Fable co-creator Dene Carter explains how ‘ripping off’ scope from other games can get development back on track

Fable co-creator Dene Carter explains how ‘ripping off’ scope from other games can get development back on track

Dene Carter, a prominent game designer and programmer, has shared some tips with fellow developers. Uses the first one Fable as an example, he tried to explain why one should not be ashamed of copying the scope from other titles.

Fable's in-game world was "scammed" from Devil May Cry

Carter shared his thoughts in a Twitter thread, saying that it’s okay to 100% tear the scope off another game when you’re feeling lost. He hopes that this advice can save someone “from going completely off the rails under theirs [development].”

So what does Carter mean by that?

Recalling the development of the first Fable, he said that the size of the game’s world was inspired by it devil may cry. “[I] noticed the world was something like 82 zones,” Carter wrote. “It didn’t seem excessive. It reused and re-contextualized areas. It worked for a relatively short but high-quality game.”

So he decided to repeat this approach for Fable. Carter counted the number of zones, their size, and the average time the player spent in each to use this information to build Albion.

Literally copying the scale of DMC, the interaction density of Silent Hill, and the encounter style of the first Way of the Samurai changed Fable from a floppy, undefined, never-ending death march to something we could actually complete without ever having worked on a 3D game.

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Dene Carter

co-creator of Fable

Carter added that there’s nothing wrong with taking other games’ scope, as long as you don’t use themes or steal ideas from other projects.

In the comments, many developers thanked Carter for sharing this tip. “This is exactly what I needed to hear to know I was going in the right direction,” a user named April wrote.

“I remember finding out that the original Nine straight up used the exact dimensions on Ocarina of Times overworld for its overworld and it ‘inspired’ me to do the exact same thing for my game,” another user so.

Who is Dene Carter?

Carter has been developing games since the 80s and released his first project when he was just 15 years old. He made his name while working at Bullfrog Productions where he contributed to the production of Popular: The Beginning and co-created Dungeon Keeper.

After Peter Molyneux left the studio, Dene founded Big Blue Box with his brother Simon Carter. Together they worked on Project Ego and secured an agreement with Microsoft. This game eventually became Fable and came out in 2004 after Big Blue Box merged with Molyneux’s new company Lionhead.

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