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Peter Molyneux still hates everything Peter Molyneux has done

Peter Molyneux has been pretty hard on himself lately. He called Fable II's story "rubbish," and said that the game was "rushed" and contained "huge design flaws." Looks like his hyperbole goes both ways - he can hype the hell out of a damn dog, and he can tear down his past accomplishments with the same deftness. Now everyone's favorite self-deprecating game designer is making fun of his big talk about Black & White's weather patterns.

While the game was in development, Molyneux told the world that Black & White would contain dynamic weather effects which changed depending on the actual weather outside the player's house. The idea is perfectly possible (it's been implemented on the Wii since then), and was back in 2001, but no one figured that Black & White would actually interface with a weather server just to make in-game rain match the pitter-patter on gamers' roofs. The feature never made it past Molyneux's promise, and even if it had been implemented well, Molyneux doesn't think it was a good idea.

"I've got a Fonz shark moment... you know, where he's jumped over a shark on his motorbike, and after that Happy Days was s***. My inverse one of those was when I thought of the idea in Black & White of introducing weather patterns in the game that were the same outside your window, that was my 'shark moment'. Fortunately I woke up and thought: 'Why the f*** did I do that?' If you lived anywhere in the world, you don't want the weather in the game to be outside your window... you want the opposite. It was a dumb, stupid idea," he told GI.biz.

Woah there, buddy! It wasn't that bad of an idea. It was just unnecessary - Black & White didn't need any gimmicks.

You might find Molyneux's stream of self-criticism disingenuous, but I'm still sympathetic, for now. Creative pursuits can involve a lot of self-doubt and frustration, and the pain of hindsight can be crushing. Everyone's got something they look back on saying or doing that they now realize was absolute nonsense, and the intensity with which Molyneux embraces ideas has given him lots to shake his head at.

But self-deprecating introspection can only go so far before it seems like just another dumb hype ploy. Throwing Fable II under the bus isn't going to make us like Fable III more. Making fun of past hype isn't going to make us trust future hype. Say some daily affirmations in the mirror, Molyneux, you're more fun when you're rattling on about love and companionship like a new-age sex therapist.

Jul 19, 2010

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21 comments

  • BannedInDC - July 19, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    Where is the reddit button? Fuck Digg.
  • skynetiscoming - July 19, 2010 7:10 p.m.

    @BannedInDLC LOL Mr.Snrub. I don't like stuff like this out in public. Can't he just be like everyone else and hate himself on the inside. Like the article says, it just seems like he's trying to get attention so he can build up even more hype.
  • JNewman - July 19, 2010 7:19 p.m.

    If Molyneux is trying to be self-effacing in order to project a more human figure, I say let him do it. Sure you can be cynical and say it's all an act, but the more important question is: is it an act you like? I don't even like any of his games, but I like Peter Molyneux's public persona. It's full of silly enthusiasm and often self-consciously so. His sincerity (even if it's arguably artificial) is refreshing, even when he's bashing himself. Doesn't mean I like his games, but still...
  • Felixthecat - July 19, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    @BannedInDC - It's under fucking Share/Save, stop asking. Anyway, I like Mr. Molyneux, and I hate the people who hate him for no reason besides the fact he hypes his games to the extreme, and I could care less about that. If people allow that to get in the way of Fable 3 being a good game (which it most likely will be), then they're a dick.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - July 19, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    Molyneux is a really fun guy. I had the privilege of meeting him once, and I can say from experience that he's genuine. I think he just has to watch himself sometimes - if you keep going "Okay, okay, that thing I made, that sucked, but this one is going to be great," people are going to grow weary of it.
  • juicenpancakes - July 19, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    Heehee. The title made me giggle. -- I've always likes Molyneux's games, and I think he's a really good representation of game developers.
  • ViolentLee - July 19, 2010 7:43 p.m.

    Fonz was actually water-skiing over the shark, Mr. Molyneux; he didn't bike over it.
  • number1hitjam - July 19, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    Sounds like an artist to me
  • RebornKusabi - July 19, 2010 8 p.m.

    Well good because I hate everything Peter Molyneux's ever done as well. I'm sure he's a nice, great and fun guy but being a great person does not equate to making good video game design decisions in my book...
  • Axcleblade - July 19, 2010 8:17 p.m.

    He kinda made me not want to buy Fable 2.
  • quicksilver_502 - July 19, 2010 8:38 p.m.

    i can't dislike molyneux. sure he overhypes his games (which are usually still fairly good) but you can see he doesn't do it cynically to get sales but because he is genuinely excited about his latest project. i can't hate a man who major flaw is eagerness.
  • Mechamorbo - July 19, 2010 9:04 p.m.

    Best headline of the month goes to... TYLER!
  • Psylockerules - July 19, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    *sigh* molyneuex is a prick, in a years time is he going to start slagging off Fable3? Microsoft need to shut him up
  • garnsr - July 19, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    I enjoyed both Fable games, and don't remember them doing anything that different from other action RPGs. I don't think I've played any other Molyneux games, but his stuff is fine, not world-shattering. Anything groundbreaking that's done in one game is usually replicated in half a dozen others withing six months, so it can be hard to see the big changes very easily sometimes.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 19, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    two years later, he'll be saying the same things about Fable 3. And Fable 4, etc.
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 19, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    I wonder if he has a self-mutilation basement chamber where he flogs himself, while screaming, "Fable sucked!". And then he chokes himself a little.
  • chrisda - July 20, 2010 12:03 a.m.

    I see talk of Fable going on, but what about Black & White? Why is one of my favorite games of all time never talked about? We need a Black & White 3 people.
  • whiteknight1981 - July 20, 2010 3:35 a.m.

    so we hate designers who make mistakes in games and dont fess up to them. And we hate designers who fess up to mistakes, even saying he knew an idea was garbage. Man, gamers love to hate.
  • ElGuybrush - July 20, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    Maybe he was just a little high, so-so ideas tend to seem brilliant then as far as I've been told.
  • shyfonzie - July 20, 2010 11:36 a.m.

    Aww, poor Moly. I know where he's coming from when he gets so down on himself.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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