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View Full Version : Iconography in Assassin's Creed: How important is it to you?



Jexx21
07-13-2014, 01:35 AM
Iconic attributes of the games and the series in general:
Beaks and/or Hoods
Hidden Blade
Eagle motifs
Leap of Faith
Lip scar on the left side of face
Names that translate in some fashion to Eagle
White Room confessions
White robes, red sash
Assassin logo

How important is iconography to you? Strong iconography can create brand loyalty, as it is very easy to grow attached to icons. Iconography is basically the summary of a concept to many, and I personally think it is very important to create something that is long lasting. There are a lot of iconic things in this series that I'm not very willing to let go of, some of them I are because I think they're rather contrived.

For example, things that have already been removed or deviated in some fashion:
Lip scar (Desmond, Altair (maybe, maybe not in ACR), Ezio, Aveline)
Names that translate into Eagle (Connor and Edward, and possibly Nikolai, are the only ones that deviate from this icon)
Beaked Hoods (Edward)
White robes, red sash (deviated with ACR Ezio and ACU Arno, Arno has no red sash but he has a red scarf)
White room confessions (removed in Unity)

Some of the above are strong icons, like the beaked hood, some are strong but not the strongest in the series, like the white room confessions. The over-present Leap of Faith is a very strong icon, but they are decreasing in number in Unity, which I think is a good thing.

I was very against the removal of the white room confessions the first time I heard about it, but then I heard what they were being replaced with, instances where Arno would use something related to Eagle Sense to absorb the memories of his target right before the kill, and I thought: that has a lot of potential to become much stronger icon for the series. But I know that a lot of people may be resistant to this change.

So, here's a poll to ask how important you think iconography is to the series and the brand.

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 01:38 AM
While it may be disheartening to see any of these traditions leave, I wouldn't die over it.

I might kill a person or two, but if there is good reason to drop the tradition then by all means.

But if the tradition can be kept in, then keep it.

roostersrule2
07-13-2014, 01:44 AM
I'd say pretty important.

It breaks my heart when a series icon goes.

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 01:45 AM
maybe I should have chose different poll options..

Oh well.

Xstantin
07-13-2014, 01:47 AM
Nikolai's last name literally means "son of an eagle" in Russian, so no deviation there.

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 01:48 AM
If there was a "i prefer to have them, but feel free to remove if neccessary" option, I'd pick it.

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 01:49 AM
Thanks, I didn't know for sure, that's why I said possibly :P

Xstantin
07-13-2014, 01:56 AM
It's not that important anyway :) So far I have a theory that only those who were born into Assassin families have eagle-related names. Just gotta find out whether it's true for Arno

Calvarok
07-13-2014, 01:56 AM
voted option 3. if at any point established visual styles become too constricting, there's no reason artists should be forced to continue with it. The only thing that I consider to be at least essential to have as customization options is a hood, and even then that doesn't have to be the default.

The whole fascination around the lip scar thing that the fanbase had was always weird to me, as it was with other similarly trivial stuff.

If I'm going to be on-board with a yearly series, I want variety, I want new styles. If there's 40 assassins who all look too similar, and all do the exact same things the same way, it ceases to be iconography and becomes a running joke.

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 02:03 AM
tbh the only things that I really require to stay the whole way for Assassin's Creed is the eagle motif, the hidden blade, and the leap of faith (doesn't have to be an ever present mechanic just something that happens at least once)

The beak on a hood or hat would be nice as well.

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 02:09 AM
Here's a list of my cares in AC (in that order)...

1- Core gameplay and mechanics
2- Mission design
3- Story
4- Graphics and visuals
5- Setting
6- Gender/race/ethnicity/sexual orientation of Assassin

that's how much I care about iconography..

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 02:11 AM
seeing by the fact your signature is a flag, I'm betting you care a lot more about iconography than you think you do...

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 02:14 AM
seeing by the fact your signature is a flag, I'm betting you care a lot more about iconography than you think you do...
ehhh perhaps but it's not the color of the flag or its shape is the reason i'm displaying it and besides, I said "in AC";)

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 02:15 AM
Oh here's a list of my cares I guess in order of importance:

1. Well-written Narrative
2. Well-developedCharacters
3. Significant Plot Progression
4. Good Game Mechanics/ Gameplay
5. Interesting/pleasant overworld/setting

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 02:18 AM
ehhh perhaps but it's not the color of the flag or its shape is the reason i'm displaying it and besides, I said "in AC";)

So, you wouldn't care at all if the Assassins just discarded their logo, their fondness of eagles, and the hidden blade?

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 02:20 AM
So, you wouldn't care at all if the Assassins just discarded their logo, their fondness of eagles, and the hidden blade?
I don't consider the hidden blade a symbol, it's a substantial weapon--everything else, nope...wouldn't care one bit.

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 02:23 AM
I do consider it an icon of the Assassins, but to each his own.

Xstantin
07-13-2014, 02:27 AM
Just pulled the AC encyclopedia and it says that the Hidden blade is "a defining mark of the brotherhood", sounds pretty iconic to me.

Calvarok
07-13-2014, 02:29 AM
Just pulled the AC encyclopedia and it says that the Hidden blade is "a defining mark of the brotherhood", sounds pretty iconic to me.
I feel like that's different because it's also a core gameplay mechanic.

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 02:33 AM
The leap of faith is also a core gameplay mechanic then.

The hidden blade and the leap of faith aren't really core gameplay mechanics, as they could easily be replaced by things that essentially do the same thing, but they are part of core gameplay systems (Leap of Faith: Navigation, Hidden Blade: Combat and Stealth)

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 02:34 AM
Just pulled the AC encyclopedia and it says that the Hidden blade is "a defining mark of the brotherhood", sounds pretty iconic to me.
Iconic is not necessarily an aesthetic symbol like the scar, hood and eagles, the hidden blade is part of 2 core gameplay mechanics.

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 02:35 AM
The hidden blade and the leap of faith aren't really core gameplay mechanics, as they could easily be replaced by things that essentially do the same thing, but they are part of core gameplay systems (Leap of Faith: Navigation, Hidden Blade: Combat and Stealth)
How can you replace the hidden blade with a silent, hidden, close range non-projectile weapon?

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 02:39 AM
A knife.

Literally all you would need is a knife.

It's just that the hidden blade is an iconic piece of weaponry.

Xstantin
07-13-2014, 02:56 AM
Iconic is not necessarily an aesthetic symbol like the scar, hood and eagles, the hidden blade is part of 2 core gameplay mechanics.

Sure, but that's just arguing semantics. If you ask a random person they're likely to remember hoods and hidden blades (even majority of promo materials for games features hidden blades all over the place).

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 02:59 AM
Sure, but that's just arguing semantics. If you ask a random person they're likely to remember hoods and hidden blades (even majority of promo materials for games features hidden blades all over the place).
How is this being part of 2 core gameplay mechanics and the other 2 being aesthetics arguing semantics?? might as well remove the historical portion and just make it all modern day because saying that sword-play, tourism aspect and exotic settings is just arguing semantics.


A knife.

Literally all you would need is a knife.

It's just that the hidden blade is an iconic piece of weaponry.
not as convenient as the hidden blade..

SpiritOfNevaeh
07-13-2014, 03:02 AM
I choose "Weak Icons should be replaced with stronger ones"

I think icons that were from the beginning should stay as long as it maintains its meaning or change it to represent the meaning in a stronger way,

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 03:02 AM
You dont even need a knife.

All you need is precise hits with your bare hands. :rolleyes:


jk ofc

edit:

HUMBLE

http://25.media.tumblr.com/7b6974c9c87660d7f89fd5016b81f348/tumblr_miajh7E8lP1qz8wg5o1_400.gif

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 03:02 AM
It would work exactly the same in function though. Stab the guy the the back/neck/head. You could even have two knives.

Xstantin
07-13-2014, 03:05 AM
To clear up, I was talking specifically about the word "iconic". Hidden blade definitely is an iconic piece for the series, even when it comes to purely to aesthetics.

Calvarok
07-13-2014, 03:06 AM
a knife is too visible. the idea of the hidden blade is that people don't see it coming even if you walk right up to them (provided you're not notorious or in a restricted area)

I agree that the hidden blade should stay, not simply because of its iconography but because it's a unique weapon that has led to and could lead to more interesting mechanics.

SpiritOfNevaeh
07-13-2014, 03:07 AM
edit:

HUMBLE

http://25.media.tumblr.com/7b6974c9c87660d7f89fd5016b81f348/tumblr_miajh7E8lP1qz8wg5o1_400.gif

SUP???!?!? :p

But the hidden blade must stay! It's like the oldest icon in the AC franchise history..

Xstantin
07-13-2014, 03:08 AM
a knife is too visible. the idea of the hidden blade is that people don't see it coming even if you walk right up to them (provided you're not notorious or in a restricted area)

Brutus says hello :)

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 03:08 AM
and yet the hidden blades have been easily noticed in games before.

I think it could function in basically the same way.

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 03:08 AM
It would work exactly the same in function though. Stab the guy the the back/neck/head. You could even have two knives.

a knife is too visible. the idea of the hidden blade is that people don't see it coming even if you walk right up to them (provided you're not notorious or in a restricted area)

I agree that the hidden blade should stay, not simply because of its iconography but because it's a unique weapon that has led to and could lead to more interesting mechanics.
What he said, the fantasy itself is cool...a hidden knife would be contrived beyond belief...it'd have to be pulled out of nowhere and look awkward


and yet the hidden blades have been easily noticed in games before.

I think it could function in basically the same way.
When?

Jexx21
07-13-2014, 03:12 AM
pretty sure there was a moment in AC4 when someone was like "you have these wrist blades right?"

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 03:13 AM
@HUMBLE


A bit off topic but Darby-senpai noticed me today (◕‿◕✿)

#imsofamous #notlikeeveryoneelsealreadygotnoticed #ujustjealous #420blazeit

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 03:19 AM
pretty sure there was a moment in AC4 when someone was like "you have these wrist blades right?"
was probably a Templar

rickprog
07-13-2014, 03:30 AM
Iconography is particularly important on a game like AC, in which you are a member of a sect/order with an established set of traditions and goals. There should be things that the order is recognized for. I consider the most important to be the hood, the hidden blade, the red sash (I even made my customized Arno have one) and the insignia. The lip scar, though, is not relevant at all. It was mere coincidence that two of Desmond's ancestors had one.

On the hidden blade or no hidden blade argument, I guess the hidden blade lends itself more for the stealth factor. It is hidden, after all, and requires less movement to take out than a knife. Also, the different versions of it show how practical it can be on other ways.

SpiritOfNevaeh
07-13-2014, 03:32 AM
@HUMBLE


A bit off topic but Darby-senpai noticed me today (◕‿◕✿)

#imsofamous #notlikeeveryoneelsealreadygotnoticed #ujustjealous #420blazeit


AWESOME!! Lets discuss this in the AC thread!

HDinHB
07-13-2014, 03:33 AM
As long as they don't make changes simply for the sake of making changes, I'm okay with mixing things up, especially if they bring things back around again, refreshed. I survived the beaked hood going away (but am happy to see its return); Aveline had a sort of beaked hat, and Haytham could have pulled off being an Assassin even with his standard tricorn. If we go back to a time before the hidden blade was invented, then of course we'll have to do without it, but I wouldn't want to see it abandoned altogether. The eagle motif ties the series together, as do the Leaps of Faith. It will be good to have high points back too, as the New World didn't have enough truly high points--frequently in Black Flag I could look up from a sync point to see the mast of the Jackdaw--and most of them were repetitive. Hopefully they will revitalize that in Unity.

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 03:37 AM
HEY M

When you do the killing thing, make sure when theres an optional objective to kill soldiers, DO IT!

Because we're technically tallying how many soldiers the assassins killed. not us. :rolleyes:

Calvarok
07-13-2014, 04:09 AM
and yet the hidden blades have been easily noticed in games before.

I think it could function in basically the same way.
Most of the designs for hidden blades don't look very visible. cutscene logic is sometimes kinda broken. the idea is that they're supposed to be invisible when worn properly, even if they don't stick to that rule all the time.

SixKeys
07-13-2014, 05:10 AM
Went with the third option. This is something I feel rather strongly about. The only "must" icon for me is the hidden blade. Even hoods are negotiable. I totally bought Haytham as an assassin before the big revelation, despite him having no hood. Aveline looks great without a hood. Leaps of faith can be replaced with something that looks similar but which actually changes gameplay, as we've seen with controlled descent. I'm glad we're moving away from glaring white robes, they made some stealth scenarios absolutely ridiculous. Scars are a complete non-issue. Eagle names are cute, but there's only so long you can keep that up. Assassin logo is fine, but has to be discrete (not like Ezio's belt). White room confessions are cool, but I'm open to new interpretations.

Basically, an assassin should be defined by their actions alone, not by some kind of gang insignia. An assassin's job is to be as discrete and incognito as possible. Anything that makes him or her too recognizable is bad. It's getting really silly that the Templars have waged war against the assassins for centuries and still don't immediately get suspicious when they spot a lone guy in a hood at the back of the crowd. Hell, if I was a Templar, I would just ask my bodyguards to toss out any hooded figures loitering around the place before doing anything. Chances of assassination instantly reduced by 90%.

Sesheenku
07-13-2014, 05:14 AM
Hood and the hidden blade is all I need, don't care what color it is. The rest can come and go.

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 06:06 AM
HEY M

When you do the killing thing, make sure when theres an optional objective to kill soldiers, DO IT!

Because we're technically tallying how many soldiers the assassins killed. not us. :rolleyes:
Ah, well in that case then I wont replay AC II since we don't really know exactly how many Ezio killed, I was more under the impression that this is about which game you could through completely with killing the least amount of guards.

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 06:16 AM
Oh.

I was going for a study of on least how many guards the assassins must have killed. To know the general death count the assassins may have caused.

but if you want to do that go ahead by all means.

Assassin_M
07-13-2014, 06:17 AM
Oh.

I was going for a study of on least how many guards the assassins must have killed. To know the general death count the assassins may have caused.

but if you want to do that go ahead by all means.
I'll try and do both then but I don't know how i'd accomplish it with Ezio in AC II apart from cutscene killings

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 06:22 AM
I believe in you M! you can do it! :rolleyes:

AdamPearce
07-13-2014, 06:41 AM
Technically if you only use the Fist you can achieve 0 kills from ACII and on, just make sure no one fells into water. Though I am not sure if back stab finish were in AC2, I know ACBro' had (pretty awesome one actually).

JustPlainQuirky
07-13-2014, 06:43 AM
yeah but sometimes using your fists counts as a kill.

LoyalACFan
07-13-2014, 08:08 AM
I don't think I can fairly answer the poll question, because everyone's opinion on what is or isn't "iconic" is different. Personally, I always thought the lip scar and the eagle name were stupid as hell and was glad to see them go, but some people were outraged when Connor had neither. But at the same time, I'd be super bummed if they ever made an AC game without hoods or hidden blades (I was really turned off of Liberation because of that stupid hat, though I later found out you could buy a hood).

IMO nothing should stay just "because it's tradition" if it's severely hindering their creativity (coughcoughAnimuscough) but if it's awesome and almost synonymous with that franchise, then by all means keep it.

Shahkulu101
07-13-2014, 12:10 PM
I don't feel that strongly about iconography. As long as an AC game has combat, stealth and parkour in a historical setting I'm fine.

I picked the third option, because iconography is nice to have but shouldn't stifle innovation. I'd like it if the hidden blade and the hooded robe stayed in, but their removal would not disgruntle me.

Matknapers18
07-13-2014, 12:57 PM
I have a stupid obsession with iconography in AC. When I saw that Connor didn't have the scar on his lip I went berserk. I just feel that, if you give Altair, Desmond and Ezio all these matching attributes, it gives the idea that an assassin MUST have these features. If they don't have a peaked hood, or a red sash, then they're not assassins. This is the perception that AC1 and the Ezio trilogy gave me. Although the scar on the lip is more of a Desmond bloodline thing, rather than an assassin thing.

No ordinary person ever wears a peaked hood. So when you give one to Altair and Ezio, it automatically creates the impression that the hood is essential clothing of assassin. Don't introduce something that symbolises the franchise and then get rid of it because you no longer like it. These features make assassin's distinguishable. If I see a peaked hood I immediately think of AC. I blabbered on a bit there.