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Farlander1991
07-28-2016, 03:43 PM
Hi guys.

So a new blog post from my current AC series is up. It's about a topic that some of you might remember I was focusing on a couple years ago: Assassin's Creed III mission design :) But in a more broad and general sense rather than analyzing any level in particular. Hope you enjoy :)

https://stanislavcostiuc.com/2016/07/28/open-world-mission-design-learnings-from-assassins-creed-iii/

Helforsite
07-28-2016, 04:27 PM
Another great article! I dont really know if I agree with point 5 though, because in my opinion you should have the choice to use all the tools or none of them if you want to.

Farlander1991
07-28-2016, 05:06 PM
Another great article! I dont really know if I agree with point 5 though, because in my opinion you should have the choice to use all the tools or none of them if you want to.

Thanks :)

Point 5 is not about making the player having to use tools to progress, it's about designing situations where as many tools as possible would be useful :)Because what happens now across a lot of AC3 is that you get access to all those tools, but you can't find a proper use for half of them even if you'd want to. Like the prisoner blend I've mentioned, for example.

cawatrooper9
07-28-2016, 10:08 PM
Absolutely agree with point 4!

As far as 5 goes, I'd say that I'd want AC to stray from the puzzle-like aspects of Zelda and even the Arkham series, but it would've been nice to have more incentive to use Connor's tools. I'm pretty sure on most playthroughs I get by with only a hidden blade, the tomahawk, and a stray arrow every now and then.

And to be honest, it's not long before I forget Connor even has Assassin recruits.

Farlander1991
07-29-2016, 12:43 PM
Absolutely agree with point 4!

As far as 5 goes, I'd say that I'd want AC to stray from the puzzle-like aspects of Zelda and even the Arkham series, but it would've been nice to have more incentive to use Connor's tools. I'm pretty sure on most playthroughs I get by with only a hidden blade, the tomahawk, and a stray arrow every now and then.

And to be honest, it's not long before I forget Connor even has Assassin recruits.

Well, as I said before, the point 5 doesn't mean puzzles like Arkham where you need to use particular tools to progress, but create environments that provide different situations for different tools so if you'd want you can use the tools that you have at your disposal.

Continuing the recruit blending ability, the mission where we get it is designed for it as we pass by guard posts under pretense that we're captured, but outside of SOME of the forts there's no guard posts to be seen almost ever, so in the end you don't really need to use it at all (though it's actually kinda useful during level 3 notoriety, but taking notoriety off is so easy by just teleporting out and into the city, so...)

RobertMcSassin
07-29-2016, 02:53 PM
Excellent article!...

Though ACIII is my fave of the whole series...(Yeah-yeah, whatever :p :D )...Even I get frustrated with some aspects of it - that entire initial New York sequence you mentioned, irritates the hell out of me...Especially the prison...

And as for the optional objectives...Jeez...I wish they'd just cut them entirely...You (Ubisoft now...) want us immersed in this - conceited - world you've created for us, so are we playing through someone's genetic memories, - so whatever we have the ancestor do, he did - or are we just playing a game your way?...

Which was also your point...I think...Um...

Anyways...yeah...Excellent article... :) ...

cawatrooper9
07-29-2016, 02:56 PM
Well, as I said before, the point 5 doesn't mean puzzles like Arkham where you need to use particular tools to progress, but create environments that provide different situations for different tools so if you'd want you can use the tools that you have at your disposal.

Continuing the recruit blending ability, the mission where we get it is designed for it as we pass by guard posts under pretense that we're captured, but outside of SOME of the forts there's no guard posts to be seen almost ever, so in the end you don't really need to use it at all (though it's actually kinda useful during level 3 notoriety, but taking notoriety off is so easy by just teleporting out and into the city, so...)

Right, there are some really cool abilities/ gadgets in ACIII, I just never really felt compelled to use them. I'd say it's part laziness on my behalf, part poor implementation and incentive to use them (as you've described) and part awful user interface in switching weapons.

SpiritOfNevaeh
07-30-2016, 12:25 AM
Wow. VERY good article on ACIII :)

I literally love all the points made.

But of course, this game was technically trying to introduce new gaming elements and innovations, some experimenting if you prefer to call it that. Overall, despite the glitches and flaws, I think the game did a good job trying.

And optional objectives seem to be part of the AC series so it doesnt look like its going away anytime soon, and it's been in the series for so long that I doubt they'll get rid of it now. :/

But I DO love point #3. Those Angry Chef and Broken Trust missions, just GODDDDDD they hurt XD

Locopells
07-30-2016, 12:38 AM
The thing with the Angry Chef OOs is that, yes Connor is saying 'Violence ain't the answer' (paraphrasing here...) but, seeing as Mr Angry Chef is taking bugger all notice of him, he's forced to kill Redcoats to stop them killing Mr AC. The OO just makes him a bit more proactive about it (though you can time it just right so that you stealth kill them just as they're getting pissed off).

I agree with the points about the first time you got to NY. It still annoys me to this day, that I have to go through that whole sequence before I can explore, when I always like to do all side stuff before moving on with the story, in any given location (the exception being ACRo where there's only really one ideal point).

SpiritOfNevaeh
07-30-2016, 12:45 AM
The thing with the Angry Chef OOs is that, yes Connor is saying 'Violence ain't the answer' (paraphrasing here...) but, seeing as Mr Angry Chef is taking bugger all notice of him, he's forced to kill Redcoats to stop them killing Mr AC. The OO just makes him a bit more proactive about it (though you can time it just right so that you stealth kill them just as they're getting pissed off).

My thing is maybe Connor could have just knocked them out.

That made more sense to me since he did say "violence is not the answer..." \_(ツ)_/

Confusing as heck when you think about it/break it down.

SixKeys
07-30-2016, 02:09 AM
Oh man, you're giving me PTSD flashbacks. Just reading about sequence 8 makes me angry. I just remember thinking how on earth it was possible that the people who gave us the brilliant AC1 and AC2 could make something that failed in such fundamental ways.

I realize this is very much down to taste, but disagree on some of your positive mission examples. The Angry Chef was just not fun due to the optional objectives and even in spite of them. Maybe if Stephane's ranting was at least funny, if he were the kind of person who comes across as a loveable doofus who doesn't realize he's putting himself in danger, but he's just godd@mn annoying.
The best thing that can be said about the Tea Party is that it is indeed one of the few missions in the game that allows the player more creativity in how to approach the situation. Once again, I think the optional objectives ruined it for me as the game was really fiddly about air-assassinating guard with a rifle (in that particular mission, where you had limited access to higher ground).
I agree about the William Johnson assassination mission, though. It was the best one in the entire game IMO, simply because it was pure Assassin's Creed: explore the environment, decide your approach and strike. Shame about the optional objective which required you to air-assassinate Johnson, I believe (or use the hidden blade?). Still, at least it wasn't insta-fail if you did it some other way.

Anyway, great post. You nailed most of my problems with the game. I want to point to it next time someone tries to claim that the only reason people could possibly dislike AC3 is because of racism. :rolleyes:

Farlander1991
07-30-2016, 10:47 AM
The thing with the Angry Chef OOs is that, yes Connor is saying 'Violence ain't the answer' (paraphrasing here...) but, seeing as Mr Angry Chef is taking bugger all notice of him, he's forced to kill Redcoats to stop them killing Mr AC. The OO just makes him a bit more proactive about it (though you can time it just right so that you stealth kill them just as they're getting pissed off).

Or you can use fists and knock them out. Or poison darts which in AC3 are not lethal (they're more like sleep darts essentially, the enemies keep moving when on the ground after them). The thing is, without the optional objective it's up to the player to how deal with those enemies, but with it you HAVE to kill if you want to complete the mission 'the right way'.


I realize this is very much down to taste, but disagree on some of your positive mission examples. The Angry Chef was just not fun due to the optional objectives and even in spite of them. Maybe if Stephane's ranting was at least funny, if he were the kind of person who comes across as a loveable doofus who doesn't realize he's putting himself in danger, but he's just godd@mn annoying.
The best thing that can be said about the Tea Party is that it is indeed one of the few missions in the game that allows the player more creativity in how to approach the situation. Once again, I think the optional objectives ruined it for me as the game was really fiddly about air-assassinating guard with a rifle (in that particular mission, where you had limited access to higher ground).

Yeah, optional objectives aren't the best, but I did mention that. So basically it was positive examples 'optional objectives aside', although there still were a couple good ones. like in the Tea Party mission the optional objective to throw away tea fits the theme of the level and makes it a little bit more challenging by having us think about one more thing in the mix (but is not something arbitrary and doesn't define how we should do that specific thing), so that's a good optional objective.


I agree about the William Johnson assassination mission, though. It was the best one in the entire game IMO, simply because it was pure Assassin's Creed: explore the environment, decide your approach and strike. Shame about the optional objective which required you to air-assassinate Johnson, I believe (or use the hidden blade?). Still, at least it wasn't insta-fail if you did it some other way.

There's no optional objective to air assassinate Johnson. Pitcairn had one, though. For Johnson it was to get undetected, limit native losses, and escape via a swan dive. So overall not as bad as optional objectives for some other missions :)