Fable Began As a World Building Game Called Wishworld

Fable's origins can be traced to a strange little game called Wishworld.

Fable Wishworld

In an interview with the YouTube channel People Make Games, Dene Carter (the co-creator of Fable) revealed more about Wishworld; the game that eventually became Fable

For those of you who don’t know, many of the first public references to Fable referred to it as Project Ego. For all intents and purposes, Project Ego was what Fable would eventually become. Wishworld, though, was what the Fable team were working on before they started to really dedicate their work to Project Ego/Fable.

Wishworld is best thought of as a far more ambitious take on the Actraiser concept, even if that’s not the first impression that the game gave off. That is to say that it combines elements of action/adventure gameplay with world building. The project’s basic concept saw you play as a wizard who must help to rebuild the world using advanced forms of magic. People Make Games got to play a very early build of the game and were surprised to find that it played very similar to Fable in many respects. 

However, that’s because the build they played is actually just a build that the team showed to Microsoft after they received funding for the project. Their real plans for Wishworld would have seen players execute ambitious kinds of magic that would allow them to grow entire forests, mountains, and other natural wonders. What you could create would seemingly be based on what kind of terrain you were on, but it does sound like they intended to offer quite a bit of creative freedom. 

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Where things get really interesting is when Carter starts talking about some of the game’s combat. He describes a scenario where the player takes on a fire enemy by going to a water area and creating a kind of mermaid character that is impervious to flames. It all sounds ambitious and certainly quite different from many things that have come before or since. 

Sadly, the team says that they had a hard time really selling anyone on the idea. That’s when Fable morphed into what we eventually got. Speaking of which, there are still those Fable 4 rumors that we hope to hear more about at E3 2019. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014