Fable III Interviews

Two more Fable III interviews appeared on the 'net this weekend, including this article-style discussion with Peter Molyneux over at Digital Spy:
For Fable III, Molyneux has taken the bold move for an RPG of not including any 2D menus or lists. He said that Fable II's menu systems for spending experience points and levelling up the player-character smacked of "bad design", with players having to scroll through hundreds of options in menus and sub-menus.

"That is just not good enough in today's world. You just can't get people excited about scrolling down sub-menus," he said. "We had to think more revolutionary, so I said that Fable III is not going to have a single list in the entire game. Everything that you do is going to be in the world. To be honest, that was a crazy thing to say, but the team has done a fantastic job."

The no-lists approach is designed to always keep the player in the game rather than stuck in tedious static menu screens. All market shops will display their products visually rather than in list form and even the heads up display has been stripped bare, with no icons spoiling the graphical vistas (health is indicated by a red tinge to the screen which recovers over time). Molyneux said that levelling up was a "cool thing to do" in Fable II, but was "atrociously implemented". The third game will change the levelling up system so that it's not done in a 2D menu, but via a visual path with a series of gates. Guild Seals are spent on opening gates to level up your character. Each gate represents the next stage towards the initial goal of Logan's castle, which Molyneux said is a "visual metaphor of the journey to power".

And then we have a standard Q&A with Peter on I.Eat.Games:
You say the weapons in Fable 3 will change their appearance as you level them up. So let's say you focus on fighting in one particular style and you love your weapon, and then later on you switch to another style changing it's appearance unfavorably. I'm curious if it's possible to go back to the sword design that you originally liked?

Its just like the morphing system that we have applied to our hero. If you start going down one path it'll start changing the sword, but you can bring it back too. You might have to work a little harder to bring it back though.

What's so cool about all this is that the name of the sword changes with your gamertag integrated into it, and it will always be known as that too. So you will be able to sell it and watch it on-line to see what other people do with it.

It's a really really cool system!

From the development side, changing what the different buttons do has lead us down this route of crafting your own weapons. It's lead to the player feeling like they're getting more powerful, this thing that you're holding in your hand is getting more powerful--I think it's just really really cool.

Is there any kind of visual indicator in terms of the weapon level-up process?

Yes when your sword levels-up, the player will have this sort of Greyskull moment and they will see their sword change.

You know, it's interesting that everything in the game is based on a scale of one-to-five. We didn't want these sort of complex systems in Fable 3. So, for instance, you can have a one-to-five sword, one-to-five hammer, one-to-five in jobs, the muscles in your arms--everything is one-to-five.