Microsoft is reportedly having a rough time developing its new Fable game. The project, which is currently being handled by Forza studio, Playground Games, has hit a development snag. According to sources, Fable’s development has been rather slow due to the studio’s engine. So much so that the studio has been forced to downscale the RPG in order to make it work with the game engine.
If you don’t know, the new Fable game is currently being built on the same Forza engine Playground Games uses to make its racing games, ForzaTech. However, this engine has turned out to be more for “racing world-building” rather than “large-scale open-world RPG” building. The tools available a reportedly not up to the task required to build Fable.
Gaz who spoke during a new Colteastwood podcast last night, claims that his source confirmed that Playground Games has been forced to downscale Fable in order to fit the game onto the ForzaTech engine. Gaz claims that his source spoke about the gameplay mechanics the team originally had in place for Fable. He says that the team could not fit these mechanics into the engine due to technical restrictions.
Another issue surrounding the Fable development is the lack of expertise at the studio. Originally, Fable was being built with a team of around 200 developers. Playground Games has since doubled that number in order to help with the game. Gaz claims that the original team don’t have much RPG development experience but rather is used to making racing games. So expanding the team was necessary.
He goes on to say there is “nothing to worry about” but the development is going to take longer than expected.
This report also backs up a previous one by Vandal. A few weeks back, the site also claimed that Fable was struggling with the ForzaTech engine and adapting Fable to work on the game engine. In an interview with Fable game designer Juan Fernandez, he confirmed that the studio was having some trouble adapting the engine to build an RPG and not an open-world racing game.
Playground is […] very organized and production-driven. Every two years they put out a Forza Horizon, which has more than 90 on Metacritic, with incredible quality. They have taken racing games and they’ve dominated them these last few years. They’re very smart and they know what they’re doing.
They wanted to branch out with something different and they thought that what they do well is open world racing games, [but] they lacked people with the knowledge of how gameplay is done. In an open world, how you control a character and the actions are very different from what you have in a racing game. At the technology level, you have to develop animation, scripting, a quest system. Moving in a car at 300 kmh has very different requirements than walking through the countryside.
The studio has also reportedly taken on a new “do more with less” approach to Fable which has also slowed down the game’s development.
Action RPG open worlds are incredibly complicated to do, they take a lot of time. A lot of people and in Playground they have the mentality of doing more with less, that if Assassin’s Creed is done by 5000 people they will have 150 or 200, and if they do [Assassin’s Creed] in 7 years, they’d do Fable in 5. It is good to be ambitious but you also have to be realistic and what I saw is that [development] was getting longer and longer.
Microsoft will most likely showcase Fable for the first time during its Xbox and Bethesda event next week.