1. #71
    Originally Posted by Calvarok Go to original post
    Dude, that's the whole point of AC.
    To be real mixed with imagined.
    And in the end it's a video game, so sometimes gameplay must come first, and it's the artist's personal style, so the boat is going to be modeled to fit that style.

    Photorealism to me is boring.

    AC was never marketed as a perfectly accurate game.
    It contains elements of history because it's cool to show people elements of real history while still doing your own thing.

    I don't want the future of gaming to be one where all the graphics are the same, perfectly optimized engine with the same objects that you pick from a drop-down list.

    Artists and artistic style should always be involved in video games. Period.
    That's all too true. The artists from Ubisoft do a marvelous job. Every AC looked stunning so far, be it inspired by orientalist painters or Renaissance Italian artists. Yet there is a delicate trade-off between pure inspiration and realism. You can't just ditch one in favor of the other.
    Turner painted ships like no other, all his works are truly original and yet the vessels he pictured looked perfectly realistic. There are many manners to depict the same subject (history in this particular case) whithout having to reinvent it.
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  2. #72
    Calvarok's Avatar Senior Member
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    Yes, I know that, but an artist was assigned who decided to.
    From all I know about how art teams in video games work, they are told to reflect certain themes and styles in their work, but how they do it is up to them. And it's important that you leave it up to them. You can't come in and say "this should be more realistic" if the artist is doing his own thing. (Unless it starts to stop reflecting the style they want for the game.)

    That's the beauty of art. Sometimes it's very realistic, sometimes it's interpretative, sometimes it's anywhere on the spectrum in-between.

    And in a game like Assassin's Creed, where there are a lot of ridiculous and fantasy elements, they unified those styles in a way that captures the flavour of the time, without being pixel perfect.

    It's the same with the cities: each building's architecture is not exactly right. An architecture expert could probably come in and point out as many "flaws" as a ship expert. A city planner could show you that the cities are actually condensed from their original size.

    but that's because it's not the actual renaissance, or crusades, or revolution: it's a piece of art that reflects those time periods and places.

    Realism in the all encompassing sense works far better for art that is only focusing on one subject, like that ship you mentioned. But to be emblematic of a whole era requires a more sweeping focus, and thus a more stylistic form of realism.

    Every AC game undoubtledly gives you the style of the places displayed, though I can assure you from experience, that being physically there is another thing entirely.

    And there is merit in those games which try to capture the physicality of an area, rather than just its style and history, but I find them to be far less interesting artistically.
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  3. #73
    Really I can't argue with that. It's beatifully said and to the point. I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    AC should be accepted as a piece of art and respected as a singular vision of a time period.

    Yet it remains at the same time a video game, a product of the entertainment industry, and unfortunately one of the fiew which deal in history. To me, one of the big thrills when playing an AC game is imagining myself transported through time, or at least the romantic idea I have of past times built from films, paintings or books I saw or read. Not the real past but the idea I and people of my generation and cultural background have of said past. When I see something that stands glaringly out, like the bizarre robes of Ezio or the strange ship Connor is captaining, the thrill ends. To someone else with a different story, weapons can be off-putting, or as you said buildings or city plans.

    As an art lover, you've got to respect the poetic licence, but as a player, you cringe.

    In the interest of players, the best way to avoid this and to reconcile the many different images people have of past time periods would be to stay close to reality whenever possible, so as to avoid breaking the immersion for a majority people, be they shipbuilding buffs, architecture buffs and whatnot.

    But it would infringe on artistic liberties and ruin the game for the art lover.
    I fear there is no solution to content everyone, but I must admit that at the end of the day the team behind AC does a pretty good job at drawing the thin line between art and entertainment.
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  4. #74
    Calvarok's Avatar Senior Member
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    In regards to the way the Assassins look, I've always thought they've looked like a more iconic capturing of their era. And you can hear in guard dialogue that it's considered strange clothing. It's not as if they're saying it was normal back then. Assassins look iconic, because when they want to be unseen, they are unseen, but when they are in the open, they want their actions to be remembered.

    And honestly, the ships look very, very much like the ships I've seen in the drawings posted on this thread. I may not be an expert, but as I've said before, an expert on any part of the particular time period could name you a hundred ways in which it is not perfectly recreated.

    And many times it's for game-play reasons or simply because they did not have time to build the assets, or and engine which could support it being in-game.

    Take for example Philedalphia, non-playable because of wide and long streets, which caused both gameplay and technical problems.

    I agree that AC is one of few games which takes history seriously, and has a responsibility because of that, but even though a reason for all the deviations may not be readily apparent, it's inevitable that there is one, somewhere within the huge team working on the game. The artist did not design a ship with his eyes closed, he had accurate pictures and reference, and there was some reason which required the design to be altered.

    It may have been animation or gameplay concerns, engine concerns, clipping concerns, or it may have been a simpler object to render, reducing the already considerable load on the game's engine.
    It's out there somewhere, and it's not because they just don't care.

    In the future the tools with which games are made will become more sophisticated, and better accuracy may become easier to achieve. But things like the assassin being distinctive, or certain characters being in places they were not historically, or things they were not historically, is explained as a part of the fiction, a different part of the artistic process. Assassins are supposed to dress this way, and in this universe, history unfolded a bit differently. It's not a story about the retelling of the revolution after all, but a story that COULD have happened with the surroundings of the revolution as a backdrop.
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