ever played and I have that attachment to other games. It's important that we don't fall too far from the tree.