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Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 11:16 AM
YEEEEEEESSSSS!!!!!!

"We give you a simple objective and you use whatever tools and mechanics you have at your disposal to accomplich this goal"

I wanted to kiss this bearded gentleman when he said that :cool:! Bless you Ubi!

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/04/the-dawn-of-assassins-creed-iv-black-flag

roostersrule2
03-04-2013, 11:17 AM
I almost cried when I heard that.

Assassin_M
03-04-2013, 11:22 AM
Like Random Events ? heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 11:22 AM
I almost cried when I heard that.

Me too :). For four months and like 500 posts I have fought for this. Not saying it is thanks to me obv lol, but "Victory is sweet" as Connor says ;).

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 11:32 AM
"That kind of flexibility lends itself to the entire mission philosophy for Black Flag. Ubisoft wants to remove some of the barriers that previous games created, leaning more on open-ended directives, something that lends itself more towards the (comparatively) simple assassination orders from the first AC game. Ismail described his approach as being less about hand-holding and more about providing basic objectives with flexible conditions for satisfying said objectives, which also includes refining game systems for things like detection and stealth, so players better understand how the game "reads" their actions." From the article :)


It's EXACTLY what I wanted. Ismail is the best creative director ever, I'm calling it!

RinoTheBouncer
03-04-2013, 11:37 AM
I really love this! I always wanted multiple ways to finish a mission not just one straight link that makes you lose sync or full sync if you don't follow it. I wonder why the game claims that the target is lost even when I can see the target. I have to be allowed to decide to use my techniques and intelligence to do it.

LoyalACFan
03-04-2013, 11:42 AM
Yeeeeeeeeeesssssssss

pirate1802
03-04-2013, 11:43 AM
Like Random Events ? heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh

*locks this mad prophet in a cell*

Assassin_M
03-04-2013, 11:44 AM
They probably have this one Assassination that`s like AC I and are going "Yaaaaaaay we have AC I assassinations Yaaaaaaaaaay"

Timeaus
03-04-2013, 11:44 AM
It's EXACTLY what I wanted. Ismail is the best creative director ever, I'm calling it!

Yes, going back to AC1 roots. I really missed that!!

roostersrule2
03-04-2013, 11:47 AM
They probably have this one Assassination that`s like AC I and are going "Yaaaaaaay we have AC I assassinations Yaaaaaaaaaay"No, not pessimistic M I hate him.

Assassin_M
03-04-2013, 11:48 AM
No, not pessimistic M I hate him.
Pessimistic M has seen Ezio, Ships and magic tea

Random events, Canoes and frozen lakes are what me

AjinkyaParuleka
03-04-2013, 01:30 PM
Pessimistic M has seen Ezio, Ships and magic tea

Random events, Canoes and frozen lakes are what me
Frozen lake...you wish...I wish too...

kuled2012
03-04-2013, 01:52 PM
Probably lies.

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 01:56 PM
Probably lies.

What makes you think that? To me it seems easier to design more open missions as you rely on the mechanics instead of scripting every second. Not sure why they would lie about having more of this philosophy.

dxsxhxcx
03-04-2013, 01:58 PM
I'll only believe this when I play the game and see it with my own eyes...

Assassin_M
03-04-2013, 01:59 PM
I'll only believe this when I play the game and see it with my own eyes...
this

Legendz54
03-04-2013, 02:00 PM
Good.. hopefully its not exaggerated, AC1 assassinations had a very stealthy feel to it.

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 02:01 PM
I'll only believe this when I play the game and see it with my own eyes...

Yeah we have no idea how this will work until we play it. I feel optimistic about the direction though, becasue AC3 was horrible in this area. And I know they have gotten a lot of negative feedback on that both from reviewers and fans, so it makes sense that they are moving in a more open-ended direction. But obv to what extent is left to be discovered.

eagleforlife1
03-04-2013, 04:08 PM
this

Thirded.

kuled2012
03-04-2013, 04:12 PM
What makes you think that? To me it seems easier to design more open missions as you rely on the mechanics instead of scripting every second. Not sure why they would lie about having more of this philosophy.

They lied about a lot of things before like the Great fire of NY, the random side missions as mentioned on here... why should we trust them now?

Megas_Doux
03-04-2013, 04:16 PM
I really wish to believe that, however the frozen lakes, and random events tell me not to.....

I-Like-Pie45
03-04-2013, 04:26 PM
I really wish to believe that, however the frozen lakes, and random events tell me not to.....

Plus canoes and the context to optional objectives. Remember that screenshot and demo?

twenty_glyphs
03-04-2013, 04:39 PM
I'll believe it when I see it. As others have pointed out, there are lots of things the developers said the games would have early in their marketing periods that ended up getting scrapped or being very watered down in the final game. I completely understand that it's hard to make everything work and sometimes things have to go in order to ship a game, but it's led to some big disappointments. Right now it seems the extent of Ubisoft's previews is just some developers talking and showing a few screenshots and concept art, so the game is likely very much still in flux. For now, I'll assume that "open-ended mission structure" just means you have the choice between killing every enemy with your sword or killing every enemy with your guns.

I've read a couple of articles, and the game does sound somewhat interesting. I'm still incredibly skeptical and will watch from the sidelines until the game is out and I can see the opinions of some actual fans of the series, not just the glowing reviews that leave out many details the fans would care about. I still can't believe they killed off Desmond just to open up the storytelling framework without giving him a satisfying conclusion to a story that lasted 5 games and 5 years. I really may never get over that and be able to get excited about the series again.

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 05:03 PM
I still can't believe they killed off Desmond just to open up the storytelling framework without giving him a satisfying conclusion to a story that lasted 5 games and 5 years. I really may never get over that and be able to get excited about the series again.

I'm almost the same way.

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 05:15 PM
They have talked about features that ended up not being in the game. However this is different as the game must have some kind of mission structure. I mean there will be missions in the game. And these has to be designed in some way. A less scripted approach is not more difficult design wise (at least not to my knowledge). On the contrary the designer does a little less and the player a little more. For these reasons I don't think the canoe example really applies as that was a non essential feature that required extra work.

Granted I was a bit overexcited, mainly because this was the one thing I really wanted and the fact that Ismail brought it up made me hopeful.But you guys are absolutely correct that we can't be sure until we have the game.

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 05:21 PM
They have talked about features that ended up not being in the game. However this is different as the game must have some kind of mission structure. I mean there will be missions in the game. And these has to be designed in some way. A less scripted approach is not more difficult design wise (at least not to my knowledge). On the contrary the designer does a little less and the player a little more. For these reasons I don't think the canoe example really applies as that was a non essential feature that required extra work.

Granted I was a bit overexcited, mainly because this was the one thing I really wanted and the fact that Ismail brought it up made me hopeful.But you guys are absolutely correct that we can't be sure until we have the game.

Also, in the past games it was only specific features that were cut out(ie random missions, great fire of NY, Lucy chasing Dezzy in a wedding dress) not an entire design philosophy. You can't change the objectives of missions months before release, not all of them anyways.

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 05:28 PM
Also, in the past games it was only specific features that were cut out(ie random missions, great fire of NY, Lucy chasing Dezzy in a wedding dress) not an entire design philosophy. You can't change the objectives of missions months before release, not all of them anyways.

Yeah this is sort of my two cents on the topic as well. It would be a different kind of broken promise. I feel fairly confident the missions will at least be somewhat more open. Given the extremely restricted nature of AC3's missions, that may not mean that much. But if the franchise moves in the right direction I will be at least partially happy.

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 05:32 PM
Yeah this is sort of my two cents on the topic as well. It would be a different kind of broken promise. I feel fairly confident the missions will at least be somewhat more open. Given the extremely restricted nature of AC3's missions, that may not mean that much. But if the franchise moves in the right direction I will be at least partially happy.

Why couldn't missions in AC3 have been like the E3 fort demo?

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 05:34 PM
Why couldn't missions in AC3 have been like the E3 fort demo?

Who knows, someone at Ubi had the Uncharted fever ;)

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 05:40 PM
But why give us the biggest map in all of AC and hold our hands the whole time!?!?! Ubi!!!!!!

Hey does that mean the Black Flags map, since there's no loading screens, counts as the biggest map of all AC now?

twenty_glyphs
03-04-2013, 05:53 PM
They have talked about features that ended up not being in the game. However this is different as the game must have some kind of mission structure. I mean there will be missions in the game. And these has to be designed in some way. A less scripted approach is not more difficult design wise (at least not to my knowledge). On the contrary the designer does a little less and the player a little more. For these reasons I don't think the canoe example really applies as that was a non essential feature that required extra work.

Granted I was a bit overexcited, mainly because this was the one thing I really wanted and the fact that Ismail brought it up made me hopeful.But you guys are absolutely correct that we can't be sure until we have the game.

A less scripted approach is likely much more work. When they script the missions and force you to complete them in one way, they only have to design, code and test for that one possible path through the mission. With a more open path to completing a mission objective, they have to do more planning to create enough gameplay tools to give you multiple options. Then they have to design the map the mission takes place on and its events to accommodate different routes and options. Then they have to put all of that together and get it to work. There's a lot more testing that has to take place when you can complete a mission 3 or 4 different ways, because the variables can all combine to break your mission in unexpected ways. Then they have to go back and iterate to make it work -- move the location of certain events, add new paths to the map, etc.

I know it's a lot more work, but I still expect more freedom in an open-world game, or in any modern game for that matter. AC3 just felt like one long cutscene with walking between mission markers in between. When you actually had assassination targets, there was usually only one path you could follow to stay stealthy enough to avoid combat. At the very least, it needed more open design and more options on the map for approaching your targets. It's not like AC1 was the most open game ever, but at least your targets were placed in the open world for the most part and you had a few options on how to approach them.

pirate1802
03-04-2013, 06:21 PM
Hey does that mean the Black Flags map, since there's no loading screens, counts as the biggest map of all AC now?

Correct. The whole Caribbean islands is one giant freaking map.

bveUSbve
03-04-2013, 06:24 PM
If the mechanics are "tight" enough and allow for different mission approaches - e.g. stealth vs. brute force - to be really satisfying(!!) then the only other requirements for success are good level-design and generally "adequate" enemy AI. I don't know if that's easier or more difficult to implement than what we got in ACIII (which was NOT satisfying for the most part).

Anyhow, it's definitely promising that Ubisoft explicitly and without being asked about state their intention to change AC's mission design in such a positive way.

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 06:27 PM
Correct. The whole Caribbean islands is one giant freaking map.

In the words of Peter Griffin, fricking schweet.

pirate1802
03-04-2013, 06:31 PM
In the words of Peter Griffin, fricking schweet.

Funny thing is this morning I was looking at the leaked map and was thinking, what if these don't indicate locations of cities but the whole map is a giant freaking playing area? Seems like that's exactly what we're getting.. considering they stick to their word, ofcourse.

pacmanate
03-04-2013, 06:37 PM
Like Random Events ? heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh

Sorry but that joke is getting old ;)

burtie80
03-04-2013, 06:38 PM
What they probably mean by "open ended" is that when we get sent of a flower picking mission we get to choose which flowers we pick! :p lol

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 06:39 PM
Funny thing is this morning I was looking at the leaked map and was thinking, what if these don't indicate locations of cities but the whole map is a giant freaking playing area? Seems like that's exactly what we're getting.. considering they stick to their word, ofcourse.

That was my original thought too, especially since we were thinking about naval free roam. To learn that it's all one big experience fills my fanboy organs with joy. Don't ask which organs.

AltairCBM
03-04-2013, 06:41 PM
What they probably mean by "open ended" is that when we get sent of a flower picking mission we get to choose which flowers we pick! :p lol

"I don't want to wait for these, I'll just follow this guy."

"Who is that following me? He looks just like the fellow who was just asking for flowers. Eh I probably just imagined it."

"Hehe my plan is working perfectly."

SixKeys
03-04-2013, 07:33 PM
Funny thing is this morning I was looking at the leaked map and was thinking, what if these don't indicate locations of cities but the whole map is a giant freaking playing area? Seems like that's exactly what we're getting.. considering they stick to their word, ofcourse.

I get the feeling AC4's total (map) size is smaller than AC3's. Last year every single interview they were boasting about how AC3 was the biggest AC to date, how huge the Frontier was etc. There may be seamless loading, but considering they haven't boasted about the map size yet, it could be more on the scale of Brotherhood, or perhaps AC2.

Escappa
03-04-2013, 07:42 PM
I get the feeling AC4's total (map) size is smaller than AC3's. Last year every single interview they were boasting about how AC3 was the biggest AC to date, how huge the Frontier was etc. There may be seamless loading, but considering they haven't boasted about the map size yet, it could be more on the scale of Brotherhood, or perhaps AC2.

Well...I don't recall they started talking about mapsize the day they made it official :confused:

And even if that was the case, maybe they just wait with that piece of information?

TheHumanTowel
03-04-2013, 07:50 PM
This is really good news. I'm really glad they seem to be listening to the complaints about AC3's mission design. This team seems really influenced by AC1 so it's looks like a proper return to the series roots.

pirate1802
03-04-2013, 07:51 PM
I get the feeling AC4's total (map) size is smaller than AC3's. Last year every single interview they were boasting about how AC3 was the biggest AC to date, how huge the Frontier was etc. There may be seamless loading, but considering they haven't boasted about the map size yet, it could be more on the scale of Brotherhood, or perhaps AC2.

Brotherhood? You mean to say the whole Caribbean island map would be as big as Brotherhood's Rome map? Don't you think it'd be a little too less, considering there are to be three cities and a bunch of other locations plus open sea to roam in?

Though I suppose it could be AC3-ish in size. Boston, NY and the Homestead would be your three cities and the Frontier the sea, on which you'd get scattered islands.

SixKeys
03-04-2013, 08:04 PM
Brotherhood? You mean to say the whole Caribbean island map would be as big as Brotherhood's Rome map? Don't you think it'd be a little too less, considering there are to be three cities and a bunch of other locations plus open sea to roam in?

Though I suppose it could be AC3-ish in size. Boston, NY and the Homestead would be your three cities and the Frontier the sea, on which you'd get scattered islands.

I don't mean the exact size of Brotherhood but the comparison between Brotherhood and AC2, for example. Where AC2 was composed of multiple locations, all of them huge, ACB was just one big, seamless location. In a similar way I can imagine AC3's overall size being bigger, whereas AC4's seamless freeroaming might mean a slightly smaller world.

pirate1802
03-04-2013, 08:05 PM
I don't mean the exact size of Brotherhood but the comparison between Brotherhood and AC2, for example. Where AC2 was composed of multiple locations, all of them huge, ACB was just one big, seamless location. In a similar way I can imagine AC3's overall size being bigger, whereas AC4's seamless freeroaming might mean a slightly smaller world.

Ah ok. :)

Well I don't mind a slightly-smaller-than AC3-world if they fill it up with interesting places and activities..

emperior
03-04-2013, 08:08 PM
Hopefully it won't turn repetitive as AC1 was.
You killed a templar, took the horse, back to masyaf, new upgrades, took another horse, went to new city, found out new target and then it repeated.
Was soo boring... and I was always wanted in the Kingdom... I see the Kingdom of AC1 as the sea in this new one but I hope to not be forever wanted this time.

dAnNyKiLlZ
03-04-2013, 08:10 PM
"you don't have to play in stealth, but good luck not playing in stealth"
made me laugh irl haha. the interview seemed positive lets hope they keep strong to their word.

pirate1802
03-04-2013, 08:12 PM
Hopefully it won't turn repetitive as AC1 was.
You killed a templar, took the horse, back to masyaf, new upgrades, took another horse, went to new city, found out new target and then it repeated.
Was soo boring... and I was always wanted in the Kingdom... I see the Kingdom of AC1 as the sea in this new one but I hope to not be forever wanted this time.

They are ditching the notoriety system altogether..

Farlander1991
03-04-2013, 08:49 PM
I feel really bad for the AC3 devs now, actually.

They are mostly the same people that worked on AC1 and 2, it's not like they suddenly went, 'Oh, we'll just make all this a linear experience'. Total rework of the engine and everything, possibly rework of the tools that everybody had to relearn, tons of problems that undoubtedly have appeared during production (come on, you really think that any of UbiSoft devs is actually content with assassination contracts, for example?) that probably lead to 'Okay, we need to remove this or restrict this, otherwise there's some really nasty problem'. And now AC4 strolls in and is like, 'hey guys, we'll be able to make all that stuff that you couldn't because you were dealing with all those problems. Thanks!'

I mean, sure, that's the way it works, and that's a good way to increase the quality of the sequel, but... yeah. Like AC1, AC3 is for the most part a tech-demo of sorts. With an awesome story.

morpheusPrime08
03-04-2013, 09:05 PM
It does kind of feel like there is this animosity between the AC4 devs to 'out do' the AC3 devs.

VitaminsXYZ
03-04-2013, 09:15 PM
It does kind of feel like there is this animosity between the AC4 devs to 'out do' the AC3 devs.

And I don't think it'll be too difficult. Which really sucks for the AC3 devs.


I feel really bad for the AC3 devs now, actually.

They are mostly the same people that worked on AC1 and 2, it's not like they suddenly went, 'Oh, we'll just make all this a linear experience'. Total rework of the engine and everything, possibly rework of the tools that everybody had to relearn, tons of problems that undoubtedly have appeared during production (come on, you really think that any of UbiSoft devs is actually content with assassination contracts, for example?) that probably lead to 'Okay, we need to remove this or restrict this, otherwise there's some really nasty problem'. And now AC4 strolls in and is like, 'hey guys, we'll be able to make all that stuff that you couldn't because you were dealing with all those problems. Thanks!'


I mean, sure, that's the way it works, and that's a good way to increase the quality of the sequel, but... yeah. Like AC1, AC3 is for the most part a tech-demo of sorts. With an awesome story.

My thoughts exactly. Honestly at this point, it's not really hard for AC4 to improve on AC3, much like what AC2 did with AC1. All the bugs in the new engine will have been ironed out, and they are now aware of what worked and what didn't. Yes, I also know that this is just how sequels go, but it still sucks to have your game be the "stepping stone" in the series.

Sushiglutton
03-04-2013, 09:30 PM
I feel really bad for the AC3 devs now, actually.

They are mostly the same people that worked on AC1 and 2, it's not like they suddenly went, 'Oh, we'll just make all this a linear experience'. Total rework of the engine and everything, possibly rework of the tools that everybody had to relearn, tons of problems that undoubtedly have appeared during production (come on, you really think that any of UbiSoft devs is actually content with assassination contracts, for example?) that probably lead to 'Okay, we need to remove this or restrict this, otherwise there's some really nasty problem'. And now AC4 strolls in and is like, 'hey guys, we'll be able to make all that stuff that you couldn't because you were dealing with all those problems. Thanks!'

I mean, sure, that's the way it works, and that's a good way to increase the quality of the sequel, but... yeah. Like AC1, AC3 is for the most part a tech-demo of sorts. With an awesome story.

This is partly true. However they didn't have to force the player to use a horse to capture Washington's messenger, they didn't have to tell you to not shove anyone in the chase sequences, they didn't have to design a "correct path" in the assassination missions and tell you to use it, nothing forced them to have a section where you commanded troops, controlled a cannon, or sat in a carriage and tapped a button every time a redcoat showed up to send your recruits to kill them.

These were their horrible design decisions and they had nothing to do with a new engine or anything like that. They tried to make every mission unique by adding auxiliary mechanics and force the player to complete them in a specific way. It was a really, really poor design philosophy for an open world stealth game like AC, and to claim it was all due to new tech is simply not correct. Nothing prevented them from having more open-ended objectives that relied on the core mechanics (afterall they were able to do the forts).

Bastiaen
03-04-2013, 10:02 PM
I get the feeling AC4's total (map) size is smaller than AC3's. Last year every single interview they were boasting about how AC3 was the biggest AC to date, how huge the Frontier was etc. There may be seamless loading, but considering they haven't boasted about the map size yet, it could be more on the scale of Brotherhood, or perhaps AC2.

With a huge aquatic frontier, they could essentially put the game in one huge map and make it way bigger than anything we've seen yet (remember how in some of the naval missions we had objectives that were 2000 meters off?). It could easily dwarf everything we've seen before since the islands can start streaming as we near them, essentially allowing an experience without loading screens.

Bastiaen
03-04-2013, 10:03 PM
They are ditching the notoriety system altogether..

This I love. I wish I could have sent my assassin recruits to take care of managing notoriety. Aint nobody got time for that!

Farlander1991
03-04-2013, 11:31 PM
This is partly true. However they didn't have to force the player to use a horse to capture Washington's messenger, they didn't have to tell you to not shove anyone in the chase sequences, they didn't have to design a "correct path" in the assassination missions and tell you to use it, nothing forced them to have a section where you commanded troops, controlled a cannon, or sat in a carriage and tapped a button every time a redcoat showed up to send your recruits to kill them.

These were their horrible design decisions and they had nothing to do with a new engine or anything like that. They tried to make every mission unique by adding auxiliary mechanics and force the player to complete them in a specific way. It was a really, really poor design philosophy for an open world stealth game like AC, and to claim it was all due to new tech is simply not correct. Nothing prevented them from having more open-ended objectives that relied on the core mechanics (afterall they were able to do the forts).

In an ironic twist of events, me, the guy who's probably disappointed with AC3 mission design the most (to the point that I started a blog series about it :D ), I'm gonna defend ACIII devs now :D Now, some of the stuff I'm gonna say is not fact, more like presumptions, based on my experiences, and experiences of other game devs that were shared to the public or to me personally.

First, I'll talk about the things you mentioned specifically. Half of the things that you've mentioned relate to Full Synch. And I agree, the Full Synch design philosophy is flawed. At times it makes sense, but at times it doesn't make sense at all, and nudges to a more restrictive playstyle. That's bad. That's a mistake. And there really are some weird design choices, like forcing you on a horse in Battle of Bunker Hill (that is not a full synch mission, in the messenger mission you won't lose if you get off the horse). The 'carriage and button tapping' is not one of them, that's essentially a tutorial section designed to teach the calling recruits mechanic and how getting noticed will get you into trouble. In a perfect world all tutorial sections wouldn't be linear, but as it is, I'm fine with that. I'm not saying that the AC3 team didn't make some questionable design choices, but, that's not the point of my message right now.

Also, you're talking about 'each mission having a new unique auxiliary mechanic', could you please give me the list? Because when going through pretty much every level again for the purposes of my blog (and deciding what I'm going to write about), I can't agree with you. There's really not that many one-shot mechanics used in AC3 mission design, so I want to properly understand what you mean by that. Now, I digress...

Commanding troops - judging by the cutscene in Lexington/Concord and what Barrett says, the original design of the level was closer to what I posted about in my blog. There must have been some difficulty that made them change their mind. Cannons. Well, ToKW cannon section is actually fun, so it's a matter of design. So they didn't design well the cannon section in AC3. What do you propose? Cut it out? Sure, it's easy for us to say, 'if it doesn't work, then cut it out or redesign', but imagine that you're a dev who has cut out so much of things already (and we know that it's a lot, based on what the devs were speaking about in their interviews), would you really want to cut out something that works properly? No. You would leave it in. Probably with intent to redesign later. An intent that's sadly would not be realized due to time constraints.

And you know, even in my blog, a lot of times I'm saying, 'This should've been this, there should've been this possibility, or this possibility'... But I understand quite perfectly why it wasn't. Like, I was talking about 'Why can't you run through the army to Pitcairn, similar to the E3 trailer?' And, based on my experience, I can safely say, they did have that as part of the original design. But you transform 40-50 characters around you from static or scripted characters into a dynamic battle AI, things WILL go haywire. Maybe the console can't handle it, maybe there's some other reason, but, oh well, you have to cut that out. Same about the Hickey level. I'm sure that the original design of the mission wasn't a straight line. Even with all the restrictions, pretty much most other levels are better than that. But they couldn't have a panicking crowd environment (you may notice that the crowd in that level is INSANELY low poly, and the actual people that appear after the mission section starts are few in numbers), and not having a panicking crowd would destroy the immersion, so there you have it. A straight line that doesn't let you notice that the streets are actually pretty barren and the thousands of panicking people are not there anymore (even though it seems they're there on the first playthrough).

And you have a massive project, you seem to have enough time to complete everything properly, but the release date closes by and you see that things are just geling as you would want them too, and you have to make hard choices and wiggle your way out somehow, even if you don't like it yourself. The final Lee chase did not turn out to be that fun and was mindless. What do you do? Add a secondary objective to not shove people. Is it the best decision? No. Do devs realize that? Yes. Do you think that the devs looked at the assassination contracts and said to themselves, 'yes, that's good?' No. By the looks of it, I would say that what we have in the end is a placeholder for actually designed mini-missions. But they didn't have time to do that. Now, again, you may say, 'then cut it out'. But I've already mentioned about cutting out a couple paragraphs earlier.

And you know, even linear levels can be made due to technological problems. Nothing prevented them from having open-ended objectives? There could've been things that prevented that. Imagine that the engine doesn't process a particular area really well, and it constantly crashes there or doesn't work if there's more than five people on screen, or something. That's actually not that uncommon to happen. But you need to create a level there, otherwise you'll just lose time. So what do you do? You create a linear level, because otherwise it's unplayable and untestable. And then the are is finally fixed and is working fine, but you're on other priorities and can't go back to make it more open-ended.

Not all bad design decisions are made... with, you know, decisions. 'Oh, this flawed thing is a good idea, let's do this!' There's a myriad of problems that you can encounter in a project that's much smaller in scope than AC3. A lot of times you look at things and go 'Fuuuuuuuuuu..... well, I guess we'll have to do it this way...'. Also there are a lot of times when you think something is a good idea, but it doesn't work out or turns out to be not really a good idea. And there are choices to make, either to redesign it, cut it out, or leave it in the game. Sometimes you can't afford the first two options.

So yes. Assassin's Creed III is flawed. There are things in it that are clearly bad design decisions. However, as you tell me not to go on pointing out all AC3 flaws of result of technical difficulties and problems, I will tell you not to go on pointing out all AC3 flaws as a result of a conscious horrible design decision. Do you remember the amount of bugs that AC3 had on release? Can you imagine how much MORE bugs there were a month before release? Two months? Five months? How everything was really broken? Sure, there were demos, but demos are scripted and controlled, and you can make the game appear less broken than you wanted it to be. Heck, there was a situation during a strategy game presentation when the AI for player units was broken so the presenter had to control them so it would seem like they're smart and intelligent. Oh, and that was Blizzard, that affords itself the luxury of not having a steady deadline.

And I'm sorry if I sounded overly aggressive or negative in this post, that was not my intention. I just have a HUGE respect for the ACIII developers. Hey, maybe you're right, maybe they just made one horrible choice after another. But I talked with some of them personally (pre-AC3 release, so couldn't really delve too deep into how development was going exactly in those conversations), and I don't believe that.

And I know that you're probably going to say, 'They should've focused on different things, on the core, and make it work first', and YES. You are right. But it's easy for us to say this in retrospective. But the truth is... Thinks break. Things evolve. Things change. And things that look good at first turn out to be crap, and you have to deal with it. Who knows, maybe they were not unfocused from the start. They were saying they were going back to the basics after all. So they did. And the prototypes looked good on their own. And then they were like, 'okay, let's do this side thing!'. And things were set in motion. And then you combine the core mechanics prototypes together, and things just break. And you fix that, but you've got more and more people coming to work on different parts of the project already, and you don't have the luxury to stop that motion. And then you have to redesign the core a bit because as it turned out it doesn't work and the prototypes did not show the flaws. And I'm rambling now, but I think I made my point :) So.... yeah. I think I'm done. :)

rupok2
03-04-2013, 11:34 PM
I didn't come here to read an essay....

Farlander1991
03-04-2013, 11:36 PM
I didn't come here to read an essay....

Then don't read it. Duh. :p

mazohystic
03-04-2013, 11:44 PM
I still can't believe they killed off Desmond just to open up the storytelling framework without giving him a satisfying conclusion to a story that lasted 5 games and 5 years. I really may never get over that and be able to get excited about the series again.

I'm almost the same way.

I'm on the verge of this. At the same time though, this game sounds like it's going to be awesome. This mission structure... I'm getting excited but still pretty hesitant.

Assassin_M
03-04-2013, 11:51 PM
I didn't come here to read an essay....
Then don't read it...What a silly thing to say..

It`s a good read...has some nice insight...you should read it....you seem like you need the knowledge

VitaminsXYZ
03-05-2013, 12:05 AM
Then don't read it. Duh. :p

Just read the whole thing.

http://i.imgur.com/19AXO.gif

Gi1t
03-05-2013, 12:34 AM
Correct. The whole Caribbean islands is one giant freaking map.

Well, if all this is true, I'll have to keep an eye on this after all. If it looks really convincing by the time it's almost at the release date, I might just get it and see for myself. And if there's really a new creative director designing it, I'd say there's a good chance of it really coming true, or at least being aimed in that direction. :)

Escappa
03-05-2013, 12:52 AM
Well, if all this is true, I'll have to keep an eye on this after all. If it looks really convincing by the time it's almost at the release date, I might just get it and see for myself. And if there's really a new creative director designing it, I'd say there's a good chance of it really coming true, or at least being aimed in that direction. :)

Just wonder how they will solve it with the scale...I mean you can't travel from island to island four real hours...but if all islands are very near each other it will just feel like a very small area even if it's huge :p

Gi1t
03-05-2013, 01:01 AM
Just wonder how they will solve it with the scale...I mean you can't travel from island to island four real hours...but if all islands are very near each other it will just feel like a very small area even if it's huge :p

Well, if they paid any attention to Windwaker, they'll know how to do that. Islands in Windwaker are in fact visible as little dots on the horizon and you can sail there in real time and it does feel like quite a stretch; however, the islands are not fully rendered until you get closer to them. As you watch the blip on the horizon, it'll progress in stages of definition as you approach. Although it'll be nowhere near real life, if they place the main ports far enough away from each other and perhaps make a day/night cycle in there too, it could feel like traveling really takes time. I mean, if they're really worried about people complaining about it taking a long time to get to places, they can just toss in Elder Scrolls' quick travel function. (Cue off-topic debate about quick travel function. XD )

DTfunjumper
03-05-2013, 03:13 AM
In an ironic twist of events, me, the guy who's probably disappointed with AC3 mission design the most (to the point that I started a blog series about it :D ), I'm gonna defend ACIII devs now :D Now, some of the stuff I'm gonna say is not fact, more like presumptions, based on my experiences, and experiences of other game devs that were shared to the public or to me personally.

First, I'll talk about the things you mentioned specifically. Half of the things that you've mentioned relate to Full Synch. And I agree, the Full Synch design philosophy is flawed. At times it makes sense, but at times it doesn't make sense at all, and nudges to a more restrictive playstyle. That's bad. That's a mistake. And there really are some weird design choices, like forcing you on a horse in Battle of Bunker Hill (that is not a full synch mission, in the messenger mission you won't lose if you get off the horse). The 'carriage and button tapping' is not one of them, that's essentially a tutorial section designed to teach the calling recruits mechanic and how getting noticed will get you into trouble. In a perfect world all tutorial sections wouldn't be linear, but as it is, I'm fine with that. I'm not saying that the AC3 team didn't make some questionable design choices, but, that's not the point of my message right now.

Also, you're talking about 'each mission having a new unique auxiliary mechanic', could you please give me the list? Because when going through pretty much every level again for the purposes of my blog (and deciding what I'm going to write about), I can't agree with you. There's really not that many one-shot mechanics used in AC3 mission design, so I want to properly understand what you mean by that. Now, I digress...

Commanding troops - judging by the cutscene in Lexington/Concord and what Barrett says, the original design of the level was closer to what I posted about in my blog. There must have been some difficulty that made them change their mind. Cannons. Well, ToKW cannon section is actually fun, so it's a matter of design. So they didn't design well the cannon section in AC3. What do you propose? Cut it out? Sure, it's easy for us to say, 'if it doesn't work, then cut it out or redesign', but imagine that you're a dev who has cut out so much of things already (and we know that it's a lot, based on what the devs were speaking about in their interviews), would you really want to cut out something that works properly? No. You would leave it in. Probably with intent to redesign later. An intent that's sadly would not be realized due to time constraints.

And you know, even in my blog, a lot of times I'm saying, 'This should've been this, there should've been this possibility, or this possibility'... But I understand quite perfectly why it wasn't. Like, I was talking about 'Why can't you run through the army to Pitcairn, similar to the E3 trailer?' And, based on my experience, I can safely say, they did have that as part of the original design. But you transform 40-50 characters around you from static or scripted characters into a dynamic battle AI, things WILL go haywire. Maybe the console can't handle it, maybe there's some other reason, but, oh well, you have to cut that out. Same about the Hickey level. I'm sure that the original design of the mission wasn't a straight line. Even with all the restrictions, pretty much most other levels are better than that. But they couldn't have a panicking crowd environment (you may notice that the crowd in that level is INSANELY low poly, and the actual people that appear after the mission section starts are few in numbers), and not having a panicking crowd would destroy the immersion, so there you have it. A straight line that doesn't let you notice that the streets are actually pretty barren and the thousands of panicking people are not there anymore (even though it seems they're there on the first playthrough).

And you have a massive project, you seem to have enough time to complete everything properly, but the release date closes by and you see that things are just geling as you would want them too, and you have to make hard choices and wiggle your way out somehow, even if you don't like it yourself. The final Lee chase did not turn out to be that fun and was mindless. What do you do? Add a secondary objective to not shove people. Is it the best decision? No. Do devs realize that? Yes. Do you think that the devs looked at the assassination contracts and said to themselves, 'yes, that's good?' No. By the looks of it, I would say that what we have in the end is a placeholder for actually designed mini-missions. But they didn't have time to do that. Now, again, you may say, 'then cut it out'. But I've already mentioned about cutting out a couple paragraphs earlier.

And you know, even linear levels can be made due to technological problems. Nothing prevented them from having open-ended objectives? There could've been things that prevented that. Imagine that the engine doesn't process a particular area really well, and it constantly crashes there or doesn't work if there's more than five people on screen, or something. That's actually not that uncommon to happen. But you need to create a level there, otherwise you'll just lose time. So what do you do? You create a linear level, because otherwise it's unplayable and untestable. And then the are is finally fixed and is working fine, but you're on other priorities and can't go back to make it more open-ended.

Not all bad design decisions are made... with, you know, decisions. 'Oh, this flawed thing is a good idea, let's do this!' There's a myriad of problems that you can encounter in a project that's much smaller in scope than AC3. A lot of times you look at things and go 'Fuuuuuuuuuu..... well, I guess we'll have to do it this way...'. Also there are a lot of times when you think something is a good idea, but it doesn't work out or turns out to be not really a good idea. And there are choices to make, either to redesign it, cut it out, or leave it in the game. Sometimes you can't afford the first two options.

So yes. Assassin's Creed III is flawed. There are things in it that are clearly bad design decisions. However, as you tell me not to go on pointing out all AC3 flaws of result of technical difficulties and problems, I will tell you not to go on pointing out all AC3 flaws as a result of a conscious horrible design decision. Do you remember the amount of bugs that AC3 had on release? Can you imagine how much MORE bugs there were a month before release? Two months? Five months? How everything was really broken? Sure, there were demos, but demos are scripted and controlled, and you can make the game appear less broken than you wanted it to be. Heck, there was a situation during a strategy game presentation when the AI for player units was broken so the presenter had to control them so it would seem like they're smart and intelligent. Oh, and that was Blizzard, that affords itself the luxury of not having a steady deadline.

And I'm sorry if I sounded overly aggressive or negative in this post, that was not my intention. I just have a HUGE respect for the ACIII developers. Hey, maybe you're right, maybe they just made one horrible choice after another. But I talked with some of them personally (pre-AC3 release, so couldn't really delve too deep into how development was going exactly in those conversations), and I don't believe that.

And I know that you're probably going to say, 'They should've focused on different things, on the core, and make it work first', and YES. You are right. But it's easy for us to say this in retrospective. But the truth is... Thinks break. Things evolve. Things change. And things that look good at first turn out to be crap, and you have to deal with it. Who knows, maybe they were not unfocused from the start. They were saying they were going back to the basics after all. So they did. And the prototypes looked good on their own. And then they were like, 'okay, let's do this side thing!'. And things were set in motion. And then you combine the core mechanics prototypes together, and things just break. And you fix that, but you've got more and more people coming to work on different parts of the project already, and you don't have the luxury to stop that motion. And then you have to redesign the core a bit because as it turned out it doesn't work and the prototypes did not show the flaws. And I'm rambling now, but I think I made my point :) So.... yeah. I think I'm done. :)
So yeah, i must say you have many valid points and some you don't tend to think of while you chuck the DVD in the Xbox, after all those presentations, hyped, and after finishing the game: "WHAT THE HELL?"
I don't really blame the devs for everything that went "wrong", but they should have worked together with the marketing guys and not only given them a list with things which are THOUGHT to be correctly implemented.At some point they should have been hnest and said "Yep, that and that sucked or went totally wrong, we apologize. This will be not ingame" instead of showing cool "last minute trailers" and said "wow look at that rainbow!"
I don't mind mistakes but i dislike dishonesty. Sadly i'm absolutely not hyped though i love the ideas about pirates and the promised changed concepts :/

GunnarGunderson
03-05-2013, 03:20 AM
Why do I get the feeling that when ubisoft says "open mission structure" they mean "there's a guy a couple of yards over in that direction, go ahead and pick what weapon to kill him with"

yly3
03-05-2013, 04:15 AM
So yeah, i must say you have many valid points and some you don't tend to think of while you chuck the DVD in the Xbox, after all those presentations, hyped, and after finishing the game: "WHAT THE HELL?"
I don't really blame the devs for everything that went "wrong", but they should have worked together with the marketing guys and not only given them a list with things which are THOUGHT to be correctly implemented.At some point they should have been hnest and said "Yep, that and that sucked or went totally wrong, we apologize. This will be not ingame" instead of showing cool "last minute trailers" and said "wow look at that rainbow!"
I don't mind mistakes but i dislike dishonesty. Sadly i'm absolutely not hyped though i love the ideas about pirates and the promised changed concepts :/

Dude I just signed it to say I pissed myself loling at your sig.
fantastic and well played (zing)

yly3
03-05-2013, 04:15 AM
I mean to Brad Kin sorry lulz

Gi1t
03-05-2013, 04:27 AM
Why do I get the feeling that when ubisoft says "open mission structure" they mean "there's a guy a couple of yards over in that direction, go ahead and pick what weapon to kill him with"

The million dollar question.

(which quite possibly WILL result in a loss or gain of $1,000,000 depending on the answer. XD )

They might also implement some sort of obvious choice system that addresses neither combat nor stealth ( such as choosing from one city or another to do the mission in; or having some painfully obvious moral choice with incentives that barely alter your decision making process, like Bioshock.)

Oh yeah, agree with yly3; nice sig. :D

prince162010
03-05-2013, 06:00 AM
CooooooooooooooL:cool::cool:

Legendz54
03-05-2013, 07:16 AM
Scans are not allowed on the Forums for Copyright reasons.

LoyalACFan
03-05-2013, 07:26 AM
^ Loving that long overcoat, hopefully it makes its way into the final product.

Legendz54
03-05-2013, 07:28 AM
^ Loving that long overcoat, hopefully it makes its way into the final product.

theres more screens in the march 4 reveal thread too.

mazohystic
03-05-2013, 07:47 AM
I just had an '"oh no, he's hot" moment.

blacklimoband
03-05-2013, 09:19 AM
Notoriety system = gone.... sweet. Full sync = gone.... AWESOME... Am I right in thinking that this could be the first truly sandbox AC title? If they can deliver what they're promising, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!

predatorpulse7
03-05-2013, 09:20 AM
I will believe it when I see it. Ubisoft has a pretty long history of hyping up certain features of their game that almost never live up to expectation. Not to mention that they flat out LIED on several accounts, see the canoe pic in the promos for AC3. They keep talking about more sneakyness but I don't see how the pirate setting(which I actually love in any other game) works with that or with what I feel are key points in AC games: big historical cities, personalized assassinations, verticality. The Caribbean setting always looks nice but since these were colonies of various European Empires I doubt that the cities will look more impressive than those in colonial America. The Connor drop for the next game was pretty obvious for me but his grandpa looks ridiculous in his hood when everybody around the time was wearing hats of some sort. As we move forward in history(the first 2 AC's being set in the 13th and 15th century) the hood starts to look really out of place. It's not like you need a hood to be an assassin, right? Hopefully we will have the option to remove it.

Maybe it's just me but I didn't really get an AC vibe from these trailers and such. Looks like a pretty good pirate game with an AC logo stamped on it.

Normally this would be a day 1 purchase for me but after the burn I got with AC3 I will wait to see the reaction and maybe I'll get it on a discount later on.

pirate1802
03-05-2013, 09:22 AM
The Caribbean setting always looks nice but since these were colonies of various European Empires I doubt that the cities will look more impressive than those in colonial America.

Havana would be on par with AC2's Florence. Its confirmed. Historically, it was much larger than Boston and New York.