Lionhead co-founder discusses the illusion of humanity, and why it works
Peter Molyneux has revealed more on the inner-workings of his latest project, Milo, by stating that the Natal-reading avatar is very much like a illusionist’s mind trick.
In fact, speaking to Develop, Molyneux specified that Milo is “an awful lot like” the British illusionist Derren Brown.
Derren Brown has made a career out of incorporating both magic traits such as legerdemain with psychological practices such as neuro-linguistic programming, often leaving his audience with the belief that a simple trick had involved impossible feats such as mind-reading.
“Derren Brown can’t really read your mind,” said Molyneux. “What he does is collect together a number of little tricks that tell him things.”
One could speculate that Molyneux’s choice of words suggests that Milo’s use of Natal will incorporate calculations and readings that the players will not be aware of.
“You’ve got to remember that we’re not creating a piece of academic research; Milo can’t actually think – we’re just making the illusion that he can,” he said.
Throughout his interview with Develop, Molyneux made it clear that most crucial value of Milo was not how it employs numerous tricks, but how the character’s performance immerses the player.
“What we’re showing is a tentative first step towards making something that feels real. And by real, I mean that he’s aware of you.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Molyneux talks about the emotional AI that has permeated through old Lionhead and Bullfrog games, or at least were perceived to. He also reveals exactly why Milo needed to be a mad boy, and makes the astute observation that adults are “tough, complex and disturbed creatures.”