PDA

View Full Version : Tommy Franšois interview about changing the macro structure etc



Sushiglutton
09-29-2016, 06:23 PM
Reiterating there may be no game in 2017:



I'll tell you what," Franšois said, "We believe Alpha for these games needs to be one year before release. We're trying to achieve that. That's super f****** blunt, I don't even know if I'm allowed to say this. This is the goal we're going for: Alpha one year before, more quality, more polish.


"So if this means biting the [bullet] and not having an Assassin's game, or a Far Cry (in 2017), f*** it



On changing structure:


Instead, Franšois insists that the decision is a creative one, going so far as to say that the company is experimenting with entirely new structures for Assassin's Creed, possibly breaking from the "Ubisoft open-world formula" of tower climbing and objective peppering used consistently over the last few years (and which Watch Dogs 2 will step away from):

I do think we need to break that formula. This year we've given Far Cry and Assassin's some time to decant, innovate, and polish. The objective behind this is exactly that. You'd be surprised - there are so many prototypes of alternatives. It's always the same thing, the player is king, so we play-test it and people are just like, 'What the f***?' And we're like, 'Oh no! We just spent a year prototyping this new macrostructure for an Assassin's or other type of open world game and people are telling us it's s****.


More at link: http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/09/28/ubisoft-wont-necessarily-release-assassins-creed-or-far-cry-games-in-2017

Like the sound of this :).

RVSage
09-29-2016, 07:15 PM
They are really looking to make things positive with their game, For Honor, for example is in great shape on PC and consoles, considering it is just an alpha. Watch dogs 2 initial analysis from DigitalFoundry seems positive too.

Let's hope they accomplish consistency with quality in their games

cawatrooper9
09-29-2016, 09:10 PM
Hmmm. Not sure how to interpret this. One the one hand, "Ubisoft Open World" might refer to the way open world games have been at Ubisoft lately- big beautiful sprawls with almost no reason to be explored aside from collectibles that only a fraction of players will be interested in (Rogue perhaps being the prime example). And, as mentioned, always towers for some reason.

On the other hand, I hope they aren't considering nixing open world concept entirely. That, in my opinion, is one of the big draws of the series.

Honestly, I'd urge them to consider Watch_Dogs. I just recently played the first game for the first time (and in fact just beat it last night). While not perfect, I think it made pretty good use of its map, even in areas like Pawnee that you wouldn't expect to spend much time in. It was also a much longer game than I expecting, being used to Assassins Creed's short structure.

Also, Watch_Dogs had the ctOS towers, which I guess served as the "towers" that Ubisoft apparently wants to get away with. The difference here is that they weren't simply a climbing puzzle (or, worse even, a repeated climbing puzzle like AC3's identical trees). Instead, each was a pretty unique camera/hack puzzle. Some were harder than others, though neither was all that difficult. Still, they were fun and I actually spent the time to hit every single one of them pretty early on. I can tell you that I've never hit every single view point in an AC game, that's for sure.

So, rather than completely dropping what makes them unique, I'd urge Ubisoft to instead focus on innovating, from the ground up. If they deem something unsalvageable, so be it, but they'd be careful to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Laarkoz
09-29-2016, 09:22 PM
Another interesting interview http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2016/09/29/ubisoft-agence-de-voyages-en-jeu-video_5005466_4408996.html (in french)


For two years, the publisher has taken a new step, deciding to withdraw largely from the classical narrative. "We are turning less and less towards games with a beginning and an end, corroborates Elizabeth Pellen, deputy director of editorial cell, and more towards games based on a world, a context, in which the player develops his own style." The production of a new title taking three to four years, it's not until 2017 and the new Assassin's Creed that the players will enjoy this change in philosophy.


Ubisoft must counter its reputation, that they produce many exotics settings but with identical structures and repetitive missions. "We're working on it, he says. The next Assassin's Creed designers have created a system in which what I do not only make sense at the time, but also in the long run. My actions will change the world." Besides the next episode of the series, another project, still secret, should induct this tourist approach of gaming in the coming months. Eventually, Ubisoft doesn't hide it, the goal is to turn into a producer of virtual reality experiences when it will be democratized - if so - in 2025.

And interesting tweets from the journalist :


Crystal ball time : what I understand from my report and the following days, BGE2 will be the first "world first" game from Ubisoft.


"World first" ---> Systemic game based entirely on the freedom to improvise, without restraining narrative.


Given a strange slip of the tongue during the interview of Serge HascoŰt, Ubisoft is working on an open-world game in which the hero is a detective.

Seems like Ubisoft is changing the way of creating their future games in general, not only Assassin's Creed. Do you think that "world first" thing is a good change? :confused:

ze_topazio
09-29-2016, 10:05 PM
I hope they're not thinking on getting rid of the viewpoints, despite the fact that they no longer have that sense of awe they had in the beginning, maybe in part because the last few games seem to have them at random in huge quantities, they are still an iconic part of the series that I always enjoy doing.

Locopells
09-30-2016, 12:22 AM
Hmmm. Not sure how to interpret this. One the one hand, "Ubisoft Open World" might refer to the way open world games have been at Ubisoft lately- big beautiful sprawls with almost no reason to be explored aside from collectibles that only a fraction of players will be interested in (Rogue perhaps being the prime example). And, as mentioned, always towers for some reason.

On the other hand, I hope they aren't considering nixing open world concept entirely. That, in my opinion, is one of the big draws of the series.

Honestly, I'd urge them to consider Watch_Dogs. I just recently played the first game for the first time (and in fact just beat it last night). While not perfect, I think it made pretty good use of its map, even in areas like Pawnee that you wouldn't expect to spend much time in. It was also a much longer game than I expecting, being used to Assassins Creed's short structure.

Also, Watch_Dogs had the ctOS towers, which I guess served as the "towers" that Ubisoft apparently wants to get away with. The difference here is that they weren't simply a climbing puzzle (or, worse even, a repeated climbing puzzle like AC3's identical trees). Instead, each was a pretty unique camera/hack puzzle. Some were harder than others, though neither was all that difficult. Still, they were fun and I actually spent the time to hit every single one of them pretty early on. I can tell you that I've never hit every single view point in an AC game, that's for sure.

So, rather than completely dropping what makes them unique, I'd urge Ubisoft to instead focus on innovating, from the ground up. If they deem something unsalvageable, so be it, but they'd be careful to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.


I hope they're not thinking on getting rid of the viewpoints, despite the fact that they no longer have that sense of awe they had in the beginning, maybe in part because the last few games seem to have them at random in huge quantities, they are still an iconic part of the series that I always enjoy doing.

This and this.



http://i.imgur.com/8kKFfrZ.jpg (https://support.ubi.com)
Thanks to strigoi1958 for the sig!

Sorrosyss
09-30-2016, 12:56 AM
"We're still going to try and emulate Witcher 3"

:p

ninja4hire10
09-30-2016, 03:06 PM
It's tidbits of info like this that make me nervous and excited at the same time.

The draw for me IS the open-world structure. Aside from R*, no developer nails the vibe, the feels, the fantasy of open-world like Ubi. And one feature of those worlds is the towers/ viewpoints, which I always try to complete first to fill my map, then to read Shaun's musings on whatever landmark I happened to climb. I don't mind "innovation," but when devs go out of their way to deviate too far from the formula, what's often left is an empty, barely recognizable shell of once was. I'm a big believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Go ahead and wow us with something new, but please, not TOO new; certain features of the these games is the lifeblood of the franchise. To water down or remove these elements in this 20-whatever release would be, to AC fans at least, like COD fans asking devs to remove most of the gunplay in their future games.

SixKeys
09-30-2016, 05:55 PM
I hope they're not thinking on getting rid of the viewpoints, despite the fact that they no longer have that sense of awe they had in the beginning, maybe in part because the last few games seem to have them at random in huge quantities, they are still an iconic part of the series that I always enjoy doing.

Honestly, I get the nostalgic attachment but the more we cling to everything that's "iconic" about the series, the more it will stagnate.

"Oh no, you can't remove the hoods, they're iconic!"
"Don't get rid of the viewpoints, they're iconic!"
"Don't change the Animus, it's iconic!"
"Bring back Desmond, he's iconic!"

Instead of getting rid of viewpoints completely, they could tweak them to be more like mini-tombs. (Farlander has talked about this before.) But even if they did get rid of the viewpoint synching completely, I would be okay with that. Just removing the iconic synching doesn't remove rooftops from the game. We could still climb tall buildings, we just wouldn't get the old 360 degree view animation. The reason for that cinematic view in the first place was to show off the - at the time - impressive rendering capabilities. But who's impressed anymore by the mere fact that you can see, like, really far from here, man? :rolleyes: Introduce something that is impressive by current gen standards.

I want Empire to feel fresh in every possible way. If it means completely revamping stuff that has been there since the beginning, so be it. I won't guarantee I'll be pleased with every change, but I will at least respect that they tried to be visionary instead of clinging to the past.

Farlander1991
09-30-2016, 06:44 PM
Yeah, I've elaborated this in one of my AC blog posts, but clinging to legacy mechanics is the reason for a lot of the games flaws. One of the reasons AC4 is as well crafted as it is was because they weren't afraid to throw away things that didn't fit.

"All weapons feel the same and we cant differentiate them enough? Cut them."

"Brotherhood mechanic doesn't make sense? Cut it." Both of these things there were a lot who complained about missing, but ultimately it's for the better.

Yeah, there are still flawed mechanics there, but they make sense in the context of the game.

ze_topazio
10-01-2016, 02:32 AM
I understand and agree with what you're saying, a problem sequels often have is that they keep adding more and more things while keeping the old ones even when they're not needed, like the brotherhood system was not really needed in Revelations or AC3 for example, but I don't think the AC series is really that bad on that aspect or else by Syndicate, Jacob and Evie would be carrying parachutes, hookblades, phantom blades, air rifles, blowpipes, rope darts, etc...

Another one is making things more and more grandiose just for the sake of saying "hey look, it's bigger", AC devs for example kept making larger and larger maps even when the size of the map didn't improve the quality of the game at all, the size of the Caribbean sea didn't really make it that much better than the much smaller North Atlantic sea from Rogue, and the fairly smaller Constatinople did not make the game worse than the larger Rome.

But I don't think hoods and viewpoints fit that, hoods are aesthetical and viewpoints ain't really essential to the game itself, just a side thing.

I agree 50 swords are absurd, the brotherhood mechanic doesn't always make sense, tombs are not needed in every game, naval sometimes doesn't fit, not all protagonists need to use the same gadgets, etc..., but the hoods and viewpoints, I'm my opinion, do not contribute to the stagnation and overstuffedness.

SixKeys
10-01-2016, 04:14 AM
That's the thing, though. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what is too iconic to let go and what is superfluous. For every person who says "it's fine if you get rid of X as long as you never ditch Y", you have someone else who feels Y is essential but X is replaceable. We've had people saying the hood alone is not enough, it needs to always be in white/red colors because that's iconic. Others think as soon as a popular mechanic is introduced, it becomes iconic and needs to remain forever regardless of whether it makes sense in every setting, like the rope dart or naval. We've had people mocking Arno as a bad assassin because he can't whistle, conveniently forgetting that neither could Alta´r or Ezio. As soon as whistle was introduced, it became an "essential" feature and would never be allowed to disappear.

I'll bet if I suggested we could do without a customizable hideout, someone would say "no, having our own hideout is iconic". How about updating Eagle Vision so it looks completely different visually? Nope, they tried that in Unity and people complained because it wasn't iconic enough.

What if we got rid of White Room conversations? Noooo, those are iconic!
Animus loading screens? Iconic!
Feathers and flags? Iconic!
Ditch the neverending eagle references? Iconic!
Radically alter the Animus? Iconic!
And so on.

The best thing the devs can do is pick a bold new direction and stick with it. People will always complain, and I say that as someone who complains a lot. ;) We may not always like every change, but the only way for the franchise to survive is to keep reinventing itself.

Sushiglutton
10-01-2016, 10:07 AM
I don't really see the point in removing the hood, think it would be crazy. It's the one distinguishing visual feature. If nothing else for marketing reasons. If they put a historical character with a hood on a poster millions of people know what that means. I don't think the games would feel anymore fresh at all by dropping it. Think it's much more sensible to do what they seem to be doing, namely scrutenizing the structure. It's not the presentation that is the problem imo, it's what you do.

Locopells
10-01-2016, 10:56 AM
There's a reason why Shay is wearing a hood on his box art, when he doesn't for most of the game, after all...

I would personally add viewpoints (however they're accessed) to the 'Iconic' list. It's one of the main things the people remember from the early games, even if it's not that graphicly impressive any more - and a good way to show off the pretty city/landscape of the games
.


http://i.imgur.com/8kKFfrZ.jpg (https://support.ubi.com)
Thanks to strigoi1958 for the sig!

Sorrosyss
10-01-2016, 01:10 PM
Hoods are the main image of the franchise. But I'm not going down that road again here. :p

As for viewpoints, they technically used one for one of the movie posters so I suppose that counts as iconic.

It does sound like they are making a ground up analysis of the games. I don't think it is just a case of keeping things the same even. In my view alot of things got taken out, that should have been kept in. (multiplayer, modern day protagonist, hidden blade combat - to name a few) In my view the current games are weaker for their removal. Hopefully this analysis will help them realise which elements worked and which didn't, as there has been a fair bit of flip flopping on features in the past few releases. Of course looking to other releases for inspirations can't hurt either, as there are some genuinely good ideas in other open world titles. But if you deviate too far from the original blueprint as it were, at what point has it become an entirely different game - and one not befitting the franchise name? Innovation is a tricky beast.

Sushiglutton
10-01-2016, 01:58 PM
I think they need to (as I'm sure they do) break down features in different categories like: visual, story, game structure and specific mechanics. For each category they need to think what is absolutely essential and what are the strengths of the franchise and then run with that. In my view this image captures everything about the look of AC:


http://67.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l7l71wugp21qblk80o1_1280.jpg


Visual: The hood, the pose, watching from above, the colorful settings.

Story: The struggle throughout history between Templars and Assassins.

Structure: Not set in stone imo. They could do a linear game, they could do an episodic game, they could do whatever they want.

Gameplay mechanics: Parkour/climbing is essential. Assassinations/stealth. Third person so we can see the fantastic animations.


This is it imo. I do think they need to hit these things to make it feel like AC. But it still leaves a ton of freedom. I do not personally see how "Hidden blade combat" even comes close to make an essential-list (no offense Sorrosyss we all have different opinion :) ). Stuff that are not essential at all (imo):



Economy
Collectibles
Running and tackling thieves
Naval
Multiplayer
Throwing coins
Whistle
Guns
Swords
Shops
Horses
Helpful NPCs
Courtesans
Chests



This is not to say that I don't want any of those features in the game. But they are not defining for the franchsie imo. So I think the devs should wreck havoc basically. If not most of us are pissed when Empire is released they were too conservative :D!

Megas_Doux
10-02-2016, 11:09 PM
..

Another one is making things more and more grandiose just for the sake of saying "hey look, it's bigger", AC devs for example kept making larger and larger maps even when the size of the map didn't improve the quality of the game at all, the size of the Caribbean sea didn't really make it that much better than the much smaller North Atlantic sea from Rogue, and the fairly smaller Constatinople did not make the game worse than the larger Rome.
.

I do get you point, but if we compare AC to GTA V and The Witcher 3 you will see that AC not only dwells far behind in the quality content department but also in terms on rough size. I mean, almost each map in The Witcher 3 is bigger and better (content wise) than London or Paris and there's five -6 including Blood and wine- of them....


I mean, if the rumor about Ancient Egypt turns up to be true, there has to be areas in the likes of - let's pretend the game is set during the New Kingdom- a "rural" location similar to ACR''s River valley in which we can navigate the Nile and its surroundings. Why can't there be another full map filled with content specifically for the Valley of the Kings alone???? And then your almost mandatory urban location in the likes of Amarna, Thebes, Pi-Ramesses, or Memphis??????


Don't get me wrong, I kinda agree with you. The thing is, why can't we have both when The Witcher 3 was able to pull it off????

SixKeys
10-03-2016, 08:10 PM
My thing with the hoods is, they can be in the game, but they should be optional. Yes, Shay had a hood on in the marketing and that was one of that game's (many) mistakes: it could have served as the first chapter of a bona fide Templar spinoff, but they were too careful and just made it exactly like every other Assassin game.

"How do we sell this Templar protagonist?
-I know, let's give him a hood!
- ....... "

Does anyone remember back when fan art like this was making people excited for potential new settings?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/da/c5/8d/dac58d57fed79ef36415ca89f872fe05.jpg

http://img11.deviantart.net/57b6/i/2011/054/2/e/assassin__s_creed_3_poster_by_boup0quod-d3a8ojq.jpg

Do those guys look like assassins? Why or why not? It can't be the hood.


And what about these official assassins:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/de/2d/54/de2d54f888849c0025d90f7abc036f69.jpg

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/3/34/Wei_Yu.png/revision/latest?cb=20111205185125

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/b/b0/Iltani_ACoP.png/revision/20121105195227

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/c/cb/ACS_Jacob_Frye_(Database).png/revision/latest?cb=20151026081013

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/2/20/Play_along_8.png/revision/latest?cb=20111023091754


Then there's this assassin, who......oh, wait:

http://cloud-2.steamusercontent.com/ugc/558709403631845346/47FB5EBF4729149541AAB019DFC15D83191240E7/


The hood is useful for franchise visibility, but not essential to gameplay or protagonist.




Visual: The hood, the pose, watching from above, the colorful settings.

*looks at image*

Ehh, are you sure your vision is okay? ;)



Story: The struggle throughout history between Templars and Assassins.

Structure: Not set in stone imo. They could do a linear game, they could do an episodic game, they could do whatever they want.

Gameplay mechanics: Parkour/climbing is essential. Assassinations/stealth. Third person so we can see the fantastic animations.


This is it imo. I do think they need to hit these things to make it feel like AC. But it still leaves a ton of freedom. I do not personally see how "Hidden blade combat" even comes close to make an essential-list (no offense Sorrosyss we all have different opinion :) ). Stuff that are not essential at all (imo):



Economy
Collectibles
Running and tackling thieves
Naval
Multiplayer
Throwing coins
Whistle
Guns
Swords
Shops
Horses
Helpful NPCs
Courtesans
Chests



This is not to say that I don't want any of those features in the game. But they are not defining for the franchsie imo. So I think the devs should wreck havoc basically. If not most of us are pissed when Empire is released they were too conservative :D!

Agreed with everything except "helpful NPCs". Depends on your definition, perhaps. AC is about social stealth, the art of manipulating crowds to your advantage. Factions likes courtesans, thieves and mercenaries can be replaced or removed depending on what makes sense for the story and time period, so I agree they're not essential as such. But some level of NPC interaction is essential to social stealth.

Sushiglutton
10-03-2016, 09:47 PM
I just think hoods look cool and I have never felt tired of that Assassin look.



*looks at image*

Ehh, are you sure your vision is okay? ;)

Haha fair point :D. I guess I meant it more in the sense of exotic, but that's not quite right either I guess (London). How about "striking"? Or perhaps it was just a stupid point to include.



Agreed with everything except "helpful NPCs". Depends on your definition, perhaps. AC is about social stealth, the art of manipulating crowds to your advantage. Factions likes courtesans, thieves and mercenaries can be replaced or removed depending on what makes sense for the story and time period, so I agree they're not essential as such. But some level of NPC interaction is essential to social stealth.

Social stealth, my old nemesis. I mean, I just do not care about it. I guess I'm a loner, I just think the fantasy captured in the image I posted is infinitely cooler than social stealth. But I can agree that it probably should be included as core(ish) to the franchise.

TheHumanTowel
10-03-2016, 10:01 PM
Social stealth, my old nemesis. I mean, I just do not care about it. I guess I'm a loner, I just think the fantasy captured in the image I posted is infinitely cooler than social stealth. But I can agree that it probably should be included as core(ish) to the franchise.
They should either commit to social stealth being a big mechanic or drop it. In many ways social stealth hasn't improved since AC2 and in Syndicate it's a complete token feature. If they are going to stick with it I think they should just rip off Hitman essentially. Disguises allowing access into new areas but also incorporating the crowd blending stuff from AC social stealth. At the minute, like a lot of stuff in recent AC games, social stealth is just a vestigial feature included just because it was in the last game. If they're not going to develop it properly the game would be better off without it.

Sushiglutton
10-03-2016, 10:09 PM
They should either commit to social stealth being a big mechanic or drop it. In many ways social stealth hasn't improved since AC2 and in Syndicate it's a complete token feature. If they are going to stick with it I think they should just rip off Hitman essentially. Disguises allowing access into new areas but also incorporating the crowd blending stuff from AC social stealth. At the minute, like a lot of stuff in recent AC games, social stealth is just a vestigial feature included just because it was in the last game. If they're not going to develop it properly the game would be better off without it.


I wanted that until I played a Hitman game and realized it was not for me. I think they can have some light elements like various blending options. It's basically normal stealth, but the cover is made of flesh.

Farlander1991
10-03-2016, 10:11 PM
Shameless self-plug, but I have a bunch of points about AC social stealth and social stealth in general here (https://stanislavcostiuc.com/2016/08/28/why-assassins-creed-series-isnt-social-stealth-and-what-to-do-about-that/). I believe that AC should focus on systemic social stealth rather than continue with its current social stealth system OR rip off Hitman (not that disguise system can't be useful, but it's not systemic social stealth). That said, it's a lot easier said than done and there are a lot of issues, but I believe there is a way :)

EDIT: It feels like when it comes to a lot of topics regarding AC on these forums these days, now that I have enough AC blog posts, I can just give a link in a thread and say 'here's what I feel on the matter' without writing anything in the post itself :D

cawatrooper9
10-04-2016, 03:47 PM
Does anyone remember back when fan art like this was making people excited for potential new settings?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/da/c5/8d/dac58d57fed79ef36415ca89f872fe05.jpg

http://img11.deviantart.net/57b6/i/2011/054/2/e/assassin__s_creed_3_poster_by_boup0quod-d3a8ojq.jpg

Do those guys look like assassins? Why or why not? It can't be the hood.


Oh yeah, that's my jam.

The thing that I like about stuff like this is that it at least attempts to adapt the Assassins to their period. We've seen it a little with each playable Assassin to some degree, but as you've pointed out it's probably strongest with the likes of Aveline and Jacob.

I think it's important because the Assassins are a part of (fictional) history and also part of the Assassin tradition, and their outfits should reflect this duality. I do not think that hoods are the only way to pay homage to the Assassins, because they're not even unique to them. They may be iconic, but... well they're iconic for these characters as well, just to name a few:

http://www.geeksofdoom.com/GoD/img/2013/03/2013-03-07-thief-e1362680394953.jpg
http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/vsbattles/images/b/b8/Alex_mercer_prototype_png_by_malikky-d6dd2x8.png/revision/latest?cb=20160120032648
http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/qkgk4l1bzy5flle3kyon.png
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Sog8-ELl80Y/VUkFHxQXunI/AAAAAAAAD9c/FXUYbumzUdA/s1600/journey1.jpg

So I get it. Hoods are cool and a lot of Assassins have worn them. But to make them the base point of what makes an AC protagonist is... well, it's just kind of generic.


Personally, I don't mind some slight anachronisms, but in my opinion the symbol of the Brotherhood should really be where it's at.

Besides, if we really are getting Ancient Egypt next, that's a perfect time to really show the evolution and origins of the Brotherhood without having to be beholden to the tropes we've seen so far.