Fable, Big Blue Box’s ambitious dream

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We delve into the origins of one of the most iconic games on Xbox, Peter Molyneux’s dream of delving into the RPG genre Fable is one of those unique games that appear from time to time.

It is difficult to find similarities with other titles, since it takes a little here and there and disperses it at will. It integrates a small dose of games of being god of Molyneux; also some Zelda in his combat mechanics and exploration of the environment. However, it was for its genuine elements that it made a name for itself in the RPG hall of fame.

Albion, land of lush green fairytale landscapes. A classic fantasy with chattering doors that recite puzzles and cartoonish beings that invite us to go on amazing adventures. Equestrian paths that lead to charming towns like Bowerstone, whose people scamper proclaiming our latest exploits. Cheers or offenses, sometimes also fear for our actions. On top of these quirks, the unmistakable component of Fable was the sly humor of British origin that covered his entire world. “Chase chickens, do you chase chickens?”

What is the legend behind the Oakvale hero? And the influence of the Black & White designer in the adventure? On this trip to the past we will discover the commitment of two brothers to fulfill their dream.

After the departure of Bullfrog

In 1997 Peter Molyneux was leaving Bullfrog to take command of his new video game company, Lionhead Studios. A year later, Dene Carter and Simon Carter, along with Ian Lovett, followed the designer’s steps to lay the foundation for their new studio, Big Blue Box. Creative independence would give them freedom to shape an idea that had been spinning in their head for a decade.

His future creation contained picturesque landscapes, towns full of life and npcs that would react to the actions of the protagonist. They wanted the player to enjoy an experience away from the hackneyed role-playing setting. This is how Dene Carter commented:

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“Our initial goal was to create a massive and very relevant role-playing game where people who don’t usually play RPGs saw that this way of playing is fun. Why it might appeal to them even though, perhaps, they never had a D&D in their lives. ” But there was a small problem: they had no experience creating RPGs.

The Carter brothers had a good friendship with Molyneux. In one of their usual encounters with the popular British designer they shared the uncertainty of those days. Molyneux immediately understood the couple’s dilemmas. In fact, he had recently founded his own studio and was going through many of those setbacks. In the small meeting they shared their main obstacles: finding a publisher that accepts risks to innovate and apply the appropriate technology. However, small studios ran into added barriers, and the most cumbersome was carrying the tasks of different departments that constantly slowed down creative work.

In order to help new startups, Lionhead devised a network of satellite studies through which they would relieve teams of administrative burdens. In addition, they would make available the necessary resources for the development of their projects. Big Blue Box was one of the first studios to count on Lionhead.

Although many ties were undone, the project’s survival depended on finding a publisher with hard cash. And as you well know, these types of companies are not easy to cajole. But they firmly believed in his idea. And they had the support of the media Peter Molyneux and Lionhead. A piece of cake, they thought.


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