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View Full Version : So, about explorable interiors...



LoyalACFan
05-15-2017, 11:27 PM
After going back and playing Unity for a bit... I've come to the realization that they kinda suck, don't they? Don't get me wrong, it was cool to do le seamlessness on the bigger landmarks, but just standard run-of-the-mill buildings? Blech. Not only did they all look pretty much the exact same on the inside (well, technically there were two variations, every building is either a super-swanky mansion or a hovel made of toothpicks and sadness), they were often quite irritating to navigate, with most of them inexplicably lacking stairs to the top floors, which forced you to find the exit again and then look for an open window or a trap door above you. I know it was a big technical leap forward for the series (and really, open-world games in general) but IMO that feature could happily be sacrificed in future games.

ModernWaffle
05-15-2017, 11:47 PM
I actually missed them a lot in Syndicate. Ever since AC3 introduced that quick time mechanic of escaping through open windows of buildings I wanted more access to the interior of buildings. Plus, I liked the idea of infiltrating buildings for some of the smaller side missions in Unity.

But for Origins I don't think they need interiors as much because it will be less of an urban landscape and if Unity's frame-rate problems were notably related to its many interiors, its better to have better performance than that.

Jelpancho
05-16-2017, 05:46 PM
Tbh, I loved the interiors of unity. Yes they were samey, but I loved having them all the same. It added some dimension to my game play.

Regarding frame rate issues... i don't think I ever actually had any! Or I didn't notice it! I only found out about the game having frame rate issues when I finished the game and went online... haven't gone back since....but it remains one of my fave ac's

BananaBlighter
05-16-2017, 06:40 PM
I REALLY liked them actually. If Syndicate had interiors then London would hands down be the best city ever created in this series. They really brought the world to life and allowed for much more variety in navigation (not just jumping from rooftop to rooftop). I never understood why people complained about windows. It was really fluid to go in and out of in Unity, but unfortunately they messed that up in Syndicate. I DO NOT want to go back to the boring, blocky and empty world of the first few games. Interiors will hopefully make a return in Empire/Origins, and @modernwaffle I actually think that the lack of an urban landscape makes interiors MORE likely just because the cities will probably not be very demanding on the system as they will be much simpler in size and architecture.

jellejackhammer
05-16-2017, 06:57 PM
I REALLY liked them actually. If Syndicate had interiors then London would hands down be the best city ever created in this series. They really brought the world to life and allowed for much more variety in navigation (not just jumping from rooftop to rooftop). I never understood why people complained about windows. It was really fluid to go in and out of in Unity, but unfortunately they messed that up in Syndicate. I DO NOT want to go back to the boring, blocky and empty world of the first few games. Interiors will hopefully make a return in Empire/Origins, and @modernwaffle I actually think that the lack of an urban landscape makes interiors MORE likely just because the cities will probably not be very demanding on the system as they will be much simpler in size and architecture.

i don't think origins will be blocky.

i think it might have a map kinda like the witcher 3.as that is a game they seem to take ideas from.

i vision a big open area that would be the desert with some small makeshift villages (kinda like velen from the witcher 3 or the frontier from ac3) and a main city with a huge amount of npc's.

when you explore the desert you will ofcourse encounter pyramids.maybe those will be the tombs.

that way the player isn't bound to a city like unity and syndicate. but the world won't be empty either.

they just had to spread out the villages through the desert in a good way so it doesn't feel over/under populated.

cawatrooper9
05-16-2017, 07:30 PM
I think interior rooms could be cool, but I didn't like Unity's rather labyrinthine approach to them.

Nothing wrong with puzzles or mazes, but it always felt silly that sometimes I got lost in a regular house just because I was allowed to lockpick some doors, but couldn't even attempt others.

Tombs, I think, will work much better.

jellejackhammer
05-16-2017, 07:34 PM
I think interior rooms could be cool, but I didn't like Unity's rather labyrinthine approach to them.

Nothing wrong with puzzles or mazes, but it always felt silly that sometimes I got lost in a regular house just because I was allowed to lockpick some doors, but couldn't even attempt others.

Tombs, I think, will work much better.

i hope the tombs will be open places of their own instead of the linear path they had in ac2 and brotherhood.

ofcourse with the puzzles still intact to open the correct path after the player is done with exploring.

SixKeys
05-16-2017, 11:35 PM
I don't really care either way. It goes against the concept of social stealth in the extreme to be able to enter people's houses at random (at least in Syndicate they reacted to your intrusion). I realize it's a feature in most RPGs, but AC's uniqueness is supposed to be based on socially acceptable actions and the consequences of breaking them. Connor passing through houses in a chase was acceptable because it was clearly a thing one would never do under normal circumstances and he never lingered. But it makes no sense that strangers in Unity and Syndicate tolerate your breaking and entering for longer than a few seconds. They should get violent after a while and threaten to call the police.

Interiors should make sense in a social context (like bars, lodging houses, slave huts etc. where no-one will look twice at a stranger entering) or function as chasebreakers.

Megas_Doux
05-17-2017, 01:19 AM
I like them, however:




Interiors should make sense in a social context (like bars, lodging houses, slave huts etc. where no-one will look twice at a stranger entering) or function as chasebreakers.

This!!!!!

cawatrooper9
05-17-2017, 05:33 PM
Yes, one thing about interiors in Syndicate and Unity is that, apart from a few items like Notre Dame and the London Bank, nothing really "wowed" me.

You know what did "wow" me? The theater in ACIII's intro. It felt so real, and so different than the open streets. Of course, theaters are by their very nature dramatic locations, but I think that part of what made it seem so important was the part that it played in the story. Haytham was at that theater for a purpose.

I think that two things really help locations stand out in AC- what they look like, and what happens in them.

For instance, I remember sailing to an island once in Black Flag. What really stood out to me about this island is that it wasn't as linear as most of them- it was pretty open, and had some huge Mayan temples on it (it was not Tulum). As far as I remembered, it didn't play a part in the main storyline, but over three years later and I'm still amazed at how cool that little location was.

On the other hand, there's a moment in ACS where Jacob spies on Starrick conspiring with Attaway, revealing her treachery. He's in a pretty ordinary house, but SOMETHING HAPPENED IN IT. That made all the difference, and the layout of that house is still very memorable to me.

Finally, consider the Palace of Versailles. not only is it interesting architecture and hallways, but it also plays host to some major events for the game. So much so that it's present in flashbacks, hallucinations, a drunken rampage, and even cross media in a whole other game. But whenever the halls or exterior of the palace make their way onto the screen, the player knows that something important is about to happen.

That is what we need interiors for. They need to play a part. Because otherwise, they just contribute to the frustration in busywork of collecting things on a map.

BananaBlighter
05-17-2017, 06:35 PM
I don't really care either way. It goes against the concept of social stealth in the extreme to be able to enter people's houses at random (at least in Syndicate they reacted to your intrusion). I realize it's a feature in most RPGs, but AC's uniqueness is supposed to be based on socially acceptable actions and the consequences of breaking them. Connor passing through houses in a chase was acceptable because it was clearly a thing one would never do under normal circumstances and he never lingered. But it makes no sense that strangers in Unity and Syndicate tolerate your breaking and entering for longer than a few seconds. They should get violent after a while and threaten to call the police.

Interiors should make sense in a social context (like bars, lodging houses, slave huts etc. where no-one will look twice at a stranger entering) or function as chasebreakers.

It's true that NPCs in Unity should've reacted a little more realistically to your intrusions. I wouldn't say that it was such a big thing that it "goes against the concept of social stealth". Even so, all it means is that we need to fix NPC interactions, not remove interiors.

I don't see the interiors as something to stroll around and talk to people in like RPGs. The majority of interiors in Unity I use just like the ones in AC3 - to run through and add a new dynamic to navigation. They also added a new layer to urban stealth, where it's no longer just rooftops. My favourite missions in Unity were those that had a mix between rooftop and interior stealth (e.g. the heist 'Ancient History'). Yes it's true that AC was originally more focused on social stealth, but it's never been done well and there's no reason why we can't have both social stealth and traditional stealth.

That said, NPC reactions could add an interesting dynamic to stealth. Take Syndicate's Gang Strongholds that were usually located in the poorer areas behind the taller street buildings. Many of the houses in these areas had interiors, for the purposes of stealth, and many were inhabited by civilian NPCs. Imagine walking into a building and a woman sees you. Depending on whether you're acting aggressively or not (running, wielding a weapon etc.) she might run out screaming, making the enemies suspicious, or she might confront you, confused, and you tell her to keep quiet. Maybe an enemy goes up to her later and asks if she's seen a hooded man, and depending on how you acted earlier she might: tell them; try to keep it secret but leave the enemy suspicious; or successfully divert their attention.

I think that the way an NPC is likely to react could be another thing that is affected by how you dress. Imagine Unity's gear system with certain items giving you social stealth bonuses by making you appear less alarming (and hence making the woman less likely to run out screaming for example).

cawatrooper9
05-17-2017, 08:20 PM
I'm sure all of you know the jokes about smashing pots in the shops in the Legend of Zelda games.

At one point in time, something like that really seemed comically absurd to gamers. These days, it's pretty much par for the course. Sure, some games like Skyrim punish the player who causes destruction or theft in someone else's living space, but many games still implement the "Raid this chest in some random dude's house" approach. And let's be honest, this has been going on since AC!!.

I think that's sort of the biggest factor for social stealth, for me. I'm a pretty passive dude, but if someone came into my house and blatantly started opening my drawers and taking my stuff, I'd at least yell at them. In many games, it doesn't really even seem to be an issue. I think interior spaces amplify this. There's just less of a sense of ownership to things outside. Just ask anyone who has left a couch on their stoop to be taken, or this guy who stole gold off the back of a truck last year.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/video_previews/0/1/01b254nze6wcuqjh5piawnmnnejiaang-large.jpg

But inside, it's very clear who you're stealing from because that person also probably owns the room you're inside while doing it. And it's especially strange when that person is right beside you, watching you do it, and saying some weird offhand comment like "Hmm, he really shouldn't be up there."

I'm sure I'm making a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be, because honestly it doesn't bother me all that much in games- but if we're looking for ways to make these games more realistic and less "gamey", that might be a place to look.


Edit: Sometimes interior areas are marked red, and cause automatic detection. That's pretty cool, but it only works for guards. Maybe we need to consider the possibility of areas where citizens can detect and either fight or alert.

phoenix-force411
05-21-2017, 01:45 AM
It needs to come back. I thought London was a great setting(Ubi pretty much wasted the Victorian London setting, though), but then you had this city that had tall buildings everywhere but with little to no interiors. This brings us back to the older games where buildings are just buildings that you can't really do much with but climb them and run on the rooftops, however, in Unity, there were a lot of interiors which gave you a lot of freedom in roaming the city.

LoyalACFan
05-21-2017, 02:24 AM
Hmm, guess I'm pretty solidly outvoted on this. Didn't expect that. I'm replaying Syndicate for the first time right now, and despite its many shortcomings, I don't miss explorable interiors at all.

Sorrosyss
05-21-2017, 10:04 AM
They were pretty useful for escaping guards in Unity, plus diving through windows and such felt like a natural extension of the parkour system. I'd like to see them return, if only for a bit more realism. One has to assume that the cities of Origins won't be anywhere near the scale or complexity of Paris, so hopefully that will be the case.

Sushiglutton
05-21-2017, 01:09 PM
They were pretty useful for escaping guards in Unity, plus diving through windows and such felt like a natural extension of the parkour system. I'd like to see them return, if only for a bit more realism. One has to assume that the cities of Origins won't be anywhere near the scale or complexity of Paris, so hopefully that will be the case.

Yeah and one would guess homes had simpler decoration/less stuff in general back in the day.

D.I.D.
05-21-2017, 01:24 PM
I don't really care either way. It goes against the concept of social stealth in the extreme to be able to enter people's houses at random (at least in Syndicate they reacted to your intrusion). I realize it's a feature in most RPGs, but AC's uniqueness is supposed to be based on socially acceptable actions and the consequences of breaking them. Connor passing through houses in a chase was acceptable because it was clearly a thing one would never do under normal circumstances and he never lingered. But it makes no sense that strangers in Unity and Syndicate tolerate your breaking and entering for longer than a few seconds. They should get violent after a while and threaten to call the police.

Interiors should make sense in a social context (like bars, lodging houses, slave huts etc. where no-one will look twice at a stranger entering) or function as chasebreakers.

True, they could work on this. Those NPCs do react to your intrusions in Unity though - they might not fight you or call guards, but they are very angry about you being there!

I hope we haven't seen the last of extensive interiors, anyway. I hoped for more than we got in Syndicate, and I loved the potential of the ones we got in Unity. It's a big thing missing from the other ACs, I think - there are way to many assassinations which have to contrive an open air setting. If it's a problem making indoor third-person work, I'd be perfectly happy if it switched to first-person view at times, just so we could get that gameplay.

Helforsite
05-22-2017, 01:34 PM
I want explorable interiors, but anywhere between Unity and Syndicate levels would probably be better for performance and proper usage of those interiors.