Saturday, March 19, 2011

For he's a jolly good Fellow: Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux - gaming legend, Megabits of Gaming favourite and seemingly the most enthusiastic guy in the industry - was awarded the Academy Fellowship at the 2011 BAFTA Video Games Awards this week. Frankly, it's about time.

The inventor of the God game genre has seen me waste huge chunks of my life manipulating my virtual minions and tweaking the terrain to become an all-powerful deity. Since Populous back in 1989 - a land-levelling God game, where you controlled the environment rather than a single character - his ideas and innovation have captured the imagination of gamers worldwide.

There have been plenty of other landmark titles along the way too, including Dungeon Keeper, Black & White, Theme Park, The Movies, the Fable series and one of my personal all-time favourites, Syndicate.

As a fan, I must admit I thought it quite cool having to pass his Bullfrog offices on a daily basis when I lived in Guildford, UK.

Sometimes criticised for his overpromises and hyperbole, Molyneux acknowledged in his acceptance speech that he had - on occasion - been a little misleading to the press:

"I'd like to thank the press for listening to my stuff and sorry I've slightly overpromised on things on occasion," he said. "I could name at least 10 features in games that I've made up to stop journalists going to sleep and I really apologize for that."

A clearly emotional Molyneux was touched by the recognition for his 25 years in gaming.

"This industry is incredible. Every day I wake up and thank the stars. I love my job so much and really feel like going back home and working harder than I've ever done to really prove that I deserve this award," he said.

Congratulations Peter - now please bring us a Syndicate sequel!!!

(Photo credit: BAFTA)


Hi Bojeeva,

Which move is Peter Molyneux's next move ?

His last excitement over Markus “Notch” Persson's Minecraft could be explained by the fact that he now starts to think of his own first sucess, Populous, as a pioneer Minecraft.

Playing the game reminds him of the chills he had while building on his first classic with no specific genre in mind, no main character, etc. :

- started by programming a vast barren land,

- tweaked over this empty space without clear goal for many many weeks,

(thanks to Glenn Corpes) it ended out being Populous.

He knows he always knew that the "no (upstream) designer meaning" was actually the meaning. This could lead to something.

hint : Jason Rohrer's Chain World.