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Fourth Echelon Economy 101 | Splinter Cell Blacklist [NORTH AMERICA]

Out of the Shadows - Splinter Cell Blacklist Dev Panel

J. Cole Trailer - Splinter Cell Blacklist [NORTH AMERICA]

  1. #1
    Community Developer UbiZack's Avatar
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    Thoughts from the ComDev...

    Hey guys...

    It's been a very long, emotional, uplifting, and draining day.

    You don't know me. Yet.

    I'm Zack Cooper.
    I'm the Community Developer here at Ubisoft Toronto (writing you from E3/LA).

    It's been an emotional day because the team finally got to talk about its new baby.
    It's been uplifting, because of the overwhelmingly positive response that we got from the audience at the Microsoft press conference, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
    It's also been draining because I read what a lot of you are writing, and it pains me.

    Not because of my place on the project - I've only been at UbiTO for a few momths - but because I feel (and I'm being completely honest and unfiltered here) like a lot of people are jumping to conclusions.

    I am a huge fan of Splinter Cell (old and more recent). I'm a big fan of the stealth genre as a whole.
    I'm also a big time gamer (before hopping on with Ubi, I was on the journalism side of the industry).

    I would really like for you guys to open up your minds for a moment (I'm not pleading, I'm asking).

    Understand that a lot of what goes into an announce is marketing.
    Mass appeal.
    Show what sings to the people. Not just the hardcore fans.

    We knew that there would be some resistance. We knew that there would be knee-jerk reactions to being outdoors.
    It's bright. ...and there are lots of enemies.

    ...but I assure you (and this is where you're going to have to trust me for a bit)... there is PLENTY of stealth in Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

    I'm going to do my best to convey this to you (ideally, by the end of the week - there's a LOT to do).

    We are not going to please everyone. That's impossible.
    ...but I am (and certainly the team is) very confident that you will be very pleased with what you will see.

    We listened to the fans.

    Spies vs. Mercs is back. ...and it's going to kick some serious ***.
    There will be plenty of shadows and darkness... and sneaking... and moving bodies... and sticky shocker moments (and TONS of other stuff we'll communicate later).
    There will be alternate routes, and more open levels.

    It comes across as an action game. I know. ...and it can be just that.
    ...but you can also be the sneaky bad *** Sam Fisher who a lot of you know and love.

    But with a different voice.

    The decision to go with a new Sam Fisher in that regard was with the gamer - you - truly in mind.
    I love Michael Ironside (I was the guy who did the interviews). I loved Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher.

    In order to push the gameplay to tomorrows standards we HAD to make the change; To push the envelope of gameplay and combat. (you watched the video, right?)
    You've seen Killing in Motion.
    ...you HAVEN'T seen how it is so much deeper than just pushing a button and watching some slow-mo bullet-time. You will.

    Conviction was released in 2010. Blacklist will be out Spring 2013.
    Settling for just a voice-over wasn't deemed acceptable for us, when we've got the capabilities to do full performance capture (and I'm a guy who worked in radio for 11 years - I appreciate the power of voice)

    ...as for the idea of having someone do the physical movements and laying on someone else`s voice? Come on, guys.

    The whole 4th Echelon team has been doing full performance capture. It would be a disservice to the theatrical process (the believability of the story-telling) to do any such thing.

    I've spent some time with Eric Johnson - the new Sam Fisher - as well (video of that is forthcoming).
    He's not only a great actor, but he's a great fit. (sidenote: early in Eric`s career, he was involved in a scene where he was interrogated by Ironside, who, afterward, offered Eric a part in another project shortly thereafter).

    There is SO much to Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

    We aren`t kidding when we say this is the biggest (and most customizable) Splinter Cell ever made.
    You will truly be able to play how you want.

    I`m simply asking you to believe me at this point - because a lot of this is not in what`s marketing calls the "communication calendar" - until later.
    I could get in trouble for this... but to me, it`s more important to make sure we don't lose you to some rash judgements before you see the big picture.
    ...not just 6 minutes of gameplay and a CGI trailer.

    The story... the elements that are for YOU the hardcore fan who's been playing since 2002.
    The multiplayer... the co-op...

    I am a longtime SC fan... and I, too, dealt with some initial shock when I was first shown some of what you've seen.
    ...but I've seen so much more (and you will too, when it's ready for public consumption)... and I KNOW that you will be happy.

    Please... just be patient.

    Sorry for the rant.
    Feel free to reach out to me.

    It`s a busy week - as you know - but I`ll do my best to respond.

    Thanks for listening.
    -Zack
    Community Developer at Ubisoft Toronto
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  2. #2
    Exactly what I've been asking for from the devs. Still unsure about the game but thank you for the response. We will wait and see what the game has to offer and first impressions for longtime fans may not be so good, but I reserve judgement on the final product for when it is released.

    That being said, I can't help but recall Maxime's response to the stealth in Conviction. He promised that we could play stealthily through the game when most of the time it was an impossibility. However, I think that a response like this, on the day of announcement​ is a respectable gesture. Good luck with the developement.
    Xbox 360 GT: CELLGHOST206
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  3. #3
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    thank you for responding, but who cares if it is voice over for motion casting. you already dubbed sams face over erics, why not his voice? There should be no other alternative for having sam be sam fisher. Besides if you guys were dead set on motion capture with no voice over than why not just bring in a new agent and have sam be lambert 2.0. It would be more realistic than having an old man climb cliff edges faster than ezio. Regenerative healing isn't stealthy nor realistic. Mark and execute was buyable in conviction. Sam had nothing to lose in conviction. Now im sure he wants to catch up with his daughter, it doesn't make sense that he is going to be as risky and aggressive.
    Last edited by mistahkmak; 06-05-2012 at 06:57 AM.
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  4. #4
    All this 2013, we can't do only voice over. Then why not bring in a new character? Have sam behind the lines, like how you had him in chaos theory in coop. Have him talk to you. That would make sams character come to a nice conclusion.

    Many of us are properly open to a lot of new things, but bringing Sam back, and not having Ironside doing the voice... How would the Metal Gear Solid crowd feel like playing snake, but not with david hayter back?

    Seriously, ubi. Try gameplay changes, I'm all there for a fresh Splinter cell experience and trying out something new, but don't mess with the series like that, when you have such a beloved character in the franchise.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ecma4's Avatar
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    This kind of communication is exactly what fans have been asking for from Ubisoft for years. Thank you.

    Ubisoft has history of completely changing game play on its fans, so I'm not surprised at all by the reaction. Ubisoft needs to learn to balance the hardcores (long time customers) and the "mass appeal" better.
    Last edited by ecma4; 06-05-2012 at 04:01 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Yabab_2's Avatar
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    We understand you might have the best of intentions in mind. But I, as a paying customer, am saying that I would rather have a hand-animated game with Michael Ironside as the voice for Sam Fisher than a game with Fisher being voiced by a young guy, specially when he's pushing 50 from the way the storyline is going.

    Either reboot the storyline or bring Ironside back.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mistahkmak View Post
    thank you for responding, but who cares if it is voice over for motion casting. there should be no other alternative for having sam be sam fisher. Besides if you guys were dead set on motion capture with no voice over than why not just bring in a new agent and have sam be lambert 2.0. It would be more realistic than having an old man climb cliff edges faster than ezio. Regenerative healing isn't stealthy nor realistic. Mark and execute was buyable in conviction. Sam had nothing to lose in conviction. Now im sure he wants to catch up with his daughter, it doesn't make sense that he is going to be as risky and aggressive.
    Just what I wrote on another forum. Hit the nail on the head!! Another Idea I had was REBOOT!!! They mentioned missions that Sam did in the 80s on Chaos Theroy. They could have a young Sam as a prequel to the entire SC franchise! Woulda been sick!!
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  8. #8
    Member jet.penafuerte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yabab_2 View Post
    We understand you might have the best of intentions in mind. But I, as a paying customer, am saying that I would rather have a hand-animated game with Michael Ironside as the voice for Sam Fisher than a game with Fisher being voiced by a young guy, specially when he's pushing 50 from the way the storyline is going.

    Either reboot the storyline or bring Ironside back.
    THIS.

    Gameplay-wise though, I have no issues. It looks amazing.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Yabab_2 View Post
    We understand you might have the best of intentions in mind. But I, as a paying customer, am saying that I would rather have a hand-animated game with Michael Ironside as the voice for Sam Fisher than a game with Fisher being voiced by a young guy, specially when he's pushing 50 from the way the storyline is going. Either reboot the storyline or bring Ironside back.
    ^^^ This.

    Quote Originally Posted by mistahkmak View Post
    thank you for responding, but who cares if it is voice over for motion casting. there should be no other alternative for having sam be sam fisher. Besides if you guys were dead set on motion capture with no voice over than why not just bring in a new agent and have sam be lambert 2.0. It would be more realistic than having an old man climb cliff edges faster than ezio. Regenerative healing isn't stealthy nor realistic. Mark and execute was buyable in conviction. Sam had nothing to lose in conviction. Now im sure he wants to catch up with his daughter, it doesn't make sense that he is going to be as risky and aggressive.
    ^^^ And This.

    If you guys were to play your own freaking game you would know that Sam wants to get out of the field and catch up with Sarah. Why would he all of sudden go back into the field after just getting her "back".
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No Michael Ironside = No Sam Fisher

    No Sam Fisher = No Splinter Cell

    No Splinter Cell = Not worth my time, money, and effort. You brought that on yourself Ubisoft.

    Seems this E3 my hopes for every game that I was psyched for (except for AC3) have been dashed.
    Last edited by Bugattiboy91; 06-05-2012 at 04:16 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member newhenpal's Avatar
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    Why do video games suddenly have an obligation to meet theatrical standards, and why with motion captured performances? And believable story-telling...we're talking about Blacklist, right?
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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