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Lionhead Studios Working on a multi-platform MMO project – Fable Online to be expected?..

Lionhead Studios Working on a multi-platform MMO project – Fable Online to be expected?..A news came through TenTonsHammer that Lionhead Studios has opened a vacancy at Microsoft Careers.com (proof) for a programmer who is supposed to work on an MMO project! Exception from the job description: “Lionhead Studios is seeking a highly skilled Experienced Principal Programmer to be a key contributor on an unannounced title. The ideal candidate is someone who enjoys playing MMO games and has significant experience with the workings of a massive online multiplayer environment”. Well, you can bite my ass if they’re not working on a Fable MMO! And here’s why i think so.

First, let’s see the full job description from MS site. Interesting stuff is in bold.

Date: Dec 2, 2011
Role Purpose

Lionhead Studios is seeking a highly skilled Experienced Principal Programmer to be a key contributor on an unannounced title. The ideal candidate is someone who enjoys playing MMO games and has significant experience with the workings of a massive online multiplayer environment. The role will focus on defining the high level network architecture for the project, security concerns, support for seamless post-launch updates, and implementation of server features.
Team/Department Mission
Are you a highly talented individual who enjoys a challenge and is brimming with drive and enthusiasm? Do you feel your skills and talents are waiting to find the right creative environment in which to thrive?
At Lionhead we strive to create successful, landmark games and to be one of the world’s most respected developers. To that end we are continually looking for bright, talented individuals to join our team. We are well aware that new employees and fresh ideas keep us the dynamic and creative Studio that we are!
Key Accountabilities:
Technical design and implementation for the high level network architecture
Work with the Technical Director to establish the post-launch update technical architecture
Work with the Design and Programming teams to ensure the feasibility of multiplayer features
Identify security concerns and offer solutions
Key Success Criteria:
All high-level server related aspects of the project are understood before entering Production, with at least a technical design produced.
Game design components are well-supported by the server architecture during Production, and implemented without being held up by server architecture shortcomings
Knowledge, Skills and Experience
1) Essential Experience
Passion for playing MMO games
A minimum of 1 shipped MMO title as a Network Programmer
Substantial game programming experience
Architecture experience (client / server, cloud)
Experience dealing with network and server security issues
Experience with lag compensation
Fluent in C++
Leadership potential or previous leadership experience
2) Desirable Experience
Database development experience
Low-level network experience (protocols, packet optimization)
Experience with load balancing
Multi-tier architecture experience
Xbox 360 / Xbox Live experience
Multiplatform development experience
Unreal Engine experience

So, what do we have here?

They’re obviously planning to release the game for both PC AND X-Box, it will be running on the Unreal Engine and possible could employ cloud computing. I don’t know why they’re going for clouds, maybe the game will be shardless, one-server project like Eve and Perpetuum? But an XBox is certainly a ding. Keep in mind that Lionhead holds two major franchises now – Black & White and Fable.

If they didn’t came up with a whole new world — which one of these has an established fan base on XBox, how do you think? That’s why i think that Lionhead is planning Fable Online. Mind my words, they’re doing it!

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