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Farlander1991
09-11-2015, 12:03 AM
In one of the threads I was talking about the usage of space in mission/content design, and how I believe ACII is the AC game that utilizes its open world space the most efficiently, opening up gradually and spreading main and side content in uniform ways, allowing the player to explore pretty much most of the areas in missions and meaningful side-content (i.e. not counting collectibles as in every game they're spread out all over the place).

And being interested in open-world design, I got curious to see how AC games actually utilize their open-world games, starting with ACII. I decided to make sort of a 'design heatmap', which parts of the city the game makes you visit while you're completing meaningful content. Starting San Gimignano to be more precise, as it's a very small yet very cool location.

Now, as the game is open-world and you can tackle a mission in a lot of ways, making a 100% accurate heatmap is, well, impossible, so I tried to stay liberal with how exactly to fill the map and go with my gut as to what makes sense. For example, in missions where we have to search an area for target I'd fill with color the search area, in cases where there's a guarded goal I'd not just fill the goal, but the area around it as its with guards and such things. Things would also 'bleed in' in a way, so, for example, in the Jacopo trailing mission, I first drew his pathway on the road, but I filled not just the road but adjacent buildings as well, as they're fully utilizable by design in these missions, etc.

So, let's start with San Gimignano. The legend is:
Green - Utilized in Main Missions.
Yellow - area of probability (i.e. you can't define where exactly the player will go but he most likely will go somewhere in that area, in the 'total' part of the heatmap I also fill holes with this between active areas as most likely the player would be in the area for content as well - I use it in cases for example where we need in a mission to go from point a to point b)
Red - Assassination Contracts
Blue - All other missions

Main Missions
http://s14.postimg.org/hziodyto1/San_Gimignano_main.jpg

Contracts
http://s14.postimg.org/6tjrz9u41/San_Gimignano_Assassinations.jpg

Other Missions
http://s14.postimg.org/e4fabeai9/San_Gimignano_others.jpg

Total
http://s14.postimg.org/j4cqjcg4x/San_Gimignano_total.jpg

Now, you can notice some curiosities here. For example, not only the central landmark (the palazzo with Terra Grosa tower) is the most used one - the game often makes us go near it or through it to the point it's practically black with all the layers, it also really likes to use the area with the well on the eastern side of the town. Yet the fort and area to the west is not utilized at all (except collectibles of course, but as I said this is just about missions or meaty open-world content like Borgia towers would be, for example). Why, I wonder? That area to the east is utilized for main assassination, side assassination, beat-up mission, is part of the race course, you could move the side assassination for example to the west area.

Hope this kind of stuff interests you guys :) Ideally I will do this for all locations in all AC games, but that will take quite some time and I will work on this only when I have some free time and an inspiration to do so. But I'll try :)

Alphacos007
09-11-2015, 12:31 AM
This in really interesting! One of my biggest concerns about Syndicate is exactly this, the usage of the map. In Unity great chuncks of the map weren't explored at all, except of course for the chests. I'd be really interested in seeing this for all the cities. Actually, not just to the AC2 cities, but for all of them, even though I know the latest maps are too big and would give way too much trouble.
I'm currently replaying AC2/B/Unity because I have been to their cities in real life so if you need any assistance I'd be glad help.

HDinHB
09-11-2015, 01:10 AM
That's pretty cool. The Unity Companion App had real heat maps that I thought were pretty cool too, but didn't use.

http://blog.ubi.com/app/uploads/2014/11/AssassinsCreedUnityCompanionApp_Heatmap_618x348.jp g?2bb865

They weren't color-coded like yours--color-coded is better. I wonder if they still work?

It would be interesting to see how your gut compares with the app for Versailles, for example.

Alphacos007
09-11-2015, 12:44 PM
Wait, what? I didn't know Unity had heatmaps by default :eek:
Anyways, just this small screen you posted shows how much the map there isn't used. Now I need to re-download that companion app to check out my heat maps!

Farlander1991
09-11-2015, 12:49 PM
Wait, what? I didn't know Unity had heatmaps by default :eek:
Anyways, just this small screen you posted shows how much the map there isn't used. Now I need to re-download that companion app to check out my heat maps!

I think Unity shows heat maps for its missions separately (I don't have the app, but from what I remember and what I've seen it does that), so it's not a full representation.

But yeah, that kind of info would be really cool for all games.

Oh, and btw, thanks, and, yeah, the plan is to eventually do this for all games :)

VestigialLlama4
09-11-2015, 03:20 PM
Hope this kind of stuff interests you guys :) Ideally I will do this for all locations in all AC games, but that will take quite some time and I will work on this only when I have some free time and an inspiration to do so. But I'll try :)

This is one of the best projects you ever did. Thanks for taking the time and I wish you good fortune. I mean seriously this is the sort of video game writing that is meaningful, useful and interesting and its sad that its not there at any gaming site. This is how literary, and especially film studies, modernized themselves, they'd look at shots, camera angles, lighting in spaces, scenes on location/shots, number of cuts. We haven't yet seen the equivalent in gaming yet but you've made an excellent start.


Yet the fort and area to the west is not utilized at all (except collectibles of course, but as I said this is just about missions or meaty open-world content like Borgia towers would be, for example). Why, I wonder?

The only thing on the west is the Roman Amphitheatre where Ezio confronts Jacopo and Rodrigo, so I guess they wanted to discourage you from going to that location too often to make the confrontation a surprise or at least delay it for dramatic reasons? I don't know I'm thinking out loud. I will say that when I played AC2 several times, I did notice that I almost never felt the compulsion to climb the fort walls surrounding the town. The only time where Fort Walls play a role is in the Forli DLC.

I haven't done a Heat Map of Forli myself but I can tell you from my experience that it was one map where I felt that I was encouraged to cover the whole town, mainly because when Ezio arrives there, he has to move diagonally from one side of the map to the other to get to the lighthouse and the DLC missions uses the whole wetlands area very well. So maybe you can do a Heatmap of Forli next, since that's a DLC and a smaller number of side missions and you can provide a contrast with that against San Gimignano.

Farlander1991
09-11-2015, 03:40 PM
This is one of the best projects you ever did. Thanks for taking the time and I wish you good fortune. I mean seriously this is the sort of video game writing that is meaningful, useful and interesting and its sad that its not there at any gaming site. This is how literary, and especially film studies, modernized themselves, they'd look at shots, camera angles, lighting in spaces, scenes on location/shots, number of cuts. We haven't yet seen the equivalent in gaming yet but you've made an excellent start.

Thank you very much :)

By the way, if you're interested in different kinds of gaming analysis, check Gamasutra. Quality of content there varies, as it's basically a compilation of thoughts and articles from many different developers, but it's an incredibly valuable source, it also regularly posts links to a lot of critical/analytical pieces found over the Internet on different sites and blogs. Also check out Extra Credits and Errant Signal channels on YouTube, they have a lot of good stuff there.


I will say that when I played AC2 several times, I did notice that I almost never felt the compulsion to climb the fort walls surrounding the town. The only time where Fort Walls play a role is in the Forli DLC.

Just to clarify, the fort I've mean was the little boxed section inside the town, where there's nothing there.


I haven't done a Heat Map of Forli myself but I can tell you from my experience that it was one map where I felt that I was encouraged to cover the whole town, mainly because when Ezio arrives there

Yeah, though the way we get to a mission is also not part of my heatmap. I decided to stick strictly to what happens inside - i.e. from mission start point (the exception being contracts, as they have many possible starting points in AC2) to mission end, to see how space is utilized in the content itself and not in the open-world exploration/padding (which is not necesarilly a bad kind of padding, like the track from Forli entrance to the shipyard can be very atmospheric). So, basically, the parts that were designed for or somehow accounted for design. If we go into movement between mission markers... that kind of stuff might get overly complicated, at least in bigger locations.

I was thinking to do next either Forli or Florence, so either finish with the small towns or tackle one of the big cities.

VestigialLlama4
09-11-2015, 03:54 PM
Thank you very much :)

By the way, if you're interested in different kinds of gaming analysis, check Gamasutra. Quality of content there varies, as it's basically a compilation of thoughts and articles from many different developers, but it's an incredibly valuable source, it also regularly posts links to a lot of critical/analytical pieces found over the Internet on different sites and blogs. Also check out Extra Credits and Errant Signal channels on YouTube, they have a lot of good stuff there.

I do read up Gamasutra occassionally but thanks for the tips.


Just to clarify, the fort I've mean was the little boxed section inside the town, where there's nothing there.

You know I don't believe I've ever seen that, well time to replay AC2 again! Actually this whole heatmap thing is a fascinating lens with which to replay the games, or any game for that matter. I might join in and try and do this myself.


I was thinking to do next either Forli or Florence, so either finish with the small towns or tackle one of the big cities.

With cities, its easier to track it by looking at the subdistricts, which opens up with each new sequence. I think Venice would be a better start than Florence since the districts are spaced out from each other so its geographically more noticeable on a map whereas Florence kind of has them clustering into each other so you don't know where one ends and the other begins.

AC1 has 3 cities comprised of 9 subdistricts, a vast Kingdom and Masyaf (also Arsuf but that's one level only).
AC3 has 2 cities that are kind of fully open when you arrive there (it also has an underground section that's a separate map), the Frontier has 12 Hunting Regions, then there's Davenport Homestead (which I think is fully covered with all the residents occupying different parts, the one exception is the Inner bay).
Black Flag has three cities that are fully open (and Kingston has the Port Royal section).

I'd say do Forli and Monteriggioni next, since that shouldn't take too much time. Or maybe you can mix and match and do different game maps. Like do Istanbul since you are replaying it right now, but then that's a big city and it has those ziplines (and parachutes) so I am guessing the yellow area of probability could be harder to chart. I mean Rome has parachutes but fewer tall places and wide areas to cover it with controlled descent whereas Istanbul's skyline really does make you an aerialist.

Black Flag would be the most interesting one I think.

Farlander1991
09-11-2015, 10:35 PM
I decided to do cities in order of appearance, finished up with Florence. Also, I've learned how to make the heatmaps prettier and more visually accurate, so will need to resave San Gimignano that way (also update it with some additional principles I've started using while making Florence).

Anyway, let's get to it. The legend is still the same:
Green - Main mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Red - Assassination contract areas (pretty much 100% used)
Blue - Other mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Yellow - Probability areas, so this is the possible pathways from point A to point B (more or less direct or direct-ish, i.e. I don't put going all the way around in an uncomfortable fashion to get to the goal as this), search areas (in case target is static, if target is dynamic then search areas are represented by green/red/blue depending on the color), approximate escape areas/distance usually needed to escape, approximate chase areas (targets in AC2 who you chase don't have any particular routes), etc. Basically, the more bright yellow you see, the more likely that area is to be visited. So let's begin.

Sequence 1
http://s30.postimg.org/dw7synx69/Firenze_Main_Sq1.jpg
Sequence 1 makes use of pretty much the entire district that's available for us at that moment, with the biggest concentration being on the Auditore mansion in the centre which we always return to, and visit landmarks around us from mission to mission.

Sequence 2
http://s30.postimg.org/64r303t0x/Firenze_Main_Sq2.jpg

Sequence 2 uses just a part of its district that has been opened up, the most visited place is, I want to say Rosa in Fiore for some reason, basically the brothel. Most tutorials and action happen in it or around it, with a venture to Leonardo's workshop and our first assassination, and then escaping the city.

Sequence 4
http://s30.postimg.org/a9xe8a1f5/Firenze_Main_Sq4.jpg
Again, uses just a part of the district that's opened up in it, with the action moving more to Il Duomo and Palazzo di Signogria (excuse me for botched spelling, it's late here and I'm too lazy to google at the moment). You may have noticed a pattern that the game wants to make sure that we visit Il Duomo or go near it as often as possible, it's the focal point of the city, and often points A and B are on two opposite sides of it.

Sequence 5 & 6
http://s30.postimg.org/nw2pek8fl/Firenze_Main_Sq56.jpg
Not much to say here. We visit the Medici's house and Leonardo's workshop a couple times.

Sequence 13
http://s30.postimg.org/sbgj62vg1/Firenze_Main_Sq13.jpg
In this sequence the Oltrarno district opens up. Which is for the most part used for one location, then we go revisiting most of the Florence with a couple new areas we haven't been to in the main missions before. Also, on the east the huge yellow zone - you can see what happens when point A to B markers are halfway across the map (after we enter Florence we need to go all the way to Oltrarno) and there are quite a lot of means one could get there.

All Main Sequences
http://s30.postimg.org/f9zftywfl/Firenze_Main_All.jpg
So, you can see here that most action is happening at the center or makes us go near or through the center, with other events happening around that spot, most time being close enough to Il Duomo, probably so it would always be somewhere in view while we're completing the main sequences

Assassination Contracts
http://s30.postimg.org/e3quhfir5/Firenze_Contracts.jpg
The thing of note here is that there are pretty much no assassination action going around in the central district, that is most likely because...


Other quests
http://s30.postimg.org/k0zbbzp9t/Firenze_Other.jpg
Other missions happen there. We're introduced to the race, beat-up and courier side-quests in Sequence 1, therefore most of the side-content in the area is that. Later on we also visit the Tomb in Il Duomo.

Whole Heatmap
http://s30.postimg.org/y8p00n1yp/Firenze_Total.jpg
And here's the whole thing together. Some interesting notes: the game really doesn't like to use edges of the city, preferring to keep action for the most part closer to the center of it, as close as possible (but sometimes far away enough to make sure the places we visit are more varied). So we don't really have any content on the city edges. Also, the curious case of the western bridge to Oltrarno. Nothing happens there. The central one is frequently utilized in the story, the eastern one is utilized in story and several assassination contracts, but nobody wants to use the western bridge. Huh. Also, barely anything happens in Oltrarno. That district is used for the most part for one location only.

VestigialLlama4
09-11-2015, 11:01 PM
And here's the whole thing together. Some interesting notes: the game really doesn't like to use edges of the city, preferring to keep action for the most part closer to the center of it, as close as possible (but sometimes far away enough to make sure the places we visit are more varied). So we don't really have any content on the city edges.

My guess is that came about as a result of making the game as immersive as possible so that you aren't really curious at breaking out and going outside the map's edges. If they have a mission on the city's edges, the player will look over and want to head out and see the world and find out that they're really in a game. That's a problem with open world games especially GTA or Arkham where the map always tantalizes you to go to the edges only to find that there's nothing further out there.


Also, the curious case of the western bridge to Oltrarno. Nothing happens there. The central one is frequently utilized in the story, the eastern one is utilized in story and several assassination contracts, but nobody wants to use the western bridge. Huh. Also, barely anything happens in Oltrarno. That district is used for the most part for one location only.

I think that came about because Bonfire became a DLC. I thinK Oltrarno was originally meant to be explored earlier. I mentioned above that the game might not have missions on map edges to not encourage you go further and one exception to that is Ponte Vecchio (the central bridge where AC2 starts). The game starts there, later you meet Lorenzo de'Medici there and he talks about Giovanni. Its the one part where you look at the Arno river below (which you can swim and row across), you see civilization across the bridge but you can't cross it. Why frustrate a gamer by bringing them so close to the game's edges when you have otherwise avoided falling into that trap?

Likewise right at the start, Vieri de'Pazzi and his friends are on the side of the Oltrarno district, so logically you can infer that the Pazzi come from the Oltrarno district. So I think an early assassination mission and other activities was meant to take place there and then Savonarola and his boys would come in and take over when Ezio returns to Florence. When they made Savonarola DLC, they had to make Oltrarno a DLC, and I think they changed missions and sequences to accomodate that, like say move a Glyph to the main district again and other collectibles that might have filled up the map's heat signatures.

SixKeys
09-12-2015, 12:47 AM
Interesting project. Thanks for sharing.

Just curious, why start with AC2? Why not AC1?

Farlander1991
09-12-2015, 01:28 AM
Interesting project. Thanks for sharing.

Just curious, why start with AC2? Why not AC1?

Well, because AC2 inspired me to do it. There was a conversation where I mentioned that I believe AC2 out of all AC games utilizes its open-world space the most efficiently in terms of filling it with content - it gradually opens it up and makes sure people visit pretty much most of it while doing meaningful activities (i.e. not collectibles), so started with AC2 to check if those thoughts have merit.

Farlander1991
09-12-2015, 06:54 PM
Apparently I lied when I said I'm gonna do cities in order of appearance, as I've spent time today on Venice (probably will take a break from this for a few days)

The legend is still the same:
Green - Main mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Red - Assassination contract areas (pretty much 100% used)
Blue - Other mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Yellow - Probability areas, so this is the possible pathways from point A to point B (more or less direct or direct-ish, i.e. I don't put going all the way around in an uncomfortable fashion to get to the goal as this), search areas (in case target is static, if target is dynamic then search areas are represented by green/red/blue depending on the color), approximate escape areas/distance usually needed to escape, approximate chase areas (targets in AC2 who you chase don't have any particular routes), etc. Basically, the more bright yellow you see, the more likely that area is to be visited. So let's begin.

Sequence 7
http://s1.postimg.org/auou030z3/Venezia_Main_Sq7.jpg
The very first two missions of Sequence 7 take us through half of the district that's available to us, with the rest of the sequence having us go through different parts of it. Now, there's a bit of a caveat, and it applies not just to Sequence 7. From the look of it, everything is great, the district is really fully utilized in the Sequence, and it is. However. The design of Venice missions in comparison to the cities that came before it is... questionable a lot of times.

You see, Venice really likes missions like "Do this one action in X (usually 3, but in Seq8 is five) places". In Sequence 7 there's three missions like that - you have to go to three different places to assassinate three different targets, then you have to go to three different places to save three different group of thieves (and you must also take them to a safe location), and then you have to go to three different places to open a chest in each. And now that I'm mentioning this, in Sequence 8 you have to go to five different places to assassinate some targets in there, in Sequence 10 you have to go to three different places to save three groups of mercenaries (and that's after a mission where you had to save Bartolomeo) and a mission where you go to three different places to put the groups of mercenaries there. This kind of mission structure is too overused, and these missions are far less interesting than some stuff that we had in Florence and San Gimignano. But, anyway, I digress.

Sequence 8
http://s1.postimg.org/8nklc5vov/Venezia_Main_Sq8.jpg
Most of the yellow part you see there is related to the Flying Machine, as we're flying across pretty much the whole city.

Sequence 9
http://s1.postimg.org/fuma816lr/Venezia_Main_Sq9.jpg
I won't speak again of how non-sensical the plot of Sequence 9 is, as this is not what the thread is about. In terms of how missions are spread out, though, the sequence is pretty good. One curious note is that it tries to put quest markers near landmarks (the churches to the west and east, for example) so the player would definitely get to see them, without actually focusing on the landmarks in the storyline. It's interesting, as in the very next sequence...

Sequence 10
http://s1.postimg.org/qjzz0aien/Venezia_Main_Sq10.jpg
This doesn't happen. The landmarks (which are the dark grey boxes) are just kinda there.

Sequence 11
http://s1.postimg.org/y1drt8xbj/Venezia_Main_Sq11.jpg
Sequence 11 is very linear, it's essentially one huge tailing mission with a battle at the end. But it manages to use a lot of Venice's area considering.

All Main Sequences
http://s1.postimg.org/jxdb740q7/Venezia_Main_All.jpg

Assassination Contracts
http://s1.postimg.org/tyi5gfdtb/Venezia_Contracts.jpg

The huge yellow area on the east is due two points between which we have to go being very far away from each other, so the routes you can take are many. Also, the Palazzo (to which we fly) is always red on the map, there aren't actually any assassination contracts related to it.

Other missions
http://s1.postimg.org/3u0u7az73/Venezia_Others.jpg

Whole Heatmap
http://s1.postimg.org/g29x4jhkf/Venezia_All.jpg


So, yeah. You can not care about collectibles (chests, glyphs, etc, which are not shown on my heatmaps and not taken into account) at all and yet still have a chance to explore pretty much the whole city just by completing main and side missions.

HDinHB
09-12-2015, 08:48 PM
Whole Heatmap
http://s2.postimg.org/l04qe8jsp/Venezia_All.jpg

So, yeah. You can not care about collectibles (chests, glyphs, etc, which are not shown on my heatmaps and not taken into account) at all and yet still have a chance to explore pretty much the whole city just by completing main and side missions.

Most impressive! You are a map-making machine.

Looking at the Whole Heatmap, one thing stands out immediately: the corner churches (top left and bottom right) don't get much love from the missions. The bottom left church (San Pietro di Castello) has a viewpoint and gets a glyph and a feather, which should increase the activity. But the top left church (San Giobbe I think) appears to only have a viewpoint as its sole attraction. That's probably why I don't remember it very well. I would expect viewpoints drive a lot of traffic though--does anyone not get all or most of them? Each person might go there only once (or more now that they are fast travel points), but almost everyone will go there. The high points in the Unity app maps are generally the hottest.

Now I'm really curious to see how your theoretical heat maps compare with ones compiled from game data. I suppose that's what the Ubi devs do--compare what the predicted would happen with what actually happened. A real-world application of that is when they renovated the Quad at my college, they didn't put the sidewalks in right away. They waited, then used the beaten paths that students had worn as guides where to put the sidewalks. That way they didn't have sidewalks nobody used, and didn't have dirt paths worn through the landscape.

Interesting stuff.

Farlander1991
09-12-2015, 09:02 PM
Most impressive!

Thanks :)


I would expect viewpoints drive a lot of traffic though--does anyone not get all or most of them? Each person might go there only once (or more now that they are fast travel points), but almost everyone will go there.

You have to keep in mind that I'm creating heat maps only for missions and mission-like content (i.e. Borgia towers for example, or warehouses, which are essentially missions that don't require activation), not open-world exploration, which includes viewpoints, chests, glyphs etc. Viewpoints and collectibles exist to fill the world with things and they'll obviously be placed in such a manner so players would be everywhere in the city if they're gonna go after them. My interest is how missions fill up the open world.


The high points in the Unity app maps are generally the hottest.

In Unity the view points are also fast travel points, which would be overall the most used places. In games like AC2 there's no point in visiting a view point after you got it, unless you want to just look at the view or do a leap of faith.

GunnerGalactico
09-12-2015, 09:45 PM
Very impressive. That must've taken ages to do.

Farlander1991
09-12-2015, 10:39 PM
Very impressive. That must've taken ages to do.

Well, Venice took about 10 hours :)

Btw, I've uploaded the pics with wrong layer settings, reuploaded them in the post - now they look more like a heatmap in sense that it's more visible which areas are visited more often (i.e. like I did with Florence)

Farlander1991
09-12-2015, 11:36 PM
Sorry for double post, I just decided that there wasn't really much left for AC2, so I took a stretch and finished Forli and Monteriggioni (and resaved San Gimignano with new layer options)

I won't really do much analysis in this post, though, just show stuff :)

The legend is still the same:
Green - Main mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Red - Assassination contract areas (pretty much 100% used)
Blue - Other mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Yellow - Probability areas, so this is the possible pathways from point A to point B (more or less direct or direct-ish, i.e. I don't put going all the way around in an uncomfortable fashion to get to the goal as this), search areas (in case target is static, if target is dynamic then search areas are represented by green/red/blue depending on the color), approximate escape areas/distance usually needed to escape, approximate chase areas (targets in AC2 who you chase don't have any particular routes), etc. Basically, the more bright yellow you see, the more likely that area is to be visited. So let's begin.

Forli
Now, Forli is very small, and it's got as many assassination contracts as it has main missions, and most of them are in the town, so the city of Forli shines like a new year decoration :) And most of the surroundings are used as well somewhere.

Main Missions (both Seq6 and Seq12, as there's only one mission in Seq6)
http://s14.postimg.org/rszvqrvsh/Forli_Main_All.jpg

Assassination Contracts
http://s14.postimg.org/vo39tcey9/Forli_Contracts.jpg

Other missions
http://s14.postimg.org/694qwl0vl/Forli_Others.jpg

Forli Total
http://s30.postimg.org/ws4c8hxk1/Forli_All.jpg


Monteriggioni
Monteriggioni doesn't have a lot of missions outside of introductory ones, and those that it does revolve around Ezio's mansion. The only secondary mission that Monteriggioni has is a tomb. Our open-world trips to the town and collecting stuff around it, as always, not included/counted.


http://s14.postimg.org/3lfam87u9/Monterrigioni.jpg

San Gimignano
Same info as before, I just redone the layer settings to be in line with what I did with Florence and after.

Main Missions
http://s14.postimg.org/hziodyto1/San_Gimignano_main.jpg

Contracts
http://s14.postimg.org/6tjrz9u41/San_Gimignano_Assassinations.jpg

Other Missions
http://s14.postimg.org/e4fabeai9/San_Gimignano_others.jpg

Total
http://s14.postimg.org/j4cqjcg4x/San_Gimignano_total.jpg

Jessigirl2013
02-05-2016, 08:18 PM
This in really interesting! One of my biggest concerns about Syndicate is exactly this, the usage of the map. In Unity great chuncks of the map weren't explored at all, except of course for the chests. I'd be really interested in seeing this for all the cities. Actually, not just to the AC2 cities, but for all of them, even though I know the latest maps are too big and would give way too much trouble.
I'm currently replaying AC2/B/Unity because I have been to their cities in real life so if you need any assistance I'd be glad help.

I agree, Syndicate IMO did a good job in making you explore the map fully using missions.:cool:

Unity did an awful job IMO (I still have unsynced viewpoints) and many areas are unexplored, not that they were interesting areas anyway, but that's begs the question. Why were they included anyway! for the sake of pointless collectables.:mad:

cawatrooper9
02-05-2016, 09:38 PM
Wow, these are great!

If you end up working on this project more (which I hope you do, but I do understand it's probably pretty time consuming) I'm curious/worried to see how badly utilized the maps in Rogue were.

Farlander1991
02-28-2016, 07:50 PM
Back with a heatmap of Acre from AC1 (PC version, which might have different missions than console version in some cases).

The legend is the same as in AC2 except since out of meaty missions there's just main assassinations and investigations, use only one green color.

Green - Main mission areas (pretty much 100% used)
Yellow - Probability areas, so this is the possible pathways from point A to point B (more or less direct or direct-ish, i.e. I don't put going all the way around in an uncomfortable fashion to get to the goal as this), search areas (in case target is static, if target is dynamic then search areas are represented by green/red/blue depending on the color), approximate escape areas/distance usually needed to escape, approximate chase areas (targets in AC2 who you chase don't have any particular routes), etc. Basically, the more bright yellow you see, the more likely that area is to be visited. So let's begin.


Memory Block 2 - Garnier
http://s30.postimg.org/t528f0r81/Acre_Garnier.jpg

Memory Block 3 - William
http://s30.postimg.org/a18wyoedt/Acre_William.jpg

Memory Block 4 - Sibrand
http://s30.postimg.org/fqp5izkk1/Acre_Sibrand.jpg


All Memory Blocks
http://s30.postimg.org/6ruhs7qa9/Acre_All.jpg

Civona
02-28-2016, 10:28 PM
AC1 sure was efficient with its use of space

cawatrooper9
02-29-2016, 05:36 PM
AC1 sure was efficient with its use of space

It was, that kinda makes sense.

It blatantly used a system that guaranteed each third of the city would be prominently featured in the missions held in it. Then, of course, the cities were smaller back then anyway. Still, pretty cool to see it all laid out.

Farlander1991
03-05-2016, 04:02 PM
Hi. This week I'm back with Nassau from AC4. Decided not to do different colors for different sidequests (and want to redo AC2 ones with that in mind as well) as with just green and yellow the picture is much clearer.

Anyway, the legend is as it was.
Green - Pretty much 100% used in gameplay, was designed for it.
Yellow - Likely paths from point A to point B when we're free to roam whichever way we want.
And this is just as it concerns missions themselves, i.e. no collectibles or free-roaming between missions.

Nassau - Side Missions (assassination contracts, warehouse, Templar Hunt)
http://s30.postimg.org/5qqpwh0ep/ac4_nassau_sude.jpg

Nassau - Main missions (mission from seq 3 plus sequence 7)
http://s30.postimg.org/ao4ahl2dt/ac4_nassau_main.jpg

Nassau - All
http://s30.postimg.org/3wdveqde9/ac4_nassau_all.jpg

Farlander1991
05-19-2016, 08:11 PM
So I have now a post about this on my blog as well (https://stanislavcostiuc.com/2016/05/19/how-well-missions-use-open-world-space-in-assassins-creed-ii/) if you're interested, with a couple of observations, just for AC2 though :) You can go if you're interested, really the only new thing in terms of heatmaps is that I refined them a bit, but by and large there's still the same, so... nothing new for those who follows this thread closely :D