- Sid Meier, Firaxis
- Bill Roper, Blizzard North
- Brian Reynolds, Big Huge Games
- Bruce C. Shelley, Ensemble Studios
- Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios
- Alex Garden, Relic Entertainment
- Louis Castle, Electronic Arts/Westwood Studios
- Chris Sawyer, Freelance
- Rick Goodman, Stainless Steel Studios
- Phil Steinmeyer, PopTop Software
- Ed Del Castillo, Liquid Entertainment
Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios
One of the computer game industry's most revered game designers is Peter Molyneux, the brilliant (and soft-spoken) managing director at Lionhead Studios. And talk about a track record! Molyneux is responsible for some of the most beloved PC games, including Populous, Magic Carpet, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, and the Black & White series. Molyneux is currently overseeing a number of new projects, including Project Ego, Black & White 2, Black and White: Next Generation, and The Movies.
Molyneux shares some advice he wishes he was told before he got involved in this industry:
Come up with a concept that's easy to explain in a sentence or so. This was highlighted to me by Bing Gordon at Electronic Arts back in 1993. I was heading up to a meeting to try to sell the concept of Magic Carpet. [As we rode up together in the elevator] I said that I was looking forward to making the presentation, and Bing replied that if I couldn't explain the concept on the way up then it probably wasn't a good concept. We were on the first floor, and the meeting was on the second floor.
Games that are easy to explain and that deal with subjects people can easily understand are always going to be more successful than more abstract ideas.
The most brilliant concept is useless unless you can think of the way that people will play the game. In the end, game design comes down to interface designthe key to making games playable is how you'll get people to interact with your concept and how simple the interface is.
Don't be frightened to be original and innovative. Remember that the greatest game concepts and interfaces are yet to be designed; just because everyone else has done things a certain way previously doesn't necessarily make it the right and only way to do something.
Put to the testto support his advice with real-world examplesMolyneux passes brilliantly:
Molyneux once said in an interview that he would prefer to make games with a shorter development period. He clarifies this point:
Molyneux talks briefly about programming in Chapter 11 and breaking into the industry in Chapter 21.
Figure 3.3 Peter Molyneux says, "The greatest game concepts and interfaces are yet to be designed." Pictured here are a couple of sneak peeks at the upcoming Black & White 2. (Used with permission by Lionhead Studios.)