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View Full Version : The Next-Gen Future of Assassin's Creed



GreySkellig
11-12-2013, 02:36 AM
By now, most of us have probably formed opinions about ACIV (with the exception of those still under total blackout to avoid spoilers) or at least heard the general consensus from the gaming and critical community.

There's a lot to like--a stronger economic loop, improved (?) stealth, free-aim (finally), and the most free and open Assassin's Creed world yet, among other things. That said, many elements of the game still draw on old, problematic gameplay details--tail missions, often-inaccurate free running, repetitious combat, and so forth.

While ACIV is still fresh, and I'm sure there's still a good amount of life in the game before it starts to lose its novelty, it's natural to start thinking about where the series will go next. There's always much discussion about where the next location should be. But I'd like to think about things in a different light. With the releases of the PS4 and Xbox One days away, we'll soon get to see a next-gen Assassin's Creed in the form of the upgraded ACIV. However, the first wave of games on a new console generation rarely take full advantage of the consoles' architecture and power--especially since ACIV is, in a sense, simply being ported up to these systems.

What I'd like to discuss is ACV, to be the first truly next-generation Assassin's Creed. Aside from the obvious expectation of more gorgeous worlds to explore than ever, this also represents an opportunity for the series to make some changes. ACIV already took a few steps towards redefining the game back towards a less linear, more free-form and stealthy game. It will be interesting to see what jumps the series takes when being driven by more powerful, capable, easy to program machines. What would you guys like to see from the next AC game in terms of this generational shift? Changes to crowd AI? Co-op free roam? What do you think is the best way forward for the franchise?

Just remember, this is less about what we'd like "fixed" and more about new territory (in a gameplay, rather than locational sense) the series could explore.

xx-pyro
11-12-2013, 02:46 AM
I doubt AI will change much over the course of a single installment in the series, rather it'll keep changing gradually into (hopefully) something that turns out a lot better. I also don't think that next-gen will have much if anything to do with improving AI. I think the scope of the games can likely be much larger, and they can include a lot more that they previously wouldn't have been able to include in the games because it wouldn't have been feasible.

Besides that, I won't pretend to know a whole lot about game development so I'm not entirely sure where they'll take the series on this generation.

Kagurra
11-12-2013, 03:37 AM
I doubt AI will change much over the course of a single installment in the series, rather it'll keep changing gradually into (hopefully) something that turns out a lot better. I also don't think that next-gen will have much if anything to do with improving AI. I think the scope of the games can likely be much larger, and they can include a lot more that they previously wouldn't have been able to include in the games because it wouldn't have been feasible.

Besides that, I won't pretend to know a whole lot about game development so I'm not entirely sure where they'll take the series on this generation.


Actually, next-gen has the capacity to have much much better AI. I'm not a programmer or anything so I don't know the tech behind it, but that's what's been said by many devs and stuff.

Landruner
11-12-2013, 03:45 AM
I believe what ever the setting they come with they need to improve the gameplay (Assassin gameplay) - enhance the stealth system in order to take advantage of the environment a better way it is - overhauling or rebooting from scratch the mission designs and provide a better design and repartition for the IA of the foes. Being more focused on the assassin part as well notably the fight against Templar. Also allow the players to have customization and option of choosing their weapons (Secondary weapons)

You know the concept of the next Gen games is a bit abstractive in the way that it is no much that what the next generation consoles can bring regarding to the next pieces of PC hardware already sold in the market - However; with such powerful hardware developers will be able to work on some game performances that were limited until now. The tool will be there to add more immersive feature and get a more realistic for the player to enjoy. Now, rest the developers to take advantage of those tools and make them beneficent for the players - Devs will still have to work at being imaginative and find tweaks for the gameplay for the players to enjoy.

Landruner
11-12-2013, 04:06 AM
Actually, next-gen has the capacity to have much much better AI. I'm not a programmer or anything so I don't know the tech behind it, but that's what's been said by many devs and stuff.

I do program design and mod games for a hobby - The next gen will emphasis performance and offer a bit more tools en engine for enhancing the immersion into the games - The AI is still a question of binary codes and conditions in the script language(s) used - It is up to the game designer and programmer to enhance it accordingly to what they want to do.

People are wrongly considering the next generation as a "Uber" opportunity for a lot of things,

First, like I mentioned what is part of the next generation hardware is already sold in the market and it will be already obsolete in 2 or 3 years from now - I do not want to be pejorative to the consoles because it is not my point.
Second, the next generation (hardware) will improve performance and support more powerful game engine it is now, but for the rest, you still need the people behind the game to build the universe, design the levels, the gameplay levels etcetera

AdamPearce
11-12-2013, 04:23 AM
Unfortunaltely I think we will have to stick to the actual gameplay core or at least the same game engine (Anvil Next) for one or two games. Ubi said that they weren't ready to change the engine already and prefered to wait.

Anyway, I think thy sould go back on pretty much everything actually.It may sound like I'm a hater but I can think of like 20 new improvements il less than 2 minutes, this is not normal. But the priority would be the stealth in general, passing by sneaking into houses to blending into the crowds, it's one of the massive problem in the game and with the next setting being the French Revolution, well I don't see what else they could improve.

roostersrule2
11-12-2013, 06:49 AM
The Anvil next is a next gen engine, with the games being cross gen I think it's being severely under utilised.

Landruner
11-12-2013, 08:04 AM
Unfortunaltely I think we will have to stick to the actual gameplay core or at least the same game engine (Anvil Next) for one or two games. Ubi said that they weren't ready to change the engine already and prefered to wait.

Anyway, I think thy sould go back on pretty much everything actually.It may sound like I'm a hater but I can think of like 20 new improvements il less than 2 minutes, this is not normal. But the priority would be the stealth in general, passing by sneaking into houses to blending into the crowds, it's one of the massive problem in the game and with the next setting being the French Revolution, well I don't see what else they could improve.

@Adam, you are not a hater, and what you say it true - the AnvilNext engine is fine and it could allow them to manipulate several things and give us a lot of good time, what they just need to do is to work in level designs and level structure. They need to be more imaginative in the gameplay notably the Assassin missions and main missions. You know AC4 is a great game it would have greater if most of the main mission were not refurbish mission's structure and scenario from the past games. (Follow that guy, eardrop,..etc... and kill) - It is where the weakness of this franchise in my opinion.

One of the possibility is for instance changing the AI of the guards depending of certain missions and the free roaming - I try to explain what I mean, in general the guards have the same generic AI depending of the type they are, they are set in the cities in some random layouts over the city. As you as you get a mission the guards keep the same layout and AIs and you deal with the situation like it is resulting time to time in trial and error...It goes the same for the people to blind with... everything is random sometimes is okay, and sometimes it is not -

If they were using a different AI in the guards and layout as soon as player starts a mission (even without being scripted) in order to make sure that the layout is different (guard and people) it will already make a difference. They build around a deeper stealth mod, make sure to design a specific area for the level of the mission in order to make sure that you have a lot of different possibility to snake around, pass by hidden orifices, pass inside home without being noticed by their occupants, hidden places you can use...etcetera and you have already some more interesting missions.

I mean Ubisoft is able to make good stealth games, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, R6 and even Far cry 3 are wonderful game about their stealth, I never got why AC series was always apart.(?).

GreatBeyonder
11-12-2013, 08:08 AM
Making a smart AI has shockingly little to do with performance engines. All you need is a ton of free time, an understanding of player reactions, hopefully some really informative beta testing, and a willingness to stare at code for months on end. It's been that way since text-based games in the 80s, and will, from then until Kingdom Come, remain a question of time, skill, and effort.

Vzmike
11-12-2013, 08:19 AM
The Anvil next is a next gen engine, with the games being cross gen I think it's being severely under utilised.
Forcibly under-utilized might be the better term. Ever notice the more apparent graphical glitches in the last days of the current gen's releases? Some more then others obviously but mostly they're not the devs fault. Current-gen has very dated tech given present-day industry standard in the PC market.

I'd personally love to see (even though it won't happen for obvious reasons) a WWII setting. When I think about the idea of the whole war actually having to do with conflicts against the classic Templars and Assassins, climbing through battle scorn cities, taking cover behind tanks, not to mention the possible weaponry....fanboying commences.

But more realistically I'd love to see a feudal Japan setting, or possibly a return to Italy for Julius Caesar's upbringing.

MasterfulList53
11-12-2013, 08:50 AM
Graphically I'm looking forward to greater draw distances. There is a little too much pop-in in AC4, mainly with NPCs and foliage (seeing leaves magically 'grow' on trees as you approach them is a little disconcerting). Ubisoft employ a clever trick of granulating distant objects to soften the pop-in effect, but next-gen consoles should be able to cope better with this.

The big thing for me is better mission design though - Landruner sums up my thoughts on this better than I could. Ubisoft stated that the game was easier to make on next-gen than current-gen, so hopefully that will free up some development time/resources for more imaginative missions. If we had a game where the ingenuity of AC4' s naval warfare was combined with bunch of exciting new archetypes for land missions- similar with what we saw with the jump from AC1 to AC2 - then I'd be happy.

RinoTheBouncer
11-12-2013, 02:56 PM
If the next game lacks story, it will lose a large portion of itís fans. Itís known that when movies or games release many parts, people tend to get tired or bored except the very loyal fans. With AC, we got used to detailed stories that connect one game to the other. From the looks of ACIV, it seems they want standalone stories and leave the whole First Civ. and modern day segment is a context or basis for the story, but not an ongoing story to expect to continue, which sucks so bad. So I believe AC will indeed present beautiful worlds but fans who want real story-telling and similar style to the first 5 games, theyíll sure be getting bored because the game is turning into a historical GTA.

Sushiglutton
11-12-2013, 03:09 PM
I think AC5 will be cross-gen as the installbase on nextgen will not be big enough for AC fall 2014. I don't expect any major changes before 2015 at the earliest.

There are a billion things they can do.



Realistic fire
Destuctibility
More moving objects in the world
Realistic and persistent damage to enemies
More complex AI (both enemies and civilians)
Faster horses (as they can stream the world faster)
No loading at all in the world
Large scale battles with more individual soldier behaviour
Volcano with lava, ash clouds and so on burying a city.


There will be a lot more physics simulations going on next gen and it will be epic :)!

RinoTheBouncer
11-12-2013, 03:17 PM
I think AC5 will be cross-gen as the installbase on nextgen will not be big enough for AC fall 2014. I don't expect any major changes before 2015 at the earliest.

There are a billion things they can do.



Realistic fire
Destuctibility
More moving objects in the world
Realistic and persistent damage to enemies
More complex AI (both enemies and civilians)
Faster horses (as they can stream the world faster)
No loading at all in the world
Large scale battles with more individual soldier behaviour
Volcano with lava, ash clouds and so on burying a city.


There will be a lot more physics simulations going on next gen and it will be epic :)!

I love your ideas!

I actually hate the fact that each move you do needs a while to load regardless of what console you’re playing it on like in AC2 whether you accept or decline a mission, you need to see a loading screen.

I’d like to see very realistic graphics as even though ACIV will be on PS4 and look slightly better, from the looks of the trailer, the graphics are still reductive compared to other PS4 games. I know it’s due to porting but next time, lets have something made specifically for next gen. with no more weapons cutting through the assassin robes, no outfits that don’t appear in cutscenes or weird hair with certain types of clothes or trees that look like two planes perpendicular to one another with leaves texture on them, that should’ve died with PS1 because Beyond: Two Souls did a perfect job with graphics, plants, animals, trees and motion capture.

roostersrule2
11-12-2013, 04:08 PM
I think AC5 will be cross-gen as the installbase on nextgen will not be big enough for AC fall 2014. I don't expect any major changes before 2015 at the earliest.

There are a billion things they can do.



Realistic fire
Destuctibility
More moving objects in the world
Realistic and persistent damage to enemies
More complex AI (both enemies and civilians)
Faster horses (as they can stream the world faster)
No loading at all in the world
Large scale battles with more individual soldier behaviour
Volcano with lava, ash clouds and so on burying a city.


There will be a lot more physics simulations going on next gen and it will be epic :)!Those ideas are amazing. Especially the Volcano one!!

The anvilnext is capable of these things too, for AC3 they advertised a dynamic world where you would be able to tell where past battles were fought etc. if they were to actually pull this off in a game it'd be awesome.

Sushiglutton
11-12-2013, 04:11 PM
I love your ideas!

I actually hate the fact that each move you do needs a while to load regardless of what console you’re playing it on like in AC2 whether you accept or decline a mission, you need to see a loading screen.

I’d like to see very realistic graphics as even though ACIV will be on PS4 and look slightly better, from the looks of the trailer, the graphics are still reductive compared to other PS4 games. I know it’s due to porting but next time, lets have something made specifically for next gen. with no more weapons cutting through the assassin robes, no outfits that don’t appear in cutscenes or weird hair with certain types of clothes or trees that look like two planes perpendicular to one another with leaves texture on them, that should’ve died with PS1 because Beyond: Two Souls did a perfect job with graphics, plants, animals, trees and motion capture.

As long as the game is crossplatform I think the differences will have to be cosmetic only. Haven't played Beyond, but I'd imagine that it's a game with far less interactivity, more confined enviroments, less NPCs with more scripted behaviours and so on. It's easier to make a tree look good that you can't climb in. So I'm not really sure if it's fair to compare :).

Landruner
11-12-2013, 04:43 PM
I think AC5 will be cross-gen as the installbase on nextgen will not be big enough for AC fall 2014. I don't expect any major changes before 2015 at the earliest.

There are a billion things they can do.



Realistic fire
Destuctibility
More moving objects in the world
Realistic and persistent damage to enemies
More complex AI (both enemies and civilians)
Faster horses (as they can stream the world faster)
No loading at all in the world
Large scale battles with more individual soldier behaviour
Volcano with lava, ash clouds and so on burying a city.


There will be a lot more physics simulations going on next gen and it will be epic :)!

Yep nice ideas, and they could technically and already do most of it for AC3 and AC4.

ze_topazio
11-12-2013, 06:02 PM
I predict the graphics are going to look better.

GreySkellig
11-12-2013, 07:35 PM
I think AC5 will be cross-gen as the installbase on nextgen will not be big enough for AC fall 2014. I don't expect any major changes before 2015 at the earliest.

I am really hoping that the next-gen consoles sell well enough to support a non-hybrid release for ACV. It's pretty obvious how limiting the current generation is; it's had an abnormally long lifespan, and is now way behind today's graphical standards. Consoles will never have cutting-edge capability--that's always going to be computers--but the advantage they do have is a much larger base of skilled developers maximizing their potential. That's the big upside of a new generation: developers for consoles are now equipped with power that lets them do things like dynamic fire, loadless open worlds, and so forth. As long as AC is developed for both generations though, I don't think we'll see any real improvements on next-gen other than graphical upconversions of games under-developed to be able to run on PS3/Xbox 360. The old systems are a dead weight on developers, and I'm convinced they'll drop them as soon as next-gen acquires sufficient support.