Recreating fan favorite titles has been on the rise recently with the likes of Halo: Anniversary and Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The problem that developers often face is how to make the game to the best of everyone's expectations. In an exclusive interview with Examiner, Ted Timmins, Lead Designer on Fable Anniversary commented on some of the challenges his team faced and why finishing this remake was in some ways harder than creating the original title.
"I've been in the game industry for ten years," Timmins begins, "and this is the hardest thing I've ever had to work on. I’d be quite happy if I didn't work on another re-mastering ever again. That is tongue in cheek; it has been an incredibly fun project."
Asked why this was so difficult, Timmins comments, "There are three things that make it so hard. First you have your own expectations of what you want to see in a re-mastering."
"I played Halo Anniversary, and it was everything I wanted as a fan. I played Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the 3DS, arguably one of my favorite games ever made. I've seen what those games have achieved, and that was our target."
He continues, "But also, the fans that have played this game, they have their own expectations. There are certain things they’re going to want to see and certain things they don’t want changed."
"Then finally, the development team that worked on the game ten years ago, we need to make sure we do their work justice. That team worked so hard for so many years on Fable 1," he sternly states, "that I want them to be proud. So we've probably put a bit too much pressure on ourselves, but hopefully it has lead to us treating this game with the respect that is really deserves."
As always the fans are going to feel entitled, expecting their desires to be catered to, but Timmins doesn't shy away from that.
"I've got to be honest; I might not read the forums for the first week just in case (laughs). The great thing about the Lionhead family is we interact with fans daily, I’m an active user on the forums. They are our audience; our customers and we have to make sure that everything we do is aimed squarely at them."
Returning to what was arguably the best Fable title released means that fans are going to have high expectations. Timmins knows realistically that his team hasn't nailed everything but in the end, he just wants people to have a good time.
"I probably haven’t made every single decision that will make them happy, but if 99% of the decisions we've made lead to a smile or they think, ‘this game is exactly how I wanted it to be, then I’ll obviously be ecstatic."