[an error occurred while processing this directive] Hype :: March 01
Interviews with Peter Molyneux here.

02 Mar 01 Eurogamer Interview
Eurogamer has an interview posted.

“Actually what is judging whether you are good or evil is the little people. And this is the philosophical point behind the game. It’s sort of inspired by the saying “if a tree falls in a forest how do you know it makes a noise”. So if you do evil things and nobody sees you do them, you don’t get any more evil for it. But if you do evil things in the middle of a village and lots of people see them then you get a lot more evil. So you realise that the little people are judging you, but they’ve got no real power over you.”

05 Mar 01 GameSpot UK Begins 12 Days of Black & White
GameSpot UK has a bunch of stuff upcoming over the next two weeks focussing on B&W. Day 1 brings us a gallery of screenshots and a wallpaper.
05 Mar 01 GameSpot Q&A
GameSpot has posted a Q&A with Molyneux, the first part of their Days of Black & White.

Initially, we studied quite a lot of psychological texts to learn more about the development of children, but in the end, we shied away from this as it didn’t work in gameplay terms. So in the game, a creature’s peak learning cycle is when he is between 3 and 8 years old (estimate this to be one creature year equals one hour of actual gameplay time).

06 Mar 01 GameSpot :: Black & White Day 2
Day 2 brings us a hands-on preview and a trailer from GameSpot US.
06 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Black & White Day 2

“We didn’t start work on the game proper until February 14th, 1998, but it has stayed remarkably true to the original design.”

Day 2 of GameSpot UK’s 12 Days of Black and White gives us a three-page interview, really a censored version of the one posted by GameSpot US yesterday. Molyneux talks a little about himself and a lot about the development process.

“My creature enjoyed playing many games of catch with Andy Robson’s creature, but this may have been because he was better at catch. After a while Andy’s creature was getting fed up, and he did the most amazing thing when my creature wasn’t looking. He placed a rock in the fire so that it got hot and then maneuvered it into my creature’s pile of rocks with his feet. My creature picked up the hot rock and badly burned his hands.”

There’s also a few quotes from the dev team on Creatures.

Molyneux’s quote ::

“Creatures are like people in that they like some Creatures more than others. I have seen Creatures sort of fall in love, and once saw my Creature wander off hand-in-hand with his favourite playmate, and then sit side-by-side on a cliff to watch the sunset.”

07 Mar 01 GameSpot :: Black & White Day 3
GameSpot US continues with part 2 of their preview.
07 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Black & White Day 3
GameSpot UK continues with more dev team quotes on Creatures.

Molyneux’s quote ::

“The first time the Creature came alive was a magical moment for the team and me. He stood there and looked at us and then started reaching down at his legs. We were surprised but as he kept doing this we realised he was trying to eat himself. We had programmed him to eat the most nutritious substance around but had omitted to type in ‘excluding yourself’. We have of course put in this caveat now!”

08 Mar 01 GameSpot :: Black & White Day 4
GameSpot US concludes their preview with a look at Creatures, while GameSpot UK gives us a preview of Miracles.
09 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Black & White Day 5
GameSpot UK interviews Molyneux about B&W on the PS1, and how he got the idea for B&W.

“Now, actually, the idea for the Creatures came right at the very end of Dungeon Keeper. I had one of those stupid little Tamagotchi eggs, and it was right at the end of Dungeon Keeper, where at the end of any project you’re working flat out. You’re working about 20 hours a day, and you don’t see any other human beings, other than the people you work with. I had this little egg, and I’d really grown attached to it and taken it around with me everywhere. Feeding it when it beeped, and I was a bit frustrated that you couldn’t be nasty to it. Anyway, in the end, I left it on a table, and one of the testers, who was testing the game – the head tester, Andy who’s testing B&W, now – drowned my Tamagotchi in a cup of coffee! It was honestly as if a part of my family had been taken away from me. And I thought, at that time, if I could create an emotional attachment to a little plastic egg, we would be able to create something that changed – something that you could interact with. Something that learnt from you. Think how powerful that is.”

10 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Black & White Day 6
GameSpot UK continues with part II of the interview, with God Games, game design and Creatures.

“Animals, you know, a 200-foot cow standing on two legs is a little bit surreal. In fact, to be completely honest about that, it is completely surreal.”

11 Mar 01 Eurogamer Interview Part II
Eurogamer has an posted part II of their interview.

“It’s true that Black & White is a god game, but it’s a story-based god game, and that’s something that I have never attempted before. There’s been directors from the BBC helped us with it, and scriptwriters from Hollywood coming in and doing bizarre things like saying ‘can you shave a quarter of a second off the cut of this’. I would never ever have thought of that. It’s just a very interesting thing that we are starting to use people from other industries.”

And another quote, on gaming platforms –

“It really comes down to the way you sit. I know that sounds bizarre, but if you’re playing a console game you sit back and you’re relaxed and you play for fifteen or twenty minutes. If you play a PC game you sit up and you’re concentrating on the screen, and so when you’re developing a PC game you kind of know that the person is going to be there for a few hours.”

12 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Day 8 + IGN Begins White Week
Horsey Looks AroundIGN PC begins its countdown to release with a series of articles, beginning with a focus on White and an introduction to the Good side of things, along with some screenshots and a 12Mb gameplay movie.

GameSpot UK features B&W’s AI.
13 Mar 01 GameSpy Dev Dairy + GameSpot UK :: Day 9 + IGN :: White Week Day 2
Steve Jackson updates his Dev Dairy with part 13.

GameSpot UK interviews Mark Webley, project manager and programmer on B&W. Also today is a preview, Playing the Bad Guy.

BearBear!IGN PC continues with Day 2, covering the myraid creatures that you can choose as your Titan.
The one thing that you must remember is that these creatures are very sensitive and intelligent! These are things that are not to be trifled with. Undoing something taught can take a lot of time, so reflect on your teachings before you set them in motion.
14 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Day 10 + IGN :: White Day 3 + GameKult :: Screenshots
GameSpot UK has an interview with Jonty Barnes, senior programmer at Lionhead, where he talks about sitting close to Molyneux, as well as a gives us a peek at the development of B&W. Also today is a preview, Do Good Guys Finish Last?

IGN PC continues White Week with White 103: How to be a Good God.

GameKult has 37 Screenshots, new wallpaper, anyone?
15 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Day 11
GameSpot UK previews the PS1 version and brings us a PS1 Gallery.
15 Mar 01 IGN :: White Week Day 4 – Interview with the “Good” Molyneux
Day 4 of IGN PC’s White Week brings us an Interview with the “Good” Molyneux.

“There is definite cause and effect in Black & White. However, remember that all these methods are extremely subtle – there is no one action or activity that will suddenly make you good. For instance, tending to your villagers and helping them wherever you can, plus choosing good solutions to challenges will definitely help your people to revere you. But there are times when an initially evil action such as killing could be viewed as good – for example, a wolf may be coming into the village and killing your people. Killing that wolf could be seen as good, whereas not killing him would be bad – hopefully we’re successfully showing to the player that there are always choices to be made. Every action you make has an effect – uprooting a tree makes you infinitesimally more evil while growing and nurturing them will make you that little bit more good.”

16 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: Day 12 + IGN :: White Week Day 5
GameSpot UK concludes its 12 Days of Black & White with a preview and a Screensaver (1.55Mb).

The last day of IGN PC’s White Week shows us a preview of the game as a Good God.
16 Mar 01 Black and White Goes Gold
Lionhead Studios is proud to announce that Black & White has gone…The Official Site has turned into a golden screen with the following statement hidden in the html source code –
Yes, its offical and its true.

Finally, after over 3 years of development, Black & White has gone gold.

And we all here at Lionhead Studios are proud and happy that we finally did it.

A big Thank You to everybody who supported us over the last 3 years.

So in a few weeks you can finally play Black & White and we hope that you’re going to enjoy it as much as we enjoyed developing it.

Drop us a message if you want: gonegold@bwgame.com

“Why do you fear time, my good old friend?”
“At the same moment where Time is responsible for the most amazing smile, somewhere else it covers a face with anger and sadness. Time is Good and Evil, Black & White.”
This was sent in to us, I understand it came from an email sent to all members of the Lionhead Forums.
Lionhead Studios is very excited to share the news that Black & White for the PC HAS GONE GOLD!!!!!!!

“Everyone at Lionhead has been longing to see those words and it is with profound sense of relief that I am writing them.

Black & White has been the most epic project I have ever worked on and it feels as though these past few months have been the longest of my life. Everyone here at Lionhead is very proud of what we have accomplished. I would like to pay tribute to each and every one of them for their creativity and hard work in making what started out as a two page description, become the stunning experience that is Black & White.

I should also like to thank the press for their continued interest and enthusiasm for the game. Most importantly I would also like to say thanks to all the fans, it is has been their support that made the hard times worthwhile.

I hope that we have repaid that support with a truly great gaming experience

Yours faithfully

Peter Molyneux”

Thanks to all who have been supportive over the past 3 years, we truly hope you’ll love the game as much as we have loved making it.

– The Lionhead Team

p.s. Mark your calendars and get your pre-orders placed – Black & White is scheduled for a massive worldwide release with a shipping date of Friday March 30th, it will be in your store on April 6th 2001. :)
17 Mar 01 GIGA Games
GIGA Games has an interview, I think, in German, I think.
18 Mar 01 Gold in Black & White
GameSpot UK and GameSpy both tell us that B&W has, indeed, gone gold.
19 Mar 01 IGN :: Black Week Day 1
The House of EvilIGN PC continues with Black & White after a weekend hiatus. They begin Day 1 of Black Week with an introduction to evil.
It’s the survival of the fittest out there and that means the strongest and the most ruthless. And I can see that gleam in your eye that says you’re the one. Come on and get a taste of the action.
20 Mar 01 IGN :: Black Week Day 2 + CDMag Preview
Unholy Cow, Batman!Day 2 of IGN PC’s Black Week brings you a look at evil creatures, along with screenshots of some unholy Titans.

CDMag has posted a preview.
20 Mar 01 Molyneux Speak about TIGA
Right at the bottom of this GamesDomain page, Molyneux speaks a little bit about his thoughts on the forming of TIGA, the Independent Games Developer Association.
21 Mar 01 IGN :: Black Week Day 3
Day 3 of IGN PC’s Black Week gives you some tips on playing the dark side.
22 Mar 01 IGN :: Black Week Day 4 – Interview with the “Evil” Molyneux
IGN PC releases an Interview with the “Evil” Molyneux on Day 4 of Black Week, basically a full repeat of the White interview.

“Like real people, your Creature will respond, react and behave based on the treatment and learning you provide them. One example could be, Creatures will be more scared of you and less inclined to try things out for themselves they will be inspired by and try to copy your actions – really bad Creatures are bad to everything and good Creatures would be the exact opposite. However, it should be made clear that Creatures have a separate alignment so an evil player could feasibly have a good Creature, and vice versa.”

23 Mar 01 IGN Ends Black Week
IGN PC has ended its run of Black & White Weeks, with a preview of the game from the Black point of view.
I plucked a tree from the ground and threw it at some people. (My creature) then started running a little ways and then waiting till I caught up. Eventually it arrived at the tree that it wanted to kick over for me. Isn’t that cute. My own little misfit.
24 Mar 01 B&W Ships!
B&W has shipped!

According to this thread, EA.com has shipped out copies of B&W via UPS. The creature add-on will be shipped seperately later.
24 Mar 01 BBC Covers B&W
BBC News has an article about AI in games, with a focus on the revoluntary AI used in B&W.
(A creature’s) ability to discriminate has already produced some real surprises for testers and creators alike during development. In one situation a creature kept losing a stone throwing game to another creature. To get revenge it heated a rock, planted it in the pile of stones to be thrown and then fell on the floor laughing when its rival burned its hands. All without being told what to do.
25 Mar 01 The Official Site Goes Live
The Official Site is up. Some pages are still being worked on, but most of the links are working.

Even if you haven’t bought the game, you want to register now, before you have to put a number behind your handle. Go do that first. We’ll wait.
25 Mar 01 GameSpot UK :: The Godfathers of Gaming
GameSpot UK has a feature, The Godfathers of Gaming, which credits Molyneux with inventing the god game genre and serves as a rather good biography of Molyneux’s professional achievements.
25 Mar 01 The Official Site Down
The Official Site is down again. mmm, wonder what’s up with that.
26 Mar 01 GameStop.com Interview
GameStop.com has an interview, along with a Bonus Creature, the Mandrill, for you to download.

“You cannot turn any living thing in the game into a Creature. We liked that as an initial idea but found that it was impossible to make this work. For example, what if you wanted to make a fish or a bird into your Creature? Or what if you chose a human. We weren’t prepared to have people slapping humans around in the way that you can slap animals. Especially, if the humans were women or children.”

I find the last line very refreshing, considering the violent nature of games. Not that I don’t like violent games, just that keeping a child like a pet is a bit much. And the following quote from the Biography at the end of the Interview.
An articulate and eloquent speaker, Peter has given talks at the British Film Institute, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Dortmund Museum of History and Culture. At one particular business symposium in Japan, Peter was the lead speaker, billed above another of the PC industry’s gurus, a certain Bill Gates of Microsoft.
27 Mar 01 B&W Released!
According to this press release, EA.com and Lionhead Studios has released B&W.
27 Mar 01 The Official Site Lives Again
Just visited the Official Site. It seems to be working nicely again, without the broken links and images. 7,500 registered users, over the past three days, half of which it wasn’t even working. That’s pretty impressive.
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