Fable Heroes
Fable Heroes - From Side Project to the XBLA
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“Fable Heroes started off as me and some mates at work going, 'Let’s make a Fable game!'"

Ted Timmins knows the Fable franchise better than most. Beginning his career on the original game back in 2004, he has since worked on every title in the series. So when offered the opportunity to come up with ideas for his own project, he leapt at the chance to dream up a spin-off.

Here Timmins tells us the story of how Fable Heroes grew from just an idea to a full XBLA title, a central part of this spring’s Arcade NEXT promotion.

“Every year at Lionhead we have a Creative Day where everyone gets together and can make whatever they like,” explains Timmins. “It can be a game, a new piece of tech, it can be a tool, it can be a PowerPoint presentation of the greatest thing ever made... We decided to make a game.”

“It started off with me and my friend Jon chatting over a coffee,” he says of the project's inspiration. “We said, 'Wouldn’t it be cool to have a 4-player Fable?' - and it was like ‘Ding!’ So we went away and grabbed 4 other guys and we said, “We’ve got this crazy idea of doing a retro feel Fable game.” 

The idea was enough to convince them. Together, the six friends crafted the first level, before taking it to the boss himself, Peter Molyneux. 

“We showed it to Peter,” says Timmins, “and we showed it to Louise Murray, who’s the head of the franchise and they were like, ‘This is awesome… and unexpected.’”

Then came the wait. “We waited a few days and then got an email from Louise saying, ‘Peter and I have decided to green light this for production… and you get your own offices.’ We were like ‘Oh my God!”

It would be the last game that Molyneux would green light, before the legendary developer left Lionhead.

“They said they weren’t going to get too involved,” says Timmins. “So we immediately moved offices, across the road from the main studio. We had three months to start with, to go away and see what we could do.”

As confidence in the project grew,  three months turned into eight, while the team of six grew into fifteen. But it didn’t stop there.

“Peter asked us to do a company presentation,” says Timmins, “so we did it and then loads of people just came to us and said ‘I don’t care what I do, I want to work on this.’

When Timmins explained that the team was already formed, the contributors weren’t discouraged. “They were like, ‘Well, I’ll do it in my spare time, I’ll do it at weekends,’” says Timmins.

“So we’ve got levels that a friend of mine from work has made in his spare time, we’ve got animations that people have done just to get them in. Even though we’ve got our small little team, we’ve got support from everyone at Lionhead. It’s been amazing.”

More than anything, however, Fable Heroes is a game of firsts, for both Timmins and Lionhead. “Lionhead’s never had a 4-player game,” he says. “It’s never made an XBLA game. And I’ve never been a Lead Designer before, so it’s a new role for me.

“I’ve tried to create this open forum design feel,” he continues, “where if people think the game needs balloons, or slippery ice, or exploding heads, we’re like, ‘Yeah, just do it.’”

It’s this personality and passion that Timmins hopes will shine through in the game itself. “This isn’t Lionhead or Microsoft moving the franchise,” he says. “This is a few people who love Fable making a Fable game.”

“It’s been great that everyone has got so involved and everyone feels like they have a personal investment. Hopefully when players play Fable Heroes later this year, they’ll feel all of the love that’s gone into it.”

Fable Heroes is out on May 2nd for 800 MSP. You can read our preview of the game here.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 1455
Comment #1 by tripleb2k
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 10:45:12 AM
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I wasn't sure about this at first but the more I hear about it, the more I want it.

Forum Posts: 316
Comment #2 by RedBlinky
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 10:56:53 AM
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it looks fun to me but it seems to be drawing quite a bit of hate

Forum Posts: 35
Comment #3 by allmightydragon
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 11:02:17 AM
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I'm not sure what this will be like, but I will get it and find out for sure!

Forum Posts: 615
Comment #4 by doomey
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 11:03:18 AM
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I agree, I think it looks ace.

Forum Posts: 120
Comment #5 by alklein35
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 11:05:38 AM
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It looks pretty good. Would like to hear more on it!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #6 by TommyD758
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 11:19:30 AM
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With Fable Heroes, Trials & Minecraft I'm just glad more games are offering local 4 player when most games these days don't.

Forum Posts: 76
Comment #7 by Wallbanger
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 11:20:31 AM
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Just got 2000 points ready for this and trials evolution.

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #8 by RemoteStratos
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 11:40:07 AM
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I'm starting to find some interest in this game as news becomes more available. I'm always on the hunt for new/old multiplayer games and this might fit the bill. I'm also hoping for a PC port.

Forum Posts: 1749
Comment #9 by UberPirateNinja
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 12:42:56 PM
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i'm thinking that me and my kids will enjoy this, looks to have the same vibe as the awesome castle crashers.

Forum Posts: 468
Comment #10 by GDMFS0AB
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 03:29:34 PM
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Ted Timmins on Lionhead: “It’s never made an XBLA game."

What about Fable pub games? That's xbla.

Look forward to this game. love the fable franchise.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #11 by CodyTheGreat7
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 04:01:03 PM
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I thought this was Fable Journey at first, but this game looks awesome. Def a buy, prob skip journey though.

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #12 by LeeBradley [STAFF]
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:09:20 PM
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Fable Pub Games wasn't made by Lionhead, dude. It was some other studio.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #13 by Smurfboy
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 06:07:32 PM
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I'd love to try this game out. Looking forward to it.

Forum Posts: 6121
Comment #16 by Crimson Ridley
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 06:05:45 AM
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@14 and 15; Stupid spam. Your winter fashion isn't exactly what I would wear if I didn't want to freeze my bollocks off.

OT: This game looks pretty cool, but I hope they can pull it off and not just have another Castle Crashers/Four Swords kind of game (great games, granted but repetition isn't a good thing).

Forum Posts: 1946
Comment #17 by sleepydumbdude
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 09:08:42 AM
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I'm looking forward to this. As long as it gets decent reviews like a 6-7 out of 10 then I'll probably end up picking it up.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #18 by spike2055
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 09:33:04 AM
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Fable games got worse and worse, they took out so many good things from the first to the second and then the third was the worst of them all.. I would not even want to try this.

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #19 by Callam001
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 09:52:02 AM
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fuck sake i try to read peoples comments and i see spam from dfhrtjhrt. seriously that cunt needs banning

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #20 by cheevo360
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 12:51:44 PM
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I have no interests in this or Fable Journey. I best wait for Fable 4 so I believe this will be on next Xbox console :)

Fable 3 got really letdown. I hope Fable 4 to be better like first and 2nd series. :)

Forum Posts: 150
Comment #22 by darkboy1200
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 10:00:47 PM
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Really looking forward to this, looks like some thinking outside of the box for Lionhead which I can dig. Very happy to see it supports local MP and that it's the cheapest of the bunch because I'm actually kinda looking forward to this the most out of the whole bunch in a weird way.

Forum Posts: 1635
Comment #23 by HugTheBear
Sunday, April 01, 2012 @ 12:31:15 PM
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@21 you're not going to find douchebags that wear Ed hardy or affliction on this site. Go spam a fraternity website.

Ot: I enjoyed all the fables. If I have some extra points I'll get this. Looks fun.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #24 by elKazaam
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 04:44:07 PM
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i´m a bit irritated, i found this on under the kinect-sektion (roleplay). thats a mistake, isn´ít?

Forum Posts: 977
Comment #25 by MeonOner
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 02:33:41 PM
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Going to be getting this fersure, 800 MS points, 400 gamerscore. Playing Fable 2 right now and really liking it. Played Fable 3 a few months ago and decided to pick up Fable 2.

Forum Posts: 72
Comment #26 by gratchimodo
Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ 04:59:38 PM
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Looks fun and worth checking out, I enjoyed the other Fable games...

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Game Info
Lionhead Studios


US May 02, 2012

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