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Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 07:48 AM
http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/25/4146780/assassins-creed-3-is-a-marriage-of-narrative-and-mission-design

I believe what Corey said is spot on, but it did not really come out as they had hoped. missions design was marred by the marriage with narrative. Maybe the marriage was forced as mission design can work charms with narrative if neither was interfering with the business of the other thus not resulting in a mess. which is exactly what happened with AC III..

This is not an AC III hate thread, much as it seems so, so please refrain from this as to not derail the thread. lets talk like professionals..leaving out personal opinions like how Connor was boring, or how that horse got stuck in that pebble..etc.

If any of those things occur, I`ll regretfully request this thread be closed.

Thanks, people..

BATISTABUS
03-26-2013, 07:51 AM
I do think the story came at the expense of mission design. Even so, AC1 pulled off a fantastic story without doing that.

UrDeviant1
03-26-2013, 08:12 AM
"This is really critical because it's our firm belief that while the writers are obviously the story tellers of the game, so are the mission designers," May said. "I firmly believe that mission design is a form of story telling, and their contribution is equal."

I agree with this, but I also think it's the job of the creative director to ensure coherence between the two. Do you think Alex Hutchinson did a good job of that? He is the one that would review a completed mission and give it the go-ahead, no?

Can someone give an example of where mission design was affected negatively by narrative, or visa versa?.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 08:17 AM
Can someone give an example of where mission design was affected negatively by narrative, or visa versa?.
Battle of Concord....

UrDeviant1
03-26-2013, 08:19 AM
Battle of Concord....

Good example. I hated that mission.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 08:21 AM
Good example. I hated that mission.
They wanted so desperately to insert Historical events that it worked SOMETIMES and flopped in others such as this example...

UrDeviant1
03-26-2013, 08:29 AM
They wanted so desperately to insert Historical events that it worked SOMETIMES and flopped in others such as this example...

Yeah their need for historical accuracy really did hinder mission design. Another example would be Paul Reveres midnight ride. A really boring mission imo.

roostersrule2
03-26-2013, 08:31 AM
Yeah their need for historical accuracy really did hinder mission design. Another example would be Paul Reveres midnight ride. A really boring mission imo.I hate that mission.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 08:34 AM
Yeah their need for historical accuracy really did hinder mission design. Another example would be Paul Reveres midnight ride. A really boring mission imo.
Indeed. It used the same broken mechanic as a highlight...the horse -_-

on the subject of horses, AC II used horses too, but actually made them fun and integrated historical accuracy very well. They capitalized on Leo`s journey to Venice and made a fun gimmick using an existing mechanic and it worked great...great example

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 09:29 AM
Is this an indication that the series cannot utilise well-documented eras, because their accuracy that forces them to dumb down the gameplay for the narrative and its historical accuracy? Or is this the devs simply saying that this might have been a marriage where the whiny narrative wife always steals the scene?

roostersrule2
03-26-2013, 09:31 AM
Ok this explains 2 missions what about the 20 other poorly designed missions?

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:33 AM
Is this an indication that the series cannot utilise well-documented eras, because their accuracy that forces them to dumb down the gameplay for the narrative and its historical accuracy? Or is this the devs simply saying that this might have been a marriage where the whiny narrative wife always steals the scene?
The latter..they could`v made Revere`s ride SOOO much more fun without necessarily integrating Connor into the central event of the ride itself...the ride could`v simply been in the background of Connor`s actual mission. something he passes by and it ignites another event that affects Connor`s mission...that`s right the battle of Lexington, where he finds Pitcairn and chases after him through the army of redcoats a la E3 trailer, he then gets into a big fight where enemies corner Connor and keep coming at him for 1 minute until the Patriots manage to get the Redcoats running, yes that`s the battle of Concord, after that Pitcairn escapes as well and that then leads into Bunker hill.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:35 AM
Ok this explains 2 missions what about the 20 other poorly designed missions?
Like Haytham`s Assassnation ? Charles Lee`s Assassination ? Hickey`s Assassination ? Braddock`s assassination ? Church`s assassination ? Akh those were simply for casual, Hollywood, cinematic, Heavy rain fans, silly:)

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 09:37 AM
Can someone give an example of where mission design was affected negatively by narrative, or visa versa?.
Almost the whole game...

roostersrule2
03-26-2013, 09:38 AM
Like Haytham`s Assassnation ? Charles Lee`s Assassination ? Hickey`s Assassination ? Braddock`s assassination ? Church`s assassination ? Akh those were simply for casual, Hollywood, cinematic, Heavy rain fans, silly:)They're good in moderation.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 09:39 AM
Like Haytham`s Assassnation ? Charles Lee`s Assassination ? Hickey`s Assassination ? Braddock`s assassination ? Church`s assassination ? Akh those were simply for casual, Hollywood, cinematic, Heavy rain fans, silly:)
....so what exactly makes you not dislike AC3? 0_o

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:42 AM
....so what exactly makes you not dislike AC3? 0_o
Story, characters, Animations, size, Naval, Homestead, Hunting, Tree running, seasons, detail and mini-games..

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 09:45 AM
Story
http://i.imgur.com/8V9gA.jpg

That was my main gripe, that the story was...lacklustre and poorly executed, and HORRIBLE mission design, IMO that is....obviously.

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 09:46 AM
The latter..they could`v made Revere`s ride SOOO much more fun without necessarily integrating Connor into the central event of the ride itself...the ride could`v simply been in the background of Connor`s actual mission. something he passes by and it ignites another event that affects Connor`s mission...that`s right the battle of Lexington, where he finds Pitcairn and chases after him through the army of redcoats a la E3 trailer, he then gets into a big fight where enemies corner Connor and keep coming at him for 1 minute until the Patriots manage to get the Redcoats running, yes that`s the battle of Concord, after that Pitcairn escapes as well and that then leads into Bunker hill.

Still pretty linear. I would have liked an escort mission, where you clear the area stealthily(or not),as Revere moves through the frontier or something along the lines of stealth. Also, remember when Hutchinson kept saying that not many people died at that time? Yeah, both historical accuracy and the narrative hurt the game.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:46 AM
That was my main gripe, that the story was...lacklustre and poorly executed, and HORRIBLE mission design, IMO that is....obviously.
We`re not discussing story here D:

only mission design.....so....NO STORY

roostersrule2
03-26-2013, 09:48 AM
http://i.imgur.com/8V9gA.jpg

That was my main gripe, that the story was...lacklustre and poorly executed, and HORRIBLE mission design, IMO that is....obviously.The game was better the 2nd time.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:48 AM
Still pretty linear. I would have liked an escort mission, where you clear the area stealthily(or not),as Revere moves through the frontier or something along the lines of stealth. Also, remember when Hutchinson kept saying that not many people died at that time? Yeah, both historical accuracy and the narrative hurt the game.
It`s linear but fun. the flying machine was linear, but fun..the Carriage chase was linear but fun...Sequence 7 generally lacked the word FUN...I`m fine with linearity as long as it is fun and does not interfere with the actual Assassinations.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 09:48 AM
We`re not discussing story here D:

only mission design.....so....NO STORY
But we are talking about how story/narrative affected mission design/gameplay....


The game was better the 2nd time.
It's better as a standalone game but as an AC game, I'll put it next to Brotherhood.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:49 AM
But we are talking about how story/narrative affected mission design/gameplay....
Yes...but not how good or bad was the story :X

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 09:51 AM
Yes...but not how good or bad was the story :X
Never said the story is "bad". I'm talking about how it was poorly executed, into which gameplay matters quite a lot. Like shoving Connor into every event......he'd have to be VERY LUCKY, too lucky to get into all those events. Get me?

roostersrule2
03-26-2013, 09:52 AM
Never said the story is "bad". I'm talking about how it was poorly executed, into which gameplay matters quite a lot. Like shoving Connor into every event......he'd have to be VERY LUCKY, too lucky to get into all those events. Get me?Yea, he needed to be in more battles and the Great Fire.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 09:55 AM
Never said the story is "bad". I'm talking about how it was poorly executed, into which gameplay matters quite a lot. Like shoving Connor into every event......he'd have to be VERY LUCKY, too lucky to get into all those events. Get me?
Oh...thaaaat`s what you meant...I dunno.."poorly executed" was quite vague :|

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 10:00 AM
Oh...thaaaat`s what you meant...I dunno.."poorly executed" was quite vague :|
Vague it may be, put quite apt for what I'm saying.

Back on topic, mission design, which game(other than AC1) had good mission design?

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 10:00 AM
Vague it may be, put quite apt for what I'm saying.

Back on topic, mission design, which game(other than AC1) had good mission design?
I`d say AC II

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 10:03 AM
I`d say AC II
Yeah AC2 for the most part was good. AC:B killed everything known as "assassination". AC:R while overall was better, had some ridiculous stuff like tailing florists...

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 10:05 AM
Yeah AC2 for the most part was good. AC:B killed everything known as "assassination". AC:R while overall was better, had some ridiculous stuff like tailing florists...
ACB only had one good Assassination.........out of 3 :|

but what`s bad about tailing florists ?

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 10:06 AM
ACB only had one good Assassination.........out of 3 :|

but what`s bad about tailing florists ?
It's ridiculous that's what, but I said AC:R was overall better incase you didn't notice.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 10:07 AM
It's ridiculous that's what, but I said AC:R was overall better incase you didn't notice.
Yes I noticed, but what`s fundamentally bad about tailing the the florist ?? It`s just like any other tail

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 10:10 AM
Yes I noticed, but what`s fundamentally bad about tailing the the florist ?? It`s just like any other tail
............not sure if serious

Why would a florist be so suspicious and we have to follow him like that and then he looks back and we hide it just feels odd.

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 10:15 AM
............not sure if serious

Why would a florist be so suspicious and we have to follow him like that and then he looks back and we hide it just feels odd.
mate you have to be more precise....I had no idea you were referring to oddity and immersion damm it...I thought it was broken or something, but I wouldn't call that bad mission design entirely....just awful context

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 10:22 AM
mate you have to be more precise....I had no idea you were referring to oddity and immersion damm it...I thought it was broken or something, but I wouldn't call that bad mission design entirely....just awful context
Uhh...derp M you're too busy defending AC:R ;p I said it's overall better but there are some oddities, didn't say that made the mission design horrible haha

Assassin_M
03-26-2013, 10:26 AM
Uhh...derp M you're too busy defending AC:R ;p I said it's overall better but there are some oddities, didn't say that made the mission design horrible haha
There seems to be difficulty in our communication...this IS a mission design thread, so automatically, I`ll assume you`re talking about Game Design...and how is me calling the context awful defending ? :|

roostersrule2
03-26-2013, 10:27 AM
Uhh...derp M you're too busy defending AC:R ;p I said it's overall better but there are some oddities, didn't say that made the mission design horrible hahaHe's saying it's a tail missions, they aren't bad. So it's not a bad mission due to design.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 10:30 AM
There seems to be difficulty in our communication...this IS a mission design thread, so automatically, I`ll assume you`re talking about Game Design...and how is me calling the context awful defending ? :|
Well I'm saying AC:R has some missions, like the hanging on a rope in the beginning, the florist tailing and the ending with the parachute stuff which is quite...bad, the difference here is that while those things are bad, the rest of the game is fine.

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 11:04 AM
ACB only had one good Assassination.........out of 3 :|

but what`s bad about tailing florists ?

Why the hate on ACB? The game may have been linear, but it had stealth in nearly every missions (I recently replayed it), which is great by my terms. Assassination wise, I'd say it was similar to AC3. Better than ACR? Not really. ACR had less stealth than ACB and I don't remember much assassinating, so maybe similar to ACB in that regards. Side-missions wise, ACB was the best. Leonardo missions were the perfect mix between action and stealth and so were the Templar missions that were a nice reference. Needles to say, the 5 Romulus missions were the victor compared to one Hagia Sophia mission. Weirdly enough, I found Rome's architecture to be more alluring to me, although Istanbul's vibrancy and colours were far more gorgeous, albeit lacking verticality sometimes. All in all, I'd say ACB was the better package because of the sufficient stealth, the better myriad of side missions and Italian architecture. Also, Y u no horsies in Istanbul?

Sushiglutton
03-26-2013, 11:06 AM
It's a bit worrying that there doesn't seem to be any self-criticism. Granted this is just a couple of random quotes, but it seems Corey is explaining their process as an example. However the mission design was the weakest aspect of AC3, so it is not a good example to follow. Would have liked them to acknowledge that as it would have meant future improements. Now I'm afraid they will keep the same direction.

As to why the missions were so miserable I think part of it was the emphasis on story over gameplay (for example the first 5h were completely uninteresting from a gameplay pov). Trying to relive history by putting Connor in the middle of different historical events did not work as they did not have the gameplay to support it. But even without story constraints I still feel like the mission designers did a really poor job. There were plenty of missions were the story only dictated the beginning and end, but they still turned out mediocre. And on top of everything the sidemissions were sooo lazily made.

Very hard to know who to blame as we don't know who decides what. And I don't really care. I just hope they can figure it out for future games.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 11:20 AM
Why the hate on ACB? The game may have been linear, but it had stealth in nearly every missions (I recently replayed it), which is great by my terms. Assassination wise, I'd say it was similar to AC3. Better than ACR? Not really. ACR had less stealth than ACB and I don't remember much assassinating, so maybe similar to ACB in that regards. Side-missions wise, ACB was the best. Leonardo missions were the perfect mix between action and stealth and so were the Templar missions that were a nice reference. Needles to say, the 5 Romulus missions were the victor compared to one Hagia Sophia mission. Weirdly enough, I found Rome's architecture to be more alluring to me, although Istanbul's vibrancy and colours were far more gorgeous, albeit lacking verticality sometimes. All in all, I'd say ACB was the better package because of the sufficient stealth, the better myriad of side missions and Italian architecture. Also, Y u no horsies in Istanbul?
Side missions are the only thing that AC:B excelled at really and there was like...1 assassination in Brotherood - The Banker and MAYBE the Baron de Valois. Sure it had more stealth but it also had the ridiculous chain kills, not to forget we were Robin Hood bringing about Renaissance and purchasing everything. Cesare was a typical bad enemy guy and Ezio was the white knight, no moral ambiguity.

How do you think we'll ride a horse in the narrow streets on Istanbul...it's so closely packed :|

After all, what's the highlight of AC? Gameplay? No, any game can do what AC did, and most definitely better. Graphics? Nope. Story? Yes.

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 11:29 AM
I disagree. No game can offer the pretty unique vertical and horizontal stealth which AC can provide. Add to that social stealth too. Both of these assets provide tactical opportunities which sets the series from any other stealth game, provided that the AC games even have that sort of stealth, otherwise, you're better off reading the far more interesting novels.


Side missions are the only thing that AC:B excelled at really and there was like...1 assassination in Brotherood - The Banker and MAYBE the Baron de Valois. Sure it had more stealth but it also had the ridiculous chain kills, not to forget we were Robin Hood bringing about Renaissance and purchasing everything. Cesare was a typical bad enemy guy and Ezio was the white knight, no moral ambiguity.

How do you think we'll ride a horse in the narrow streets on Istanbul...it's so closely packed :|

After all, what's the highlight of AC? Gameplay? No, any game can do what AC did, and most definitely better. Graphics? Nope. Story? Yes.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 11:32 AM
I disagree. No game can offer the pretty unique vertical and horizontal stealth which AC can provide. Add to that social stealth too. Both of these assets provide tactical opportunities which sets the series from any other stealth game, provided that the AC games even have that sort of stealth, otherwise, you're better off reading the far more interesting novels.
I said they it's easily doable, didn't say any other game provides for it yet.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 11:37 AM
Also, funny you mentioned that for Brotherhood, I found very little incentive to use rooftops in Brotherhood compared to AC1, 2, Revelations. The streets were always faster and we could always call on a horse.

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 11:37 AM
I said they it's easily doable, didn't say any other game provides for it yet.

The thing is, NO ONE MAKES IT YET. Until some other devs can mimic this sort of gameplay, then gameplay will remain a highlight of AC. Patrice's 1666 seems like a competitor for AC in that regards, so until its reveal, AC remains unique in terms of gameplay.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 12:02 PM
The thing is, NO ONE MAKES IT YET. Until some other devs can mimic this sort of gameplay, then gameplay will remain a highlight of AC. Patrice's 1666 seems like a competitor for AC in that regards, so until its reveal, AC remains unique in terms of gameplay.
Nobody needs to make it. There is nothing about AC gameplay that is "different" anymore, it's all very....well base, just systems piled on top of one another often disconnected.

About 1666 - It WAS, before Ubi bought it.

SixKeys
03-26-2013, 12:39 PM
ACB's mission design is a freaking masterpiece compared to AC3. Infiltrating Castel St. Angelo (both times), assassinating the Banker, all the stealth missions in the Da Vinci Disappearance, the war machines (especially the stealth bits)....I still have fun with all these and more every time I play the game. With AC3 I can name only one fun assassination mission off the top of my head (Pitcairn) and some of the forts. That's it. In ACB even the side stuff felt more related to the story or character development. Like the beat-up mission where you have to chase the Footpad from the multiplayer. Ezio was actually talking a woman down from committing suicide, not just beating a guy up for money. It showed he had matured a bit which ties in with the story of him becoming a mentor. The thief and courtesan missions existed because Ezio was trying to win the trust and loyalty of those guilds. I still haven't figured out if there is any story-related point to the fight club and thief challenges in AC3. The huntsmen ones had potential, but we never even found out how Connor ran into this group of hunters and why he became friends with them. The story missions were either all story and little gameplay or all gameplay and little story. Connor's execution is a perfect example: the whole thing is designed from a narrative perspective with practically no player control until the last 20 seconds. The only thing players control is making Connor walk up to the stage through an impressive but non-interactive background. In the last bit you're allowed to run forward about 10 feet in slow-motion. End of mission.

There is no marriage between narrative and mission design in AC3, and if there was, it would be on the brink of a divorce.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 12:44 PM
There is no marriage between narrative and mission design in AC3, and if there was, it would be on the brink of a divorce.

http://dragon.mixrmedia.com/wp-uploads/funsauce/blog/2012/01/victory.jpg http://i.imgur.com/sLgMCj2.jpg

pirate1802
03-26-2013, 01:10 PM
After all, what's the highlight of AC? Gameplay? No, any game can do what AC did, and most definitely better. Graphics? Nope. Story? Yes.
Nailed itwa.

pacmanate
03-26-2013, 02:01 PM
I like I said, Corey said, and Darby, a story can be great, but if the mission design is poor, the whole game sux

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 02:02 PM
Nobody needs to make it. There is nothing about AC gameplay that is "different" anymore, it's all very....well base, just systems piled on top of one another often disconnected.

About 1666 - It WAS, before Ubi bought it.

Your logic is flawed. Consider that AC is a salad. You add Ceasar toppings to the salad and it becomes unique (hypothetically). For some vague reason, only you make the Ceaser salad, making you unique. After a year or two, you discover that people like cheddar on their salad, so you ask yourself, why don't I add Cheddar as well and while I am at it why don't I add cream since people like it too? Year after year, you add more toppings and those who came for the original Ceaser salad get increasingly pissed for how it has deviated. Still, you are the only guy that makes Ceaser salad. Is your salad different from everyone else's salad? Of course it is, cause you do have the Ceaser toppings still there after all, you just diluted it with all the other generic crap. Compared to all your past salads, this is a horrible stale piece of crap, but only you make it, so why do you say it isn't different from anything else on the market? It may nkt be better, but it's your unique piece of crap, that no one else can make, no matter HOW MINUTE IT RESEMBLES YOUR PAST ONES. (Not my best elaboration, so please don't hate)

As for 1666, Patrice wouldn't work for Ubisoft if they tried to even scrap his Precious project. If it is similar to AC, then the worst case scenario that this would be integrated into AC. There still is a chance that it isn't in the same historical genre of AC, hence why they and Patrice hadn't shown any conflict.

Megas_Doux
03-26-2013, 02:10 PM
To me, ACB:

Bad and cartoonish story full of...Bad and cartoonish antagonists.
Dull and rather boring city aside from its landmarks. If Firenze and Toscana had a ugly baby it woud be ACB' Rome...
I have tried to be killed in that game and failed......

SixKeys
03-26-2013, 02:19 PM
To me, ACB:

Bad and cartoonish story full of...Bad and cartoonish antagonists.
Dull and rather boring city aside from its landmarks. If Firenze and Toscana had a ugly baby it woud be ACB' Rome...
I have tried to be killed in that game and failed......

I disagree about the rest, but the final point is spot on. It is literally impossible to die in combat in ACB, the only way to die is through desynch or falling off a tall building.

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 02:20 PM
...
Not the point, just because I add things on top of something doesn't make it better.

Recruit system was never needed, Naval was never needed(it was the only one that turned out good), Bombs were never needed and were hardly ever useful, completely unnecessary elements like den defence, cannon gameplay in AC:B, ordering troops to defend in AC3, cannons again in AC3 were all never needed just tacked on.

You see that is the problem, they assemble a team of hundreds of people and make them works on these smaller system for a year, then they wrap it all together. The core of the game has seen 0 innovation.

ArabianFrost
03-26-2013, 03:05 PM
Not the point, just because I add things on top of something doesn't make it better.

Recruit system was never needed, Naval was never needed(it was the only one that turned out good), Bombs were never needed and were hardly ever useful, completely unnecessary elements like den defence, cannon gameplay in AC:B, ordering troops to defend in AC3, cannons again in AC3 were all never needed just tacked on.

You see that is the problem, they assemble a team of hundreds of people and make them works on these smaller system for a year, then they wrap it all together. The core of the game has seen 0 innovation.

That was the whole point of the example. Ubisoft may think these irrelevant additions might make their game as likable as different games in the market, but in the end, they just add stuff to the game without any noticeable improvement to the Unique core. My main point was that AC is still unique from every other game, but it isn't necessarily still good. Different, yet not good.
Knee the example may have been confusing.

FirestarLuva
03-26-2013, 07:56 PM
I have to agree with some points, I loved Connor's story I really do, but some missions really derailed the fun for me.
Also, here's something else from GDC:

Happy feet: starting from scratch with Assassin’s Creed’s movement

"This might not sound like an AI problem to us lay people, but the decisions on where Connor put his feet are hugely more complex than Ezio’s lumpen feet – mainly, as far as we could tell, because Ubisoft Montreal is ramping up for the next generation consoles, which will no longer limit the complexity of their simulation. “The challenge was to change everything but change nothing,” said Aleissa Laidacker, Team Lead for AI and Gameplay, Ubisoft Montreal (pictured left). “The fans would have killed us.”

The four movements of the new Assassin’s Creed engine were ground navigation, climbing, free-running and tree-running. While they were revamping these, they also revamped the animation system completely, making it totally procedural, as Laidacker demonstrated with sample videos showing Connor’s reactions to varying conditions.

The basis for the movement style was the movie Apocalypto, with its wild forest-running. As much of Assassin’s Creed 3 takes place in the heavily-wooded frontier, this was an important parallel, but it meant that Connor had to react correctly to the environment, whatever he was doing. This meant running, fighting and assassination animations all had to take place on uneven and even moving surfaces – considering the ships and sails, but also the rocky, bumpy surface of the frontier provinces.

Once the animation and AI team had made it so that Connor’s feet could stand properly on uneven ground, Ubisoft Montreal’s procedural animation guru, Simon Clavet was called in. His task was to ensure that the animation system could take advantage of this, by predicting where Connor’s feet would end up as he was running and ensuring that his legs moved in the correct way. He did this by raycasting possible paths and making sure Connor’s feet were ready to step over the highest point, and his pelvis was properly tilted. (This is scarily similar to the procedure the human body does automatically when we’re walking.) Added to this, Front Strafing meant that Connor would step from side-to-side as ran; when players started turning, Connor would strafe first, meaning the animation wasn’t disturbed if the player then turned him back.

The free-running model was also changed substantially for AC3. Every movement was given new animations, with short jumps chained together and long jumps separated off by ‘settle’ animations, so the animators could create new variations without having to think about how to integrate them.

Richard Dumas, the Technical lead (pictured right), explained that climbing was revamped by basing Connor’s movement on that of professional speed climbers like Dan Osman, who can climb a 400m cliff in 4 minutes. “If he can, an assassin can too,” said Dumas. Connor doesn’t settle after every move, like Ezio, but can flow from move to move, along the more organic surfaces of the frontier. Similarly, he doesn’t just move up, down and sideways, but can move 360 degrees on the rockface, climbs vertical cracks in a totally different way, and has a dynamic system of how he positions his body, depending on how close to an edge his hands are or whether his feet are resting or dangling. Frankly, this was a crazy amount of work compared to its nearest climbing competitor… QWOP.

Finally, the newest form of movement was tree navigation. The trees came in three types. The unclimbable tree was smooth and branchless. The normal tree had anchors and horizontal branches, and could be climbed slowly. Finally, the V-shaped trees acted as fast elevators, and allowed players to hop up, from V to V, extremely quickly, so they could get back into position for assassinations.

To make it so that Connor (and the other characters and animals) had proper foot placement took the best part of three years work by AC3′s AI department, and even now they’re limited by the hardware power of the consoles. The movement behaviour was similarly involved. However, we’re betting this totally dynamic system, which was under-used by AC3 because of console memory limitations, will make a more impressive reappearance in future editions of AC."

ProletariatPleb
03-26-2013, 08:25 PM
^It's still very basic procedural animation, look at GTA IV or any other game made on RAGE Engine that's how it's done. Still, quite a feat placing the feet(puns puns) correctly on every surface.