Playground Games is now a world-renowned studio for its racing game license Forza Horizon. In July 2020, Xbox announced it would commission development of the series reboot fable, an action RPG set in the studio. To achieve this, Playground Games recruited many people: developers, screenwriters… Last week, the former Principal Game Designer of fable between 2017 and 2021 Juan Fernández gave an interview to the Spanish side vandallooking back on his career and this special time.
From Hellblade to Fable, combat is at the heart of his work
After working on the first Hellblade, After taking charge of the entire combat system, Juan Fernandez joined Playground Games in October 2017 as Principal Game Designer Forza Horizon
During those years at Playground Games, Juan Fernandez took on multiple roles to help the studio. On the combat side, he was thus able to define what requirements had to be met and what concepts these were fable should include. It was therefore necessary to create the technical systems needed for development, to write documentation but also to do research on the other RPG actions. Part of his job was to understand the attractive points of other games of the same genre and take inspiration from them while keeping the essence of the series Fable.
It’s good to be ambitious, but you have to be realistic. And what I saw was that it got longer and longer and stuff like that personally, I don’t know if I have the creative capacity to work on the same project for so long.
The pandemic that hit in 2020 clearly didn’t help with the shift to remote work, which also motivated him to change his environment. However, Juan Fernandez will only find good words about Playground Games if he has laid the technical foundations necessary for the project before leaving.
It’s been a great three years and I think so fable is a very interesting IP. The game has incredible potential with a very good team. The best thing that Playground has done in the last few years is recruitment, there’s a lot of talent. I wish them the best of luck and am really looking forward to playing it.
The development of fable appears to be on the right track after a start that required many strategic hires. When Juan Fernandez left, it was also to rest and turn to smaller projects first nomadaway from large productions as intended fable. The designer has since returned to work on another highly anticipated game at Ninja Theory: Hellblade 2