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View Full Version : Very interesting new interview with creative director on Odyssey...



AnimusLover
07-18-2018, 09:46 PM
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/assassins-creed-odyssey-director-talks-story-and-r/1100-6459994/
(Be warned, Gamespot is one of those annoying websites that force-plays a loud obnoxious video on their website without browser consent.)


Thoughts?

cawatrooper9
07-18-2018, 10:27 PM
Curious about this segment:


On a small scale, it's things like how buildings and structures look. We maintain historical accuracy, but some of our statues are way bigger than they would've been in this time period. Or the look of Sparta in our game is more grandiose than what Sparta actually was, because the Spartans, the Laconians, were very minimalistic. They focused solely on war; they didn't try to build big statues. But we wanted Sparta to be this awesome, amazing, epic-looking Greek location, and we had to push it forward.

It's something I noticed almost immediately in the announcement trailer. While I really dig the almost fantastical look of Ancient Greece with all of those large statues (and the way that it almost implies a strange/Isu presence) I also wonder if this might be a bit too fast and loose with creative freedoms regarding the historical context.

AnimusLover
07-19-2018, 07:42 AM
Some interesting points:

He admits Witcher 3, Skyrim and Fallout were big influences. Not a bad thing, they're great games. I just hope he also took note of how these games lay out their worlds i.e. the focus on discovery as opposed to completing checklists. You can still have all those mind numbing repetitive question marks on the map in order to push your time saver microtransactions but at least give the player a reason to explore in between those areas.

The devs omitted the idea of having the game tell the player that choices will have consequences after play tests because they wanted players to be surprised at how small or seemingly inconsequential decisions can have a major impact. A shrewd choice, I think.

They're doing a similar thing they did with Syndicate in that you actually spend time getting to know historical characters on a one-to-one level and having their unique traits influence the type of quests the player receives from them (Alexander Graham Bell - player acts as a guinea pig for his experiments, Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes - player becomes a detective/mystery solver). I thought Syndicate took a rather shallow approach to social and political issues (especially in regards to child labour), using them as mere gameplay quirks. However, I do like how the devs at least incorporated history into the gameplay rather than using history as a mere backdrop that is interchangeable with any other time period - a massive mistake made in Unity.

He's now being very quiet about Layla and modern day after the Reddit AMA. Not a good sign.

He claims they have structured progression in a way that those who don't wish to do side quests won't need to in order to level up. However, I don't believe him - not saying he's a liar but that he's exaggerating. Why put in all those hours of content only to have players miss them? Plus there will be balancing issues - either you won't have good enough equipment or you will level up so quickly for the main quests that by the time you do the side quests you're overpowered unless enemy scaling is on.

I like that with the introduction of choice certain characters will be missable in playthroughs and their reaction to you vary depending on your decisions which is always a plus.

I like that romanceable characters can be recruited to your ship and with you for the rest of the journey.

Once again claims it's the"best Assassin's Creed they've ever done". We shall see.

darklion2043
07-19-2018, 09:54 AM
This is the first Assassin's Creed that's moved into branching dialogue and consequences for your choices. In the playable demo, decisions were made, side quests were completed, and two hours down the line, the consequences play out. The end product of the decision wasn't clear right away. How hard is it to keep it cohesive?

It's super hard, I've got to say. There's no other way to put it. We try to think of every consequence that can happen. We write all those, we move forward with structuring the quests and all of the quests that could be impacted in a way that'll work. Then we play it a lot and ask ourselves, what did we miss? What doesn't connect? What doesn't pay off well enough?

Something we had a while ago and tried was including a sort of the Telltale-style "your choice will have an impact" notification afterward. Ultimately we felt that the player is better off making those connections themselves and we didn't want to put too much in their face. We wanted the feeling of, "Oh, wow, that thing I did back then..." or when they talk to someone else and say, "Oh, I had no idea that those connections were made." We felt after play tests that it was the stronger way to go rather than being in the player's face with the decisions being made.

Assassin's Creed always told a contained story within history. But choices seem to play out in the larger, main narrative. Is there going to be bigger payoffs or consequences of larger scale, maybe multiple endings? How much can you change the world and how much will it be reflected in the world as the game goes on?

We have to make decisions about how big are we going to go with certain choices. Obviously, we want some to have massive changes to the story, but we have mid-scale changes and small changes. Some parts of side quests can impact the main quest: who appears, who's around you, who's dead, who's alive, who you're friends with, who hates you. Those sorts of things all sort of feed into both the main story, and all of the side stories, and in the world itself because the world is constantly changing. The mercenaries that are alive in your playthrough, I may never see in mine or maybe I killed them in my playthrough. The leaders can also be different. So, there's a lot of activity and change and when players talk to each other about what their experience was, or some great fight they had with this mercenary, or the choice they made in that quest, it's going to be a very different experience for each player.

Honestly They'll probably explain how we can change history with animus tech(multiple ends mean change history for me.) Also they'll probably explain how we finish Juno threat at this game. Because I played 3 games(AC: Black Flag, AC: Unity and AC:Syndicate) and thought what will this Thing do my Earth at AC Universe. I really say that choose dialogues is a bad idea for AC story and Ending Juno Story with only comics gives me betrayal feeling. Yes I'm whining like a child at 30's because I felt that Ubi let down me.

Evolution must necessary. Yes but first we'll close our open wounds before we improve ourselves. And these things like open wounds by my side. For choose diaogues you don't think like me but how about a player don't know or isn't enough knowledge about game's supported languages. If my language isn't enough to understand what they are talking about, I'll miss some side quests or give wrong decisions to affect my gameplay.

I'm a loyal fan for me and will play AC games whatever they do. But I can critisize its lacks or wrong things at my perspective. May be I'm wrong, may not. But don't miss that all improvements haven't got good results.

Have a good day everyone.

cawatrooper9
07-19-2018, 02:13 PM
I just hope he also took note of how these games lay out their worlds i.e. the focus on discovery as opposed to completing checklists.


I don't disagree, and I think that the idea of "showing rather than telling" should be applied in pretty much any medium, really.

I do think that in this case, AC is at least a little different from stuff like Skyrim and The Witcher, and even Fallout, in that in addition to its own lore, it also attempts to retell actual history and the world that comes with it.

Out of curiosity, is there a game in the series that you think did this (the focus on discovery) best?

quanzaizai
07-19-2018, 03:10 PM
He's now being very quiet about Layla and modern day after the Reddit AMA. Not a good sign.




why its not a good sign? its just no information. by keeping it secret its either be very focus and big or nothing at all. but they implied that this game gonna focus on first civ so I think its gonna be a huge part of the game

Kiroku
07-19-2018, 05:21 PM
The last answer to the last question sounds very weird. "We worked 3 years hard on a title so our fans will see and appreciate the changes and play it" Like wtf? How could you know that if Origins came out last year and was very similar to Odyssey? Maybe some changes most of the fans didnt like and the team didnt know that back then when working on odyssey. Same with the modern day. Once again.. "yeah there is modern day gameplay but we wont comment on that yet because of spoilers and stuff" but in reality its like "yes we were forced to bring modern day for hardcore fans but wont tell anything about that yet because its so boring and unimportant that our hardcore fans wont buy the game if we tell anyrthing about that yet".. Seriously its always the same with those marketing strategies.

Everything else sounds interesting but was more or less stuff we know already. And the question about people rushing story without side stuff was good. If you start new game plus on origins the main story is super weird.

cawatrooper9
07-19-2018, 05:35 PM
To be fair, this team has probably talked pre-release more about Modern Day/ First Civ stuff than any of the other games have in the past several years.

quanzaizai
07-19-2018, 07:07 PM
I see everything related to the modern day is spoiler so I don't expect they gonna say anything. Just is modern day available or not is enough.

Kiroku
07-19-2018, 07:28 PM
To be fair, this team has probably talked pre-release more about Modern Day/ First Civ stuff than any of the other games have in the past several years.

Which makes it even more worse and frustrating when it turns out that the modern day part is more or less the same as origins regarding the amount of time and what we can do in playable modern day. But if Im wrong well I would be totally fine with that.

I mean in the end I dont complain just for fun and because I have nothing else to do. I do this for the sake of the franchise and to get better games in the future focusing more on what it once was. :(

AnimusLover
07-19-2018, 11:11 PM
I don't disagree, and I think that the idea of "showing rather than telling" should be applied in pretty much any medium, really.

I do think that in this case, AC is at least a little different from stuff like Skyrim and The Witcher, and even Fallout, in that in addition to its own lore, it also attempts to retell actual history and the world that comes with it.

Out of curiosity, is there a game in the series that you think did this (the focus on discovery) best?

I would definitely say Origins is the most discovery-based Assassin's Creed game, especially in the first two hours before it becomes apparent that there’s nothing more to see. However, several things undermine it:


As mentioned, it’s repetitive so after a while you know what waits for you in the distance. Also, question marks/undiscovered areas appear on the map after viewpoint synchronisation (and even sometimes without). This defeats the entire point of the compass as it’s now basically serving the same function as the mini map. That is, keeping the player focused on their marker rather than what is happening in the surrounding areas.


There will be activities taking place that isn't even in the player's FOV such as predator attacks. Yet, the HUD will be screaming at you with a literal giant exclamation mark telling you to engage in said activities, rather than just allowing the player to uncover it naturally.


There are many different side quests with their own unique stories, however you'd have to turn off the HUD entirely and filter out several things on the map to acquire them organically. This isn't possible because the world isn't built to facilitate this – the map is too big with too much visual noise so good luck with finding anything of note within the space of 5 minutes, if that.


Unlike previous games, quest incidents will appear before the player has initiated the related quest. This is good. Unfortunately, missions still have a head-tail structure so even if the player comes across something cool that Bayek remarks upon, the player can't actually act on it if they haven't met the quest giver… For instance, I actually came across the Hyena's den before picking up the corresponding quest to investigate it. Bayek noted upon his observations that someone must live there... but I couldn't pursue it. So whilst it's cool to be able to access things in the world that you know will become important later on, it doesn't mean anything and is immersion breaking if you can't engage with it right away.


Lastly, in regards to what you said about AC being cemented in real history - I believe a similar discussion took place before in the “AC and the comparison to other RPGs" thread, and I mentioned there that I really don’t think the discovery element is naturally lessened by the fact that it's history based. The most interesting things to discover in the Witcher 3, for instance, were the various human side characters, their motivations and the twists in their stories. The combat element of it, specifically fighting various monsters were the least interesting aspect.


The last answer to the last question sounds very weird. "We worked 3 years hard on a title so our fans will see and appreciate the changes and play it" Like wtf? How could you know that if Origins came out last year and was very similar to Odyssey? Maybe some changes most of the fans didnt like and the team didnt know that back then when working on odyssey.

He said Quebec worked closely with the Origins team so in doing that the devs could probably make sure there are noticeable contrasts to Origins, albeit most likely very superficial ones. I also imagine that in the last year they’ve been observing the player feedback from Origins and seeing what they can tweak although, again, it would be very, very little given the small development window.


Everything else sounds interesting but was more or less stuff we know already. And the question about people rushing story without side stuff was good. If you start new game plus on origins the main story is super weird.

Could you explain why? I never approached it this way on new game plus. There is a character that appears only in a side quest but then shows up at the end when Bayek is forming the Brotherhood so I’d imagine that would make no sense…


why its not a good sign?

Answered by another poster:


B]Same with the modern day. Once again.. "yeah there is modern day gameplay but we wont comment on that yet because of spoilers and stuff" but in reality its like "yes we were forced to bring modern day for hardcore fans but wont tell anything about that yet because its so boring and unimportant that our hardcore fans wont buy the game if we tell anyrthing about that yet".. Seriously its always the same with those marketing strategies.[/B]

I would also add that he and Mel were talking very candidly about modern day as much as they possibly could without giving too much away so what’s changed? Why is he now shutting down any and all questions about it? He’s acting like Ashraf Ismail. Literally, all the way down to starting his sentence with “so” (which is a personal pet peeve of mine lol). It’s the same PR team fed line Ash was using all last year and given how the modern day in Origins was garbage that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

Don’t be na´ve, quanzaizai, as to think they’re simply being protective of spoilers. What happened in Origins’ modern day that was remotely spoiler worthy? Layla’s best friend - who we didn’t even meet on camera - was murdered off-screen by Abstergo… Layla met William Miles... That’s it. Nothing of importance. Nothing about the Isu. The modern day is on amber and has been for years so I don’t buy this “spoilers” excuse.

AnimusLover
07-20-2018, 12:04 AM
To be fair, this team has probably talked pre-release more about Modern Day/ First Civ stuff than any of the other games have in the past several years.

A cynic might say they only did that because they anticipated the backlash from the community regarding it looking more like a Spartan game than an Assassin's Creed one and wanted to placate the old time fans...

SixKeys
07-20-2018, 01:06 AM
Curious about this segment:

It's something I noticed almost immediately in the announcement trailer. While I really dig the almost fantastical look of Ancient Greece with all of those large statues (and the way that it almost implies a strange/Isu presence) I also wonder if this might be a bit too fast and loose with creative freedoms regarding the historical context.

I'm a little concerned about this too. The series has always done this to some extent, but I can't help but worry it's just another step towards making the series more fantasy-like. When changes are made due to gameplay convenience rather than aesthetics, it's more understandable to me (like how Rogue's New York was better suited for parkour than AC3's NY), but this kind of revisionism should be kept to a minimum. If a location doesn't lend itself well to AC's trademark style (including dedication to historical accuracy), uhh... maybe don't set your game in that setting?

Kiroku
07-20-2018, 09:44 AM
Could you explain why? I never approached it this way on new game plus. There is a character that appears only in a side quest but then shows up at the end when Bayek is forming the Brotherhood so I’d imagine that would make no sense…


Sure I can. I decided to start new game plus playing only the story without any side stuff just because I would be able to only focus on the story without getting distracted for couple of hours from it by side stuff which maybe ends up with loosing some important parts of the story.

Going only for the story I noticed that the whole main story aspect was just cut into pieces and put together in a way that makes sense when getting distracted by side stuff but no sense when playing only the story. Its like a puzzle with pieces that never fit together for 100%. Its clunky. The intro was good but when being released to the open world it doesnt feel right anymore. You go to Medunamun kill him talk to your friend and go for Alexandria to find Aya. You can skip the stop in the small city before alexandria where you play with the kids from a priest completely and find her. She will tell you that two other guys are evil and you go kill them. She tells you it was good and you meet cleo and she tells you it doesnt end here there is another bad guy. So you keep going from npc to npc killing people without deeper conversations just always "hes bad kill him" and you are like "ok". Ofc there are some deeper quests in it but the world itself also doesnt react to it. Nobody even cares.

AnimusLover
07-28-2018, 02:28 AM
Sure I can. I decided to start new game plus playing only the story without any side stuff just because I would be able to only focus on the story without getting distracted for couple of hours from it by side stuff which maybe ends up with loosing some important parts of the story.

Going only for the story I noticed that the whole main story aspect was just cut into pieces and put together in a way that makes sense when getting distracted by side stuff but no sense when playing only the story. Its like a puzzle with pieces that never fit together for 100%. Its clunky. The intro was good but when being released to the open world it doesnt feel right anymore. You go to Medunamun kill him talk to your friend and go for Alexandria to find Aya. You can skip the stop in the small city before alexandria where you play with the kids from a priest completely and find her. She will tell you that two other guys are evil and you go kill them. She tells you it was good and you meet cleo and she tells you it doesnt end here there is another bad guy. So you keep going from npc to npc killing people without deeper conversations just always "hes bad kill him" and you are like "ok". Ofc there are some deeper quests in it but the world itself also doesnt react to it. Nobody even cares.

hmm thanks. So basically it seems like the player doesn't really feel the weight or impact that the targets have on the world if you just go through the main story?
I'll probably do a New Game plus runthrough just to see for myself. It sounds hilarious!

MnemonicSyntax
07-28-2018, 06:51 AM
hmm thanks. So basically it seems like the player doesn't really feel the weight or impact that the targets have on the world if you just go through the main story?
I'll probably do a New Game plus runthrough just to see for myself. It sounds hilarious!

I definitely think that Bayek is a better Medjay than he is a guy out for revenge, as most of his better dialog and conversations come from side quests where you help someone as a Medjay for being a Medjay's sake.

Without the side quests it really does seem like " go here and kill this guy cause he's bad or the queen said so" like Kiroku was saying.

RVSage
07-29-2018, 01:02 AM
The features and new things discussed in the document do seem really interesting on paper

branching narratives, world level impacts are all fantastic mechanics in any game.

But the primary concerns regarding the game remains.


How much is the game going to sick to the AC universe lore? How much will it break it?

They need to talk about the following points more, going forward.
1. They say the game is primarily a first civilization focused game, I want them to talk more about it

2. The game needs to have a strong modern day like Brotherhood, or Ac3 to offset, the lack of assassins/templars in historical era. at this point more information will make long time fans like me very happy and less skeptic

RVSage
07-29-2018, 01:04 AM
I'm a little concerned about this too. The series has always done this to some extent, but I can't help but worry it's just another step towards making the series more fantasy-like. When changes are made due to gameplay convenience rather than aesthetics, it's more understandable to me (like how Rogue's New York was better suited for parkour than AC3's NY), but this kind of revisionism should be kept to a minimum. If a location doesn't lend itself well to AC's trademark style (including dedication to historical accuracy), uhh... maybe don't set your game in that setting?

Couldn't agree more