As if Lionhead didn't have it difficult enough convincing Fable fans that upcoming Kinect spin-off, The Journey, was a fully fledged Albion offering, they've now come out and admitted the team is ditching the series' famed humor in favor or a lighter, more family-friendly brand of comedy. Speaking at the Develop Conference, lead artist Tak Saito revealed the news and explained why the team opted to work on Unreal Engine 3 rather than Lionhead's in-house tech.
"Because our game is also aimed at a family audience as well as core gamers, we also like to go for a lighter feel," Saito told the assembled press at Develop. "We're losing some of the black adult humour characteristics of Fable and going for a lighter feel - vibrant, fresh, playful." While Lionhead is obviously hoping this will appeal to Kinect's already well-embedded family audience, it'll do nothing to impress the already unimpressed core crowd.
Moving on to The Journey's tech, Saito explained the reasoning behind the switch to Epic's popular UE3 tech. Until now, Lionhead had always opted for their in-house engine, but Saito reveals that UE3's swift turnaround and accessibility. "Another direction of this project is that we tried to make it quickly," said Saito. "That actually made us decide to take on Unreal, because we don't have to worry about technology side." He claims the switch was "really smooth", and impressed the team at Lionhead so much they've opted to use UE3 for their super secret project.
In relates news, fellow Microsoft stable Rare was present at the Develop Conference, with studio chief Scott Henson claiming that with Kinect, the next-generation is already here. "The power of software, the power of services, and the power of platforms is that it's always now," said Henson, in regards to the constant questioning over when the next-generation of consoles would arrive.
It's no secret Microsoft is looking at Kinect to lengthen the 360's lifetime, which allows the company to reap the profits, rather than invest heavily in a new console and spend another five years recouping their losses. [Eurogamer]