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LoyalACFan
02-15-2013, 06:07 AM
Just wondering what other people are thinking about this, since I haven't seen nearly as much discussion about it as I would have expected, for such a radical change in gameplay. Maybe I'm a bit late in asking this, but... How do people feel about the single-button run mechanic as opposed to the old R1+X? I was playing ACB this week and it got me thinking about how different it feels. I have to say I kind of prefer the old way, but Connor's running animation is much nicer and I love the little jumps over small obstacles when you press X.

J7hnny
02-15-2013, 06:42 AM
The issue with free-running, in previous titles, was the unified command for sprinting, climbing, jumping and leaping. In order to drop, instead of leap, the player had to grab a ledge, interrupting the momentum. In Assassin's Creed III, pressing R1 + O, enables the player to skip obstacles and drop to the lower level, without compromising the continuity and fluidity of the course. Adding the feature in which the player can interact with surrounding objects (trees, doors, windows, etc.) has been, to me, the most significant change. The transition from R1 + X to R1 felt not only natural, but necessary.

UrDeviant1
02-15-2013, 07:48 AM
The new way Is better In every way if you ask me. Using one button gave Connor so much more agility than his predecessors.

bveUSbve
02-15-2013, 08:35 AM
I can see some advantages in this change:

pro:
(Pure) Free-running is always safe - whereas in the former control scheme nothing stopped the pc from jumping into death (in "highest profile").
The camera can be moved during free-running, since the thumb is free to do so.
Alternatively the thumb can be used to press buttons, e.g. to do some "special moves".
On the other hand:

con:
I doubt if I EVER will be able to intuitively know the point in trigger activation where the transition to "highest profile" occurs. Thus I have the feeling to be less in control than previously. (In contradiction to "pro" point 1.)
To move camera focus away from the direction my pc currently moves into almost never makes any sense when in "highest profile".
In ACIII the "special moves" available during free-running were just eye candy. They didn't provide any real benefit (e.g. making Haytham/Connor faster).
So I would conclude that the new scheme seems a good idea in theory, promising to make controls easier to understand while at the same time opening things up for new possibilities. But in practice it turns out to rather be a step backwards, since I cannot differentiate as clearly between "normal" and "highest profile" running. While the new possibilities the game actually provides us with aren't of much use.

the_atm
02-15-2013, 04:39 PM
I like the change. I wouldn't say it's "easier" because... I mean really, you're either pressing one button or 2, their both really easy to do, but It's more stream lined and is a much easier way to add in Tree nav and normal navigation, I mean how else would you do it?

Sushiglutton
02-15-2013, 06:44 PM
I think it's ok and I think they should keep pushing forward instead of going back. I feel like I do run up walls I don't want a little more frequently than I used to though, but normally it's not a problem. I wish they added a few moves to the freerunning to make it more fun and less automatic to run from point A to point B. That would help the Peg Leg and chase missions a lot I think. Doesn't have to be hard or precise, but a little extra to do while running would be nice. I prefer tapping to perfomr actions over holding a button to go into a certain mode. Tapping makes it feel more like I am performing the move instead of the game doing it fo me.

I enjoyed the zip-lines and wish the returned in some form. The lifts are also fun to use and overall a few more of these types of things would be nice.

LoyalACFan
02-15-2013, 11:04 PM
The issue with free-running, in previous titles, was the unified command for sprinting, climbing, jumping and leaping. In order to drop, instead of leap, the player had to grab a ledge, interrupting the momentum. In Assassin's Creed III, pressing R1 + O, enables the player to skip obstacles and drop to the lower level, without compromising the continuity and fluidity of the course. Adding the feature in which the player can interact with surrounding objects (trees, doors, windows, etc.) has been, to me, the most significant change. The transition from R1 + X to R1 felt not only natural, but necessary.

How would you feel about this, then... A mode based on the old two-button style, except holding Circle makes you sprint and drop, while holding X makes you sprint and leap just like in the old games? That's essentially what happens in AC3 now; holding X makes you jump over obstacles, holding circle makes you slide under them. The only difference is that there's no change in speed. I kind of like having a step between 'walking' and 'dead sprint'. And yeah, I know you can just push the analog stick lightly, but that's not exactly practical.

J7hnny
02-15-2013, 11:24 PM
How would you feel about this, then... A mode based on the old two-button style, except holding Circle makes you sprint and drop, while holding X makes you sprint and leap just like in the old games? That's essentially what happens in AC3 now; holding X makes you jump over obstacles, holding circle makes you slide under them. The only difference is that there's no change in speed. I kind of like having a step between 'walking' and 'dead sprint'. And yeah, I know you can just push the analog stick lightly, but that's not exactly practical.
Sounds good to me! I wonder what Ubisoft could do with Left Analog + R1 + Triangle.

Sushiglutton
02-16-2013, 12:12 AM
Sounds good to me! I wonder what Ubisoft could do with Left Analog + R1 + Triangle.

Maybe like a hockey tackle to break weak obstacles in flow? Like I said before I prefer tap controls as it feels more interactive and gives a natural kind of challenge that is good to have for missions built around fast freerunning. So tap triangle for tackle, tap Circle for slide (hold to stay crouched, slide towards the edge of a roof to move into a hanging postition), X for jump/vault/wallclimb (depending on what's in front), Square for assassination.

Timing should be forgiving so it all feels smooth.

J7hnny
02-16-2013, 12:32 AM
Maybe like a hockey tackle to break weak obstacles in flow? Like I said before I prefer tap controls as it feels more interactive and gives a natural kind of challenge that is good to have for missions built around fast freerunning. So tap triangle for tackle, tap Circle for slide (hold to stay crouched, slide towards the edge of a roof to move into a hanging postition), X for jump/vault/wallclimb (depending on what's in front), Square for assassination.

Timing should be forgiving so it all feels smooth.
Both X and O can be tapped, when interacting with obstacles! Holding it isn't a requirement. But I do enjoy your idea for Left Analog + R1 + Triangle.

Sushiglutton
02-16-2013, 01:07 AM
Both X and O can be tapped, when interacting with obstacles! Holding it isn't a requirement. But I do enjoy your idea for Left Analog + R1 + Triangle.

What I'm saying is that I would prefer if tapping was the only option and that moves like slide were completely player controlled, so they could be performed wherever we wanted (btw you don't even have to hold circle to slide, if you just run towards the obstacle Connor will slide automatically). My problem with holding the button is that ithe running feels completely automated.

I played Sleeping Dogs recently, a game with a much more primitive parkour system than AC3. But because you were required to tap to vault and hold the button just before you landed to roll, it still felt better and was more fun than AC. Same with Mirror's Edge and even Darksiders 2. None of these games are technically better than AC3. They are just a tiny bit more interactive but the difference in fun is huge imo.

Tapping is an active action while holding is a passive one. Doing things actively while running makes it feel much more like you are in control and you get this little emotional reward every time you succeed with something and are able to maintain the flow. Not so with passive controls. Active contols are also much better to build challenges around in for example chase sequences. All this imo ofc ;)!

J7hnny
02-16-2013, 01:27 AM
What I'm saying is that I would prefer if tapping was the only option and that moves like slide were completely player controlled, so they could be performed wherever we wanted (btw you don't even have to hold circle to slide, if you just run towards the obstacle Connor will slide automatically). My problem with holding the button is that ithe running feels completely automated.

I played Sleeping Dogs recently, a game with a much more primitive parkour system than AC3. But because you were required to tap to vault and hold the button just before you landed to roll, it still felt better and was more fun than AC. Same with Mirror's Edge and even Darksiders 2. None of these games are technically better than AC3. They are just a tiny bit more interactive but the difference in fun is huge imo.

Tapping is an active action while holding is a passive one. Doing things actively while running makes it feel much more like you are in control and you get this little emotional reward every time you succeed with something and are able to maintain the flow. Not so with passive controls. Active contols are also much better to build challenges around in for example chase sequences. All this imo ofc ;)!
Oh, I feel ya! It's not about the continuity or fluidity of the command, but the entertainment it provides. You changed my mind, brotha!

bveUSbve
02-16-2013, 09:57 AM
Tapping is an active action while holding is a passive one. Doing things actively while running makes it feel much more like you are in control and you get this little emotional reward every time you succeed with something and are able to maintain the flow. Not so with passive controls. Active contols are also much better to build challenges around in for example chase sequences. All this imo ofc ;)!
Those are excellent points.

Though you mentioned earlier that with the new control scheme unwanted actions - like commencing to wall-run/ climb - seemed to happen slightly more frequently. For me this is definitely true. And I have seen complaints about unwanted "context-sensitive" moves happening too often more than once in "professional" reviews (which generally aren't that critical when it comes to AAA-games). I suppose one cause for these issues - but not the only one - is the change in controls.

So I still think the less clear distinction between full-on free-running and "just running", which is unavoidable with the current control scheme due to the absence of activation-thresholds in analogue triggers, is not a negligible problem.

Sushiglutton
02-16-2013, 02:11 PM
Those are excellent points.

Though you mentioned earlier that with the new control scheme unwanted actions - like commencing to wall-run/ climb - seemed to happen slightly more frequently. For me this is definitely true. And I have seen complaints about unwanted "context-sensitive" moves happening too often more than once in "professional" reviews (which generally aren't that critical when it comes to AAA-games). I suppose one cause for these issues - but not the only one - is the change in controls.

So I still think the less clear distinction between full-on free-running and "just running", which is unavoidable with the current control scheme due to the absence of activation-thresholds in analogue triggers, is not a negligible problem.

Yes I agree, it's a problem. I would prefer if they didn't just switch back though, but instead moved forward by requiring button presses for different actions like I described above. Then there would be no need for two different sprints. Not only would it be more fun, but it would get rid of the problem of the games doing things you didn't want (assuming you are a reasonable player).

bveUSbve
02-17-2013, 06:08 PM
I would prefer if they didn't just switch back though, but instead moved forward by requiring button presses for different actions like I described above. Then there would be no need for two different sprints.
I'm afraid I don't quite understand. Do you propose just one speed for (actual) running? That would definitely be a change for the worse, I'd say.
Otherwise, what do you mean by "different sprints"?


Not only would it be more fun, but it would get rid of the problem of the games doing things you didn't want (assuming you are a reasonable player).
Maybe I'll understand how you come to this conclusion when I have understood what you meant in the sentences before that ... ;)

Sushiglutton
02-17-2013, 06:56 PM
I'm afraid I don't quite understand. Do you propose just one speed for (actual) running? That would definitely be a change for the worse, I'd say.
Otherwise, what do you mean by "different sprints"?

With "different sprints" I mean that depending on the button you hold, Connor will perform different actions (for example when you hold 'A' Connor will jumpt to the ground). The game will compute different actions if you hold RT, RT+X, or RT+B. I sloppily called these different modes "different sprints", but the sprint itself is ofc identical.


My point is just that if you have to tap to perform these different actions, then there is no need for for these different modes since you are actively triggering the action rather than passively.

bveUSbve
02-17-2013, 08:34 PM
With "different sprints" I mean that depending on the button you hold, Connor will perform different actions (for example when you hold 'A' Connor will jumpt to the ground). The game will compute different actions if you hold RT, RT+X, or RT+B. I sloppily called these different modes "different sprints", but the sprint itself is ofc identical.

My point is just that if you have to tap to perform these different actions, then there is no need for for these different modes since you are actively triggering the action rather than passively.
Hm. In ACIII by holding X or B while sprinting "special" moves are performed when passing a barrier or such. Do I understand correctly that instead you (only) want to tap the respective button on any such occasion? Which could be seen as an improvement with regards to player involvement, but not a big deal.

And I don't see how by this we get rid of unwanted (automatic context-sensitive) actions... Ah - or is it that you would like any action other than plain running (starting to climb a wall or ladder, entering a well, etcetera) to need its explicit initiation? That certainly sounds like an interesting concept. But would this include instances of free-running which consist of jumping from one "pole" to the next, over and over?

Anyhow, it all seems to contradict more or less Ubisoft's intent implemented since the very first game: to make free-running as simple to do as possible - by making it a continuous "mode" to be (kind of) "toggled" on or off.

Sushiglutton
02-17-2013, 09:06 PM
Hm. In ACIII by holding X or B while sprinting "special" moves are performed when passing a barrier or such. Do I understand correctly that instead you (only) want to tap the respective button on any such occasion? Which could be seen as an improvement with regards to player involvement, but not a big deal.

And I don't see how by this we get rid of unwanted (automatic context-sensitive) actions... Ah - or is it that you would like any action other than plain running (starting to climb a wall or ladder, entering a well, etcetera) to need its explicit initiation? That certainly sounds like an interesting concept. But would this include instances of free-running which consist of jumping from one "pole" to the next, over and over?

Anyhow, it all seems to contradict more or less Ubisoft's intent implemented since the very first game: to make free-running as simple to do as possible - by making it a continuous "mode" to be (kind of) "toggled" on or off.

The way I see it the platforming in AC has two majore purposes. First it's used to naviagte and explore the world. Secondly it's used as the main gameplay element in chase- and tomb missions. I think it works very well for the former, but doesn't work at all for the latter.

The problem with the missions built around the freerunning is that the system is too automatic, which means that there is no natural kind of challenge (like for example timing your jump). The challenge is completely built around holding the stick in the correct direction. This can be kind of fiddly and lead to, what feels like, cheap deaths. Just read all the complaints about the Lee-chase for example :). Having to tap to perform certain actions in flow would give the chase missions a more robust kind of challenge, namely to choose the correct move and time it correctly (timing should be fairly forgiving to make it feel smooth). In my experience (Mirror's Edge, Sleeping Dogs, Prince Of Persia etc.) a system like that is more fun and feels more rewarding. It would also free the mechanics so we can use them whenever we want. For example you could slide into cover etc. Exactly which actions that should require an extra input is not trivial ofc. I def think wallrun should, as unwanted wallruns is a problem in the current systems. Entering a well/haystack I'm less sure about.

It def contradicts Ubi's intent to make freerunning as simple as possible, which I think is a flawed idea. Freerunning should be as fun as possible :). And there is a point where things become so simple that they are not fun anymore. It's when the player becomes a spectator rather than the actor. Imagine for example a shooter that did all aiming for you. You just hold the trigger and all enemies on screen die. That's not very fun after a while. AC's freerunning is the platformer equivalent of that. You just hold the stick in the proper direction and the game does the rest.

greatruneboy
02-17-2013, 10:34 PM
It def contradicts Ubi's intent to make freerunning as simple as possible, which I think is a flawed idea. Freerunning should be as fun as possible :). And there is a point where things become so simple that they are not fun anymore. It's when the player becomes a spectator rather than the actively doing something. Imagine for example a shooter that did all aiming for you. You just hold the trigger and all enemies on screen die. That's not very fun after a while. AC's freerunning is the platformer equivalent of that. You just hold the stick in the proper direction and the game does the rest.
Yeah, I felt less involved in the free running, and because of that it was less fun.

bveUSbve
02-18-2013, 10:09 AM
The way I see it the platforming in AC has two majore purposes. First it's used to naviagte and explore the world. Secondly it's used as the main gameplay element in chase- and tomb missions. I think it works very well for the former, but doesn't work at all for the latter.
I think it generally works just "ok" ... There is much room for improvement. In ACIII it happens regularly that I steer Connor into the general direction I want, but the game deliberately lets him jump almost 90 sideways, since there is some ledge/pole that for some inexplicable reason "attracts" him irresistibly.

But that's again a matter of the game deciding too often on itself what rather should be left for the player to control. So a change in movement control "philosophy" like ...


Having to tap to perform certain actions in flow would give the chase missions a more robust kind of challenge, namely to choose the correct move and time it correctly (timing should be fairly forgiving to make it feel smooth). For example you could slide into cover etc.
... sounds fine with me. And it indeed would help to solve the issue of unwanted wall-running etcetera.


Exactly which actions that should require an extra input is not trivial ofc. I def think wallrun should, as unwanted wallruns is a problem in the current systems. Entering a well/haystack I'm less sure about.
Exactly. It's certainly not a clear cut decision which actions to keep automatic. But I do think that things like "safe" jumping - all those "little" jumps to cross gaps/chasms or to reach out for handles - had to remain automatic (when sprinting/when in "highest profile") to not make free-running tedious and prone to massive slowdowns.


It def contradicts Ubi's intent to make freerunning as simple as possible, which I think is a flawed idea. Freerunning should be as fun as possible :). And there is a point where things become so simple that they are not fun anymore.
Agreed. But I doubt that's the way Ubisoft sees things ... They seem to be always on the lookout to attract ever more players to the series - including the notorious "casuals" - and fearing to discourage just one of them by game mechanics that require mastering some learning curve to become fun to use ... Rather than interested in making the gameplay the most fun for "veterans", who for the most part will buy the next game anyway - even when they may have been bored or disappointed with the previous one (at least that's what Ubisoft most likely is convinced of).

Bashilir
02-18-2013, 08:05 PM
I'm quite fond of this "button tap" idea. I've been slashed in the back enough times to know that the current system is decent but not as good as it could be. My least favorite part of the current system is the notorious "climbing things that I don't want".

Sushiglutton
02-18-2013, 10:09 PM
I think it generally works just "ok" ... There is much room for improvement. In ACIII it happens regularly that I steer Connor into the general direction I want, but the game deliberately lets him jump almost 90 sideways, since there is some ledge/pole that for some inexplicable reason "attracts" him irresistibly.

But that's again a matter of the game deciding too often on itself what rather should be left for the player to control. So a change in movement control "philosophy" like ...


... sounds fine with me. And it indeed would help to solve the issue of unwanted wall-running etcetera.

Yeah I agree the platforming is inconsistent at times, for example when cllimbing around corners, some tree branches are broken (buggy), Connor starts running up a wall when you don't want him to and so on. But when you are not under any pressure stuff like that are minor inconveniences imo. That's what I mean by that I think the exploration part of the system works very well. It's not perfect, but serves its purpose.

However when you are under pressure, such as in a chase, the inconsitences become very annoying. Also the automatic nature of the freerunning kills the challenge and makes it not that fun.




Exactly. It's certainly not a clear cut decision which actions to keep automatic. But I do think that things like "safe" jumping - all those "little" jumps to cross gaps/chasms or to reach out for handles - had to remain automatic (when sprinting/when in "highest profile") to not make free-running tedious and prone to massive slowdowns.

You convinced me, I agree the small jumps should remain automatic. Like you said it would become too tedious otherwise. The split in safe and unsafe jumps is a good one and should remain.




Agreed. But I doubt that's the way Ubisoft sees things ... They seem to be always on the lookout to attract ever more players to the series - including the notorious "casuals" - and fearing to discourage just one of them by game mechanics that require mastering some learning curve to become fun to use ... Rather than interested in making the gameplay the most fun for "veterans", who for the most part will buy the next game anyway - even when they may have been bored or disappointed with the previous one (at least that's what Ubisoft most likely is convinced of).

This is probably true :(. If they made the freerunning more complex I bet we would see a lot of "WTF ARE YOU THINKIG"-kind of threads lol. That said I wonder if the the AC players are that much less skilled than the Prince of Persia players for example?

Farlander1991
02-19-2013, 03:50 AM
If they made the freerunning more complex I bet we would see a lot of "WTF ARE YOU THINKIG"-kind of threads lol. That said I wonder if the the AC players are that much less skilled than the Prince of Persia players for example?

Well... Okay, I love both Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed. And, here's the thing, if you put in Prince of Persia mechanics in Assassin's Creed... they will kinda suck.

Here's for what kind of levels Prince of Persia mechanics are made:
http://imageshack.us/a/img189/3434/fr1e.jpg

I mean, even if you get into three dimensions and stuff like that, it's still essentially what the path looks like. Even somewhat more open and hub based PoP 2008 is designed, essentially, like this:
http://imageshack.us/a/img12/9063/fr2o.jpg

And here's for what kind of levels Assassin's Creed freerunning mechanics have to be created:
http://imageshack.us/a/img195/5844/fr3p.jpg

Which gets even more complicated with the trees and stuff, because that's just a lot of angular uneven surfaces. ... Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit, but you get the point :p

The point is, Assassin's Creed is open world. And for an open-world game, AC3's free-running mechanics, while still could use improvement, are solid enough. The problem is with PoP-style levels, because... AC mechanics are not PoP mechanics. And this is where tricky part begins, because, no matter how tight AC free-running gets, it will NEVER be good enough for traditional PoP-style platforming, because it has to work in an open world. Those are just two different design approaches. That's why the approach to chase sequences and platforming missions overall has to be somewhat different for AC3, making creative use of environmental hazards and goals that are set up, rather than a traditional PoP platforming experience.

I'm one of those people who deeply desires challenge in AC series. But due to the open-world nature of the game, challenge in navigation has to come in a different way than navigation challenge for PoP.

EDIT: And just to clarify, when I say that PoP has linear level design (even if it's branched out), I'm not saying that to criticize the game, I'm just pointing out that it's the way it's designed. We know how far the Prince can jump, how far he can wall run, how far he swings, what his arc is during a wall jump (so to know if to create environments to wall jump higher or to use wall jump for a smooth drop), etc. etc., everything can be planned out and mapped out for a varied experience, and the levels are build around that. And Assassin's Creed a different beast, so platforming in it is a different beast too.

EDIT2: The way I see it, platforming levels in PoP are like playing a piano. What platforming levels in Assassin's Creed should be (given the nature of its world and the way free-running mechanics have to work to feel good in that world), in my opinion, they should be like playing a violin. If that comparison makes sense.

Sushiglutton
02-19-2013, 03:41 PM
Well... Okay, I love both Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed. And, here's the thing, if you put in Prince of Persia mechanics in Assassin's Creed... they will kinda suck.

Here's for what kind of levels Prince of Persia mechanics are made:

(Pic)

I mean, even if you get into three dimensions and stuff like that, it's still essentially what the path looks like. Even somewhat more open and hub based PoP 2008 is designed, essentially, like this:

(Pic)

And here's for what kind of levels Assassin's Creed freerunning mechanics have to be created:

(Pic)

Which gets even more complicated with the trees and stuff, because that's just a lot of angular uneven surfaces. ... Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit, but you get the point :p

The point is, Assassin's Creed is open world. And for an open-world game, AC3's free-running mechanics, while still could use improvement, are solid enough. The problem is with PoP-style levels, because... AC mechanics are not PoP mechanics. And this is where tricky part begins, because, no matter how tight AC free-running gets, it will NEVER be good enough for traditional PoP-style platforming, because it has to work in an open world. Those are just two different design approaches. That's why the approach to chase sequences and platforming missions overall has to be somewhat different for AC3, making creative use of environmental hazards and goals that are set up, rather than a traditional PoP platforming experience.

I'm one of those people who deeply desires challenge in AC series. But due to the open-world nature of the game, challenge in navigation has to come in a different way than navigation challenge for PoP.

EDIT: And just to clarify, when I say that PoP has linear level design (even if it's branched out), I'm not saying that to criticize the game, I'm just pointing out that it's the way it's designed. We know how far the Prince can jump, how far he can wall run, how far he swings, what his arc is during a wall jump (so to know if to create environments to wall jump higher or to use wall jump for a smooth drop), etc. etc., everything can be planned out and mapped out for a varied experience, and the levels are build around that. And Assassin's Creed a different beast, so platforming in it is a different beast too.

EDIT2: The way I see it, platforming levels in PoP are like playing a piano. What platforming levels in Assassin's Creed should be (given the nature of its world and the way free-running mechanics have to work to feel good in that world), in my opinion, they should be like playing a violin. If that comparison makes sense.

Those are some amazing concept art :eek::eek::eek::p.

My point was that AC gamers should be capable of handling the same level of difficulty as PoP players. I agree that open-world and linear games must be designed differently. For example the horizontal wallrun from PoP would be very hard to implement in AC without massive changes. And some moves in PoP are more fantastical than what would work in AC. I do think though, that the kind of moves I suggested (tap to vault, tap to slide etc) would work fine in an open world games as proven by Arkham City, Sleeping Dogs and so on.

I don't think enviromental hazards work better in an open-world games, on the contrary I think they work much better when the designer knows from which direction the player is coming like in a linear game. A freerunning system in an OW game should be designed to be as fun as possible from a random point A to a random point B. That way it's becomes super easy to design sidemisssions like for example "catch the thief", or "fetch the doctor". You can still use scripted events to spice up the story missions, but it's a huge bonus if the system is engaging on its own.

AC allready makes assumptions about the players intent and adjust the length and animations of the jump accordingly (which is super cool btw :cool:). I don't see why this would be impossible just because the player more actively did the input. I still think the game should be helpful in terms of forgiving timing and that it tries to interpret ur intention and adjust (like for example if you tap the slide button close to a hole the game pushes you through even if you weren't positioned 100% correct).

Edit: Haven't forgot about your Lee-chase mission analysis. It's very long though, so I will se when I tackle it :).

Farlander1991
02-19-2013, 05:02 PM
I don't think enviromental hazards work better in an open-world games, on the contrary I think they work much better when the designer knows from which direction the player is coming like in a linear game.

I wasn't saying that environmental hazards work better in an open-world game, though ;) But when you're creating linear chase/platforming sequences in an open-world game, that's when you have to use them ;)

Sushiglutton
02-19-2013, 06:13 PM
I wasn't saying that environmental hazards work better in an open-world game, though ;) But when you're creating linear chase/platforming sequences in an open-world game, that's when you have to use them ;)

Ah ok that makes sense :)

bveUSbve
02-20-2013, 01:48 PM
If they made the freerunning more complex I bet we would see a lot of "WTF ARE YOU THINKIG"-kind of threads lol. That said I wonder if the the AC players are that much less skilled than the Prince of Persia players for example?
While PoP was popular, I think it's obvious that the AC-series sells several times as many copies (even sub-par titles like 'Revelations' do). So it's safe to say: many AC-players wouldn't want really challenging platforming, and of those not averse in principle a significant number might realize they lack the necessary skill.

And I tend to agree with Farlander1990: in an open-world game like AC the amount of skill required in the (older) PoP-games would be too much for "normal" roaming. But some challenge (though not as big as in PoP of old) could be reserved for special (optional) platforming missions - like we had in ACII with churches/cathedrals and tombs.

Generally I quite like the ease of free-running in AC, it fits the purpose within the HUGE environments.

But to reduce the inherent problems of One-Button-Free-Running and unwanted context-sensitive actions, the tapping requirement for some environmental contexts really could help. Though I'm still somewhat uncertain about it's feasibility, if it's meant to be an evolution - keep it very simple - rather than a revolution. It might provoke unforeseen new problems...

Sushiglutton
02-20-2013, 03:38 PM
While PoP was popular, I think it's obvious that the AC-series sells several times as many copies (even sub-par titles like 'Revelations' do). So it's safe to say: many AC-players wouldn't want really challenging platforming, and of those not averse in principle a significant number might realize they lack the necessary skill.

And I tend to agree with Farlander1990: in an open-world game like AC the amount of skill required in the (older) PoP-games would be too much for "normal" roaming. But some challenge (though not as big as in PoP of old) could be reserved for special (optional) platforming missions - like we had in ACII with churches/cathedrals and tombs.

Generally I quite like the ease of free-running in AC, it fits the purpose within the HUGE environments.

But to reduce the inherent problems of One-Button-Free-Running and unwanted context-sensitive actions, the tapping requirement for some environmental contexts really could help. Though I'm still somewhat uncertain about it's feasibility, if it's meant to be an evolution - keep it very simple - rather than a revolution. It might provoke unforeseen new problems...

I think you are correct about AC having a much wider audience than PoP, which was more a traditional game. I can see why as the historical tourist aspect is fascinating, even for someone who has never played a game. For example I showed Brotherhood's Rome to my mom (who is a history teacher btw) and she was completely blown away by it. Battlefield 3 on the other hand was kind of meh to her lol. For this group of players, who just want to explore a historical world, a demanding freerunning system would be a huge problem.

So you are correct it is a hard balancing act for Ubi. The solution and what I think is the best philosophy for AAA-games is to make it easy to survive, but hard to perfect. Best example is Arkham's combat system. Using two buttons almost everyone can get by and progress the story. However to make long, varied combos there is plenty to learn in order to master the system. This kind of design allows people of all skill levels to have a good time.

What this design philosophy means in a 3d platformer is that it should be easy to get from A to B, but to do it as smooth and as fast as possible should require a bit of technique (it should still be fairly easy though). I think tap to vault/slide (with forgiving time windows) and hold a button before you land to roll (like in Mirror's Edge or Sleeping Dogs) are perfect examples of the kind of challenge I'm looking for (Mirro's Edge is too unforgiving compared to what I think AC should be). If you miss a vault, you just climb the obstacle a bit more clumsily, no big deal. But if you are able to string together a number of moves correctly you get this wonderful sense of flow, which you don't do when everything is automatic.

I agree that they should still keep it simple. Three-four different actions you can perform by a simple facebutton tap (while holding the run button) and the punishment for failure should not be death but a small stumble. You are correct that changes may lead to unforeseen problems, but since I have seen the actions I'm proposing work well in other games I don't think that it would be impossible.

Farlander1991
02-20-2013, 06:04 PM
What I really loved about Assassin's Creed Revelations, is the hookblade. One important thing that it added during free-running in ACR is choice. You see a lamp on the corner, you don't hold a button to turn a round, you hold the 'hand' button at the right moment, you propel yourself forward.

I think the improvements to AC3 free-running should not only concern the matter of flow, but the matter of choice. There already is a system implemented for that with vaulting/sliding under, I think it should be taken as a basis and improved, with pretty much all the environmental parkour elements (like lifts, poles, flags, and pretty much everything) having this choice. You can do this OR if you hold this button at the right moment you can do this, OR if you hold this other button at the right moment you can do this.

This will not negatively affect the way you traverse in the open world, AND what it's also going to do, it will allow to design the linear platforming/chase sequences as a series of timed choices that you have to select correctly (especially if you want to go on smoothly and without hiccups). I personally think that this is the direction the free-running should be going to.

Sushiglutton
02-20-2013, 06:34 PM
What I really loved about Assassin's Creed Revelations, is the hookblade. One important thing that it added during free-running in ACR is choice. You see a lamp on the corner, you don't hold a button to turn a round, you hold the 'hand' button at the right moment, you propel yourself forward.

I think the improvements to AC3 free-running should not only concern the matter of flow, but the matter of choice. There already is a system implemented for that with vaulting/sliding under, I think it should be taken as a basis and improved, with pretty much all the environmental parkour elements (like lifts, poles, flags, and pretty much everything) having this choice. You can do this OR if you hold this button at the right moment you can do this, OR if you hold this other button at the right moment you can do this.

This will not negatively affect the way you traverse in the open world, AND what it's also going to do, it will allow to design the linear platforming/chase sequences as a series of timed choices that you have to select correctly (especially if you want to go on smoothly and without hiccups). I personally think that this is the direction the free-running should be going to.

I love this thinking!