During a one-on-one conversation with writer Frank Rose at South by Southwest titled "The Emotion Engine: Can a Video Game Speak to the Heart?," Lionhead's Peter Molyneux offered some early details on the episodic potential of Fable 3, citing the serial nature of Charles Dickens' novels.
He began by comparing Fable 3's industrial setting to the mid-19th century setting of Charles Dickens' London, calling it a "brilliant time to set a game." "You look at the characters and the world that someone like Charles Dickens developed and you think, 'Well, it would be brilliant to feel like you're walking through that Dickensian version of London with a little bit of darkness.' Those novels, if you don't know them, are very, very dark," Molyneux explained. "They're written in a way that breaks the story up into these episodes. So why don't we do a similar sort of thing?"
Though Molyneux told Joystiq just last week that Fable 2's episodic experiment had been "massively successful," he stopped short of promising similar functionality for Fable 3; however, yesterday, he seemed to suggest they would be doing just that. "So what we're thinking with Fable 2 to start off with, and with Fable 3, we're going to give you the first big episode and then allow you to continue to download new episodes," Molyneux said. "And that's analogous to the way Charles Dickens wrote his books."
Asked if he would be developing these episodes "as you go along," Molyneux responded, "This is the new world of computer games where in fact, a lot of us are now saying, is, 'If we can have a really strong digital relationship with people then that means you don't have to entirely finish your game or your universe or your experience on release.'" Now, before you get upset, appreciate that Molyneux knows how "strange and bizarre" that sounds, so he's got two examples to help you better understand.