In Fables of the Penitent Thief, you must atone for your criminal ways! After you robbed the king of all of his prized possessions, an evil ghost threatens to take over the castle from the man who is no longer kingly enough to hold onto the throne. It's up to you to recover the king's treasures that you've pilfered, but where have they all gone? The new owners may not wish to part with them!
I began work on Fables with Marcus Zuppinger late in 2009. It hearkens back to the rpg and adventure games of the late 80s and early 90s, with a focus on exploration, puzzle solving, environmental challenges, and lots and lots of humor. The goal of the dark-engine based project was to create something as far removed from our usually dark, gritty, and austere projects as possible, in an art style that allowed extremely rapid development of assets and highly stylized and abstract environments. In addition to being really fun to work with this style, it allowed us much more time to focus on story and puzzle/quest design since we weren't burning countless hours detailing out realistic, lush environments.
Fables is broken up into six main quests all centered around a city hub with many colorful characters to chat with and gain hints and side-quests from. Though these quests may be completed in any order, certain quest items needed to begin the more difficult ones can only be found by beginning the easier ones. These quests include...
- Finding a series of colorful wooden parts that need to be assembled to complete a picture,
- Escaping from a tower where each stair teleports you into a different room and you can never go back the way you came,
- Exploring a twisted up house where up can be down and sometimes sideways,
- Sneaking through a mansion with shadowy stealth gameplay,
- Being shrunk down to the size of a bug, and more!
I created a large quantity of 3D art assets for the game (including all interior props) as well as level and puzzle design for three of the six quest areas, and one of the five town squares. Though the original concept was developed by Marcus (I came into the project at the halfway point) the plot and quest design is a complete collaboration between the two of us. Fables was released during the fall of 2010, after just under a year of development.