Monday, December 7, 2009

Design Doc: Assassin's Creed 3

To my colleagues on the AC2 team,
I can't thank everyone enough. We all made tremendous sacrifices to bring our baby into the world, and the folks out there are loving it! Special appreciation goes out to Nick from QA, who developed what I understand is some pretty serious alopecia during those last few months of 70-hour crunch weeks. If one day somebody decides to throw some health insurance your way, you get that checked out!

But now it's time to get back into what we do best: designing games! We plan on topping our previous achievements in every way possible. We took our franchise to new heights with our second game and we're going to push the envelope with the third one. We'll expand on the features our users enjoyed and re-work those they didn't. Here are just some of the exciting developments we have planned going forward:

Improved Storyline

The reviewers love that we've created the most lovingly detailed, realistic breathing representations of history and married them to a plot involving the search for a magical secret golden volleyball that controls the world. People are also responding to our searing rendition of a drab future that utterly lacks context or detail aside from some basic futuristic-dystopia cliches. Remember Mirror's Edge: sterility without explanation is great design. It's so mysterious!

In AC3 we will be focusing almost exclusively on the "present," which is the future. Our hero Desmond will occasionally use a pocket-sized Animus to visit the memories of his ancestor Julio. Julio is a young Assassin of Cuban descent, in keeping with our franchise's practice of featuring young coffee-colored heroes(coffee ice cream, not actual coffee). In the "past," which is the present, Julio is attempting to infiltrate the Beijing Summer Games in order to assassinate Misty May and Kerri Walsh. They are running the show for the Templars in the past-present and they plan to use the Summer Games as a platform to unveil the Magical Golden Volleyball which will allow them to brainwash the entire world. Only Julio can stop them.

Meanwhile, in the present-future, Desmond and Lucy are fighting the Templars. Desmond uses his Assassin training from AC2 to operate in the present. Because the memories of his ancestors' actions are a fine substitute for actual physical training, he possesses enormous agility, coordination and strength. Who needs muscles to move your body when you have the power of your mind? Eventually, fighting dystopic future-cops gives way to fighting aliens, which we did a great job of introducing with a minimum of explanation at the end of AC2. In AC3, the aliens will return to Earth (having departed ages before) to take back the Golden Volleyball and establish their own ruling order. Desmond will have none of it, and fights them using the hallowed Assassin disciplines of Stabbing and Crazy Parkour Shit. Those aliens might have mastered advanced weaponry, psychic powers and interstellar travel. But can they jump rapidly from one conveniently-placed pole to another in rapid succession? No, and that's where humanity's hope lies. Later stages will get progressively more and more challenging as the aliens catch onto Desmond and start removing said conviently-placed poles. Desmond will be forced to fight in the parkour-less world of the future, where walls are made of poured concrete and windows aren't built with exterior frames. The horror.

Enhanced Weaponry

In AC2, we took the limited selection of historical weaponry from AC1 and added some much-needed panache. It was pretty cool that Altair had a hidden blade--why couldn't Ezio have TWO hidden blades that also could deflect enemy attacks and deliver poison to boot? The hidden pistol was another fine addition. A tiny pistol strapped to your wrist that (despite being built in the 15th century) was incredibly accurate even at long range and never misfired or took longer than 2 seconds to reload? Sweetness. We're going to take it up a notch in AC3, and I'd direct you to the attached diagram for some of my ideas. Click the image to expand it.

Attractive Human Beings

Be warned, I am going to be a bit negative here. It is a little ironic that we at Ubisoft, who invented and coined the Jade Raymond Model for Public Relations, can't make a game where every characters hasn't been beaten by the proverbial Ugly Stick. Look at the attached image: we have taken a real woman of almost incendiary hotness and rendered her as a putty-faced strumpet who's spent the better part of her life being socked in the face by her mulletioed (it's like mustachioed, only the awful hair is on a different part your head) boyfriends.

Desmond himself looks like something I'd have slapped together out of modeling clay in high school art class. I received a C- in my high school art class. That is not a joke. "Let's put a scar on his lip" turned out to be insufficient visual character development, as the polygon count on Desmond's face is in the low teens and the scar just looks like somebody sneezed during the modeling process. Also, why do Ezio and Desmond have the same lip scar? Are scars genetic, like memories? We should ask some scientists. Authenticity is one of the hallmarks of this studio and we need to take pride in it.

I have no doubt that AC3 will be a step above our previous achievements, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for the developments to come. Everyone should be on the lookout for next months FHM magazine; Jade has a really tasteful spread where she discusses our latest build-compiling practices, as well as the challenges of localization for big international projects like ours! I can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment