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Sushiglutton
10-07-2015, 03:58 PM
How The Witcher 3's Developers Ensured Their Open World Didn't Suck (http://kotaku.com/how-the-witcher-3s-developers-ensured-their-open-world-1735034176)

1)

“We didn’t want the player to think that we don’t respect his or her time,”


2)

“We didn’t want quests to feel meaningless or they were a chore to do."


3)

“For the most part, the quest content dictated the size of the world, not the other way around,” said level designer Miles Tost. “We didn’t just start with a huge world and go ‘well, let’s see how we can fill this one up.’ This probably helped us to not end up with a world that feels artificially bloated just for the sake of size.”


4) On procedurally generated side content:

“The outcome was very unsatisfying,” he said. “We saw that difference and the contrast [between] what we did by hand and what we tried to generate. It was so big that we simply could not do it.”


5)

“One of the things I really like about CD Projekt is that we have a flat hierarchy,” said Szamałek, “and people of all sorts of backgrounds in a company can come up with crazy ideas. If they gain traction, they go in the game.”


6)

“We wanted to make everything by hand and make sure everything is unique,” said Tost, “to keep up the player’s sense of excitement while exploring the world and a sense of wonder. Even if you see something familiar on the horizon, it should still be worth exploring. You should be able to find something interesting.”



The reward is Love and Respect in the gaming community and elsewhere, rather than being a joke, or a franchise used as a bad example ("Ubi-style open world")!

Follow your passion!

Sincerely,

Sushi :D!

ACZanius
10-07-2015, 11:15 PM
This is spot on, i have said this before that Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt has set a bar for open world games, truly amazing game and epic in every possible way!

harsab
10-07-2015, 11:22 PM
As a hardcore AC fan, Witcher 3 really wasn't that enjoyable for me tbh. It's a good game but no way near AC as a series. It just lacks the charisma i get from AC.

ACZanius
10-07-2015, 11:23 PM
As a hardcore AC fan, Witcher 3 really wasn't that enjoyable for me tbh. It's a good game but no way near AC as a series. It just lacks the charisma i get from AC.

lol

terroAssassin
10-07-2015, 11:40 PM
As a hardcore AC fan, Witcher 3 really wasn't that enjoyable for me tbh. It's a good game but no way near AC as a series. It just lacks the charisma i get from AC.

Well Witcher has a different kinda humor and aesthetic than AC
The closest AC has come to the Witcher games is Black Flag and then they promptly went back down in quality

Assassin_M
10-07-2015, 11:43 PM
lol
Different strokes, for different folks.

That said, AC always had handcrafted side quests. AC: II started them actually. It's quite funny, though, the Homestead missions are the ones most similar to a lot of the Witcher's side quests, but people hail those and **** on that. In Witcher, there was a mission where you had to chase pigs and herd them. People absolutely loved it, but when it's AC III, it's ugh, what were Ubisoft thinking?

That said, Ubisoft definitely has a problem with context and fluff. Stuff like pointless collectibles, quests that spontaneously start with no context, AC has a problem with those, no argument. What I really think makes the Witcher special in that department is not that it's handcrafted, it's that you don't need a very specific, hand holdy scenario to occur before the mission is triggered. For a Witcher contract, for example: You don't have to go to the notice board, pick it up and go talk to the guy. Nope. You can just stumble upon a dead body and decide to investigate, find the monster, kill it, collect your reward. This is all planned with contextual dialogue differences as well, there's no awkwardness no matter HOW you trigger the mission. The dialogue and narrative will always be slightly changed to fit your own scenario, how you started.

I'm pretty sure Ubi devs don't really need to read this, nor even my post. If one studio thought about it, you can safely bet others have as well. The problem is implementation, time and resources.

HDinHB
10-08-2015, 01:17 AM
In Witcher, there was a mission where you had to chase pigs and herd them, but people absolutely loved it, but when it's AC III, it's ugh, what were Ubisoft thinking?


For the record, I appreciated Connor's pig herding skillz. (I would not want a pig-herding game.)

LoyalACFan
10-08-2015, 03:12 AM
Different strokes, for different folks.

That said, AC always had handcrafted side quests. AC: II started them actually. It's quite funny, though, the Homestead missions are the ones most similar to a lot of the Witcher's side quests, but people hail those and **** on that. In Witcher, there was a mission where you had to chase pigs and herd them. People absolutely loved it, but when it's AC III, it's ugh, what were Ubisoft thinking?

I don't think people were so appalled by the pig herding in AC3 in and of itself, it's just that it was a particularly ludicrous example atop AC3's mountain of lame content, and people latched onto it as a symbol of their frustration with the game.

Let me put it this way; The Witcher is about slaying monsters and making difficult narrative choices, and TW3 offers hundreds of hours of it. Assassin's Creed is about being a stealthy Assassin planning murders in open-world environments, and AC3 offers very, very little of that. So when TW3 goes off the rails in a random little side mission about chasing a goat, people are much more inclined to laugh it off than they are when AC3 does tons of random crap on the side while the core fantasy of playing an AC game is largely ignored.

Assassin_M
10-08-2015, 04:26 AM
I don't think people were so appalled by the pig herding in AC3 in and of itself, it's just that it was a particularly ludicrous example atop AC3's mountain of lame content, and people latched onto it as a symbol of their frustration with the game.

Let me put it this way; The Witcher is about slaying monsters and making difficult narrative choices, and TW3 offers hundreds of hours of it. Assassin's Creed is about being a stealthy Assassin planning murders in open-world environments, and AC3 offers very, very little of that. So when TW3 goes off the rails in a random little side mission about chasing a goat, people are much more inclined to laugh it off than they are when AC3 does tons of random crap on the side while the core fantasy of playing an AC game is largely ignored.
Man, there's A LOT of mundane missions in Witcher 3. Like....A LOT.

HDinHB
10-08-2015, 04:53 AM
There's goat chasing too? *Rearranges my gaming queue."

I-Like-Pie45
10-08-2015, 05:06 AM
Choice is but an illusion, the laws of alternate dimensions decrees it

UKassassinsfan
10-08-2015, 05:23 AM
I completely agree with this. Tw3 has set the bench mark for what I should expect with open world games now.
Whilst there was a goat herding quest in tw3 it doesn't frustrate players because you still get action and it never once feels repetitive. In the goat mission, if you kill the bear before starting geralt changes his dialogue to suit the change of circumstance which is just so detailed and appreciated by players. (As much as I like him) Connors herding mission was literally just getting them into their pen on a farm, because the farmer can't do it or whatever.
The witcher never does anything that feels like a chore, and all the missions just feel fresh. Having watched new sydicate gameplay I can already see '1/100 glitches found' and I'm just rolling my eyes, ubi seems incapable of feeling their worlds with actually meaningful stuff and that's why people gripe about it.
Besides this, tw3 just felt more mature and funny and challenging which is something I've missed from assassins creed.
(Tiny syndicate spoiler coming)
Ubi have again used the dead parent plot, for our two new protags and I find it laughable

Assassin_M
10-08-2015, 05:39 AM
T
Whilst there was a goat herding quest in tw3 it doesn't frustrate players because you still get action and it never once feels repetitive. In the goat mission, if you kill the bear before starting geralt changes his dialogue to suit the change of circumstance which is just so detailed and appreciated by players. (As much as I like him) Connors herding mission was literally just getting them into their pen on a farm, because the farmer can't do it or whatever.
What about the mission where you have to follow a goat in Kaer Morhen? And the mission where you heard all the pigs to a cave? Or the mission where you read lines during a play? Or the mission where you help your best friend get his girlfriend back? or the mission where you have to get paint for a troll? Or the mission where you have to scare a guy into talking again? I could go on and on. The Witcher had some amazing, heart wrenching missions, but come on, man. NONE of those missions have any semblance of depth nor choice. They're just as mundane as some of AC III's homestead missions. Actually, writing this, I felt like I was talking about AC III, not witcher.

UKassassinsfan
10-08-2015, 05:47 AM
Perhaps there is a sense of rose tinted glasses here, but it was amusing doing those things as Geralt because I'd been given an amazing game to go with it, I would argue that maybe people take problem with the ones in AC because it feels like "here we go again".
I mean for me at least after doing the less action orientated missions in witcher I was never annoyed or bored. I can't even word it very well but it's fresh after years of AC, which feels like there is little freedom in the open world and story. I dunno

LoyalACFan
10-08-2015, 07:05 AM
Man, there's A LOT of mundane missions in Witcher 3. Like....A LOT.

But there's also A LOT of balls-to-the-wall action-packed missions to balance them out. Whereas AC3 is a lot heavier on the mundane content side. That's all I'm saying.

Plus TW3 is pretty tongue-in-cheek about most of the, shall we say, un-Witchery missions, and that made them more fun. TW3 had you recite lines in a play while your best friend sat laughing his *** off in the audience. AC3 had you travel to New York to... pick up a bundle of silk from your neighborhood tailor's abusive husband. Not really "fun" any way you slice it. It's all subjective, but TW3's mundane content felt like little humorous breaks from the meat of the game, whereas AC3's felt more like wasted space.

Assassin_M
10-08-2015, 07:46 AM
But there's also A LOT of balls-to-the-wall action-packed missions to balance them out. Whereas AC3 is a lot heavier on the mundane content side. That's all I'm saying.
You're really exaggerating. There's only about 7 missions in AC III where they're mundane. If you do a proportion table, I can guarantee that it'll be equivalent to Witcher's proportion. I understand what you're saying, believe me, but I don't remember AC III being as bad you're describing.


Plus TW3 is pretty tongue-in-cheek about most of the, shall we say, un-Witchery missions, and that made them more fun. TW3 had you recite lines in a play while your best friend sat laughing his *** off in the audience. AC3 had you travel to New York to... pick up a bundle of silk from your neighborhood tailor's abusive husband. Not really "fun" any way you slice it. It's all subjective, but TW3's mundane content felt like little humorous breaks from the meat of the game, whereas AC3's felt more like wasted space.
You're comparing very unfairly. Witcher has the same type of mission as AC III's mundane tools one. Except instead of a short ride to New York, you have to go all the way to Skellige. There're other missions where you just have to go fetch some item or find a body and that's all there is to it.

Sushiglutton
10-08-2015, 09:47 AM
Just gonna leave this here:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz7Di1w5qlQ

Farlander1991
10-08-2015, 10:37 AM
Why is everybody comparing to AC3 and not games lauded for side content like ACB and AC4?

Jackdaw951
10-08-2015, 12:49 PM
Now Ubisoft should reply with "How to make sure controls and immersion don't suck." Something along the lines of "(1) Mapping mouse + KB controls nearly unmodified to console controllers is idiotic. (2) Horses have mass and don't get stopped by pebbles or twigs. (3) The protagonist isn't riding a hoverboard. (4) Looking at the middle of my back and slowing to a crawl while indoors is not exactly ideal . . ." And so forth.

SixKeys
10-08-2015, 02:41 PM
Why is everybody comparing to AC3 and not games lauded for side content like ACB and AC4?

YMMV, but in my opinion AC3 started (or perhaps imitated other developers who were doing it at the time) much of the open-world missteps the series has since been accused of. They made the Frontier huge but didn't give the player enough things to do there. Crafting, assassination contracts and the tunnels all felt like meaningless chores. Assassination contracts were a prime example of terrible generated side content, with no context. The game didn't respect the player's time as it took SIX HOURS to introduce its actual main character. People criticized all those things at the game's release and instead of devs taking that criticism to heart, the games have only gotten more bloated.

All the games have had boring side content or collectables that are just there to eat up your time, of course, but those faults didn't seem quite as obvious in older games because the maps were smaller and the content evenly distributed across the maps, even in ACB and ACR which only had one city. AC4 had smaller cities again which worked to its advantage IMO (with a large portion of gameplay happening on the open sea) and then Unity and now Syndicate brought back the absolutely massive maps which can feel daunting. I don't think I've still explored all of Paris. It's also the only AC game where I've left a ton of side quests unfinished because they're all largely the same and kind of pointless.

It's not just AC's problem though, it's all kinds of studios. I hate the trend of making enormous maps just because. I'm playing Dragon Age: Inquisition right now and while I mostly love the game, I must admit that exploring new areas is no longer exciting, even though they're wildly varied, because it just feels like the game is never going to end. There are entire regions that have nothing to do with the main plot that I still haven't been to because each area by itself is almost the size of Constantinople. Never finished Fallout 3 either, and haven't dared to start on Skyrim. There is such a concept as too much of a good thing.

TO_M
10-08-2015, 05:18 PM
Just gonna leave this here:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz7Di1w5qlQ

UGGHHH. I almost forgot how absolutely atrocious those AC3 assassination contracts were, jesus christ. It all came back to me after watching the first mission from this video.

The person/people responsible for these missions should have been fired.

Assassin_M
10-08-2015, 08:17 PM
Just gonna leave this here:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz7Di1w5qlQ
But those are the worst types of missions :rolleyes: Come on, guys, how about some fair comparisons? Like the Captain Kidd missions? The Naval missions? Recruit missions? Hunting missions? Brawler missions? Homestead missions? Daniel Boone missions?



It's not just AC's problem though, it's all kinds of studios. I hate the trend of making enormous maps just because. I'm playing Dragon Age: Inquisition right now and while I mostly love the game, I must admit that exploring new areas is no longer exciting, even though they're wildly varied, because it just feels like the game is never going to end. There are entire regions that have nothing to do with the main plot that I still haven't been to because each area by itself is almost the size of Constantinople. Never finished Fallout 3 either, and haven't dared to start on Skyrim. There is such a concept as too much of a good thing.
Then I don't think your problem is AC III. It's just huge amounts of content.

Farlander1991
10-08-2015, 08:33 PM
They made the Frontier huge but didn't give the player enough things to do there.

I think Kingdom coined that first :p Though Frontier is undoubtedly larger than Kingdom. It also has more stuff to do than Kingdom. So it kinda evens out.

This makes me interested in continuing my heat map side project, though :D

Xstantin
10-08-2015, 09:19 PM
The Witcher 3 was not as good as AC or inFamous for instance when it comes to playing without HUD

to me it was like this, few landmarks and the world is really windy :rolleyes: Velen was awesome at first, but it wears off fast imo

SixKeys
10-08-2015, 11:17 PM
Then I don't think your problem is AC III. It's just huge amounts of content.

Oh, AC3 is still my problem. ;) Like I said, it started the slide towards these absolutely massive maps without enough content to fill them. All the previous games (with the exception of ACR perhaps, but that game was low on side content anyway) did a better job of more evenly distributing the content all over the map. In AC3, the Frontier has relatively few missions compared to the cities. There were entire chunks of New York that were barely used (same goes for Unity's Paris). The Homestead was probably the best in terms of map size and content. AC4 had a huge amount of content too, but the locations were smaller so you didn't have to keep running from one end of the city to another, you could do lots of things on the way, while still keeping the map small enough that you felt you were accomplishing something. AC3 didn't have enough stuff to fill the Frontier with, yet it still made us run through all that empty space for the achievement of "unfog the entire map".

Mr.Black24
10-09-2015, 03:24 AM
Oh, AC3 is still my problem. ;) Like I said, it started the slide towards these absolutely massive maps without enough content to fill them. All the previous games (with the exception of ACR perhaps, but that game was low on side content anyway) did a better job of more evenly distributing the content all over the map. In AC3, the Frontier has relatively few missions compared to the cities. There were entire chunks of New York that were barely used (same goes for Unity's Paris). The Homestead was probably the best in terms of map size and content. AC4 had a huge amount of content too, but the locations were smaller so you didn't have to keep running from one end of the city to another, you could do lots of things on the way, while still keeping the map small enough that you felt you were accomplishing something. AC3 didn't have enough stuff to fill the Frontier with, yet it still made us run through all that empty space for the achievement of "unfog the entire map".

Fully agree on this. Like sure collecting feathers were ok for getting Connor's Native outfit, but after that every other mission on the Frontier lacked substance. Sure I get a money reward and a animal skin off of hunting a man eating bear, but I could have done the same thing to any other bear. Plus those missions were so spread out widely across the Frontier, it was a kind of a chore to do it, especially since the reward wasn't that fulfilling, it just made it not worth the trouble. I was hoping for things like rescuing runaway slaves, saving traveling families from hostile British Forces or thugs, even helping out the Native people that could have been kicked out their land. I mean the times of the American Revolution was a time of great transitions, both good and bad. From people settling in new homes, forging alliances, or making enemies, many things were changing, so why not have Connor be part of these changes in a minor scale. I was hoping for something similar to what was soon implemented in Unity, the Paris Stories, except that Arno was silent, and it was more of a errand boy than mini chapters that were the Witcher 3 side missions. I mean the Assassins are meant to make a better place right, why not do it in a smaller but meaningful scale too? That's why I adored the Homestead missions, I was doing good things, making friends with theses folks, getting to know them and as a result was culminated into a loving community, a new family as Connor views them. Which soon results with Achilles unfortunately dying, and yet he left his robes and portrait behind, which pretty much cemented what Achilles told Connor about what his Assassin robes stand for: As a reminder to how long they've been here, and their job is to help and protect the people of these lands. Which was exactly what Connor has been doing all this time with the Homesteaders, as well as the entire rest of the game.

The Homestead missions, at least to me, are a good example of making excellent side quests. Make the side quests feel something epic but on a mini scale, hehehe, that's the reason why they're called "Side Quests"!

I-Like-Pie45
10-09-2015, 05:02 AM
You see, this is the problem.

You kids don't want to do exercise. Say that everything's too far, that you have to run too much! No wonder why obesity rates keep skyrocketing!