Throwback Blog: Heroes get remembered, Legends never die.

September 13, 2016 9:19 am

Blogs >> Throwback Blog: Heroes get remembered, Legends never die.

Just a small preamble to this post, as I think it’s required. This was a blog I wrote the night before my last day at Lionhead Studios in April 2016. Lionhead was such a huge part of my life, it was where I found my career, it’s where I was given opportunities, where I joined my Pride. I feel it’s important that I start my new website with this blog, because it’s where I came from and thus it’s where the podcast came from, or at least the drive to actually do something useful with the contacts I’d made…

“Tomorrow will be my last day at Lionhead Studios. It’s such a small sentence, yet I’m having such trouble processing it. So much trouble, in fact, that I sat on the sofa and attempted to write a tweet THREE times before finally realising that I was trying to stuff every thought in my head into a miserly 140 characters, and thus decided to resurrect my ancient blog.

So, this is probably going to be a bit long winded and hopefully not too bleak. This is not a comment on decisions made regarding Lionhead or Fable Legends. I just want to document this precise moment, before I get in my car tomorrow morning and head over to Occam Court for the last time. Call it closure.

Tomorrow will be my last day at Lionhead Studios.

When I appeared at the doors of Lionhead in 2012 I was still trying to find my place in an industry that I loved by doing the only thing I knew – admin. Lionhead needed a PA/Team Administrator and my friend Jessica (who was Audio Designer on Fable Heroes) put me forward. I remember my car had some kind of reaction on the way to the interview and ended up spewing green sludge all over Occam Court’s car park (Coincidentally, once I got the role at LH, I tried to always park in that same stained parking space – so no one would see the mess I made). The interview itself was fairly non eventful – in fact, I think I may have gotten the job thanks to having met the Office Manager at the time, Kim, at a show my Guns N Roses cover band had done a few months earlier. Rock and roll unites!

So on I went, for 2 years or so, as the worlds most mediocre administrator.

You’re wondering what the point of all of this is, aren’t you? Understandable. The point is to highlight just how much of a chance I was given by Lionhead and the team there, in what turned out to be the best two years of my working life….

When we started work on Fable Legends, my boss allowed me to spend some of my day as assistant to the newly reappointed Community Team. I answered fan mail, and in doing so filled in all the gaps in my knowledge of the Fable Franchise, and maintained the Facebook page a little. Eventually, I was promoted to Social Media Coordinator and just like that I side stepped into a role that my brain was still having trouble associating with ‘work’. It felt totally unreal.

Team Fable Legends at E3 2014

Lionhead Studios, through the medium of Fable Legends, gave me opportunities that I previously believed I didn’t deserve. I’ve never been an over achiever – why on earth would I be picked for E3 or any of the other shows?! But I was. I was on stage in the Xbox Media Briefing at E3 2014. It was insane. Completely and utterly mind blowing. The week that followed was intense hard work, our rag tag band of Lions & Lionesses who were all so proud to be showing Legends at E3, equipped with an overwhelming resolve to get as many people as we possibly could to play Fable Legends AND love it. You see; we knew we had a fight on our hands from day one, but we tackled it head on and enthusiastically. We saw people that were adamant that Legends wasn’t the game for them walk away from a tutorial with us with smiles on their faces. I learnt a huge amount at E3, and I would hazard a guess that the experiences we all had on that trip will stay with us forever.

Lionhead Studios, through the medium of Fable Legends, gave me opportunities that I previously believed I didn’t deserve. I’ve never been an over achiever – why on earth would I be picked for E3 or any of the other shows?! But I was. I was on stage in the Xbox Media Briefing at E3 2014. It was insane. Completely and utterly mind blowing. The week that followed was intense hard work, our rag tag band of Lions & Lionesses who were all so proud to be showing Legends at E3, equipped with an overwhelming resolve to get as many people as we possibly could to play Fable Legends AND love it. You see; we knew we had a fight on our hands from day one, but we tackled it head on and enthusiastically. We saw people that were adamant that Legends wasn’t the game for them walk away from a tutorial with us with smiles on their faces. I learnt a huge amount at E3, and I would hazard a guess that the experiences we all had on that trip will stay with us forever.

Being heroes at GDC 2015

The loss of that incredible team & community is what I mourn this evening, and have been mourning in a very abstract way since we were delivered the news. I’m not saying Lionhead is the only studio that forges these friendship bonds, of course it happens in other places too, but the Lions made it feel unique. The people in that studio have given me a career when before there were just jobs, they’ve given me confidence in what I do and have offered support every step of the way. Yes – of course it was still hard work, of course there were tough days, of course there were frustrations; at shows we worked until our knees swelled up and our voices gave out. It was still work, but it was also our passion. Our journey ended in the saddest of ways, but I would argue it was all worth it.

Lions past and present – thank you. Thank you for making me laugh through the hardest of times. Thank you for teaching me about so many things. Thank you for trusting me to carry your project at key moments. Thank you for having faith that I could ultimately be more than I believed I was. The talent held within the walls of that studio will soon be bursting out to find new teams and work on more incredible projects. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and there are some pretty special acorns about to get out there and try some new things.

*Edit* Upon re-reading I’ve realised that this blog is a little disjointed, so sorry about that, but more importantly I haven’t specifically called out the life-long friendships that I’m about to embark on with so many people at I met at and through Lionhead Studios. That building holds within it, for a little while longer at least, some of my closest companions and partners in crime. I don’t have to name names, you and everyone else know you who are, but without you guys I wouldn’t be half the person I am today nor in a position to head out into the world and take on my next adventure. You’re all fucking Legends, forever.

Good luck to each and every one of them. To the Lions!

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(It’s Ribena, honest)

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