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ze_topazio
01-21-2014, 02:57 AM
An interesting article with the insights of Jean Guesdon and Darby McDevitt about AC4 and a small tease for the future.

http://www.vg247.com/2014/01/20/the-making-of-assassins-creed-4-origins-reparations-uncharted-waters/

SenseHomunculus
01-21-2014, 01:08 PM
An interesting article with the insights of Jean Guesdon and Darby McDevitt about AC4 and a small tease for the future.

http://www.vg247.com/2014/01/20/the-making-of-assassins-creed-4-origins-reparations-uncharted-waters/

Thanks for the link! Cool article!

SixKeys
01-21-2014, 01:31 PM
The so-called "tease" was ridiculously out of place. It's like the reporter just wanted to ask about Japan in particular and then stuck the answer in the middle of the article in a completely non-related context.


In the end, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag takes significant steps towards rectifying problems from across the series. It succeeded in the majority, but what of the rumours that suggest Ubisoft ditched Connor and his North American setting as a way of making amends? Guesdon revealed, “Every game, every project has its own history, its own challenges and its own reception. We were already in conception and pre-production when Assassin’s Creed 3 entered full speed production. Our main key decisions were already made when the first reviews came in. For sure we read them and identified some points that we wanted to make sure to address but in no way was Black Flag decided or majorly influenced after or by Assassin’s Creed 3’s reception.”

While not exactly surprising considering the tight development schedule, this doesn't sound like a good approach. Basically it states that every game is already halfway through production before the reviews of the previous game start pouring in and possible problems can be addressed. If AC3 was not their template for improving AC4, what was? Does this mean the next game will take its cue from AC3 rather than AC4 in terms of linearity, mission design etc., since production will have started around the end of AC3's development? The AC5 team will not have benefitted from the hindsight of AC4's reception as it's likely already too far into production to make major changes.

killzab
01-21-2014, 01:43 PM
The so-called "tease" was ridiculously out of place. It's like the reporter just wanted to ask about Japan in particular and then stuck the answer in the middle of the article in a completely non-related context.



While not exactly surprising considering the tight development schedule, this doesn't sound like a good approach. Basically it states that every game is already halfway through production before the reviews of the previous game start pouring in and possible problems can be addressed. If AC3 was not their template for improving AC4, what was? Does this mean the next game will take its cue from AC3 rather than AC4 in terms of linearity, mission design etc., since production will have started around the end of AC3's development? The AC5 team will not have benefitted from the hindsight of AC4's reception as it's likely already too far into production to make major changes.

Indeed, this plus cut content ... Black Flag is surprisingly well-polished though compared to AC3.

ze_topazio
01-21-2014, 02:33 PM
While not exactly surprising considering the tight development schedule, this doesn't sound like a good approach. Basically it states that every game is already halfway through production before the reviews of the previous game start pouring in and possible problems can be addressed. If AC3 was not their template for improving AC4, what was? Does this mean the next game will take its cue from AC3 rather than AC4 in terms of linearity, mission design etc., since production will have started around the end of AC3's development? The AC5 team will not have benefitted from the hindsight of AC4's reception as it's likely already too far into production to make major changes.

That's how Ubisoft rolls and we already knew that, as we speak AC5 is already halfway through its production and AC6 is on its early stages and AC7 may be already in the planning phase.

SixKeys
01-21-2014, 03:54 PM
Yeah, I just hate how they're practically bragging about it. "No, of course AC4's improvements weren't a direct result of fan feedback! How could they be when the game was already almost finished?" I don't think that's exactly something to be proud of.

Landruner
01-21-2014, 04:52 PM
That's how Ubisoft rolls and we already knew that, as we speak AC5 is already halfway through its production and AC6 is on its early stages and AC7 may be already in the planning phase.

You forgot to mention Black Flag 2 in your list of future ACs + certainly the other coming up spin offs as well! LOL! But i think you are right in the UBI planning for that series

Shahkulu101
01-21-2014, 05:29 PM
Yeah, I just hate how they're practically bragging about it. "No, of course AC4's improvements weren't a direct result of fan feedback! How could they be when the game was already almost finished?" I don't think that's exactly something to be proud of.

Well they should be proud that they made such an exceptional game on their own merits, I suppose. Plus, I don't think either Darby or Jean have a say on the development cycle - slightly unfair to judge them personally.

LoyalACFan
01-21-2014, 05:59 PM
Not directly related to the article, but I was just struck by the two bullshots in the text. Edward leaning off the rigging while watching a whale breach, and Edward kneecapping that soldier. I know they're old, but I really find it annoying that they release shots like this of things that don't happen in the game.

SixKeys
01-21-2014, 06:23 PM
Well they should be proud that they made such an exceptional game on their own merits, I suppose. Plus, I don't think either Darby or Jean have a say on the development cycle - slightly unfair to judge them personally.

I wasn't judging them personally. They have every right to be proud of the game they made. That doesn't change the fact that openly admitting "we don't have time to take fan feedback into account, so no, it didn't affect this game" reflects poorly on the company and the whole franchise.

lothario-da-be
01-21-2014, 08:11 PM
I wasn't judging them personally. They have every right to be proud of the game they made. That doesn't change the fact that openly admitting "we don't have time to take fan feedback into account, so no, it didn't affect this game" reflects poorly on the company and the whole franchise.
They can still take the ac3's hate into account for ac5. Then they see ac4 is loved and realised they are on the good way. But a lot depends on the creative director though.

EscoBlades
01-21-2014, 11:07 PM
I wasn't judging them personally. They have every right to be proud of the game they made. That doesn't change the fact that openly admitting "we don't have time to take fan feedback into account, so no, it didn't affect this game" reflects poorly on the company and the whole franchise.

The bolded is untrue. Also i feel you might have missed the point being made a bit.

SixKeys
01-21-2014, 11:41 PM
The bolded is untrue. Also i feel you might have missed the point being made a bit.

"We were already in conception and pre-production when Assassin’s Creed 3 entered full speed production. Our main key decisions were already made when the first reviews came in. For sure we read them and identified some points that we wanted to make sure to address but in no way was Black Flag decided or majorly influenced after or by Assassin’s Creed 3’s reception.”

“During the development of Black Flag a lot of things happened,” he added, “a lot of other games went out that we looked at. We’re always listening to players, even players of our competitors. We’re always trying to improve our own game, incorporating good ideas if we think they make sense in the game. For example we listened as much if not more to comments about Far Cry 3 than comments about Assassin’s Creed 3.”

(emphasis mine)

To me that reads as the devs essentially saying the key features of AC4 were already well into production by the time AC3 was being reviewed by fans and critics and the feedback received from those reviews could not have majorly influenced the development, only small changes. Instead of waiting to hear what fans liked and disliked about the previous Assassin's Creed game, they listened to fans of Far Cry 3 instead. How does that even make sense?

SixKeys
01-21-2014, 11:50 PM
An example: linearity is a pretty big key decision that has to be decided upon in the early stages of the game. AC3 was the most linear of all the games so far, and was widely criticized for it. It sounds like it was just lucky chance that the developers of AC4 decided not to go with the same linearity when they started production on their own game. That chance could have turned out to be fatal in case it turned out players actually preferred linearity to open-endedness. Right now we have no idea what to expect from AC5. Production of AC5 will have started around the time AC3 wrapped up (probably a little earlier). Since AC4 did not exist at the time the AC5 devs made their first major decisions, if it is linear like AC3, they cannot possibly drastically alter the game at this point to be more like AC4.

EscoBlades
01-21-2014, 11:54 PM
Believe it or not, teams not only sit close to one another, we also play each other's games. Some things cross over well within a franchise, and some ideas can come from other games within the studio. There' nothing bad about that approach at all.

Development is always an iterative process, regardless of how far into development and production a project might be.

SixKeys
01-22-2014, 12:09 AM
Believe it or not, teams not only sit close to one another, we also play each other's games. Some things cross over well within a franchise, and some ideas can come from other games within the studio. There' nothing bad about that approach at all.

Development is always an iterative process, regardless of how far into development and production a project might be.


Again, we are talking key features here. Stuff like how linear the game will be, how the mission design will be, artistic direction etc.

Let's say you were making the next AC: you would have to decide in the early script-writing stages how much of the story will be told through cut scenes and how much through gameplay. You decide to go for a linear experience. You feel confident players are going to love it. The team that's supposed to start making the next game after yours is convinced by your confidence and decide they should make their game linear, too. By the time your game is finished and the reviews tell you that actually no, linearity in AC sucks, the other team will already be halfway through their linear game. By then it's too late for them to make major changes to the structure and you risk having two poorly received games in a row, when waiting for a year between releases would have given you more time to evaluate the feedback and improve your next product.

ACfan443
01-23-2014, 12:46 AM
One thing that's remained somewhat of a mystery since Black Flag's reveal, is that the game which coincidently touched up on virtually every shortcoming of AC3, essentially being the polar opposite of it, was not built upon the foundations of its predecessor's player and critic feedback, but solely down to the design team's own gameplay principles and visions, and inspiration from other games.

Suddenly there was all this talk of improved stealth, open ended mission structure, player freedom, a more talkative 'charming' (cause Connor's reception had nothing to do with this at all) assassin, gameplay centred around naval (which just happened to be the most acclaimed component of AC3). At times, AC4's marketing came across far too much like damage control.

It's like they're trying to make it sound like they had a perfect set plan which wasn't radically altered in any way, and knew exactly what they were doing since the very beginning. I believe this to some extent, but after the embarrassment AC3 caused Ubi, and the blow it took to the company's integrity and reputation, I have a hard time convincing myself that they didn't respond to any of AC3's feedback (and I don't mean the little faults it had, more the crucial flaws in its core gameplay).

killzab
01-23-2014, 12:56 AM
One thing that's remained somewhat of a mystery since Black Flag's reveal, is that the game which coincidently touched up on virtually every shortcoming of AC3, essentially being the polar opposite of it, was not built upon the foundations of its predecessor's player and critic feedback, but solely down to the design team's own gameplay principles and visions, and inspiration from other games.

Suddenly there was all this talk of improved stealth, open ended mission structure, player freedom, a more talkative 'charming' (cause Connor's reception had nothing to do with this at all) assassin, gameplay centred around naval (which just happened to be the most acclaimed component of AC3). At times, AC4's marketing came across far too much like damage control.

It's like they're trying to make it sound like they had a perfect set plan which wasn't radically altered in any way, and knew exactly what they were doing since the very beginning. I believe this to some extent, but after the embarrassment AC3 caused Ubi, and the blow it took to the company's integrity and reputation, I have a hard time convincing myself that they didn't respond to any of AC3's feedback (and I don't mean the little faults it had, more the crucial flaws in its core gameplay).

This, I agree with you, don't believe all the PR talk.

AdamPearce
01-23-2014, 01:43 AM
Something bothers me:

“I’d been asked to have a first think about an AC pirate game...''

By whom ? If Guesdon is the Creative Director...then who asked him ? The publishers ? I really hope not, please Esco tell me I'm wrong (and explain).