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SixKeys
02-14-2016, 12:34 AM
This is already a couple of months old, so it may have been posted before.

When DoubleFine was running its crowdfunding campaign for Psychonauts 2, the devs would play various games that inspired the first game. AC2 was among those inspirations, so one dev sat down to play the game with Patrice Desilets who talks about the development and themes behind the series.

It's super-interesting and 10 minutes in I already learned something I never knew: apparently the parking lot where Desmond and Lucy have to fight off a bunch of Abstergo guys (at the beginning) is located right underneath the Vatican. :D This seems to contradict AC3 where the office was somewhere else entirely, but...well, there you have it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syV2-ZuaxC8

Ureh
02-14-2016, 12:52 AM
I think I remember him saying that there wasn't any pugilism in AC1....? But there were fist fights in the interrogations and when Altair was caught stealing knives right?

And yep yep this vid was shared last year
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1360751-Patrice-Desilets-at-Double-Fine-Devsplay-Looks-Back-on-Assassin-s-Creed-II

ze_topazio
02-14-2016, 01:52 AM
Yeah that was posted here back in the day, I like how people here are always like "In AC2 the civilians walk in groups and that is so unrealistic" and Patrice in the video is like "So in AC2 we made the civilians walk in groups because in real life nobody walks around alone all the time, people walk around with their friends in groups".

SixKeys
02-14-2016, 02:34 AM
Yeah that was posted here back in the day, I like how people here are always like "In AC2 the civilians walk in groups and that is so unrealistic" and Patrice in the video is like "So in AC2 we made the civilians walk in groups because in real life nobody walks around alone all the time, people walk around with their friends in groups".

Yeah, I actually disagree with him there. I found AC1's crowds more realistic. I think what he was really talking about (which he also mentioned) was that in AC1, the NPCs didn't acknowledge each other at all, like they didn't look into each other's eyes or talk to them. In AC2 there's more interaction going on, or at least the illusion of interaction through stock animations. You feel like you're barging in on someone while they're in a heated discussion and stuff like that.

I-Like-Pie45
02-14-2016, 04:02 AM
Yeah that was posted here back in the day, I like how people here are always like "In AC2 the civilians walk in groups and that is so unrealistic" and Patrice in the video is like "So in AC2 we made the civilians walk in groups because in real life nobody walks around alone all the time, people walk around with their friends in groups".

well clearly Patrice never has been to the part of the city where the homeless hang out

VestigialLlama4
02-14-2016, 05:53 AM
When DoubleFine was running its crowdfunding campaign for Psychonauts 2, the devs would play various games that inspired the first game. AC2 was among those inspirations, so one dev sat down to play the game with Patrice Desilets who talks about the development and themes behind the series.

Psychonauts 1 preceded AC2!

This is about the games that will influence Psychonauts 2 and the idea is that the genre of Psychonauts, the Action-Adventure-Platformer and looking at all the games in that genre...and the AC games are among many other genres, 3D open world platformers. Check out their other videos too...I highly recommend Michel Ancel on Beyond Good and Evil.


It's super-interesting and 10 minutes in I already learned something I never knew: apparently the parking lot where Desmond and Lucy have to fight off a bunch of Abstergo guys (at the beginning) is located right underneath the Vatican. :D This seems to contradict AC3 where the office was somewhere else entirely, but...well, there you have it.

The Abstergo Office Desmond was taken to was located in Rome which was something that I didn't pick up until the lore pointed out and I didn't remember the signs in Italian that he pointed out as clues. I guess it's something they cut out But there's loads of interesting stuff Patrice discussed here as well as The Sands of Time video he did before this. He mentions that The Sands of Time like AC2 was made in 24 months...AC1 entered development right after Sands of Time. So technically Sands of Time--AC1--AC2 should be considered a trilogy of sorts.


And yep yep this vid was shared last year
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1360751-Patrice-Desilets-at-Double-Fine-Devsplay-Looks-Back-on-Assassin-s-Creed-II

Much obliged for the tip of the hat...

Farlander1991
02-14-2016, 10:20 AM
He mentions that The Sands of Time like AC2 was made in 24 months...AC1 entered development right after Sands of Time. So technically Sands of Time--AC1--AC2 should be considered a trilogy of sorts.

Well AC1 did start out as a Prince of Persia game. Prince of Persia: Assassins to be precise. Here's a concept video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=renzkLMOwok) of it. The idea was that it would've been a co-op game where we play as two Assassins that protect the Prince with special powers, or something along those line.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/princeofpersia/images/a/aa/Prince_of_Persia_Assassins-10.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140721033427&path-prefix=en

VestigialLlama4
02-14-2016, 11:22 AM
Well AC1 did start out as a Prince of Persia game. Prince of Persia: Assassins to be precise. Here's a concept video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=renzkLMOwok) of it. The idea was that it would've been a co-op game where we play as two Assassins that protect the Prince with special powers, or something along those line.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/princeofpersia/images/a/aa/Prince_of_Persia_Assassins-10.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140721033427&path-prefix=en

He talks about Prince of Persia: Assassins in the two videos. He mentions why they gave the Assassins their own game, mostly about how there weren't many stories you could tell with the Prince since a Prince is training to be King, and once he becomes King he has to govern. The whole adventure stuff has to be especially contrived...like in POP1 where the Prince is a Prisoner or in Sands of Time where he's basically a time traveller undoing things. In both cases, the character being a Prince is mostly for marketing reasons and he should really be the Persian Adventure Guy. Whereas the Assassins were tied to a much bigger and grander story and deeper motivations.

He also mentions that the Kingdom in AC1 was originally to be filled with animals and a hunting mechanic which they put on the shelf and took it off for The Frontier in AC3, which suggests that PD might have been involved in the early planning of AC3 more than we assumed.

Jessigirl2013
02-14-2016, 11:57 AM
Well AC1 did start out as a Prince of Persia game. Prince of Persia: Assassins to be precise. Here's a concept video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=renzkLMOwok) of it. The idea was that it would've been a co-op game where we play as two Assassins that protect the Prince with special powers, or something along those line.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/princeofpersia/images/a/aa/Prince_of_Persia_Assassins-10.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140721033427&path-prefix=en

I'm glad they didn't go with that idea.:cool:
It sounds awful IMO.

SixKeys
02-14-2016, 06:09 PM
Psychonauts 1 preceded AC2!

This is about the games that will influence Psychonauts 2 and the idea is that the genre of Psychonauts, the Action-Adventure-Platformer and looking at all the games in that genre...and the AC games are among many other genres, 3D open world platformers. Check out their other videos too...I highly recommend Michel Ancel on Beyond Good and Evil.

Derp, of course, I should have remembered. It was on PS2, wasn't it?



The Abstergo Office Desmond was taken to was located in Rome which was something that I didn't pick up until the lore pointed out and I didn't remember the signs in Italian that he pointed out as clues. I guess it's something they cut out But there's loads of interesting stuff Patrice discussed here as well as The Sands of Time video he did before this. He mentions that The Sands of Time like AC2 was made in 24 months...AC1 entered development right after Sands of Time. So technically Sands of Time--AC1--AC2 should be considered a trilogy of sorts.

I'm so mad about the change now because of what he said about "bookending" the second game: it begins with a fight in the Vatican and ends with a fight in the Vatican. MD and the past are connected, there are so many parallels to mine there. Changing the office location to New York or wherever erases that connection. We may not have been aware of it at the time, but hearing it now adds another layer of depth to Desmond's story. I'm just going to ignore the AC3 retcon, this is much cooler. :p

It's funny that everyone sort of forgot the MD took place in Italy, even though I distinctly remember exploring the assassin warehouse in AC2, looking out of the windows and seeing the same kind of architecture as in Ezio's time. I figured it couldn't have been a mistake.

Farlander1991
02-14-2016, 06:36 PM
Changing the office location to New York or wherever erases that connection. We may not have been aware of it at the time, but hearing it now adds another layer of depth to Desmond's story. I'm just going to ignore the AC3 retcon, this is much cooler.

Uh, AC3 didn't change any location of the office. They traveled to Rome in Italy.

VestigialLlama4
02-14-2016, 07:19 PM
Derp, of course, I should have remembered. It was on PS2, wasn't it?

Yeah. It was going to be an XBOX exclusive launch title, but Microsoft wimped out because of regime change...their former backer was removed and the new guy was unsympathetic. Majesco bought the game and let them complete it and it was a failure...undeservingly. It's one of my all-time favorite games, really incredible and funny. Written by Erick Wolpaw who later worked on Portal and Portal 2. It's also similar to AC in that's it about entering people's minds.


I'm so mad about the change now because of what he said about "bookending" the second game: it begins with a fight in the Vatican and ends with a fight in the Vatican. MD and the past are connected, there are so many parallels to mine there. Changing the office location to New York or wherever erases that connection. We may not have been aware of it at the time, but hearing it now adds another layer of depth to Desmond's story. I'm just going to ignore the AC3 retcon, this is much cooler. :p

It's funny that everyone sort of forgot the MD took place in Italy, even though I distinctly remember exploring the assassin warehouse in AC2, looking out of the windows and seeing the same kind of architecture as in Ezio's time. I figured it couldn't have been a mistake.

I only cottoned on that Abstergo HQ was in Italy when the Initiates pages mentioned it. It's also obvious when Brotherhood starts, and the Scooby gang is going to Monteriggioni. I guess the ideas Patrice had for AC2...past and present in one location came forward with Brotherhood and I think that was his original concept for the bleeding effect and Desmond. But we have to wait for a few more years when the legal hurdles clear and then Patrice can stop being diplomatic and tell the world what really happened to AC. He's very careful in those videos with what happened with Ubisoft and the lawsuit. The funniest, and also sad, part was when he wondered if he would get tickets to the AC movie premiere, shrugging that it probably won't happen.

SixKeys
02-14-2016, 08:25 PM
Uh, AC3 didn't change any location of the office. They traveled to Rome in Italy.

It's been a while since I played AC3, so you're probably right in that it's still in Rome. But not in the Vatican.


Yeah. It was going to be an XBOX exclusive launch title, but Microsoft wimped out because of regime change...their former backer was removed and the new guy was unsympathetic. Majesco bought the game and let them complete it and it was a failure...undeservingly. It's one of my all-time favorite games, really incredible and funny. Written by Erick Wolpaw who later worked on Portal and Portal 2. It's also similar to AC in that's it about entering people's minds.

A friend of mine is obsessed with it and got me a copy. I played it for a while, but couldn't really get into it.



I only cottoned on that Abstergo HQ was in Italy when the Initiates pages mentioned it. It's also obvious when Brotherhood starts, and the Scooby gang is going to Monteriggioni. I guess the ideas Patrice had for AC2...past and present in one location came forward with Brotherhood and I think that was his original concept for the bleeding effect and Desmond. But we have to wait for a few more years when the legal hurdles clear and then Patrice can stop being diplomatic and tell the world what really happened to AC. He's very careful in those videos with what happened with Ubisoft and the lawsuit. The funniest, and also sad, part was when he wondered if he would get tickets to the AC movie premiere, shrugging that it probably won't happen.

Yeah, I noticed he was avoiding the subject. Which is a shame because I'm dying to know how he feels about the series' current direction. He says he hasn't played the newer ones, but I'm sure he has some idea about the changes that have been made. He's also mentioned that the original plan for AC3 was very different (which makes sense), but I would love to hear more details. Was he planning to have MD play a bigger role, or were the higher-ups already encouraging him to change the story around Brotherhood?

Farlander1991
02-14-2016, 08:37 PM
It's been a while since I played AC3, so you're probably right in that it's still in Rome. But not in the Vatican.

Probably. That said, AC2 never made it clear where exactly in Rome was Abstergo's office and honestly the way the MD story in AC2 is handled, nothing is gained from there being a book-end of this type.


He's also mentioned that the original plan for AC3 was very different (which makes sense), but I would love to hear more details.

While I didn't say what you quoted (though for some reason it lists as it's quoted from me :p ) but basing on what a bunch of people from AC1-AC2 team said at different points in time, there really wasn't any real 'plan' for AC3. There were a lots of ideas and possibilities, and different people from the original team had different ideas as well, but there was no plan or clear vision where the series would go.

VestigialLlama4
02-14-2016, 08:44 PM
A friend of mine is obsessed with it and got me a copy. I played it for a while, but couldn't really get into it.

The opening of the game is a bit slow, and the kind of humor that the game has can be an acquired taste...but I think if you made it to the middle section, which I won't spoil in case you haven't played it, but it involves an underwater expedition, then you will enjoy it. For me its about this incredible level design more than the gameplay (which is classic 3D platforming) where each levels reflect a particular person's psychological state and character. It's really smart about mental illness as well, not like the nasty Batman stories where mental ilness is evil or a superpower.


Yeah, I noticed he was avoiding the subject. Which is a shame because I'm dying to know how he feels about the series' current direction.

He said that he hasn't played the games but he also mentioned he still has friends within AC and he doesn't want to upset them, so make of that what you will. It's also an industry thing, I think if you are a developer who talks back about the company's products, it kind of gives you a bad reputation in the industry. It doesn't in other fields, like Alan Moore talks smack about how companies screwed over his products and have messed up all his ideas but it doesn't make him unemployable but I think it would affect PD or Kojima who has been similarly quiet about what Konami did to him and Silent Hills.

I honestly don't think Desilets is too upset about the fact that AC is continuing without him. I think he became interested in 1666. He said about that game to one magazine that when he made AC he realized that there were certain things he couldn't do with Assassins and Templars. I think it's similar to Prince of Persia, it had certain limits and when Prince of Persia Assassins came up, where you had a history and the Assassin Brotherhood, you didn't need the Prince. I think with 1666, he was making a proper historical game without conspiracy theories and so on. And that might have been why Ubisoft deep-sixed that game (set in the Dutch Golden Age of Rembrandt) even if Desilets saw it as an evolution and not really a replacement.


He says he hasn't played the newer ones, but I'm sure he has some idea about the changes that have been made. He's also mentioned that the original plan for AC3 was very different (which makes sense), but I would love to hear more details. Was he planning to have MD play a bigger role, or were the higher-ups already encouraging him to change the story around Brotherhood?

I think his opinion about Syndicate..."I never thought about Victorian London as a setting so this is stranger Assassin's Creed" fits his idea. I also think it's very personal for him and he wouldn't be objective about it, which is why he's being diplomatic. He also did remark upon the "women are too hard to animate" drama by saying he understood Amancio's point but that companies should make things diverse...and you know Arno and Elise is very much inspired by Sands of Time's central relationship, with Arno being very much like the Prince.

VestigialLlama4
02-14-2016, 08:55 PM
While I didn't say what you quoted (though for some reason it lists as it's quoted from me :p ) but basing on what a bunch of people from AC1-AC2 team said at different points in time, there really wasn't any real 'plan' for AC3. There were a lots of ideas and possibilities, and different people from the original team had different ideas as well, but there was no plan or clear vision where the series would go.

It wouldn't surprise me if Ubisoft hedged their bets with AC1. Like AC had Modern Day and historical section. Maybe going in, Ubisoft thought that audiences wouldn't relate to the historical part, since there had never been at that point an open world game like that, where you could traverse and climb an entire city on foot. So the MD was there for the sequel and would have had a higher role based on how people responded. The reviews invariably preferred the Historical to the Modern Day and I think that was the first major change in plans...to make AC a full historical series. And they went for another historical setting...and they started spinning from there. Then AC2 became the huge hit and that's what led to Brotherhood being upgraded...and then Patrice quit in the middle to spend time with his family.

It would be amazing if someone (maybe from the Access the Animus site) went around and wrote a book about the evolution, get access to emails/scripts/images of various concept art and renders to see how the game developed because it's clear that AC is very iterative and that plans change heavily based on reception. But then there's a lot of NDAs floating over everything.

In any case, I think PD's real issue with ubisoft isn't the direction of AC so much as his own game.

SixKeys
02-14-2016, 09:21 PM
While I didn't say what you quoted (though for some reason it lists as it's quoted from me :p ) but basing on what a bunch of people from AC1-AC2 team said at different points in time, there really wasn't any real 'plan' for AC3. There were a lots of ideas and possibilities, and different people from the original team had different ideas as well, but there was no plan or clear vision where the series would go.

My bad, I copy-pasted both your replies and forgot to change your name. :p

Maybe with AC1 that was still the case, and to an extent game development is constantly in flux, things get cut out or replaced etc. But when it was still meant to be a trilogy, surely by the middle (AC2) they would have already had a fairly solid idea about how the series should "end" and where the final act would play out.

Farlander1991
02-14-2016, 09:44 PM
My bad, I copy-pasted both your replies and forgot to change your name. :p

Maybe with AC1 that was still the case, and to an extent game development is constantly in flux, things get cut out or replaced etc. But when it was still meant to be a trilogy, surely by the middle (AC2) they would have already had a fairly solid idea about how the series should "end" and where the final act would play out.

Well, the end product never turns out the way it was conceived regardless of how well planned it was. Plans exist to keep a consistent goal and vision in check, not to strictly follow them. So whatever Patrice might say he thought of AC3 being, AC3 wouldn't have been like that.

That said, they clearly hadn't a plan outside of 'Desmond gets the Assassin abilities and saves the world'. Here's the thing, when you have a meta-narrative story like in AC, where you know that you have 5-10% of 3 games to tell a particular story (the AC3 in MD was never anything beyond ideas that were toyed with or what some people wanted, it wasn't ever chosen as a direction), 1 more additional game (and even 1 more that appears suddenly mid development of the last one) won't break anything. It would actually be a boon, that's awesome, now you can flesh out it better! So instead of telling this part in one game, you tell this part in one game, and the ending on the other. And even with a sudden appearance of another game, while it's tricky you still give that game a little bit of the beginning from the last game of the trilogy and some other bits and pieces and hey, you have even more room to flesh out the ending. The chances of successfully telling the meta-narrative story increase.

But because AC devs didn't actually know where they were going, we didn't get that. What we got instead was the excited ACB devs introducing a bunch of plotthreads that they had no idea how they would be resolved, ACR being a game where we have a 'can I take this please? And maybe this part as well? I need something for MD dammit, stop hogging things! Ok thanks, so what was our plan with this? Uhm... guys? Anyone?' situation, and AC3 which was like '**** we have to resolve this all somehow... I mean we can do this... and maybe this... this we can't we don't have resources so just one sentence is fine I guess... and this we put in e-mail... and this... to another game, we just can't handle everything'

The MD ultimately didn't have ever a clear vision, that's why it became so messy as a result.

VestigialLlama4
02-14-2016, 09:48 PM
My bad, I copy-pasted both your replies and forgot to change your name. :p

Maybe with AC1 that was still the case, and to an extent game development is constantly in flux, things get cut out or replaced etc. But when it was still meant to be a trilogy, surely by the middle (AC2) they would have already had a fairly solid idea about how the series should "end" and where the final act would play out.

Well if they did, then it's odd that the villain of the piece, Juno, is not even mentioned in the first two games. Even in Brotherhood, where she appears on screen, she isn't identifed as Juno on-screen, only in credits and an actor interview. I mean if Desmond was intended to sacrifice himself to avert the Solar Flare (not mentioned in the first game), without Juno it wouldn't make sense. Juno came later, the idea that she would be the main bad guy came between Brotherhood-Revelations.

I think the plan only kicked in during Brotherhood...where they killed off Lucy who PD clearly intended to be Desmond's love. I guess they also wanted to cut corners and not pay Kristen Bell's salary for what is, admittedly a very small part of the games. Revelations also wrapped up the Bleeding Effect which was a huge part of the first two games and at the end, the game is like "this isn't a problem anymore you guys".

So in a way, AC was always patchwork made up as it goes along. It's just that they managed to make it hang together and wrap up loose threads better than they do now. I mean its clear from Patrice that his original idea was purely the historical part. Prince of Persia Assassins has no references to Desmond, its all about the Asasiyun. The Modern Day came later and I think the function it served was to dial down the religious aspects of the Crusades and replace it with conspiracy, while also allowing room to go to a new period.

AC3 went into development after AC2, so they must have decided that the next setting would be America which PD confirmed with Stephen Totilo. Whether it would have had a Mohawk ancestor/an American Revolution setting is the main question. It might even be the case that the original idea was set in the French and Indian War and they later worked in the American Revolution because it was more, sigh, "iconic".

Farlander1991
02-14-2016, 10:01 PM
Well if they did, then it's odd that the villain of the piece, Juno, is not even mentioned in the first two games.

Btw, I would even argue that the Solar Flare plot is something that they didn't think about until AC2. AC1 introduces as the main threat the Satellite Launch that would happen on December 21st 2012, and the whole game is essentially about why Templars plan would be like the end of the world as we know it. The references about the end of the world left by 16 didn't seem to reference a solar flare, but the satellite launch. The other references were of symbols about new world order and bloodlines and the danger of the apple and whatnot. It was all metaphorical, ideological. But then in AC2 they decided to play those hints straight and make the danger even more epic.

Ureh
02-14-2016, 10:37 PM
Juno was mentioned by name in AC2.


Many names. When I died it was Minerva but before that Merva and Mera and on and on. The others too: Juno was called Uni, Jupited was called Tinia.

Farlander1991
02-14-2016, 11:09 PM
Juno was mentioned by name in AC2.

Well, Juno was Jupiter's husband and Minerva was Jupiter's daughter (born out of his head or something? Don't remember) and Jupiter was the analog of Zeus, and the three had a special temple for them on the Capitolium hill in Rome. They're kinda important and having one of the triad not mentioning the other two would be weird :p It is however under question what was their purpose at the time, if any.

SixKeys
02-14-2016, 11:12 PM
Well if they did, then it's odd that the villain of the piece, Juno, is not even mentioned in the first two games. Even in Brotherhood, where she appears on screen, she isn't identifed as Juno on-screen, only in credits and an actor interview. I mean if Desmond was intended to sacrifice himself to avert the Solar Flare (not mentioned in the first game), without Juno it wouldn't make sense. Juno came later, the idea that she would be the main bad guy came between Brotherhood-Revelations.

I think the plan only kicked in during Brotherhood...where they killed off Lucy who PD clearly intended to be Desmond's love. I guess they also wanted to cut corners and not pay Kristen Bell's salary for what is, admittedly a very small part of the games. Revelations also wrapped up the Bleeding Effect which was a huge part of the first two games and at the end, the game is like "this isn't a problem anymore you guys".

So in a way, AC was always patchwork made up as it goes along. It's just that they managed to make it hang together and wrap up loose threads better than they do now. I mean its clear from Patrice that his original idea was purely the historical part. Prince of Persia Assassins has no references to Desmond, its all about the Asasiyun. The Modern Day came later and I think the function it served was to dial down the religious aspects of the Crusades and replace it with conspiracy, while also allowing room to go to a new period.

AC3 went into development after AC2, so they must have decided that the next setting would be America which PD confirmed with Stephen Totilo. Whether it would have had a Mohawk ancestor/an American Revolution setting is the main question. It might even be the case that the original idea was set in the French and Indian War and they later worked in the American Revolution because it was more, sigh, "iconic".

Yeah, Juno was definitely an afterthought. I don't think she was ever meant to be the main villain between AC1-ACB. She just seemed like another projection, like Minerva and Jupiter. More bitter towards humans, but not super-important compared to the other two. I didn't expect we would run into her again after ACB, but I think when they started to plan AC3, they figured they could use her as a way to tie up the meta-plot.

Ureh
02-14-2016, 11:46 PM
Well, Juno was Jupiter's husband and Minerva was Jupiter's daughter (born out of his head or something? Don't remember) and Jupiter was the analog of Zeus, and the three had a special temple for them on the Capitolium hill in Rome. They're kinda important and having one of the triad not mentioning the other two would be weird :p It is however under question what was their purpose at the time, if any.

Back when we all finished AC2 and we heard Minerva say, '"We are gone from this world we can do no more."', I just assumed that was the last time we would meet any precursors, or at most they would appear in brief recordings when we visited the temples. To pass on the message, that's what her purpose was and I thought that was it.

But like you guys already mentioned, the solar flare was probably a improvised direction for the series. It felt really sudden when Minerva pops out of nowhere and says, "Oh hey, the world is gonna end soon... btw, you only have like 3 months to figure everything out. Bye bye." And so on.

pacmanate
02-15-2016, 04:37 PM
Btw, I would even argue that the Solar Flare plot is something that they didn't think about until AC2. AC1 introduces as the main threat the Satellite Launch that would happen on December 21st 2012, and the whole game is essentially about why Templars plan would be like the end of the world as we know it. The references about the end of the world left by 16 didn't seem to reference a solar flare, but the satellite launch. The other references were of symbols about new world order and bloodlines and the danger of the apple and whatnot. It was all metaphorical, ideological. But then in AC2 they decided to play those hints straight and make the danger even more epic.

Yeah... this never made any sense. Solar Flare was definitely an afterthought, which makes me wonder why... I wish the solar flare never happened. We wouldn't have got a poor send off for Desmond and we wouldn't have 3 years of games where Juno does nothing.

Blame the Solar Flare for where AC is now cause it's all it's fault.

VestigialLlama4
02-15-2016, 05:19 PM
Yeah... this never made any sense. Solar Flare was definitely an afterthought, which makes me wonder why... I wish the solar flare never happened. We wouldn't have got a poor send off for Desmond and we wouldn't have 3 years of games where Juno does nothing.

Blame the Solar Flare for where AC is now cause it's all it's fault.

Honestly I think the real problem lies in AC1's Modern Day...In retrospect, I think if they had taken the approach in Black Flag it would have been better. By setting up Desmond you are setting yourself and the audience for disappointment, especially since it's clear that he's there to balance and offset the historical part which was always, and I repeat, always, the true core of the series. By putting Desmond there, a section of the fans expected a Modern Day AC game and maybe Ubisoft expected that it would go to Modern Day if AC1 didn't appeal to the audience the way it did, hence casting Nolan North in a prominent part. But then when it came out, people preferred Altair (much as they disliked him) to Desmond so it became clear that it was about historical fiction.

I mean from a plot perspective, how do you justify stopping a satellite launch with the demands of the game. The demands of the game is an excuse to dive in the past and explore stuff...In AC1, Desmond was forced to do this to find this image of a map of all Pieces of Eden. When Desmond is sprung lose and reunited with the Assassins at the start of AC2, the obvious assumption is that the game would be explore and race against Templars to find all these pieces of Eden they had seen in that map, and then invade NASA or SpaceX or whatever and stop a rocket from going to outer space...which would effectively make it into Deus Ex/Uncharted. Okay, the plan was to use the Bleeding Effect to have Desmond download Ezio's and Altair's skills but what's the point of downloading skills if you don't have Desmond use them in the real world, in the present day?

Okay, you can have Desmond explore the past mentally without the Animus, but how do you explain the HUD and other game elements. Patrice Desilets is especially obsessed with the latter, he calls it "organic design" and he was particular about how the HUD elements in Sands of Time, came from the fact that the Prince was narrating the events so any time the Prince died, he could say, "Wait, that's not how it happened". In AC, the Animus is there to justify "desynchronization" which is essentially telling you, "Wait...that's not what happened." If Desmond is exploring his memories, and he dies in the past, does he flash back to the present...I mean that could be interesting but it would basically give an impression of a passive protagonist who's lost in his dreams and detached from the real world and you can be sure that there will be Fight-Club theories about Desmond being a psycho...which believe me would be more annoying than anything else Ubi have offered. The Solar Flare plot gives them the urgency of the satellite launch but it also gives them a palpable reason to explore the past because all the information is there...conventional technology won't avert the Solar Flare, and we have a reason to explore the past. So in many ways, the Solar Flare actually is superior to the Satellite Plot.

Ureh
02-15-2016, 09:11 PM
Yeah... this never made any sense. Solar Flare was definitely an afterthought, which makes me wonder why... I wish the solar flare never happened. We wouldn't have got a poor send off for Desmond and we wouldn't have 3 years of games where Juno does nothing.

Blame the Solar Flare for where AC is now cause it's all it's fault.

The series was being extended because people wanted to explore more cities and eras so they needed a story that was meaty enough. I don't have a really great imagination, I'm not a game dev, I'm not a game writer, so it could be I'm really narrow minded. But I really can't picture any plot revolving around a Satellite being stretched to encompass more than 3 games. Sure, they could've made 3 games in a row about the Satellite, then conclude it in the third game before moving onto another plot. But how do we know that it wouldn't have problems of its own; do we know exactly how the story would've unfolded? Can Desmond survive against Abstergo when they number in the thousands, whereas the Assasins can probably be counted with one hand? The Templars had the ultimate tool, the Eye satellite, and we're able to stop it right? Okay so the trilogy ends there, because Abstergo is apparently too poor and there're a shortage of apples so they can't make a new satellite, but then what? Does AC series end right there or they do write a new story? Will the new story have an even bigger threat than the satellite? Who's the threat? Did the Templars try to build a new satellite, are they poisoning the water supply, do we rebuild the modern assassins, or do we just keep fighting them over the PoEs...? And all those other things listed in the Abstergo emails, those are just mentioned then we don't delve deeper into them. All the present day lore, since AC1, was restricted to emails that you had to go out of your way to find, I wouldn't be surprised if most people just listened to Vidic and went straight to bed.

I don't think the Solar Flare plot was a bad idea - it actually felt pretty epic in AC2, ACB, AC3 - but it was handled poorly because they weren't willing to pour the time/energy needed to reach its full potential. When they said that more than 90% of a continent's population was gone, I really thought the world was ending on its own. For me, it was like, "Ok the world has suffered enough, if we let the Solar Flare erase everything then that suffering would've been for nothing." Alan Rikkin... I keep wondering when we'll ever see this guy... I thought we would meet him sooner rather than later. If they stayed with the Satellite trilogy then that means we only see him for one game (and even in that game his time in the spotlight might just sum up in less than an hour). Same with the Juno plot... in ACB she was pretty neat, in AC3 I thought they could've taken it further. They didn't because they already seem to have trouble keeping up with the gameplay and storytelling inside the animus. Imagine trying to create a whole new set of gameplay and a larger present day world alongside the animus stuffs. It sounds daunting and risky. So I don't think all of the blame can be heaped on the solar/juno plot, but rather they way that they tried to expand the present day lore without actually investing more time into the gameplay. It was too big and too ambitious and it didn't get the attention it deserved. I really thought ACB was going in the right direction with the Monteriggioni, temple of Juno, Santa Maria Aracoeli, the colosseum, past and present melding together, it looked like we were finally going to explore larger, in-depth present day maps but after that they did a 180. It's just weird to have lore still being relegated to terminals.

They could've combined both plot lines into one. Desmond and company could've sneaked into the satellite facility to install Ezio's apple, repurpose the satellite so that it protects the planet instead, then launch it right? I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Solar Flare/Juno plot should've been told better, it had huge potential and it could've respected the lore from AC1 but the lack of consistency and plenty of retcons is due to them not going the extra mile with it. They had a good idea but they didn't follow through with it, right? The devs (which includes writers and composers) need more time and they need more freedom to do what they set out to do.

pacmanate
02-15-2016, 09:47 PM
I don't think the Solar Flare plot was a bad idea - it actually felt pretty epic in AC2, ACB, AC3 - but it was handled poorly because they weren't willing to pour the time/energy needed to reach its full potential.

Just so everyone knows I was half joking with my above post. But this sentence, especially the latter half are essentially what I was getting at. It didnt reach its full potential. The Solar Flare arch didn't, the Satellite Launch didn't, Desmond's send off didn't (honestly, a talk with his Dad saying "tell mum I love her" and a proper heart to heart with Rebecca and Shaun before he touched the Orb would have been better than him rushing to touch the thing. There was no urgency whatsoever to touch that bloody orb in the space of 5 seconds), and Juno's arch hasn't.

Farlander1991
02-15-2016, 10:47 PM
Blame the Solar Flare for where AC is now cause it's all it's fault.

Well.... pretty much, yeah. Here's the thing, the issues with Desmond's MD is because it's overcomplicated and tried to bite off more than it could chew. I mean, by the time AC2 ends, the MD story that's like 5-10% of the whole narrative has two main plotlines, the satellite and the flare, whereas the historical 90% dealt with only one main plot. Not to mention that MD by the end had like what, four or five big subplots? Not to mention the smaller ones. So, yeah, Solar Flare is partially to blame as it was a second main plotline that shouldn't have been introduced at that point.

Of course unless, because there's no one right way to do things, the Solar Flare and Satellite plot were actually interconnected. For example, if Templar satellite with the Apple would've been the only way to stop the Solar Flare? That's far more interesting and inline with AC's ideological topic. Ending 2012 with Templars activating the Apple and essentially winning has far more interesting repercussions.

But they weren't part of one plot, they were part of two different plots. With all the issues that come out of that.

VestigialLlama4
02-16-2016, 10:25 AM
Well.... pretty much, yeah. Here's the thing, the issues with Desmond's MD is because it's overcomplicated and tried to bite off more than it could chew. I mean, by the time AC2 ends, the MD story that's like 5-10% of the whole narrative has two main plotlines, the satellite and the flare, whereas the historical 90% dealt with only one main plot. Not to mention that MD by the end had like what, four or five big subplots? Not to mention the smaller ones. So, yeah, Solar Flare is partially to blame as it was a second main plotline that shouldn't have been introduced at that point.

Of course unless, because there's no one right way to do things, the Solar Flare and Satellite plot were actually interconnected. For example, if Templar satellite with the Apple would've been the only way to stop the Solar Flare? That's far more interesting and inline with AC's ideological topic. Ending 2012 with Templars activating the Apple and essentially winning has far more interesting repercussions.

But they weren't part of one plot, they were part of two different plots. With all the issues that come out of that.

The question with these complicated plots is related to what the developers intended to do with the MD. If the plot was related to the Satellite Launch, I can imagine that Modern Day would have to be bigger, more action oriented and feature an actual climax to stop a satellite from launching into space. Whereas a Solar Flare led to more diving into the past and smaller MD.

So as bad and confused it is, I think it's more about what Ubisoft intended for MD and ultimately backed out. Like in the interviews, Patrice doesn't discuss MD a great deal and it seems clear that he originally concieved AC as a purely historical series and the Modern Day came later, maybe as a backup plan to repurpose the Parkour and Assassination assets if the historical concept failed...only it didn't and so they had to change MD later.

Basically, Assassin's Creed I was concieved as a one-off. There were hopes for a sequel obviously but no clear long-term ideas aside from retaining Desmond, Abstergo and the Apple. Everything else was up for grabs...

pacmanate
02-17-2016, 02:24 PM
Of course unless, because there's no one right way to do things, the Solar Flare and Satellite plot were actually interconnected. For example, if Templar satellite with the Apple would've been the only way to stop the Solar Flare? That's far more interesting and inline with AC's ideological topic. Ending 2012 with Templars activating the Apple and essentially winning has far more interesting repercussions..

See this would have been a good idea as it would come with a risk/reward.

Risk being the Templar satellite could have the potential to influence Human minds, Reward being it could shield the earth from the Solar Flare.

That would have actually been really interesting in my opinion and I would have liked to see where that could have gone as a plot point.