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Sushiglutton
01-09-2013, 08:42 PM
Watching some youtube vids for Battlefield 3 got me thinking of how vastly different they are than the typical AC youtube vids. Below are two examples of what I consider to be typical videos for each game. Can you spot the major difference in design philosophy?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrOIgxQ--Tc


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QL3q4k_cIc

Did you see it?
The AC3 video is a compilation of trailers, cutscenes and animations. It shows the skill and creativity of the AC3 developers. The BF3 video is a gameplay sequence. It shows the skill and creativity of the gamer!

The mechanics in BF3 are designed to allow the player to use them as freely as possible. He can use them whenever and wherever he wants and combine them in creative and unexpected ways. AC3, on the other hand, has contextual, automatic mechanics, that take control away from the player. For example you canít fire an arrow where you want, you canít jump or slide without a matching obstacle, you canít whistle unless you are in a hiding spot, you canít crouch unless you are in a bush and so on.

The way AC3 is designed really hampers the creativity and player expression, for me, the two most admirable qualities of open world games. Itís a big shame. And thatís why, when all the mails are delivered, the world feels so empty and lacking of fun things to do. The restricted mechanics means there is no room for playfulness.

Let me ask you this: Have you ever watched an Assassinís Creed youtube video that demonstrated true freerunning skills? You know the kind of video that makes you go: ďWow that was awesome, I wish I could do that!Ē? Me neither. And the reason is that the freerunning mechanics are so restricted that any video is really easy, even for a mediocre gamer like myself, to reproduce. The skill ceiling is probably the lowest of any game I know and so is the room for creativity. Every playthrough of one of the peglegs missions will look almost exactly identical!

AC is such a fantastic franchise with so much beauty and style. The amount of talent within the art and animation teams is undisputed. I just wish that Ubi would give us the chance to shine a little too ;)!

Dosenwabe
01-09-2013, 08:55 PM
You're right with that. But I think the gameplay isn't that important for AC like it is for Battlefield. It's just a simple tool to navigate in the world while the emphasis is on something else. And for skills there is the multiplayer.

TheHumanTowel
01-09-2013, 09:02 PM
I don't think Battlefield 3 and AC are two games that are really comparable. And as AirPrince said if you want to see AC videos showcasing player skill look up some multiplayer videos.

Sushiglutton
01-09-2013, 09:13 PM
It's not just a matter of multi and singleplayer. Here are some stunts from Just Cause 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWUAOWA6-YU

And here's a Mirror's Edge speedrun. Many of the tricks in this video are hard to execute and must have taken lot of creativity to come up with:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-OUNPqRzII

Sushiglutton
01-09-2013, 09:21 PM
You're right with that. But I think the gameplay isn't that important for AC like it is for Battlefield. It's just a simple tool to navigate in the world while the emphasis is on something else. And for skills there is the multiplayer.

This is true, but that's what I want to change :). The AC games should try to become a lot more fun to play and encourage player creativity! I haven't played the MP and I have no interest in it. Surely there must be room for creativity and skill in the open world singleplayer as well?

ToughGuy31
01-09-2013, 09:27 PM
When I read this thread, the first thing that came to mind was. "Your camparing a war fps, to a sci fi historical fiction?" But you made a great argument, and you deserve a cookie for that. But yeah, they don't give us a much freedom as we should have. Ironic for a game about freedom.


It's not just a matter of multi and singleplayer. Here are some stunts from Just Cause 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWUAOWA6-YU

And here's a Mirror's Edge speedrun. Many of the tricks in this video are hard to execute and must have taken lot of creativity to come up with:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-OUNPqRzII

Those are the best examples of what we should be able to do in a video game. Specifically Mirrors Edge. They don't give us complete freedom, but they let us do stuff HOW we want.

Sushiglutton
01-09-2013, 09:32 PM
When I read this thread, the first thing that came to mind was. "Your camparing a war fps, to a sci fi historical fiction?" But you made a great argument, and you deserve a cookie for that. But yeah, they don't give us a much freedom as we should have. Ironic for a game about freedom.



Those are the best examples of what we should be able to do in a video game. Specifically Mirrors Edge. They don't give us complete freedom, but they let us do stuff HOW we want.

Thanks for the kind words and the cookie :)! I did choose BF3 so the headline would become a bit shocking lol. Exactly, that's all I'm asking for!

ToughGuy31
01-09-2013, 09:39 PM
Thanks for the kind words and the cookie :)! I did choose BF3 so the headline would become a bit shocking lol. Exactly, that's all I'm asking for!
Your welcome. Maybe if we yell loud enough, Ubisoft will listen.

Sushiglutton
01-09-2013, 11:43 PM
Your welcome. Maybe if we yell loud enough, Ubisoft will listen.

Fingers crossed ;). I'm sure there are passionate gamers on the team. Let's hope they can make their voices heard over all the story and business guys :)!

exkrima
01-09-2013, 11:54 PM
^ i also like freedom to choose, how to assassinate, I don't have against 100% sequence but you know, I want to assassinate the way I want like AC2, I even want partly dishonored(except blink) in gameplay, not in story though.

dewgel
01-09-2013, 11:58 PM
Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.

zhengyingli
01-10-2013, 12:22 AM
Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.
I think the OP's just talking about things to do in general. I don't mind specific requirements within missions that force me to do cool things for sync. As for free- roam, I thought they did a good job starting Brotherhood with the guild challenges. They can def do more, but can't say I'm not pleased.

exkrima
01-10-2013, 12:33 AM
Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.


first of all its just a fictional ancestor, so basically you can do things the way you want. and they already did it in AC2, not to mention AC1 where you have lots of option to choose, but if you put it in that way where you need requirements, it becomes linear, especially if you want to make a 100% sync.

zhengyingli
01-10-2013, 12:41 AM
first of all its just a fictional ancestor, so basically you can do things the way you want. and they already did it in AC2, not to mention AC1 where you have lots of option to choose, but if you put it in that way where you need requirements, it becomes linear, especially if you want to make a 100% sync.
But even with those requirements, what you do to achieve it can also differ. Not saying it's as free as bf3, but different let's players have done substantially different things to get that 100%. AC and ACII weren't actually any freer as you have the same objectives, but with different ways to approach them. All console ACs achieve this.

exkrima
01-10-2013, 12:46 AM
but with different ways to approach them. All console ACs achieve this.
thats exactly what i want. unless there is a cutscene in a way(im good with that).

zhengyingli
01-10-2013, 12:52 AM
thats exactly what i want. unless there is a cutscene in a way(im good with that).
I'll agree with you on one thing; surely they can achieve cinematic camera works for action scenes without taking our control away, like running through Charlestown.

LoyalACFan
01-10-2013, 01:16 AM
I think this whole thread could boil down to the need for real freedom that the fans have been asking for for quite some time now. The idea that AC 3 is an open-world game is more of an illusion than a reality. The mission structure leaves you EXTREMELY boxed in in almost every memory. I remember watching videos of AC 1 on YouTube to see how other people approached objectives differently than I did in my play-through. Not so for this game. Opening up the game and giving players freedom encourages both creative gaming and rewards skill, killing two birds with one stone. AC 3 is just too linear and too easy.

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 01:36 AM
Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.

I guess technically. But if that was implemented strictly it would be a pretty dull game don't you think? I mean it would more sense to make a movie, since then the synching would be a perfect 100% (ok I know they are making a movie lol). There is also this open world that is outside the story and is supposed to be a playground. My main point is that the mechanics are too restricted for it to become that playground.

I don't see why skill and creativity would be impossible in AC? If they just increase the player control half the battle is won :)!

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 01:41 AM
I think this whole thread could boil down to the need for real freedom that the fans have been asking for for quite some time now. The idea that AC 3 is an open-world game is more of an illusion than a reality. The mission structure leaves you EXTREMELY boxed in in almost every memory. I remember watching videos of AC 1 on YouTube to see how other people approached objectives differently than I did in my play-through. Not so for this game. Opening up the game and giving players freedom encourages both creative gaming and rewards skill, killing two birds with one stone. AC 3 is just too linear and too easy.

My point in this thread is slightly different. I believe that it's not only the mission design that is too restricted. The way the mechanics are implemented is also too restricted. This hurts the possibilities for the player to use them creatively and combine them in new and exciting ways. It also leaves very little room for any real skill.This is true for freerunning, combat, stealth, the bow and so on. It really goes counter to what open world games stand for imo. And it's a shame, because it turns the world into a desert rather than a sandbox ;)!

montagemik
01-10-2013, 01:49 AM
Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.

^^^^^^ THIS , THIS , A thousand times this ...............The problem is , the more popular the franchise has become - the more FPS genre fans have jumped into AC - & slowly they want to be able to play AC how they want - Because they want .
AC Multiplayer is already fast becoming C.O.D with knives regards the community playstyle.

AC was never gonna be 'Grand theft Assassin' with total freedom - That's just not AC - It's more a game set in an open world than an open world game - Big difference.

Game devs come up with a concept - suddenly a million gamers think they should decide how that game is made. Because it's what they want - bad idea in my opinion.
Keep the concept of AC how it is for me - If i don't like it - I don't have to continue to buy into the series. Neither does anyone else. .

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 02:10 AM
^^^^^^ THIS , THIS , A thousand times this ...............The problem is , the more popular the franchise has become - the more FPS genre fans have jumped into AC - & slowly they want to be able to play AC how they want - Because they want .
AC Multiplayer is already fast becoming C.O.D with knives regards the community playstyle.

AC was never gonna be 'Grand theft Assassin' with total freedom - That's just not AC - It's more a game set in an open world than an open world game - Big difference.

Game devs come up with a concept - suddenly a million gamers think they should decide how that game is made. Because it's what they want - bad idea in my opinion.
Keep the concept of AC how it is for me - If i don't like it - I don't have to continue to buy into the series. Neither does anyone else. .

I wouldn't call myself an FPS fan and the way you focus on that BF3 is an FPS is missing the point. The only MP FPS I have played in years is BF3. It's fun, but I play other genres a lot more. I'm much more of a Zelda guy actually :)! A Link to The Past is the game that has shaped my perception of what a great game is more than any other. About AC's MP I have no comments as I don't play it and never will.

If you are just supposed to follow the script the developers have written, I don't see the point of making a game at all. And building an open world without taking advantage of it seems dumb to me. If they just wanted a linear experience they could have just built restricted mission areas (like Bunker Hill) and skipped the frontier and the two cities.

I do like AC, but there are many things I would like to change. That's why I write about them here on this forum. If I thought the game was awful in every way, I obv wouldn't bother. I hope, even though I understand it's a microscopic chance, that Ubi will listen to some of my feedback and perhaps do adjustment. If I was a developer I would prefer to hear feedback from my customers about what they didn't like, rather than that they just walked away.

exkrima
01-10-2013, 02:25 AM
THIS , THIS , A thousand times this ...............The problem is , the more popular the franchise has become - the more FPS genre fans have jumped into AC - & slowly they want to be able to play AC how they want - Because they want .

thats how it is before, but after ACB there comes 100% sync requirements. it doesnt matter to me how they change it, I will still play it, but it comes linear after AC2, you are not sync with the ancestor(again fictional) but to the game developer how they want you to play. The fact that there is pickpocket, eavesdrop and interrogate in the game before, that is because you want to know more about the target and how to assassinate him silently and gives you plan after. I liked the changes in AC3 but the requirements seems not sync, for example i loved the challenge of chasing lee, but you are in the era of guns and pistols, not to mention he is accurate in bow and arrow? and i am not a fan of FPS games.

dogtobycars
01-10-2013, 02:26 AM
I am not really a FPS shooter fan, I loved battlefield 3 because it gave you extreme freedom in the multiplayer to do whatever you want (to a certain extent). And seeing as how we are reliving the lives of our ancestores to know how history really happened, who is to say the way we want to play isn't what happened? So the game desighners get to decide exactly how he died. Why can't I choose. And I was quite frankly dissapointed when it came down to the battle I saw in the trailers and I didn't get to do ANY OF WHAT I SAW... Well, that was a lie, the only thing that was the same is I got to kill that one guy, but I didn't use a bow to do it. The fact that I didn't get to do that moment somewhat like what they showed me made me extremely dissapointed. I know this seems like I'm going against what I said but I really wanted to run upto that dude while grabbing other people as human shields. But what do I get instead? Doing the backdoor aproach. We didn't even have to listen to these guys talk or protect against the bullets. We might as well of started the mission behind the enemies position and kill him that way.

ToughGuy31
01-10-2013, 03:56 AM
Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.
He means he wan't to do ONLY WHAT THE GAME TELLS YOU TO! We're basically on the rails. Look at ac1, they gave us so much freedom on how to do things, and look at ac3.

Assassin_M
01-10-2013, 04:01 AM
He means he wan't to do ONLY WHAT THE GAME TELLS YOU TO! We're basically on the rails. Look at ac1, they gave us so much freedom on how to do things, and look at ac3.
Correction. Look at AC I and compare the freedom there to EVERYTHING AFTER..not just AC III.

We`re not demanding freedom from thin air. We had it and we loved it then they took it away and gave us BS mainstream mission structures. I understand what the OP is pointing at and agree completely..

ToughGuy31
01-10-2013, 04:13 AM
Correction. Look at AC I and compare the freedom there to EVERYTHING AFTER..not just AC III.

We`re not demanding freedom from thin air. We had it and we loved it then they took it away and gave us BS mainstream mission structures. I understand what the OP is pointing at and agree completely..
Well the reason I said only AC3 was because Ac2 and Acb were still fun. At least they ordered us to do bad *** things. Not, fire canon at army for the entire mission, or follow that guy, or ride horse while Pual Revere yells in your ear. Sure, acb had a canon part, but the bad guys breached the walls and you got to fight them.

But I agree with the fact that we aren't demanding it from thin air.

Assassin_M
01-10-2013, 04:16 AM
Well the reason I said only AC3 was because Ac2 and Acb were still fun. At least they ordered us to do bad *** things. Not, fire canon at army for the entire mission, or follow that guy, or ride horse while Pual Revere yells in your ear. Sure, acb had a canon part, but the bad guys breached the walls and you got to fight them.

But I agree with the fact that we aren't demanding it from thin air.
Fun does not equate Freedom. Sure, AC II, ACB and ACR had us doing fun and badass things, but they were still restricting.

dogtobycars
01-10-2013, 05:05 AM
Atleast in those games we could run on the rooftops without running into 4 guards on every corner. I used to love traversing the city through the rooftop and stabing a guard here or there. 4 is to time consuming though. Sure we can run in trees, but in reality the only time this is helpful is maybe on a few select missions or if you are playing in the snow. Otherwise you could of ran on the ground the entire time.... Or used the horse whistle and use that. In the old games the side missions were actually fun. In one of them if we got notorius enough we could actually defend our tower and if we win we get more stuff the next time we defend it. They even restricted Naval combat to about 12-13 missions. At first I thought we might be able to traverse the coast and attack some pirates/british ships as I'm traviling (sorry for spelling. It is horrendous at times). I soon figured out that my dream was ruined and I"m stuck doing these liniar missions with close to no freedom. The smallest hope of freedom would be to buy different types of ammunition for the ship.

Assassin_M
01-10-2013, 06:02 AM
Atleast in those games we could run on the rooftops without running into 4 guards on every corner. I used to love traversing the city through the rooftop and stabing a guard here or there. 4 is to time consuming though. Sure we can run in trees, but in reality the only time this is helpful is maybe on a few select missions or if you are playing in the snow. Otherwise you could of ran on the ground the entire time.... Or used the horse whistle and use that. In the old games the side missions were actually fun. In one of them if we got notorius enough we could actually defend our tower and if we win we get more stuff the next time we defend it. They even restricted Naval combat to about 12-13 missions. At first I thought we might be able to traverse the coast and attack some pirates/british ships as I'm traviling (sorry for spelling. It is horrendous at times). I soon figured out that my dream was ruined and I"m stuck doing these liniar missions with close to no freedom. The smallest hope of freedom would be to buy different types of ammunition for the ship.
All games after AC I had no freedom. Stop trying to make a point that is either false or does not exist. All of the games are fun, but apart from AC I, none of them had the level of freedom

zhengyingli
01-10-2013, 06:35 AM
All games after AC I had no freedom. Stop trying to make a point that is either false or does not exist. All of the games are fun, but apart from AC I, none of them had the level of freedom

After seeing Watch Dogs, do you think they're up to something? At least for the next numbered release? That and Far Cry 3 seem to allow more freedom than ACII and on.

Assassin_M
01-10-2013, 06:39 AM
After seeing Watch Dogs, do you think they're up to something? At least for the next numbered release? That and Far Cry 3 seem to allow more freedom than ACII and on.
I certainly hope so. I mean, Far Cry 3 was made by the same studio for god`s sake. We should`v at least seen SOME of the freedom in AC. Watch Dogs looks promising and it`d be a nice boat to jump onto if AC keeps taking the track it currently is. I can`t bring myself to replace AC with FC, because I cannot bring myself to continuously play FPSs.

shobhit7777777
01-10-2013, 07:00 AM
Watching some youtube vids for Battlefield 3 got me thinking of how vastly different they are than the typical AC youtube vids. Below are two examples of what I consider to be typical videos for each game. Can you spot the major difference in design philosophy?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrOIgxQ--Tc


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QL3q4k_cIc

Did you see it?
The AC3 video is a compilation of trailers, cutscenes and animations. It shows the skill and creativity of the AC3 developers. The BF3 video is a gameplay sequence. It shows the skill and creativity of the gamer!

The mechanics in BF3 are designed to allow the player to use them as freely as possible. He can use them whenever and wherever he wants and combine them in creative and unexpected ways. AC3, on the other hand, has contextual, automatic mechanics, that take control away from the player. For example you can’t fire an arrow where you want, you can’t jump or slide without a matching obstacle, you can’t whistle unless you are in a hiding spot, you can’t crouch unless you are in a bush and so on.

The way AC3 is designed really hampers the creativity and player expression, for me, the two most admirable qualities of open world games. It’s a big shame. And that’s why, when all the mails are delivered, the world feels so empty and lacking of fun things to do. The restricted mechanics means there is no room for playfulness.

Let me ask you this: Have you ever watched an Assassin’s Creed youtube video that demonstrated true freerunning skills? You know the kind of video that makes you go: “Wow that was awesome, I wish I could do that!”? Me neither. And the reason is that the freerunning mechanics are so restricted that any video is really easy, even for a mediocre gamer like myself, to reproduce. The skill ceiling is probably the lowest of any game I know and so is the room for creativity. Every playthrough of one of the peglegs missions will look almost exactly identical!

AC is such a fantastic franchise with so much beauty and style. The amount of talent within the art and animation teams is undisputed. I just wish that Ubi would give us the chance to shine a little too ;)!

*Slow Applause*

Well said...I completely agree. Although initially I went "is this dude insane?" after reading the entirety of your post....I must say thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront.

Assassin's Creed lacks emergent, creative gameplay and this hurts even more because the concept is certainly geared towards that.




Isn't the whole concept of Assassin's Creed reliving your ancestors memories and synchronising them in such a way that the ancestor did it. I don't get how you expect freedom?

There's not really anyway you can get much skill out Assassin's Creed anyway? Battlefield is a different genre to do awesome things in.

You bring up a good argument, I just don't get how you think any of it would work in AC.


And that is why AC3 fails IMO. It is simply not living up to its potential. Imagine the awesomeness of it's formula if it deviated from the bog standard narrative BS. And to answer your question. No. The sync system you mention was an artificial addition to make things more challenging which had the side effect of creating philosophies like yours that AC is basically a memory simulator...and hence acceptance of the current gameplay loop.

Check out Dishonored's vids:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMyCufEg2gU


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_eqOMI8_txw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u3vsXDJ9kCE

THAT is creativity

It gives you cool and slightly OP mechanics DESIGNED to be experimental and allow combinations.
the AI is designed to be dynamic and investigative
The levels are large and complex to allow you freedom of space and consequentually tactics

Assassin's Creed is slowly growing stagnant

The mechanics are simplifed and ALL the abilities are there to not encourage or enable experimentation but just look cool and do that ONE thing in some demo that looked badass in the trailers.

Revelations was the last AC game which had something remotely similar to creative gameplay thanks to the dens and the bomb crafting mechanic.

she-assassin
01-10-2013, 03:22 PM
I'm pretty sure everyone here knows this site: http://www.thehiddenblade.com, but just in case you haven't visited it lately, I can assure you that AC players can be extremely creative despite the fact that with every new game comes less and less freedom. I mean there's a video tutorial how to assassinate your target by bear there. By BEAR! I'm not kidding. It's really possible. And if that's not creative than I don't know what is.

But that doesn't mean that I don't want more freedom in the next games, because there's never enough freedom. Also, most of the videos showing off the skills of the gamers and different approaches to the missions NEVER meet the full sync requirements. So I guess my point is that if you want to fully enjoy ACB, ACR and AC3, break all the rules and just have fun. You won't do it in the exactly same way as the ancestor did it, but that's not a failure, it just means that you're so much more creative and resourceful than he could ever be.

(Ubisoft should really get rid of the full synchronization.)

MT4K
01-10-2013, 04:26 PM
I'm pretty sure everyone here knows this site: http://www.thehiddenblade.com, but just in case you haven't visited it lately, I can assure you that AC players can be extremely creative despite the fact that with every new game comes less and less freedom. I mean there's a video tutorial how to assassinate your target by bear there. By BEAR! I'm not kidding. It's really possible. And if that's not creative than I don't know what is.

But that doesn't mean that I don't want more freedom in the next games, because there's never enough freedom. Also, most of the videos showing off the skills of the gamers and different approaches to the missions NEVER meet the full sync requirements. So I guess my point is that if you want to fully enjoy ACB, ACR and AC3, break all the rules and just have fun. You won't do it in the exactly same way as the ancestor did it, but that's not a failure, it just means that you're so much more creative and resourceful than he could ever be.

(Ubisoft should really get rid of the full synchronization.)

I saw a video of somebody killing a target with a bear.. I wouldn't call it "creative" myself... I'd call it "tedious". It took the person so much longer to do it and having to essentially "babysit" the bear in order to keep it following him that it was essentially more a chore than anything... And i see nothing "creative" about walking slowly away from an animal....

Maybe i'm being highly critical... but there you go. Creative for me is something that's actually interesting or fun... Not walking extremely slowly and making sure some animal is following me for 5 minutes....

Not to mention in the video i saw before... The target practically ran into the bear himself. The player didn't even really lead the bear to the target. Just got the bear "on the path" and then let the dumb a.i target run into it.

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 04:40 PM
Correction. Look at AC I and compare the freedom there to EVERYTHING AFTER..not just AC III.

We`re not demanding freedom from thin air. We had it and we loved it then they took it away and gave us BS mainstream mission structures. I understand what the OP is pointing at and agree completely..

When it comes to assassination mission design I agree that AC1 was less restricted. However the investigation missions were very restricted and left no room for creativity. Also this thread is about (that was my thought at least) mechanics rather than misssion design and in that area AC1 is just as big a sinner as the other games.

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 04:41 PM
After seeing Watch Dogs, do you think they're up to something? At least for the next numbered release? That and Far Cry 3 seem to allow more freedom than ACII and on.

I agree, Watchdog does strike me as a game that leaves more room for creativity. The skill wheel looked large. Question still remains in what way you are able to combine those skills.

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 04:48 PM
*Slow Applause*

Well said...I completely agree. Although initially I went "is this dude insane?" after reading the entirety of your post....I must say thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront.

Assassin's Creed lacks emergent, creative gameplay and this hurts even more because the concept is certainly geared towards that.






And that is why AC3 fails IMO. It is simply not living up to its potential. Imagine the awesomeness of it's formula if it deviated from the bog standard narrative BS. And to answer your question. No. The sync system you mention was an artificial addition to make things more challenging which had the side effect of creating philosophies like yours that AC is basically a memory simulator...and hence acceptance of the current gameplay loop.

Check out Dishonored's vids:



THAT is creativity

It gives you cool and slightly OP mechanics DESIGNED to be experimental and allow combinations.
the AI is designed to be dynamic and investigative
The levels are large and complex to allow you freedom of space and consequentually tactics

Assassin's Creed is slowly growing stagnant

The mechanics are simplifed and ALL the abilities are there to not encourage or enable experimentation but just look cool and do that ONE thing in some demo that looked badass in the trailers.

Revelations was the last AC game which had something remotely similar to creative gameplay thanks to the dens and the bomb crafting mechanic.

Glad to you liked it :)! You seem to share my concerns and have the (imo) right ideas of what is needed to lift this franchise! It such a shame with this beautiful and vast world they create for every game. I think this lack of robust mechanics that can be used creatively really clashes with the open world concept.

I have yet to play Dishonored, working on a bit of a backlog. Really curious to try it and see if it is as creative as people has told me (I didn't watched your videos because I didn't want to spoil it for me :) ).

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 04:53 PM
I'm pretty sure everyone here knows this site: http://www.thehiddenblade.com, but just in case you haven't visited it lately, I can assure you that AC players can be extremely creative despite the fact that with every new game comes less and less freedom. I mean there's a video tutorial how to assassinate your target by bear there. By BEAR! I'm not kidding. It's really possible. And if that's not creative than I don't know what is.

But that doesn't mean that I don't want more freedom in the next games, because there's never enough freedom. Also, most of the videos showing off the skills of the gamers and different approaches to the missions NEVER meet the full sync requirements. So I guess my point is that if you want to fully enjoy ACB, ACR and AC3, break all the rules and just have fun. You won't do it in the exactly same way as the ancestor did it, but that's not a failure, it just means that you're so much more creative and resourceful than he could ever be.

(Ubisoft should really get rid of the full synchronization.)

I was not aware of that site and after watching some videos I must say I'm still not impressed. The videos do not show a creative use of robust mechanics. Instead they show how to exploit glitches and weak AI. They are not a result of clever design by Ubisoft, but of their lack of polish. It's some kind of creativity sure, but not the kind that is present in the other games in this thread.

she-assassin
01-10-2013, 05:13 PM
I saw a video of somebody killing a target with a bear.. I wouldn't call it "creative" myself... I'd call it "tedious". It took the person so much longer to do it and having to essentially "babysit" the bear in order to keep it following him that it was essentially more a chore than anything... And i see nothing "creative" about walking slowly away from an animal....

Maybe i'm being highly critical... but there you go. Creative for me is something that's actually interesting or fun... Not walking extremely slowly and making sure some animal is following me for 5 minutes....

Not to mention in the video i saw before... The target practically ran into the bear himself. The player didn't even really lead the bear to the target. Just got the bear "on the path" and then let the dumb a.i target run into it.
Ok, the assassination by bear wasn't the best example, but the guy at least tried to make something different with otherwise tedious mission, because let's be honest, there's not much you can do in a mission so linear as the "Assassinate William Johnson".


I was not aware of that site and after watching some videos I must say I'm still not impressed. The videos do not show a creative use of robust mechanics. Instead they show how to exploit glitches and weak AI. They are not a result of clever design by Ubisoft, but of their lack of polish. It's some kind of creativity sure, but not the kind that is present in the other games in this thread.
Really? And have you seen the AC1 videos? Those have nothing to do with glitches... But I get your point. I just wanted to show you that there are actually much better AC fan-made videos than the one you used as an example.

MT4K
01-10-2013, 05:21 PM
@she-assassin

It's ok. I applaud them for trying of course. I just think when something becomes tedious it kind of fails :p.

twenty_glyphs
01-10-2013, 05:50 PM
After seeing Watch Dogs, do you think they're up to something? At least for the next numbered release? That and Far Cry 3 seem to allow more freedom than ACII and on.

I don't think they're "up to something", I think and know that many of the talented people from AC1, AC2 and ACB have moved on to work on Far Cry 3 and Watch Dogs. Maybe people that left the AC brand specifically wanted to branch out into more gameplay freedom and got the chance to express that on their new projects. Many of them remained for AC3, but obviously the leadership and philosophy for fun, engaging gameplay systems with freedom for players just didn't stick around on the AC team. Maybe that's Alex Hutchinson's fault, maybe it's other people's fault, but it obviously wasn't a point of emphasis on the AC brand. The brand seems to be about having big Hollywood moments on rails ever since Revelations. I do agree that the freedom in AC2 and ACB went down from AC1, but they still had fun open worlds where I felt like I was in control and playing a game. The lack of freedom in AC2 was probably part of an overreaction to people's boredom with AC1's missions and just stuck with the franchise.

The concept of the Animus should not be a crutch for designing a game with limited freedom for the player. What's the point of an open world when your missions are so restricted? Even linear level-based games should and often do provide enough gameplay tools that give you some level of freedom and variety. A game is simply not very fun when everyone's experience is almost identical because the game forces you along a set path.

pacmanate
01-10-2013, 07:22 PM
It's not just a matter of multi and singleplayer. Here are some stunts from Just Cause 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWUAOWA6-YU

And here's a Mirror's Edge speedrun. Many of the tricks in this video are hard to execute and must have taken lot of creativity to come up with:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-OUNPqRzII

That mirrors edge video is just WOW. Might buy that game now :P

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 08:13 PM
That mirrors edge video is just WOW. Might buy that game now :P

Go for it, it's a fantastic game :D!!! However I must warn you that it is also brutally unforgiving (sometimes even unfair) and a bit clunky at times. I bet you will do a lot of swearing lol. BUT when it clicks and you get into that wonderful flow, it's one of the greatest feelings in gaming imo. You need to put in some effort and practice to get there though. When you are able to complete the levels flawlessly (aka without breaking the flow), that's when the magic truly happens :D!

When you reach that level, watch this vid again and notice how many options these tiny, linear levels really have. You'll be suprised (I was anyway)!

Edit: Oh I forgot, if it's possible use KB/M. The mouse gives much better camera control and will make turning a lot more precise.

pacmanate
01-10-2013, 08:53 PM
Go for it, it's a fantastic game :D!!! However I must warn you that it is also brutally unforgiving (sometimes even unfair) and a bit clunky at times. I bet you will do a lot of swearing lol. BUT when it clicks and you get into that wonderful flow, it's one of the greatest feelings in gaming imo. You need to put in some effort and practice to get there though. When you are able to complete the levels flawlessly (aka without breaking the flow), that's when the magic truly happens :D!

When you reach that level, watch this vid again and notice how many options these tiny, linear levels really have. You'll be suprised (I was anyway)!

Edit: Oh I forgot, if it's possible use KB/M. The mouse gives much better camera control and will make turning a lot more precise.

Yeah man! I remember playing the demo and I liked it but didn't LOVE it? So I wasn't prepared to spend the $$$. But now its prolly like £1 :P. I am getting a PC in March, my first gaming PC :D!!!!

ToughGuy31
01-10-2013, 09:22 PM
That mirrors edge video is just WOW. Might buy that game now :P
Go get it, it's awesome. The best free running game ever along with Assassin's Creed.

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 10:09 PM
Really? And have you seen the AC1 videos? Those have nothing to do with glitches... But I get your point. I just wanted to show you that there are actually much better AC fan-made videos than the one you used as an example.

Just to clarify :). I don't think that the guys and girls who made those videos weren't impressive, they did a good job! What I meant is that it doesn't demonstrate solid mechanics in the game.

Sushiglutton
01-10-2013, 10:12 PM
Yeah man! I remember playing the demo and I liked it but didn't LOVE it? So I wasn't prepared to spend the $$$. But now its prolly like £1 :P. I am getting a PC in March, my first gaming PC :D!!!!

Yeah iot's super cheap now I think. And like I said it takes time to appreciate!

exkrima
01-10-2013, 11:28 PM
^in addition of freedom, though naval feature is new in assassin, i also want freedom to jump/board the ship like what he did in the last mission where he left the wheel to mr. faulkner, and blow the ship by himself, i can still blow the powder keg there right? :)

ToughGuy31
01-11-2013, 12:08 AM
^in addition of freedom, though naval feature is new in assassin, i also want freedom to jump/board the ship like what he did in the last mission where he left the wheel to mr. faulkner, and blow the ship by himself, i can still blow the powder keg there right? :)
In the DARN TRAILER Connor was shown boarding a enemy ship! And I can't even walk around on my own ship. :nonchalance:

exkrima
01-11-2013, 02:03 AM
luckily i did not watch the trailer about naval, so i am not disappointed that much, i have fun actually, though i am disappointed in some moves of connor in so many trailers that comes out, there are parts that i did not see, like i want to do the jump tomahawk axe while someone horse ride(don't know if someone did it just tell me how) like what i see in pitcairn trailer or the very first trailer, instead it always goes back to hidden blade, or the jump bow and arrow where it goes slow motion, and when i am in corners and whistle i sheathe the axe then ended up killing by hidden blade, i guess tomahawk is just a display.

dogtobycars
01-11-2013, 04:42 AM
Like most trailers the naval trailer got my hopse up... But sadly when I played they were dropped and broken. I was given the thought I could go down the coast on my own and play how I want. That would of been awesome. Sadly I put an idea that wasn't going to happen into my mind. But seriously. How exactly did they give us any actual freedom to do what we pleased on any of the missions? The idea of full syncronization made the game worse in my opinion. This all on it's own is basically a list of what we should exactly do. And if we don't follow it we get a message in the corner saying we failed it in red lettering. Personally I think that this is their way of making you do exactly what they want in the game, or atleast try to.

LostsoulpdX
02-03-2013, 01:44 AM
http://youtu.be/Hm4jPaeu6dQ

lothario-da-be
02-03-2013, 02:14 PM
You are so right that it hurts.

SixKeys
02-03-2013, 03:34 PM
The AC1 videos on TheHiddenBlade.com are the best (in terms of creative gameplay) because they showcase the freedom the game allowed you to have. Nowadays the site serves more as a great showcase of just how linear the games have gotten. The contributors have to resort to using glitches and exploits because otherwise there is absolutely no room left for creative kills. The bear example is a great example just because of how ridiculous it is. "If you want to kill this target in any other way than the developers intended, be prepared to spend hours getting a wild animal to follow you around. THAT'S how restrictive this mission is."

Many times the game will actually glitch out if you get too creative and kill the target in a way that wasn't intended. One of the AC2 missions shows how you can poison Rodrigo Borgia, then take his Staff and wield it like a weapon. Obviously this means you won't be able to progress further in the game, but it brings up a great point about the linearity vs. freedom. Why shouldn't an assassin choose to poison his target if he can get away with it? The post-assassination cut scenes should be designed in such a way that they make sense no matter how you approached the target. In ACR during the first AltaÔr mission when he kills the Crusader, the post-assassination scene shows him sheathing a sword as if they just duelled. But many players chose to go for an air assassination instead. It's annoying when the cut scene makes it seem like you "failed" to perform the assassination the way the developers wanted you to.

slade109
02-05-2013, 07:54 AM
The mechanics in BF3 are designed to allow the player to use them as freely as possible. He can use them whenever and wherever he wants and combine them in creative and unexpected ways. AC3, on the other hand, has contextual, automatic mechanics, that take control away from the player. For example you canít fire an arrow where you want, you canít jump or slide without a matching obstacle, you canít whistle unless you are in a hiding spot, you canít crouch unless you are in a bush and so on.

The way AC3 is designed really hampers the creativity and player expression, ! So I was going to try really hard and read every post in this thread, but as always I got lazy, so forgive me if this is already said. Anyway, there are some points you mentioned that really bug me, especially when you said ac3s design hampers the creativity and player expression. Maybe the reason it bothers me so much is because different words might have been better used there, for instant saying the design hinders your creativity actually is a bit of a contradiction because limits promote creative thinking. You are given tools and therefore you must discover how and what ways you can use them. Just while reading this thread I thought of about 4 unique strategies I could use. Number 1 rule they teach you in art class about creativity is it's a skill that is learned and not something you're born with. You learn by doing, Then when you say player expression, it bugs me because unless you're making the game, I really don't see how you could show any expression within the game and that goes for bf3 as well, but other than that statement bothering me I still disagree with this thread because as stated earlier bf3 and ac3 can't really be compared and also as stated earlier to try multiplayer. Which in my opinion i've learned that no matter how many options they give you to be creative, single player will never be as satisfying as it would on a real person. The only thing I agree on kind of is the comment about how automatic the free-running is. I think the problem with it is they just need to work on it a little more, but other than that i thought it was fine anywho just my two cents

Sushiglutton
02-05-2013, 02:33 PM
So I was going to try really hard and read every post in this thread, but as always I got lazy, so forgive me if this is already said. Anyway, there are some points you mentioned that really bug me, especially when you said ac3s design hampers the creativity and player expression. Maybe the reason it bothers me so much is because different words might have been better used there, for instant saying the design hinders your creativity actually is a bit of a contradiction because limits promote creative thinking. You are given tools and therefore you must discover how and what ways you can use them. Just while reading this thread I thought of about 4 unique strategies I could use. Number 1 rule they teach you in art class about creativity is it's a skill that is learned and not something you're born with. You learn by doing, Then when you say player expression, it bugs me because unless you're making the game, I really don't see how you could show any expression within the game and that goes for bf3 as well, but other than that statement bothering me I still disagree with this thread because as stated earlier bf3 and ac3 can't really be compared and also as stated earlier to try multiplayer. Which in my opinion i've learned that no matter how many options they give you to be creative, single player will never be as satisfying as it would on a real person. The only thing I agree on kind of is the comment about how automatic the free-running is. I think the problem with it is they just need to work on it a little more, but other than that i thought it was fine anywho just my two cents

I'm not native English speaking, so it's highly likely the words I used are wrong :). Let's see if I can explain what I mean (it's also possible that you simply don't agree with me, which is also fine).

It is true that restrictions can inspire creativity. For example in poetry if you follow a very strict metre it may result in some amazing art (such as the Divine Comedy). However it's not always true, only sometimes. For example if you locked Messi in a cage and placed it in the center of the pitch, it's not like he would reinvent soccer and do some amazing creative goals. He would never touch the ball. Or in poetry, if you were only allowed to use the letter 'A', how good of a poem could you really write? My point is that there needs to be a balance and too many restrictions definitely hampers creativity.

My problem with the mechanics in AC3 is that they have a very limited and specific use. The game tells us precisely under which circumstances we can use them. More than that, in many cases the game will automatically do things for us. Ofc all games do this to some extent, which is fine, but AC has taken it too far so that it becomes a problem.

Let's take the freerunning again as an example. The only thing the player controls is the direction (I'm lying a little bit here for simplicity). If you hold the stick in a certain direction the game will automatically do what it thinks the player wants to do depending on the obstacles in front of him. The tomb missions (peg leg in AC3) only have one solution. If you hold the stick in the right direction Connor will do the rest. To me this is too much restriction, because it means that we have no room to combine moves as we want. It's impossible to do a smart free-run ŗ la Mirror's Edge. This is what I mean by "hampering creativity".

This design philosophy is evident throughout the entire game. Take the bow for example. We are only allowed to shoot at targets. We can't make a skilled shot over a house, or through a window, or while we are jumping, or hit the leg to slow a man down, or shoot several arrows at a wall to create a climbable path, or shoot off the rope for one of the lifts etc etc. We are only allowed to shoot where the game wants us to shoot. The bombs can only be attached to a horizontal surface (except for in combat). Why can't we attach them to anything, or anyone we want? Ropedart is a very common type of weapon in videogames, but the options for how we can use it in AC3 are more limited than for the hookshot in A Link To The Past from 1991.

Combat is like that too. A few moves with very strict rules for when and how we can use them. The world in general is dead in terms of interactive objects and physics. Very little destructibility, objects we can lift and carry, or in other ways manipulate. Tracking in the hunting gameplay consists of walking up to a magnifying glass and press a button. Again no room for the player to be creative or skillful.

Hope this clarified things a little :).

Sushiglutton
02-05-2013, 02:48 PM
The AC1 videos on TheHiddenBlade.com are the best (in terms of creative gameplay) because they showcase the freedom the game allowed you to have. Nowadays the site serves more as a great showcase of just how linear the games have gotten. The contributors have to resort to using glitches and exploits because otherwise there is absolutely no room left for creative kills. The bear example is a great example just because of how ridiculous it is. "If you want to kill this target in any other way than the developers intended, be prepared to spend hours getting a wild animal to follow you around. THAT'S how restrictive this mission is."

Many times the game will actually glitch out if you get too creative and kill the target in a way that wasn't intended. One of the AC2 missions shows how you can poison Rodrigo Borgia, then take his Staff and wield it like a weapon. Obviously this means you won't be able to progress further in the game, but it brings up a great point about the linearity vs. freedom. Why shouldn't an assassin choose to poison his target if he can get away with it? The post-assassination cut scenes should be designed in such a way that they make sense no matter how you approached the target. In ACR during the first AltaÔr mission when he kills the Crusader, the post-assassination scene shows him sheathing a sword as if they just duelled. But many players chose to go for an air assassination instead. It's annoying when the cut scene makes it seem like you "failed" to perform the assassination the way the developers wanted you to.

The developers seem to think about a correct solution in advance and if the player deviates in any way the mission fails, just like in your Borgia example. On my second playthough of AC3, in the Haytham mission where you are ordered to climb the mast, I climbed the rope ladder instead (after all that's what they are there for). But when I reached the top the cutscene wouldn't trigger because I had not passed one of the checkpoints on the way up. This is really bad design imo. The way it should work is that the game tells you "get to the top of this mast" and the mission should succeed no matter how you got there.

In others words the mission should have an end state that would mean success. But how the player got to this end state should be largely irrelevant. But on the contrary AC3 babysits the player every step on the way which is super, super annoying and frankly makes the game boring.

SixKeys
02-05-2013, 03:13 PM
The developers seem to think about a correct solution in advance and if the player deviates in any way the mission fails, just like in your Borgia example. On my second playthough of AC3, in the Haytham mission where you are ordered to climb the mast, I climbed the rope ladder instead (after all that's what they are there for). But when I reached the top the cutscene wouldn't trigger because I had not passed one of the checkpoints on the way up. This is really bad design imo. The way it should work is that the game tells you "get to the top of this mast" and the mission should succeed no matter how you got there.

In others words the mission should have an end state that would mean success. But how the player got to this end state should be largely irrelevant. But on the contrary AC3 babysits the player every step on the way which is super, super annoying and frankly makes the game boring.

Exactly. It was ridiculous in the Haytham mission to even HAVE checkpoints. It's not like players can get lost on their way to the top of a mast. But once again the devs wanted you to have the cinematic experience they had carefully set up, so players weren't allowed to get creative.

VitaminsXYZ
02-05-2013, 09:09 PM
I know you've already discussed this before, Sushi (can I call you Sushi?), but my question is, is your problem mainly with AC3 gameplay? Or does it include other AC games as well?
Apologies if you've already answered this many times before, and I might've even seen it, I just can't remember. Unfortunately I don't really have time to browse through all of the other threads and posts right now.

Sushiglutton
02-05-2013, 10:20 PM
I know you've already discussed this before, Sushi (can I call you Sushi?), but my question is, is your problem mainly with AC3 gameplay? Or does it include other AC games as well?
Apologies if you've already answered this many times before, and I might've even seen it, I just can't remember. Unfortunately I don't really have time to browse through all of the other threads and posts right now.

I don't recall what I have said earlier itt lol, but I happily answer your question anyway :).

When it comes to mechanics they have been underwhelming from the start imo. Ever since 2007 I have wished that Ubi would finally lift the gameplay to what I see in other modern games. I would say AC3 overall probably has the best gameplay, but it's still not what it should be for a franchise of this caliber imo. The restricted philosophy for the mechanics remains, which is a huge shame, especially for an open world game.

What has become worse in AC3 though is that the mission design is more restricted than ever. You walk from cutscene, to cutscene with a green marker making sure you follow the plan precisely. The assassination missions are rigged in the sense it's clear how the developers want you to finish them to get the most cinematic experience. AC has always been a bit like this, but like I said it's getting worse and worse. Combined with the restricted mechanics it's not a franchise I enjoy to play anymore, which makes me very sad.

I had high hopes for AC3. Hutchinson spoke of it as a fresh start. He talked about getting back to basic, fixing the fundamentals and so on. But it simply wasn't true and it left me very, very disapointed.

Farlander1991
02-06-2013, 12:24 AM
Sushi, while I do agree with you from a certain perspective, I don't agree that open world has to = full freedom. I also don't agree that contextual mechanics = no player expression.

Contextual mechanics like in AC series don't mean that they're worse than the really open-ended mechanics of Just Cause 2. They're just different styles of gameplay. And, honestly, I prefer the AC contextual style.

Because AC is a series where player expression comes not from purely playing with the mechanics, but from utilizing the tools available to achieve a certain goal. Which is why everybody loves the forts so much in AC3 - because those are the only places in the whole game where you can use the full array of tools you're given... with the exception of the social stealth mechanics. But, the point is, you can go full stealth, or guns in blazing. You can use recruits, there are several alternative routes, different ways to approach the captains, and all that stuff.

Which is why I don't fully agree with the way full sync is implemented, even if you're ignoring it, you're still constantly reminded to do something a certain way, not the way you want it. But even in AC3, there are quite a few missions with open-ended approaches to goals (at least before the Hickey 'assassination' mission), like Johnson and Pitcarin assassination missions, and even more linear missions like where we have to put up flags on the two ships near Bunker Hill.

The biggest problem with AC3 is how there's no point in utilizing more than half of the tools under your disposal, and not enough goals with open approaches to utilize them with.

EDIT: And I just want to elaborate a bit more on different styles of open world games. Really, it comes down to a preference of 'focus' versus 'variety', what the game is targeting to and what the player prefers. Like, let's say, if anybody remembers, the old Gothic vs. Elder Scrolls debate (which thanks to Arcania - Gothic 4 kind of died out). Gothic is more about focus while Elder Scrolls is more about variety, and I honestly couldn't get into Elder Scrolls, I preferred Gothic. Even though both are open-world RPGs and both are good series.

Sushiglutton
02-06-2013, 09:35 PM
Sushi, while I do agree with you from a certain perspective, I don't agree that open world has to = full freedom. I also don't agree that contextual mechanics = no player expression.

Contextual mechanics like in AC series don't mean that they're worse than the really open-ended mechanics of Just Cause 2. They're just different styles of gameplay. And, honestly, I prefer the AC contextual style.

Because AC is a series where player expression comes not from purely playing with the mechanics, but from utilizing the tools available to achieve a certain goal. Which is why everybody loves the forts so much in AC3 - because those are the only places in the whole game where you can use the full array of tools you're given... with the exception of the social stealth mechanics. But, the point is, you can go full stealth, or guns in blazing. You can use recruits, there are several alternative routes, different ways to approach the captains, and all that stuff.

Which is why I don't fully agree with the way full sync is implemented, even if you're ignoring it, you're still constantly reminded to do something a certain way, not the way you want it. But even in AC3, there are quite a few missions with open-ended approaches to goals (at least before the Hickey 'assassination' mission), like Johnson and Pitcarin assassination missions, and even more linear missions like where we have to put up flags on the two ships near Bunker Hill.

The biggest problem with AC3 is how there's no point in utilizing more than half of the tools under your disposal, and not enough goals with open approaches to utilize them with.

EDIT: And I just want to elaborate a bit more on different styles of open world games. Really, it comes down to a preference of 'focus' versus 'variety', what the game is targeting to and what the player prefers. Like, let's say, if anybody remembers, the old Gothic vs. Elder Scrolls debate (which thanks to Arcania - Gothic 4 kind of died out). Gothic is more about focus while Elder Scrolls is more about variety, and I honestly couldn't get into Elder Scrolls, I preferred Gothic. Even though both are open-world RPGs and both are good series.

I think "contextual" was a poor choice of word by me. What I wanted to say is more along the lines of "automatic" and "restricted". There is nothing wrong with contextual mechanics at all. For example I like how the assassination button adjusts to different situations. When it comes to how automatic the mechanics should be it's not a binary issue ofc, it's a matter of finding the right balance. I obv don't want to control every little part of Connors complicated motions "by hand" so to speak. And I don't want to push a button in the beginning of the game and have it play from start to finish, without any more input, either. I want something in between those two extremes.

To me the balance in AC is off. I find the mechanics too automated, which sucks the joy and satisfaction out of playing the game. I think the platforming, tools/gadgets and the hunting are the most evident examples of this. I also think that the world itself lacks interactivity in terms of objects you can manipulate and so on. I agree with you that stealth is the area that allows for the most freedom in terms of approach, even though it in some areas is also hampered by the restricted design philosophy. Sadly, as you mention, a lot of the potential of the stealth gameplay is ruined by the mission design (in combination with the synch feature) which adds another layer of restrictions.

Even the more open missions are still way too scripted. Take the Pitcairn mission. It's very evident that the game wants the player to go left, climb the tree and then jump from there to perform an air assassination (a requirement for full synch if I recall correctly). You have a little bit of freedom in the way you deal with the two guards to the left, but overall the mission is a wasted oppurtunity. The forts, as you mention, are much better and I enjoyed them (actually I want to replay the game to be able to play them again, but I can't get past the insanely slow beginning lol). They show that there is some wiggle-room in the stealth mechanics.

I have not played Elder Scrolls or Gothic sadly, but I understand it was a heated debate :). Anyway I don't claim to be an expert at these things at all. I'm just a gaming enthusiast who noted that I don't enjoy to play AC as much as many other games, so I'm trying to understand why ;).

Farlander1991
02-06-2013, 11:20 PM
Anyway I don't claim to be an expert at these things at all.

I can't say that I'm an expert either. I mean, just because I've analyzed the **** out of games for a dozen years (since I was 9) and worked on a number of mods and small projects doesn't make me a Game Design expert (not yet, at least :D ). Yet I do have strong opinions on different game design principles, as do you, and I think the most important thing is to be able to argument the opinions clearly (because there's only so much that we can be objective about anything, there's a lot of subjectivity). I must say I really enjoy reading your posts, and I think your opinions are argumented very well. I wish I had more time writing my own posts because I have to explain myself really quickly and sometimes not that well :D

And yes, there has to be a compromise found when it comes to designing and implementing mechanics. I agree that some things are just too automated in AC3, but at the same time it's also a matter of perspective, and choosing what to focus on. I loved the Animus Course Runs in ACB because it showed how you had to develop skill to use the relatively simple free-running mechanics effectively. I also loved the addition of the Hook Blade in ACR because it also added choice that you had to make during your free-running, either to use the hook-blade to jump farther or not.

And when I first saw the free-running mechanics in AC3, I was really disappointed, because it was all really simplified. But I got rid of that feeling when I got to the Frontier, which was the focus of AC3. The free-running mechanics of AC-ACR wouldn't work well at all with the less grid-like spaces of the cliffs and tress of the Frontier, it would be too cumbersome. It's a choice they had to make, and I can see the reasoning behind it.

There's also a matter of time constraints. I'll be honest, I enjoyed AC3 a lot (as I enjoyed every game of the AC series, although I can criticize the hell out of each and every one of them :D ), but it's clear to me that 3 years wasn't enough. There had to be an additional year there. I think that the basis of all AC3 mechanics (and I'm talking purely about mechanics right now, level design aside) is very solid, but it requires some tweaking and polishing. I don't think full revamps of the currently existing mechanics are necessary. Hopefully, the new single-player DLC is going to rectify at least some of the issues.

Sushiglutton
02-07-2013, 02:04 PM
I can't say that I'm an expert either. I mean, just because I've analyzed the **** out of games for a dozen years (since I was 9) and worked on a number of mods and small projects doesn't make me a Game Design expert (not yet, at least :D ). Yet I do have strong opinions on different game design principles, as do you, and I think the most important thing is to be able to argument the opinions clearly (because there's only so much that we can be objective about anything, there's a lot of subjectivity). I must say I really enjoy reading your posts, and I think your opinions are argumented very well. I wish I had more time writing my own posts because I have to explain myself really quickly and sometimes not that well :D

And yes, there has to be a compromise found when it comes to designing and implementing mechanics. I agree that some things are just too automated in AC3, but at the same time it's also a matter of perspective, and choosing what to focus on. I loved the Animus Course Runs in ACB because it showed how you had to develop skill to use the relatively simple free-running mechanics effectively. I also loved the addition of the Hook Blade in ACR because it also added choice that you had to make during your free-running, either to use the hook-blade to jump farther or not.

And when I first saw the free-running mechanics in AC3, I was really disappointed, because it was all really simplified. But I got rid of that feeling when I got to the Frontier, which was the focus of AC3. The free-running mechanics of AC-ACR wouldn't work well at all with the less grid-like spaces of the cliffs and tress of the Frontier, it would be too cumbersome. It's a choice they had to make, and I can see the reasoning behind it.

There's also a matter of time constraints. I'll be honest, I enjoyed AC3 a lot (as I enjoyed every game of the AC series, although I can criticize the hell out of each and every one of them :D ), but it's clear to me that 3 years wasn't enough. There had to be an additional year there. I think that the basis of all AC3 mechanics (and I'm talking purely about mechanics right now, level design aside) is very solid, but it requires some tweaking and polishing. I don't think full revamps of the currently existing mechanics are necessary. Hopefully, the new single-player DLC is going to rectify at least some of the issues.

Thanks for the kind words, right back at you :)!

I think the Animus training should come back because it's a perfect test for if the gameplay is good enough. If running, fighting, stealth etc are fun as standalone mini-games, then they are at the right level. This is how Rocksteady worked on Arkham Asylum (I guess so anyway). They created two "mini-games" that they pushed as much as they could to be fun on their own. The result was brilliant!

I don't think the freerunning is poorly made, on the contrary it's an impressive feat. The new tree-running was something new to gaming and def cool. I also agree that the basis for the free-running is solid. It works fine when you want to get from point A to point B. However when you try to build missions around it (peg leg, or chase) it falls apart because it's not a fun mechanic in that sense. The reason for that is the lack of interactivity. Compare to Prince of Persia, Mirror's Edge etc it's a big difference.

I have recently started playing Sleeping Dogs, which features some on-foot chase sequences. The only thing you have to do in these is to tap the running button every time you reach an obstacle to "flow" over it. Even this tiny bit of interactivity still makes these chase sequences more fun than the ones in AC. But it's silly because the system in AC is obv technically way, way more advanced. Ubi kill the fun by making it so ridiculously automated. It's so unnecessary.

I think three years would have been enough with different priorities. First off they are trying too hard to create these cinematic moments, by shepherding the player into following the script they have created in advance. It is just never going to be fun for me, because to me the beauty of games is that you are in control. The second wrong priority is that they added such an enormous amount of mini-mechanics. A new mechanic is introduced in more or less every single mission (taking cover from gunshots, playing hide and seek, flying as an eagle, managing a cannon etc etc). Instead of trying to do everything they should have worked on pushing the core mechanics so that they were fun on their own. Then let the variation come from the player and the way he chooses to apply these mechanics.

Farlander1991
02-07-2013, 06:11 PM
I think the Animus training should come back because it's a perfect test for if the gameplay is good enough. If running, fighting, stealth etc are fun as standalone mini-games, then they are at the right level. This is how Rocksteady worked on Arkham Asylum (I guess so anyway). They created two "mini-games" that they pushed as much as they could to be fun on their own. The result was brilliant!

The 'mini-games' part is usually the way prototyping works, but it's not the whole story.


I have recently started playing Sleeping Dogs, which features some on-foot chase sequences. The only thing you have to do in these is to tap the running button every time you reach an obstacle to "flow" over it.

I haven't played Sleeping Dogs yet, but AC3 has something similiar - if you hold a button near low obstacles, you vault over them and continue free-running in flow instead of jumping on them and off them. I think this mechanic in AC3 should've been expanded, like, "Sure, you can just hold two buttons and run wherether you want, but if you want to run more smoothly and flawlessly, you better start pressing other buttons :p "


I think three years would have been enough with different priorities. First off they are trying too hard to create these cinematic moments, by shepherding the player into following the script they have created in advance. It is just never going to be fun for me, because to me the beauty of games is that you are in control. The second wrong priority is that they added such an enormous amount of mini-mechanics. A new mechanic is introduced in more or less every single mission (taking cover from gunshots, playing hide and seek, flying as an eagle, managing a cannon etc etc). Instead of trying to do everything they should have worked on pushing the core mechanics so that they were fun on their own. Then let the variation come from the player and the way he chooses to apply these mechanics.

While I do agree with you that, with different priorities, three years would've been enough... I commend the priorities that the AC3 team has chosen. They wanted to create a cinematic open-world experience with a simulation of a breathing, living world you could immerse yourself into. That was their goal. It was very ambitious, and, seeing the state of AC3, I think that given an extra year the team would've been able to deliver it fully, without any 'buts'.

I mean, even a mechanic as simple as blending, you don't just stand in a crowd anymore, you rest near a wall, select goods from a store, sit on a pier, all that stuff. And the board games with actions like petting the animals, they're there for immersion reasons. And Homestead? I could just simply walk around the Homestead and do nothing, that's how awesome and immersive that place was :D

I can see what the AC3 team wanted to do. And I commend them for that, even if the result may have been slightly disappointing. But it's all about time. And when you have a cinematic interactive experience and start running out of time, you tend to move priorities over to 'cinematic'.

And all the mechanics you speak off, like hiding behind cover from army volleys, shooting from a cannon and etc., I think they were supposed to play a bigger role in the game originally. But, as it turned out, there wasn't enough time. Sadly, it's the way it works a lot of times when creating games, you give yourself a time buffer so you could make all you want the way you want it, but then unexpected problems arise, and you fix them, and you run out of buffer and it's all ending up either in cutting something completely or not doing it the way it was originally supposed to.

And, out of all three core AC mechanics (parkour, social stealth, combat), the only one that can be purely fun on its own is combat. Parkour and stealth greatly depends on mission and level design. Simplistic stealth and parkour can be amazing with wonderful mission design, and the most deep and awesome mechanics can suck if the levels do not accommodate for that. They're best in combination, which is why prototyping doesn't always properly show how fun these mechanics can be/are. And combat... I personally think that combat in AC3 is pretty amazing. And the only thing that's required to make it better is tweaking the variables - make enemies more aggressive and give player less health, in particular. And it would become so much more fun. Although, I actually have a feeling that that's the way it actually was. I think the enemies were indeed more aggressive and player had less health, and then during playtests tons of players just sucked at it, so they tweaked it to make it easier... Which is why I think difficulty levels are important.