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Sushiglutton
03-15-2015, 12:22 PM
How can we make the games feel less factory made?


The AC games are massive projects that are released at a yearly rate. To be able to pull this off you obviously need an industrial approach. You have to be smart about how you produce assets, reuse them, design gameplay that can be easily combined into missions and so on. In short the games to some extent must be factory made. However they should never feel that way to the player! Here I think Ubisoft has a lot of work to do.

I don't think every aspect of AC feel factory made ofc, not at all. I mean when you look at the interior of Notre Dame or listen to the dialogue of AC4 you can tell that they have been lovingly crafted by talented human beings. However I think Ubi frequently shoot themselves in the foot by adding a lot of stuff that actively make the games less organic. Getting that handcrafted feel doesn't have to be expensive. A lot can be achieved by removing certain types of content, or think about how you present them.

This sense of lifeless massproduction is one of the greatest sources of franchise fatigue. Ubi would be wise in trying to reduce it as much as they can if they want the franchise to survive!

Farlander1991
03-15-2015, 01:36 PM
I'm pretty sure Ubi knows what you're saying. ;) After all, one of the most critically-acclaimed AC games, that being ACIV, which is also beloved by many players, has only a couple new elements. Everything else is a smart reuse or adaptation of mechanics and principles from previous games. They can put 2+2 together ;)

That said, this doesn't mean the principle is always put into action (and there can be many of reasons for them, but none of them would be 'Ubi's not smart' :p there's also the fact of hindsight, we always see the product at its end stage, and a lot of times it's hard to feel how it all connects or fails to connect together until it's too late while in development). I'm playing Rogue right now, and the game would REALLY benefit from just cutting out features or mechanics or content types. The game has a lot of things that are there just because BF had it and it took it as a base, so it's a very weird experience, where there are some really nice ideas, but also quite a bit of 'why is this here, why wasn't this cut?'

First, there's no connection to our ship, the Morrigan. It's just there. In AC4 there's a thematic and gameplay connection to the Jackdaw, not only its important for the plot and for Edward's character development, it's also the primary means of getting money and resources. And you get money and resources so you could upgrade the Jackdaw to get even more money until you become the strongest/richest person and can beat legendary ships (gameplay wise) which also fits with the Edward's main desire of, well, becoming the strongest/richest person. In Rogue the primary means of getting money and resources are land-based activities - restorations, banks, outposts, supply camps, liberating settlements, etc. So it would make sense to focus more on that as it would also fit Shay's character and allegiance more (building a better life for all and having everything under your control).

Then there's whaling and hunting. In AC4 that makes sense. Edward as a pirate lives of the spoils of nature and people, so it makes sense that he would hand-craft stuff for himself using the resources from hunting/whaling. Shay is a Templar, why the hell would he need to hunt to be able to make some kind of a pouch?

Then there's treasure maps. In AC4 they were part of the pirate fantasy, and while historically inaccurate they were fun and neat. We have them in Rogue as well, and it's like, why?!

But there are really neat things about Rogue - Assassination interceptions are a neat side-quest, there are some really cleverly designed areas in the world (which actually makes the boring act of collecting some stuff more interesting simply because it's very rewarding to find neat pathways in the environment), and also some really nice tomb-style areas in the wilderness.

Still, it's not a one whole coherent experience like AC4 was, where every reused element makes sense, and the new ones are adding to the experience.

VestigialLlama4
03-15-2015, 02:18 PM
The main questions I wish the Developers ask themselves:

Am I going to have fun making this game, designing this level, bringing this period to life, or Am I doing it because marketing says it's a good idea and what fans wanted?

It's impossible to know for sure, but I feel that AC1 and AC2, as well as Black Flag worked because they were games the developers enjoyed doing, they connected with it and brought it to life whereas I think the other games were more studied. These games have wonderful touches, neat grace notes that only come with a degree of personal involvement and I don't think that's there to the same degree as AC3(which I still love) and it's not even there in UNITY (which the developers are clearly ashamed of having made, since they don't give any interviews after the release). Rogue is just fanfiction and as Farlander says does not justify its existence. Ideally the game should have been Story DLC and it would have been enjoyable as such.

Sushiglutton
03-15-2015, 02:33 PM
I'm pretty sure Ubi knows what you're saying. ;) After all, one of the most critically-acclaimed AC games, that being ACIV, which is also beloved by many players, has only a couple new elements. Everything else is a smart reuse or adaptation of mechanics and principles from previous games. They can put 2+2 together ;)

That said, this doesn't mean the principle is always put into action (and there can be many of reasons for them, but none of them would be 'Ubi's not smart' :p there's also the fact of hindsight, we always see the product at its end stage, and a lot of times it's hard to feel how it all connects or fails to connect together until it's too late while in development).

I don't doubt that Ubi knows this for a second :p! It's obvious that all other things equal you want a more handcrafted experience for the player. However there are many other priorities to think about. What I wish is that the question I stated would be the central aim governing the development of the next AC.

Just to give an example, let's take the map of Unity:




http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--BiGTIX5z--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/v9ntibbpygmfd0mnmqkq.png


Look at it and then ask yourself: Can anything be done to make the game feel less factory made? I think the answer is very clearly YES, and it's fairly obvious what should be done! If the overall guiding philosophy for AC would be to make it feel as organic as possible, I believe a bunch of misstakes would be avoided!




I'm playing Rogue right now, and the game would REALLY benefit from just cutting out features or mechanics or content types. The game has a lot of things that are there just because BF had it and it took it as a base, so it's a very weird experience, where there are some really nice ideas, but also quite a bit of 'why is this here, why wasn't this cut?'

First, there's no connection to our ship, the Morrigan. It's just there. In AC4 there's a thematic and gameplay connection to the Jackdaw, not only its important for the plot and for Edward's character development, it's also the primary means of getting money and resources. And you get money and resources so you could upgrade the Jackdaw to get even more money until you become the strongest/richest person and can beat legendary ships (gameplay wise) which also fits with the Edward's main desire of, well, becoming the strongest/richest person. In Rogue the primary means of getting money and resources are land-based activities - restorations, banks, outposts, supply camps, liberating settlements, etc. So it would make sense to focus more on that as it would also fit Shay's character and allegiance more (building a better life for all and having everything under your control).

Then there's whaling and hunting. In AC4 that makes sense. Edward as a pirate lives of the spoils of nature and people, so it makes sense that he would hand-craft stuff for himself using the resources from hunting/whaling. Shay is a Templar, why the hell would he need to hunt to be able to make some kind of a pouch?

Then there's treasure maps. In AC4 they were part of the pirate fantasy, and while historically inaccurate they were fun and neat. We have them in Rogue as well, and it's like, why?!

But there are really neat things about Rogue - Assassination interceptions are a neat side-quest, there are some really cleverly designed areas in the world (which actually makes the boring act of collecting some stuff more interesting simply because it's very rewarding to find neat pathways in the environment), and also some really nice tomb-style areas in the wilderness.

Still, it's not a one whole coherent experience like AC4 was, where every reused element makes sense, and the new ones are adding to the experience.


Narrative context and coherence are def two things that help the games feeling less factory made! I wish Ubi commited to not adding any content in the games without a strong narrative motivation!

I also think several aspects of AC4 felt factory made. Like the barfights (same at every bar), the mayan puzzles, the collectibles, the little islands with treasure chests and so on. They should have reducesd this type of content, or ensured it had more personality.

SixKeys
03-15-2015, 02:34 PM
These games have wonderful touches, neat grace notes that only come with a degree of personal involvement and I don't think that's there to the same degree as AC3(which I still love) and it's not even there in UNITY (which the developers are clearly ashamed of having made, since they don't give any interviews after the release).

Yeah, there's no way that could possibly have to do with the embarrassing launch and bad publicity which followed. Just like how AC3 developers clearly hated their own game since they avoided interviews after release. :rolleyes:

Sushiglutton
03-15-2015, 02:41 PM
Am I going to have fun making this game, designing this level, bringing this period to life, or Am I doing it because marketing says it's a good idea and what fans wanted?


This is also important and is connected to the question I suggested. I def think the developers need to be more empowered to make games they are passionate about. It seems to me that a lot of non-gamers at Ubi are telling the creators what to do (and so do we, but we don't have any power :) ). The games are to some extent designed to satisfy everyone, which ofc never really works (as an example look at the situation with Modern Day).

I doubt that ideas like microtransactions, external services and so on came from passionate developers. On the contrary these types of things are pushed on the creators, effectively sabotaging their work.

Farlander1991
03-15-2015, 02:56 PM
Just to give an example, let's take the map of Unity:




http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--BiGTIX5z--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/v9ntibbpygmfd0mnmqkq.png


Look at it and then ask yourself: Can anything be done to make the game feel less factory made? I think the answer is very clearly YES, and it's fairly obvious what should be done! If the overall guiding philosophy for AC would be to make it feel as organic as possible, I believe a bunch of misstakes would be avoided!

While I don't agree with everything Unity does (and think that there's just too damn much collectibles that are required for 100% sync, I believe that stuff shouldn't be required for 100%, just to be stuff to do on your way somewhere), the player never sees the map like THAT. I've seen you use that screenshot previously as an example of Unity being overwhelming and having just too many things in it.
Here's the thing, all chests are hidden on the map, and viewpoints uncover only several - unguarded/unlocked ones. Or you specifically buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map.
All cockades are hidden on the map until you get close. Or you specifically buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map.
All murder mysteries are hidden on the map until you get close. Or you specifically buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map.
Now I don't remember exactly about Nostradamus Enigmas and Paris Stories, but at least some Paris Stories are temporarily hidden even after view point synchronization (again, unless you buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map).
So to make it look like on the screenshot, you either have to:
a) Explore the whole city and not do a single thing in it, or
b) Specifically buy everything that shows all the stuff on the map.

So I don't agree with your consistent useage of that map screen :p

VestigialLlama4
03-15-2015, 03:00 PM
Yeah, there's no way that could possibly have to do with the embarrassing launch and bad publicity which followed. Just like how AC3 developers clearly hated their own game since they avoided interviews after release. :rolleyes:

AC3 developers did not avoid interviews post-release. Alex Hutchinson did an AMA session as did Corey May, they gave several interviews discussing the game and their choices. Likewise the release of the Tyranny DLC also had interviews with its developers (while Ubisoft Montpellier who designed DEAD KINGS did not give interviews at all).

There hasn't been a single interview with Amancio or Travis Stout or anyone else after the launch. Hutchinson did not avoid questions about AC3's (very minor) glitches and issues as well, because they still had a level of pride in their work whereas UNITY was clearly a paycheck that did not cash in as expected. It falls to Darby McDevitt to explain stuff about a game and further happenings in the franchise even on titles he hasn't worked on, such as UNITY and VICTORY.

Shahkulu101
03-15-2015, 03:11 PM
While I don't agree with everything Unity does (and think that there's just too damn much collectibles that are required for 100% sync, I believe that stuff shouldn't be required for 100%, just to be stuff to do on your way somewhere), the player never sees the map like THAT. I've seen you use that screenshot previously as an example of Unity being overwhelming and having just too many things in it.
Here's the thing, all chests are hidden on the map, and viewpoints uncover only several - unguarded/unlocked ones. Or you specifically buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map.
All cockades are hidden on the map until you get close. Or you specifically buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map.
All murder mysteries are hidden on the map until you get close. Or you specifically buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map.
Now I don't remember exactly about Nostradamus Enigmas and Paris Stories, but at least some Paris Stories are temporarily hidden even after view point synchronization (again, unless you buy a thing that makes them all viewable on the map).
So to make it look like on the screenshot, you either have to:
a) Explore the whole city and not do a single thing in it, or
b) Specifically buy everything that shows all the stuff on the map.

So I don't agree with your consistent useage of that map screen :p

Well my map happened to be just about as cluttered as that by coincidence, and I also saw quite a few tweets and screenshots from various people who's map looked similar, and a lot of people in this forum lament the same problem. So although not everything is displayed on the map once you sync a viewpoint (which is troublesome, you should never have to go hunting for missions - what's more troubling is that you can only buy the locations with real money, so the only reason they're hidden is so you'll spend $$$) the map is still far too busy looking for a lot of people even if it's not quite as bad as the picture Sushi keeps posting.

The point is there are too many repetitive missions with poor story context (Paris Stories), and an over abundance of pointless collectibles (chests and cockades). The only side missions that are worthwhile are the co-op ones (Heists especially) which are online-focused.

Sushiglutton
03-15-2015, 03:30 PM
Ok, I've overused the map example :D. Here's another one of the Ubi factory at work:




http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/57511/images/590/acbrother_b02_381.jpg
http://guides.gamepressure.com/assassinscreediii/gfx/word/184915343.jpg
http://cdn2.gamefront.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Image-163-556x313.jpg
http://static.gosunoob.com/img/1/2014/11/Assassins-Creed-Unity-Sequence-1-Memory-1-Hugo.jpg

SixKeys
03-15-2015, 03:55 PM
AC3 developers did not avoid interviews post-release. Alex Hutchinson did an AMA session as did Corey May, they gave several interviews discussing the game and their choices. Likewise the release of the Tyranny DLC also had interviews with its developers (while Ubisoft Montpellier who designed DEAD KINGS did not give interviews at all).

There hasn't been a single interview with Amancio or Travis Stout or anyone else after the launch. Hutchinson did not avoid questions about AC3's (very minor) glitches and issues as well, because they still had a level of pride in their work whereas UNITY was clearly a paycheck that did not cash in as expected. It falls to Darby McDevitt to explain stuff about a game and further happenings in the franchise even on titles he hasn't worked on, such as UNITY and VICTORY.

AC3's "very minor glitches and issues" - you mean like the irreparably broken stealth system, or the broken horses, or broken detection system, or missions disappearing from the map making them impossible to complete, or NPCs failing to react to the player forcing them to restart from the last checkpoint, or the Encyclopedia of the Common Man which still crashes my game without fail?

There have been no post-release interviews with the makers of Rogue either. Does that mean the developers of Rogue hated their game? Come to think of it, no interviews for Freedom Cry either, and that was released as its own game. Clearly that must mean Freedom Cry was a piece of **** and its developers were ashamed of their game.

Or could it be that different developers have varying levels of interest in interacting with fans post-launch? Darby and Ashraf are the ONLY devs we've ever had who have been happy to answer fans' questions about their game for months, even post-launch. It hasn't "fallen" on Darby to explain things about the franchise. It's not in his job description to interact with fans at all. He does it anyway.

VestigialLlama4
03-15-2015, 04:07 PM
AC3's "very minor glitches and issues" - you mean like the irreparably broken stealth system, or the broken horses, or broken detection system, or missions disappearing from the map making them impossible to complete, or NPCs failing to react to the player forcing them to restart from the last checkpoint, or the Encyclopedia of the Common Man which still crashes my game without fail?

Those happened to a small minority of players, hopelessly exaggerated by the game's critics and fixed in two patches, I replayed the game recently and while there are issues with two cutscenes(floating weapons and the like), it runs smooth, the game's stealth mechanics work pretty well too. The issues with AC3 were nothing compared to what happened with UNITY, compared to that AC3 is a flawless launch (and it was, the game is the best-selling title of the franchise, and among Ubisoft's all time greatest hits, while they are still too ashamed to release real numbers for UNITY).


There have been no post-release interviews with the makers of Rogue either. Does that mean the developers of Rogue hated their game?

Well with ROGUE it's an underpromoted game.


Come to think of it, no interviews for Freedom Cry either, and that was released as its own game.

There were interviews for Freedom Cry, Jillian Murray answered the challenges of making a story about slavery quite well, especially in gameplay terms whether an active slave rebel was more courageous than the slaves who were "passive" and how the developers had to ensure that they don't glorify Adewale at the expense of the other slaves in the game. Freedom Cry even won awards you know.


Or could it be that different developers have varying levels of interest in interacting with fans post-launch?

Well Alex Amancio did give interviews post-Revelations launch. So...I am going to call, as they say in Italy, "Vergonia".

Farlander1991
03-15-2015, 04:21 PM
Ok, I've overused the map example :D. Here's another one of the Ubi factory at work:




http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/57511/images/590/acbrother_b02_381.jpg
http://guides.gamepressure.com/assassinscreediii/gfx/word/184915343.jpg
http://cdn2.gamefront.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Image-163-556x313.jpg
http://static.gosunoob.com/img/1/2014/11/Assassins-Creed-Unity-Sequence-1-Memory-1-Hugo.jpg

While we're at it, let's not have objectives where we kill people, as that's in every game and obviously makes it feeling like a factory :rolleyes:

JustPlainQuirky
03-15-2015, 04:23 PM
you guys dont know what devs do and do not ask themselves

but that is a good question that i hope is on their priority list


While we're at it, let's not have objectives where we kill people, as that's in every game and obviously makes it feeling like a factory

a goal and a specific goal of running up to someone and jumping on them to catch them are two different incomparable things

Farlander1991
03-15-2015, 04:28 PM
a goal and a specific goal of running up to someone and jumping on them to catch them are two different incomparable things

Why? One goal is to catch a target. The other is to kill a target. Both require an action to be done upon a target. How are they incomparable?

JustPlainQuirky
03-15-2015, 04:32 PM
Why? One goal is to catch a target. The other is to kill a target. Both require an action to be done upon a target. How are they incomparable?


ah, I just read "objective" in general. My bad.

Regardless, "killing" is an element present in almost all videogames. For some it's what defines a videogame.

Plus, it's ambiguous.

"Catching" can be ambiguous too and done in many different ways but what sushi is saying is that its executed the same way almost every game. which is an understandable complaint IMO

Sushiglutton
03-15-2015, 04:32 PM
While we're at it, let's not have objectives where we kill people, as that's in every game and obviously makes it feeling like a factory :rolleyes:

Erm what :confused:. There can be plenty of variety in infiltration/assassination missions. These tackle ones have been almost identical since they were introduced in AC2.



you guys dont know what devs do and do not ask themselves

but that is a good question that i hope is on their priority list

Of course I don't, that's why I use the word "wish" :). But if "making the games feel as none factory made as possible" was the number one priority, it's very hard to understand some of the design choices.

Farlander1991
03-15-2015, 04:51 PM
Erm what :confused:. There can be plenty of variety in infiltration/assassination missions. These tackle ones have been almost identical since they were introduced in AC2.

So we're just going to ignore the fact, that we have:
1. Rooftop based chase with the target throwing smoke bombs to slow us down (AC4, Kidd)
2. Chase through a dynamic (and exploding) environment with guards blocking you (AC4, the guy in Charelston, even though technically you can kill him)
3. Ground-based chase with the target manipulating the crowd (AC3, Hickey)
4. A chase where the target is faster than you and loses itself in the crowd and you have to find it with Eagle Vision (ACU, one of the side missions)
etc.

Those are just of the top of my head.

Sure, you can argue that a lot of chases in AC are pretty basic and similar. But you can make the same argument for most of the assassinations (both main and side) as well.

JustPlainQuirky
03-15-2015, 04:52 PM
But you can make the same argument for most of the assassinations (both main and side) as well.

and thats why so many people complain AC is very same-y throughout the franchise, aside from naval in black flag

Fatal-Feit
03-15-2015, 04:52 PM
Before I read the earlier posts, I'd like to say - ditch the ample amount of collectibles like Flags, Cockades, and Animus Fragments and small repetitive side content like Unity's companion app contracts.

JustPlainQuirky
03-15-2015, 04:55 PM
Before I read the earlier posts, I'd like to say - ditch the ample amount of collectibles like Flags, Cockades, and Animus Fragments and small repetitive side content like Unity's companion app contracts.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3y8s2qPB81rv4pd3o1_500.gif

Templar_Az
03-15-2015, 05:53 PM
I wish they would ask themselves this: "If there was no money involved here and I had to make the best game ever in order to save my life what would it look like?"

But when I think about it if I was a developer at Ubisoft I would probably just re-use the same stuff again and again cuz Money over quality. Gotta put food on the table.

Megas_Doux
03-15-2015, 06:09 PM
I donīt blame the developers but high executives instead, annualization is the key, annualization NEEDS to stop, NAO!!!!!!!

1 Eventually writers will run out of stories at this rate.
2 Either you work on the mechanics or release the game with a proper performance. AC III and Unity are basically tech demos for the next installments. Taking your time doesnīt guarantee quality, but neither rushing your products. You know, Arkham, The Witcher 3 and even the new Uncharted got delayed.....
3 AC universe is complicated, having games released annually, plus transmedia and even comics doesnīt help. In fact itīs quite mess in which modern game has been the main casualty...

Mr.Black24
03-15-2015, 09:50 PM
Before I read the earlier posts, I'd like to say - ditch the ample amount of collectibles like Flags, Cockades, and Animus Fragments and small repetitive side content like Unity's companion app contracts.

i donīt blame the developers but high executives instead, annualization is the key, annualization needs to stop, nao!!!!!!!

1 eventually writers will run out of stories at this rate.
2 either you work on the mechanics or release the game with a proper performance. Ac iii and unity are basically tech demos for the next installments. Taking your time doesnīt guarantee quality, but neither rushing your products. You know, arkham, the witcher 3 and even the new uncharted got delayed.....
3 ac universe is complicated, having games released annually, plus transmedia and even comics doesnīt help. In fact itīs quite mess in which modern game has been the main casualty...
thissss^^^^^^^^^^all of it^^^^^^^^^

EmptyCrustacean
03-15-2015, 09:53 PM
I'm pretty sure Ubi knows what you're saying. ;) After all, one of the most critically-acclaimed AC games, that being ACIV, which is also beloved by many players, has only a couple new elements. Everything else is a smart reuse or adaptation of mechanics and principles from previous games. They can put 2+2 together ;)

That said, this doesn't mean the principle is always put into action (and there can be many of reasons for them, but none of them would be 'Ubi's not smart' :p there's also the fact of hindsight, we always see the product at its end stage, and a lot of times it's hard to feel how it all connects or fails to connect together until it's too late while in development). I'm playing Rogue right now, and the game would REALLY benefit from just cutting out features or mechanics or content types. The game has a lot of things that are there just because BF had it and it took it as a base, so it's a very weird experience, where there are some really nice ideas, but also quite a bit of 'why is this here, why wasn't this cut?'

First, there's no connection to our ship, the Morrigan. It's just there. In AC4 there's a thematic and gameplay connection to the Jackdaw, not only its important for the plot and for Edward's character development, it's also the primary means of getting money and resources. And you get money and resources so you could upgrade the Jackdaw to get even more money until you become the strongest/richest person and can beat legendary ships (gameplay wise) which also fits with the Edward's main desire of, well, becoming the strongest/richest person. In Rogue the primary means of getting money and resources are land-based activities - restorations, banks, outposts, supply camps, liberating settlements, etc. So it would make sense to focus more on that as it would also fit Shay's character and allegiance more (building a better life for all and having everything under your control).

Then there's whaling and hunting. In AC4 that makes sense. Edward as a pirate lives of the spoils of nature and people, so it makes sense that he would hand-craft stuff for himself using the resources from hunting/whaling. Shay is a Templar, why the hell would he need to hunt to be able to make some kind of a pouch?

Then there's treasure maps. In AC4 they were part of the pirate fantasy, and while historically inaccurate they were fun and neat. We have them in Rogue as well, and it's like, why?!

But there are really neat things about Rogue - Assassination interceptions are a neat side-quest, there are some really cleverly designed areas in the world (which actually makes the boring act of collecting some stuff more interesting simply because it's very rewarding to find neat pathways in the environment), and also some really nice tomb-style areas in the wilderness.

Still, it's not a one whole coherent experience like AC4 was, where every reused element makes sense, and the new ones are adding to the experience.

Do you do game reviews?

Farlander1991
03-15-2015, 10:01 PM
Do you do game reviews?

When I have time I try to write opinion or analysis posts for my blog, but no, I don't do game reviews. Why?

Sushiglutton
03-15-2015, 11:03 PM
Sure, you can argue that a lot of chases in AC are pretty basic and similar. But you can make the same argument for most of the assassinations (both main and side) as well.

Sure there are some slight variations but they have very limited gameplay implications. I think several assassination missions have been too similar as well.



Before I read the earlier posts, I'd like to say - ditch the ample amount of collectibles like Flags, Cockades, and Animus Fragments and small repetitive side content like Unity's companion app contracts.

I think that IF you prioritize the question in my OP, that is to say you are actively trying to reduce the factory made feel in order to combat franchise fatigue, then the things you are suggesting are fairly obvious consequences

(this is not to downplay what you are saying, I agree with you!)



I wish they would ask themselves this: "If there was no money involved here and I had to make the best game ever in order to save my life what would it look like?"

But when I think about it if I was a developer at Ubisoft I would probably just re-use the same stuff again and again cuz Money over quality. Gotta put food on the table.

Ideally yes, but I don't think this is a reasonable question. I mean if you thought like that you would hire everyone on earth to work for an eternity on the game, which would be kind of problematic :p. I think the question I suggested is reasonable as a guiding principle.




I donīt blame the developers but high executives instead, annualization is the key, annualization NEEDS to stop, NAO!!!!!!!

1 Eventually writers will run out of stories at this rate.
2 Either you work on the mechanics or release the game with a proper performance. AC III and Unity are basically tech demos for the next installments. Taking your time doesnīt guarantee quality, but neither rushing your products. You know, Arkham, The Witcher 3 and even the new Uncharted got delayed.....
3 AC universe is complicated, having games released annually, plus transmedia and even comics doesnīt help. In fact itīs quite mess in which modern game has been the main casualty...

The yearly releases are defintely pushing the devs towards more factory type solutions. You may be correct that this is the root problem and the main reason why AC games feel more factory made than the other franchises you name.

Assassin_M
03-15-2015, 11:09 PM
This has been a recent thought of mine. I was recently replaying RDR and I had just finished clearing out Tumbleweed from bandits. I was going down the road, away from the mansion and into town to search for boxes. I instinctively tried to press triangle to turn eagle vision on and find all the boxes. I couldn't. I had to go to each building myself and search if there's anything inside. I could run to each building or I could walk and take in the silence of the ghost town. Some may call this tedious, but one thing's for sure. I was grounded in the world.

The problem with some Ubi games (AC and WD) is that they adopt a certain philosophy of short term goals. Everything they do is for the short term. Annual releases, maps filled with icons, app, initiates..etc. AC's use of overwhelming elements makes it hard for the player to actually immerse themselves in the world. It turns supposedly immersive activities into a check list that NEEDS to be completed. It throws all its cards on the table, all at once, with no regard or empathy. This induces of sense of hovering over the world all the time. You're never really grounded, you're not really immersed. You're somewhere between a grounded player and a developer. You're not immersed enough as a player and you don't have the thrill of being a developer as you're on top of your game, creating it. You're hovering and running up and down to finish the checklist.

It's the thought of "looooook, our map is soooo full, you can do lots of stuff". It easily backfires. Ubisoft goes for scale so excitedly that something drops on their way. They're like this super optimistic home designer who's spewing out all of his ideas all at once to the workers. Something's bound to be botched.

It makes for a very bland experience.

Shahkulu101
03-16-2015, 12:14 AM
This has been a recent thought of mine. I was recently replaying RDR and I had just finished clearing out Tumbleweed from bandits. I was going down the road, away from the mansion and into town to search for boxes. I instinctively tried to press triangle to turn eagle vision on and find all the boxes. I couldn't. I had to go to each building myself and search if there's anything inside. I could run to each building or I could walk and take in the silence of the ghost town. Some may call this tedious, but one thing's for sure. I was grounded in the world.

The problem with some Ubi games (AC and WD) is that they adopt a certain philosophy of short term goals. Everything they do is for the short term. Annual releases, maps filled with icons, app, initiates..etc. AC's use of overwhelming elements makes it hard for the player to actually immerse themselves in the world. It turns supposedly immersive activities into a check list that NEEDS to be completed. It throws all its cards on the table, all at once, with no regard or empathy. This induces of sense of hovering over the world all the time. You're never really grounded, you're not really immersed. You're somewhere between a grounded player and a developer. You're not immersed enough as a player and you don't have the thrill of being a developer as you're on top of your game, creating it. You're hovering and running up and down to finish the checklist.

It's the thought of "looooook, our map is soooo full, you can do lots of stuff". It easily backfires. Ubisoft goes for scale so excitedly that something drops on their way. They're like this super optimistic home designer who's spewing out all of his ideas all at once to the workers. Something's bound to be botched.

It makes for a very bland experience.

Don't normally do "this ^" posts because I like to contribute to the discussion myself but OMG THIS^.

It's exactly what I've been trying to say for a while, but I'm not smart enough to put it as well as you do. Agree with every word, it kind of stopped me from enjoying Unity's world. And I thought, how sad. How sad it is that something as beautiful as Paris is just window dressing for a bland checklist of repetitive side missions and overwhelming collectibles...

pirate1802
03-16-2015, 08:48 AM
[QUOTE=Sushiglutton;10634450]
How can we make the games feel less factory made?[quote]

****ING THIS

Lately all of Ubisoft's games are starting to feel very factory made, made-by-checklist. Unity, Rogue, and now even Farcry has started to stink, though FC4 was still excellent.

Sushiglutton
03-16-2015, 04:19 PM
This has been a recent thought of mine. I was recently replaying RDR and I had just finished clearing out Tumbleweed from bandits. I was going down the road, away from the mansion and into town to search for boxes. I instinctively tried to press triangle to turn eagle vision on and find all the boxes. I couldn't. I had to go to each building myself and search if there's anything inside. I could run to each building or I could walk and take in the silence of the ghost town. Some may call this tedious, but one thing's for sure. I was grounded in the world.

This reminds me of the first time I played AC1 without the hood. When searching for the closest tower to synch I realized that I looked up to the skylines instead of down on the minimap. And that simple shift in direction made all the difference in terms of immersion. It's kind of magical when you think and act in exact same way as your character (in som sense). I agree with you that AC's extreme lack of trust in the player sometimes drain the scenes of credebility as the action you perform is so different from what you would normally do in that situation witout the artificial aid.



The problem with some Ubi games (AC and WD) is that they adopt a certain philosophy of short term goals. Everything they do is for the short term. Annual releases, maps filled with icons, app, initiates..etc. AC's use of overwhelming elements makes it hard for the player to actually immerse themselves in the world. It turns supposedly immersive activities into a check list that NEEDS to be completed. It throws all its cards on the table, all at once, with no regard or empathy. This induces of sense of hovering over the world all the time. You're never really grounded, you're not really immersed. You're somewhere between a grounded player and a developer. You're not immersed enough as a player and you don't have the thrill of being a developer as you're on top of your game, creating it. You're hovering and running up and down to finish the checklist.

I agree with this part so much! There's such a focus on bit-sized content with instant rewards. It's like a smartphone game philosophy in a AAA package (exagerating here as some parts of the games are truly great ofc). However I think some gamers prefer this style to the immersive we want. For example here's what the IGN reviewer wrote about Unity:


I really appreciate that single-player and multiplayer all feeds into the same central economy. No matter what I was doing in Unity, I was always progressing my character a bit forward down the path of becoming a master assassin.

In other words he appreciates the constant stream of micro rewards for every little activity. To me the activity should be the reward and a constant stream of XP and skill points are problematic from an immersion pov. Immersion is the most important aspect to me.

Now that I think about it a better question might be: "How can we make the games as immersive as possible?"

I think a guiding principle like that would lead to many of the same decisions in terms of cutting content and changing the way you present it. But it's also a more positive approach which perhaps would be more productive.




It's the thought of "looooook, our map is soooo full, you can do lots of stuff". It easily backfires. Ubisoft goes for scale so excitedly that something drops on their way. They're like this super optimistic home designer who's spewing out all of his ideas all at once to the workers. Something's bound to be botched.

It makes for a very bland experience.

Sometimes I think it has to do with the AC1 backlash. Main complaint was: "Beautiful world, now what do I do in it?". Ever since Ubi has kind of overcompensated by having some sort of (so it seems) content density quota that needs to be filled.

It's strange because R* does not think this way. R* are also much more intelligent in how they choose to present their most generic content. Instead of shoving it in the face of everyone it's easily ignored. R* also always make make sure there's a narrative motivation and payoff of some kind to their most tedious collectatons.

Janko567
03-16-2015, 04:34 PM
I have got really dissapointed when I heard AC: Unity is only launched for 8. gen consoles cause almost every AC game is for 7./7.&8. gen consoles. I would really love they launched Xbox 360 and PS 3 version as well. :(((

Farlander1991
03-16-2015, 04:37 PM
This reminds me of the first time I played AC1 without the hood. When searching for the closest tower to synch I realized that I looked up to the skylines instead of down on the minimap. And that simple shift in direction made all the difference in terms of immersion. It's kind of magical when you think and act in exact same way as your character (in som sense). I agree with you that AC's extreme lack of trust in the player sometimes drain the scenes of credebility as the action you perform is so different from what you would normally do in that situation witout the artificial aid.

I remember a 'wow' moment for me when playing without the HUD was when I was going to Damascus for the first time in the game, and I was thinking, 'damn, how am I supposed to know where to go?!', and then I noticed that there are sign posts that tell directions to the cities in the game. It was like, 'woah!'

To be fair, though, as hard as it can be for us hardcore fans, the lack of trust in the player is kinda justified. I mean, in AC1, the HUD was added due to playtesting results (heck, in some of the earlier footage/demos devs were very proud how they made their game totally hudless, and as far as I understand the Eagle Vision's first and foremost purpose is to adapt a bit of the HUD features into the main game). Sadly, AC2 and onwards weren't designed with a total HUD-less philosophy in mind, even though there are actually a lot of neat things there are that would work without a HUD


To me the activity should be the reward and a constant stream of XP and skill points are problematic from an immersion pov. Immersion is the most important aspect to me.

Don't you like Batman: Arkham City which is full of those numbers? Combos, XPs, Riddle checklists and whatnot :p

SixKeys
03-16-2015, 05:10 PM
I have got really dissapointed when I heard AC: Unity is only launched for 8. gen consoles cause almost every AC game is for 7./7.&8. gen consoles. I would really love they launched Xbox 360 and PS 3 version as well. http://static5.cdn.ubi.com/u/ubiforums/20130918.419/images/smilies/frown.png((

Off-topic, but it's physically impossible to make a game of Unity's size fit onto old hardware.


I remember a 'wow' moment for me when playing without the HUD was when I was going to Damascus for the first time in the game, and I was thinking, 'damn, how am I supposed to know where to go?!', and then I noticed that there are sign posts that tell directions to the cities in the game. It was like, 'woah!'

To be fair, though, as hard as it can be for us hardcore fans, the lack of trust in the player is kinda justified. I mean, in AC1, the HUD was added due to playtesting results (heck, in some of the earlier footage/demos devs were very proud how they made their game totally hudless, and as far as I understand the Eagle Vision's first and foremost purpose is to adapt a bit of the HUD features into the main game). Sadly, AC2 and onwards weren't designed with a total HUD-less philosophy in mind, even though there are actually a lot of neat things there are that would work without a HUD

Instead of abandoning the concept (almost) entirely, they should attempt to figure out how to make it work for the newer ideas in the franchise. To strike that balance between realistic immersion an fun, activity-filled gameplay. The treasure maps in AC4 were actually a great example of this. They didn't just point you to an icon on the map and tell you to dig. You had to look at the coordinates and the crude drawing and try to figure out the location yourself.


Don't you like Batman: Arkham City which is full of those numbers? Combos, XPs, Riddle checklists and whatnot :p

I know this wasn't directed at me, but this is actually one of the reasons why I disliked Arkham City compared to Asylum. City was too filled with checklist-like activities that Batman couldn't possibly fit into one night (even if he is Batman). Riddler trophies in Asylum were fun to collect, but they went overboard in City.