Peter Molyneux, the legendary English game developer, is known as much for what his games don’t deliver as for what they do. The maker of Theme Park and Black and White and Dungeon Keeper famously promises a revolution from each of his games, then castigates himself after the titles inevitably fall short.
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It was all rich material for a fake Molyneux Twitter that proposed hilariously overblown, pretentious game concepts. (“What if we all played a creature with 1 million eyes and we each saw through our own unique eye? Working together to travel dangerous lands”)
It turns out Molyneux has a sense of humor. He’s embraced the fake account, even appearing at a programming event dedicated to building games out of the fake suggestions:
The London jam was treated to a special keynote—from Peter Molyneux himself. He had eagerly followed the development of the event, now dubbed Molyjam, since Capone first tweeted about it, seeing it as a kind of cosmic confirmation of his decision to leave Microsoft. He had toyed with the idea of joining the jam, but he had too much on his plate, what with transitioning out of his old job and building a new company. Still, he was pleased to take the stage and say a few words.
The appearance cemented Molyneux’s new reputation as patron saint of the indie-game movement. Just weeks earlier, Molyneux had been eagerly promoting the forthcoming Fable installment; now he was railing against the small-mindedness of the entire videogame industry.
A raft of overly-serious indie developers would do well to take a cue from Molyneux. Poking fun at yourself doesn’t mean you aren’t a serious talent; in fact, it can be a wellspring of creativity.