PDA

View Full Version : Evolution of Freerunning



Wolfmeister1010
03-05-2014, 04:37 AM
We all want a change in the parkour system that has stayed basically the same since the beginning, but, what exactly do you think should be added/changed? What moves could be added at this point?

The only ideas I have are for allowing us to maybe do a mirror's edge style wall run move by running at a certain angle at a wall, and the ability to shimmie (if that is how it is spelled) across little ledges against buildings. Also I want a change in the camera angles while freerunning and climbing.

But what more could be added to make it feel new? New moves? Or just change the control scheme? What are your ideas?

Fatal-Feit
03-05-2014, 04:46 AM
I would add tonnes more dynamic objects on the platforms. I never get tired of flipping off tables, fences, and AIs to shake the guards.

Consus_E
03-05-2014, 05:45 AM
1. Momentum being taken into account forcing the Assassin to build speed to make longer jumps, while avoiding obstacles that break forward momentum.

2. More precise movement and jumping.

3. Less automatic...

ACLexter
03-05-2014, 06:33 AM
Maybe just more animation when passing through obstacle.
or maybe make it more difficult/challenging when climbing, jumbing, etc.

BoBwUzHeRe1138
03-05-2014, 12:14 PM
Like someone mentioned -- less automated, more dynamic.

I like the idea of needing more momentum to make larger gaps. I'd like a return of the leap and grip mechanic first introduced in AC2 only instead of having to press a button to both leap up and then a different one to grab... you just press the button once to both leap AND grab. This makes you do more input without it being as tedious. It will also look and flow nicer if the game automatically grips the next thing. The leap and grip always looked clunky and was pretty clunky in use but when they automated it, it looked nicer. Unfortunately, the automated version is, well, less satisfying because I'm not doing it. Having it done the way I described would solve that I think.

Second... I'd love if it took inspiration from Mirror's Edge. When you jump off a structure, I should be required to press a button to initiate a roll. If I don't press the button, I'll do a hard land which will not only hurt my health a bit (differs based on how high you fell), but also slow me down (which is obviously bad if you're being chased.) If I press the button at the right time and perform a roll though, I am able to fluidly continue running with next to no slow down and I don't lose health. After a certain height however, avoiding injury is impossible.

Lots of things need to be completely gutted and reworked for the first true next gen AC game. For instance, AC needs to take a HEAVY cue from Watch_Dogs when it comes to open world events. Watch_Dogs has those buildings where you hack into the server or whatever and you unlock access to hacking people's phones and the like. Those are akin to the towers or forts from AC. But W_D ALSO has random crimes that will pop up from time to time. Spiderman 2 also had this (rescue someone from falling, stop a mugger, chase down a getaway car, return a child's balloon, etc.), Red Dead Redemption has this (stop a store robber, stop a wagon thief, nightwatch jobs, gang ambush, stop two criminals who escaped the police, bounties, etc.). AC has always been severely light when it comes to that random, dynamic element to the world. It's explored it tentatively -- the thieves in Revelations but really... AC doesn't have much after the main and side missions. There's typically nothing to do except start fights with guards and run around buildings. So that needs to be rectified: civilians who are being mugged, criminals being chased by guards (if you get the criminal, you're rewarded by the guards), etc. Basically look to Spiderman 2 and RDR and Watch_Dogs for inspiration.

Also...W_D's random events also have random outcomes after you tackle them... for instance, some criminals will try and shoot at you, some will get away in a car, some might get back up, etc. Not only is the crime random, but so is what happens after you get involved. That's really cool and AC would really benefit from it.

I'm playing RDR right now (I played it when it first came out but never got around to finishing it so I restarted it and wow... I really missed out on a great game. Rockstar definitely makes the best open world games because they know how to fill it with content that never stops giving.)

Those are the biggest things that need to happen


Retooled climbing mechanics
Greater emphasis on crafting a dynamic and believable game world with random events that will pop up on your mini-map that you can chose to ignore or take on and that never "dry up."
More stealthy options


Other than that... things start to get less important to me, personally. Combat could get a makeover as well I suppose but it's not as big a priority IMO.

pacmanate
03-05-2014, 01:35 PM
They need to ditch the AC3 free running animations. It feels so artifical.

Why must the protags flail their arms around? Im pretty sure there is a delay in animation transition too. You seem to stop for a while before jumping and then again after landing.

AC1-ACR free running felt way smoother than it does now.

Wolfmeister1010
03-05-2014, 02:00 PM
They need to ditch the AC3 free running animations. It feels so artifical.

Why must the protags flail their arms around? Im pretty sure there is a delay in animation transition too. You seem to stop for a while before jumping and then again after landing.

AC1-ACR free running felt way smoother than it does now.

Wow really?? I LOVE that they flail their arms. I didn't like how previous protagonists just easily sailed through the air. The animations for Connor and Edward made it seem like they were actually trying.

When you are flying through the air like that it is a natural automatic body mechanism to start to flail your arms like that to "balance" you out. I think it makes the freerunning better! At least the animations.

jdowny
03-05-2014, 03:12 PM
They need to ditch the AC3 free running animations. It feels so artifical.

Why must the protags flail their arms around? Im pretty sure there is a delay in animation transition too. You seem to stop for a while before jumping and then again after landing.

AC1-ACR free running felt way smoother than it does now.

I entirely agree. Ezio and Altair made freerunning look graceful and elegant, which is what it should be. I felt more like an assassin smoothly hopping across gaps than I did as Connor or Edward.

I completely understand why they did it with Connor though, because he was different to the other assassins. He was heavier, more powerful, had different weapons and therefore a completely different style. One of the developers likened his style to that of a wolf rather than an eagle like previous assassins, which I thought was very fitting. And when you look at Connor's fighting style compared to Ezio's, you can see the difference - it's brutal instead of balletic.

All this makes him look a bit clumsy when throwing himself off rooftops. The freerunning animations don't feel quite as smooth and there's just something less assassin-like about Connor's (and Edward's) running and climbing.

I hope they go back to a smoother sort of freerunning in the next games. Interestingly, Haytham's freerunning style was completely different to Connor's in AC III, presumably to indicate he was trained by assassins. I also want a bit more control over my character - like being able to say I want to jump a short distance as opposed to wanting to jump a huge distance. In AC III and IV there was no distinction. In terms of bringing something new though, I thought Aiden's freerunning style in Watch_Dogs looked great - he didn't face fences head on to jump over them but rebounded off the wall. And he actually rolls correctly for a free-runner for once - rolling diagonally across the body instead of straight.

Dome500
03-05-2014, 03:16 PM
Like someone mentioned -- less automated, more dynamic.

I like the idea of needing more momentum to make larger gaps. I'd like a return of the leap and grip mechanic first introduced in AC2 only instead of having to press a button to both leap up and then a different one to grab... you just press the button once to both leap AND grab. This makes you do more input without it being as tedious. It will also look and flow nicer if the game automatically grips the next thing. The leap and grip always looked clunky and was pretty clunky in use but when they automated it, it looked nicer. Unfortunately, the automated version is, well, less satisfying because I'm not doing it. Having it done the way I described would solve that I think.

Second... I'd love if it took inspiration from Mirror's Edge. When you jump off a structure, I should be required to press a button to initiate a roll. If I don't press the button, I'll do a hard land which will not only hurt my health a bit (differs based on how high you fell), but also slow me down (which is obviously bad if you're being chased.) If I press the button at the right time and perform a roll though, I am able to fluidly continue running with next to no slow down and I don't lose health. After a certain height however, avoiding injury is impossible.

Lots of things need to be completely gutted and reworked for the first true next gen AC game. For instance, AC needs to take a HEAVY cue from Watch_Dogs when it comes to open world events. Watch_Dogs has those buildings where you hack into the server or whatever and you unlock access to hacking people's phones and the like. Those are akin to the towers or forts from AC. But W_D ALSO has random crimes that will pop up from time to time. Spiderman 2 also had this (rescue someone from falling, stop a mugger, chase down a getaway car, return a child's balloon, etc.), Red Dead Redemption has this (stop a store robber, stop a wagon thief, nightwatch jobs, gang ambush, stop two criminals who escaped the police, bounties, etc.). AC has always been severely light when it comes to that random, dynamic element to the world. It's explored it tentatively -- the thieves in Revelations but really... AC doesn't have much after the main and side missions. There's typically nothing to do except start fights with guards and run around buildings. So that needs to be rectified: civilians who are being mugged, criminals being chased by guards (if you get the criminal, you're rewarded by the guards), etc. Basically look to Spiderman 2 and RDR and Watch_Dogs for inspiration.

Also...W_D's random events also have random outcomes after you tackle them... for instance, some criminals will try and shoot at you, some will get away in a car, some might get back up, etc. Not only is the crime random, but so is what happens after you get involved. That's really cool and AC would really benefit from it.

I'm playing RDR right now (I played it when it first came out but never got around to finishing it so I restarted it and wow... I really missed out on a great game. Rockstar definitely makes the best open world games because they know how to fill it with content that never stops giving.)

Those are the biggest things that need to happen


Retooled climbing mechanics
Greater emphasis on crafting a dynamic and believable game world with random events that will pop up on your mini-map that you can chose to ignore or take on and that never "dry up."
More stealthy options


Other than that... things start to get less important to me, personally. Combat could get a makeover as well I suppose but it's not as big a priority IMO.



This.

And more dynamic moving objects as part of the platforming.
They already did it with ships and I would really love to see that mechanic being used for other moving objects in the world.

Sushiglutton
03-05-2014, 04:17 PM
More interactive!

The magic of games is when they make you feel like you are performing the awesome actions on screen. For this to happen there needs to be the right balance between player input and onscreen feedback. The parkour in AC is way off as the game does everything and the player barely anything. This makes me feel disconnected and it's frankly a bit dull. I want to be the actor, not a spectator.

I wish that I one day will see a youtube video of someone doing parkour in AC and think to myself: "Wow that gamer has skill, I wonder how he did that!"

Dome500
03-05-2014, 04:36 PM
More interactive!

The magic of games is when they make you feel like you are performing the awesome actions on screen. For this to happen there needs to be the right balance between player input and onscreen feedback. The parkour in AC is way off as the game does everything and the player barely anything. This makes me feel disconnected and it's frankly a bit dull. I want to be the actor, not a spectator.

I wish that I one day will see a youtube video of someone doing parkour in AC and think to myself: "Wow that gamer has skill, I wonder how he did that!"

Agreed. It should be intuitive but highly interactive.

AssassinHMS
03-05-2014, 09:42 PM
Evolution? More like decay.
I'm not going into specifics like I have in other similar threads so, to put it simple, the key is challenge. The game must not allow the player to shut off the brain. The world feels like a highway, just press a button and keep your eyes on the road and the physics will do the rest. And what is the problem with freeways? Because they are so monotone and don't require extreme attention, the driver can easily fall asleep. The same can be said about AC. The world must be seen as a set of obstacles that require the player's full attention in order to bypass them without breaking the fluidity. Of course that every action must be interactive and not automatic. If the player fails to duck, slide, roll or jump when necessary, he should be punished accordingly.

On another note, I don't know why everyone is so interested in AC5's setting. If the gameplay doesn't recieve an overhaul and the cities remain dead and monotone, the setting will without a doubt go to waste.

Anyway, the main problem with navigation is the same that has been plaguing the series. A game, in its essence, is nothing more than a challenge, an obstacle that the player has to overcome. For some reason, AC, like most games these days, created an aversion to the word "challenge". It became closer to sightseeing, to a tour than to an actual game. Stealth, combat and navigation suffer from the lack of challenge, because the gameplay is challenge itself.

Wolfmeister1010
03-05-2014, 09:49 PM
You all through around things like "it should be more interactive" or "it should be more intuitive" but you fail to actually propose any ideas.

That is the point, that perhaps completely overhauling the freerunning system is not as simple as it seems. It is a 3rd person freerunning game. There are not as many options as for say, a first person game. That is why you get all sorts of different variations of freerunning in FP games, like dishnored, Thief, Mirror's edge, ect. Perhaps there are only little bits they can tweak and such. The only actually relevant idea so far was the "you actually have to press a button to roll whenyou hit the ground, otherwise you take damage".

Assassin_M
03-05-2014, 09:55 PM
PARKOUR* not free-running..free running was only added in AC III.:p

I think the Parkour didn't change that much post-ACR, but some of the interactivity that was taken away makes it seem like a lot was taken away.
The parkour's place as a main part of the core mechanics would mean that it should never be too complex. It should strike a balance so much that its complexity would be felt as part of a whole.
I didn't mind taking away the x button. All it needed was unnecessarily distract a thumb. AC III only made the automation less of a hassle so you'd be able to control the camera.

What I think they should do is provide more ample amounts of interactivity to the system. little touches like the climb-leap would be welcome, because honestly that's the only bit that I missed and think that it shouldn't have been removed.

That's all i really think parkour and free running need in AC. some subtle touches of interactivity to maintain player control and immersion.

Fatal-Feit
03-05-2014, 10:02 PM
RB + A was replaced with RB + B. guys. lol

Hans684
03-05-2014, 10:04 PM
You all through around things like "it should be more interactive" or "it should be more intuitive" but you fail to actually propose any ideas.

That is the point, that perhaps completely overhauling the freerunning system is not as simple as it seems. It is a 3rd person freerunning game. There are not as many options as for say, a first person game. That is why you get all sorts of different variations of freerunning in FP games, like dishnored, Thief, Mirror's edge, ect. Perhaps there are only little bits they can tweak and such. The only actually relevant idea so far was the "you actually have to press a button to roll whenyou hit the ground, otherwise you take damage".

I have always had an idea of a FP AC with the freedom of Dishonored, you can do things your way. The challenge(the option of course) of Thief and the freerunning(kinda) of Mirror's Edge. Something like that, then mix this idea with the idea from my thread about an AC with options.

Sushiglutton
03-05-2014, 10:46 PM
You all through around things like "it should be more interactive" or "it should be more intuitive" but you fail to actually propose any ideas.



Manual vaulting (obstacles and guards)
Manual slide
Manual Leap and grab in 7 direction (drop and grab straight down)
Slower climb speed, with higher grip density.
Hold empty hand to grab to not fall due to dynamic events (aka a window opening, a lose brick etc).
Ropes with 360 degree rope-swinging.
Hold to roll when landing.
Manual tackle
Rappeling

Dome500
03-05-2014, 10:59 PM
Manual vaulting (obstacles and guards)
Manual slide
Manual Leap and grab in 7 direction (drop and grab straight down)
Slower climb speed, with higher grip density.
Hold empty hand to grab to not fall due to dynamic events (aka a window opening, a lose brick etc).
Ropes with 360 degree rope-swinging.
Hold to roll when landing.
Manual tackle
Rappeling


Those are all good points and most of them would be good additions IMO.

Sushiglutton
03-05-2014, 11:13 PM
Those are all good points and most of them would be good additions IMO.

I didn't put too much thought into it, but they are things that work very well in other games imo.

AssassinHMS
03-06-2014, 12:00 AM
You all through around things like "it should be more interactive" or "it should be more intuitive" but you fail to actually propose any ideas.

That is the point, that perhaps completely overhauling the freerunning system is not as simple as it seems. It is a 3rd person freerunning game. There are not as many options as for say, a first person game. That is why you get all sorts of different variations of freerunning in FP games, like dishnored, Thief, Mirror's edge, ect. Perhaps there are only little bits they can tweak and such. The only actually relevant idea so far was the "you actually have to press a button to roll whenyou hit the ground, otherwise you take damage".

And you fail to realise I didn't fail. I specificaly said I wasn't going into detail like I already did in other similar threads. It's not my fault that every week a new thread shows up to discuss some topic that was already discussed before, it's like every month or so, the forum resets and the same threads and comments appear as if all the ideas and debates that came before never existed. It gets boring after a while and I have no interest in repeating myself over and over.

Anyway, like I said some time ago in some thread, freerunning serves both as a means of traversal and as a bridge between combat in the form of escape. When on the ground, free-running should be highly disencouraged as it attracts all sorts of attention to the assassin. That means most of the free-running would take place on the rooftops, the assassin's playground. The simple act of rooftop traversal should provide challenge but, for that to happen, there must be much less handholding. Falling off a rooftop should cause instant death or, at least, a huge drop on synch. This means the player will have to avoid falling off at all costs. However the game should be fair. It shouldn't "forgive" the player if he makes a mistake or a miscalculation but it should never be the cause of such a mistake (unprecise or unresponsive controlls). Jumping from a roof to the next shouldn't be a simple matter of holding down a trigger, the player must evaluate the distance, he must make sure he has the speed necessary to make the jump, he must press the "jump button" at the right moment and, if the assassin fails to fully get to the other side (like he manages to get the upper-body but not the legs) and starts slipping, it is up to the player to press the "empty hand button" before the assassin falls. Of course that, during a chase, the player can take more challenging paths (that require longer and more precise jumps) and lead the less agile pursuers to their graves. But the challenge mustn't lay only on the gap between the various rooftops, rooftop traveling is especially challenging and dangerous when it's raining as they get slippery which can be used as a tactical advantage during chases. Needless to say that actions like vaulting or sliding require the player to press the right button at the right time.
As for chases, the key is to get to the rooftops while avoiding getting hit or cornered. Take AC1 trailer for example. Right after the assassination, Altair escapes to the rooftops which gives him a clear advantage and then finds a blending group. Of course this only works if the guards don't have assassin-like skills all of a sudden and start climbing and parkouring. The only way for a guard to get to a roof is to find a lather and climb it. This means the core of the challenge is in getting to the roofs. In order to do so, the player will have to distance himself from his pursuers before atempting to reach the rooftops as guards will throw rocks or fire guns (according to the time period) if in range. So, in order to distance himself from the pursuers the player will have to take more challenging paths that involve a lot of obstacles which require various parkour moves. Each sucessful parkour stunt, the distance between the player and the pursuers increases and every time the player fails in performing a stunt (by not pressing the necessary buttons or due to wrong timing), the assassin will trip or lose balance giving the pursuers a chance to reach the player. Enemies may also block the path leaving the player with two options find an alternate route quickly or try to bypass the enemy (which requires the player to jump, roll or slide right before the enemy strikes.

And these are just a few ideas that I remember having come up with. I know I had other ideas in the past but they're lost in the midst of that graveyard of threads.

TO_M
03-06-2014, 12:20 AM
And you fail to realise I didn't fail. I specificaly said I wasn't going into detail like I already did in other similar threads. It's not my fault that every week a new thread shows up to discuss some topic that was already discussed before, it's like every month or so, the forum resets and the same threads and comments appear as if all the ideas and debates that came before never existed. It gets boring after a while and I have no interest in repeating myself over and over.

Anyway, like I said some time ago in some thread, freerunning serves both as a means of traversal and as a bridge between combat in the form of escape. When on the ground, free-running should be highly disencouraged as it attracts all sorts of attention to the assassin. That means most of the free-running would take place on the rooftops, the assassin's playground. The simple act of rooftop traversal should provide challenge but, for that to happen, there must be much less handholding. Falling off a rooftop should cause instant death or, at least, a huge drop on synch. This means the player will have to avoid falling off at all costs. However the game should be fair. It shouldn't "forgive" the player if he makes a mistake or a miscalculation but it should never be the cause of such a mistake (unprecise or unresponsive controlls). Jumping from a roof to the next shouldn't be a simple matter of holding down a trigger, the player must evaluate the distance, he must make sure he has the speed necessary to make the jump, he must press the "jump button" at the right moment and, if the assassin fails to fully get to the other side (like he manages to get the upper-body but not the legs) and starts slipping, it is up to the player to press the "empty hand button" before the assassin falls. Of course that, during a chase, the player can take more challenging paths (that require longer and more precise jumps) and lead the less agile pursuers to their graves. But the challenge mustn't lay only on the gap between the various rooftops, rooftop traveling is especially challenging and dangerous when it's raining as they get slippery which can be used as a tactical advantage during chases. Needless to say that actions like vaulting or sliding require the player to press the right button at the right time.
As for chases, the key is to get to the rooftops while avoiding getting hit or cornered. Take AC1 trailer for example. Right after the assassination, Altair escapes to the rooftops which gives him a clear advantage and then finds a blending group. Of course this only works if the guards don't have assassin-like skills all of a sudden and start climbing and parkouring. The only way for a guard to get to a roof is to find a lather and climb it. This means the core of the challenge is in getting to the roofs. In order to do so, the player will have to distance himself from his pursuers before atempting to reach the rooftops as guards will throw rocks or fire guns (according to the time period) if in range. So, in order to distance himself from the pursuers the player will have to take more challenging paths that involve a lot of obstacles which require various parkour moves. Each sucessful parkour stunt, the distance between the player and the pursuers increases and every time the player fails in performing a stunt (by not pressing the necessary buttons or due to wrong timing), the assassin will trip or lose balance giving the pursuers a chance to reach the player. Enemies may also block the path leaving the player with two options find an alternate route quickly or try to bypass the enemy (which requires the player to jump, roll or slide right before the enemy strikes.

And these are just a few ideas that I remember having come up with. I know I had other ideas in the past but they're lost in the midst of that graveyard of threads.

Yes, you are exactly right!

Freerunning/Parkour has become too easy in the latest installments and I am hoping/wishing that they will increase the difficulty in the upcoming games.

Ureh
03-06-2014, 02:50 AM
I was enamored just like everyone else with all the new animations in AC3, but it seemed to come at the cost of the players relinquishing some their control. Connor jumps where I want him to most of the time but there's always that off-chance that he does something I wasn't expecting (like jumping on something I didn't intend or deviating toward a different path). I've played the game enough times to know when those "unpredictable" actions might occur so that might dissuade me from taking different approaches to a mission (or I might choose not to climb on a certain building/tree/etc). One example, on my 1st playthrough, is when you want to diagonally jump off the edge of a platform (or roof) but instead he keeps skipping against the edge and refuses to eject. Of course now I know you can avoid that by facing the edge directly or pressing the force eject button (R1+O for the ps3, which was most commonly used in ACB).

Not sure if they changed this in AC4, but in AC3 you basically can't get hit by projectiles while climbing/freerunning. The guards are using guns and just a few meters away from Connor, surely one of them would've hit him. I guess this just feel wierd since guards in AC1-ACR can bring you down with a barrage of rocks.

Bbbbuuuuut... I don't know if the majority of AC players out there feel the same. I did read one piece on kotaku (or was it ign?!) that said the freerunning in AC3/AC4 is the best in the series. Those blogs have a huge audience - more than this place - and I saw a huge consensus. But that's just one or two blogs... certainly doesn't mean the majority yet.

AssassinHMS
03-06-2014, 01:53 PM
Sorry wolfmeister1010, just noticed you weren't replying to my post. In my defense, you didn't quote any post, yours was right after mine and I guess your answer could be applied to my post. I failed to realize that.

jdowny
03-06-2014, 04:33 PM
Yes, you are exactly right!

Freerunning/Parkour has become too easy in the latest installments and I am hoping/wishing that they will increase the difficulty in the upcoming games.

Freerunning has always been easy though, and I think it should be. The challenge of AC has never been about perfecting the style of freerunning but of navigation - which is the quickest/best way to lose the guards, or the best way to approach a target.

What AssassinHMS is suggesting, with individual controls for jumping, grabbing etc. sounds easy enough on paper, but would inevitably become incredibly complex and overwrought in reality. When you're being chased for instance, it's hard enough trying to navigate through the world without having to concentrate on individual actions. The problem with this sort of system is that it requires an enormous amount of accuracy on the player's part, and most don't have the time or the patience to reach that stage.

There's a simplicity and elegance to the current system (at least AC1 - Revelations) that makes freerunning effortless. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean that it gives the player freedom to observe and to get swept up in the beauty of prowling the rooftops of Venice for instance, without having to get bogged down by the minutiae of movement.

I'm all for making the AC games more intelligent and more realistic, but this would be a step too far. Freerunning is meant to be elegant and effortless. It's an assassin's second nature after all.

I wouldn't mind the idea of holding down a button if you want to roll out of a jump instead of straight on the feet that you mentioned Assassin HMS. To me that is an acceptable level of control for the player because it can have a practical use. I think one of the problems we've got in the most recent ACs is there's no differentiation between wanting to climb to the rooftops or to get down to the floor. Basically, if the player is about to jump off a ledge and there's a beam above him and a beam below him, the game will always choose the one above. This makes sense, since a lot of players will want to climb, but if you want to get down, the game is less graceful about it. Either you find a leap of faith, climb down manually or else jump to another structure entirely. As it stands, if the player is on a rooftop and wants to get down to one just below him, the game forces you to jump a huge distance.

But what if this control could allow you to smoothly fall off the edge without jumping and fluidly carry on running? You can see this in the GTA V movement style when a player falls off a ledge onto a lower one. You can also see the same in the Watch_Dog demos. I wish I could draw a diagram to better explain what I mean, but imagine it like this: You've got a set of terraces like enormous stairs, each one 2 metres high and 3 metres long. If we take the current freerunning animations (AC III and IV), the player will throw himself off each ledge pretty clumsily, with his arms flailing and will land on the far edge of the ledge below. But this isn't how real freerunners would go down a surface like this - it's not fast and it's not efficient. Basically if you're landing as the player does, which is straight on his feet, it takes away all the momentum of your jump instead of throwing it into the next one and the one after that. So in AC the player will go down these ledges like a slinky on stairs, when it should be a fluid, seamless fall from one to the next.

So if in-game I wanted to get down to the floor smoothly, I could press this button while running and it would be a more or less constant fluid motion in the jumps and rolls without this stop-start system the current games have.


Bbbbuuuuut... I don't know if the majority of AC players out there feel the same. I did read one piece on kotaku (or was it ign?!) that said the freerunning in AC3/AC4 is the best in the series. Those blogs have a huge audience - more than this place - and I saw a huge consensus. But that's just one or two blogs... certainly doesn't mean the majority yet.

Best in the series? I'm not sure how they're judging that, but I don't agree at all. If they mean in terms of variety of moves and vaulting, then yes. If they mean if terms of ease of control then definitely not.

I actually think AC freerunning is incredibly clumsy in terms of fluidity of motion. The only exception I can think of is the vaulting animations, which actually work. But if the player is running off a rooftop and onto another ledge, there's no consistency between the two motions. The player will pause before jumping and pause afterwards, giving it a stop-start animation which feels which looks very awkward and jarring. Watch_Dogs does this much better, so I hope any new AC game completely revamps this.

So in terms of the evolution of freerunning, I think a lot of work needs to be done on animation transitions. And I'd love for the game to use actual freerunning techniques.

mattyink
03-07-2014, 09:41 PM
Like someone mentioned -- less automated, more dynamic.

I like the idea of needing more momentum to make larger gaps. I'd like a return of the leap and grip mechanic first introduced in AC2 only instead of having to press a button to both leap up and then a different one to grab... you just press the button once to both leap AND grab. This makes you do more input without it being as tedious. It will also look and flow nicer if the game automatically grips the next thing. The leap and grip always looked clunky and was pretty clunky in use but when they automated it, it looked nicer. Unfortunately, the automated version is, well, less satisfying because I'm not doing it. Having it done the way I described would solve that I think.

Second... I'd love if it took inspiration from Mirror's Edge. When you jump off a structure, I should be required to press a button to initiate a roll. If I don't press the button, I'll do a hard land which will not only hurt my health a bit (differs based on how high you fell), but also slow me down (which is obviously bad if you're being chased.) If I press the button at the right time and perform a roll though, I am able to fluidly continue running with next to no slow down and I don't lose health. After a certain height however, avoiding injury is impossible.

Lots of things need to be completely gutted and reworked for the first true next gen AC game. For instance, AC needs to take a HEAVY cue from Watch_Dogs when it comes to open world events. Watch_Dogs has those buildings where you hack into the server or whatever and you unlock access to hacking people's phones and the like. Those are akin to the towers or forts from AC. But W_D ALSO has random crimes that will pop up from time to time. Spiderman 2 also had this (rescue someone from falling, stop a mugger, chase down a getaway car, return a child's balloon, etc.), Red Dead Redemption has this (stop a store robber, stop a wagon thief, nightwatch jobs, gang ambush, stop two criminals who escaped the police, bounties, etc.). AC has always been severely light when it comes to that random, dynamic element to the world. It's explored it tentatively -- the thieves in Revelations but really... AC doesn't have much after the main and side missions. There's typically nothing to do except start fights with guards and run around buildings. So that needs to be rectified: civilians who are being mugged, criminals being chased by guards (if you get the criminal, you're rewarded by the guards), etc. Basically look to Spiderman 2 and RDR and Watch_Dogs for inspiration.

Also...W_D's random events also have random outcomes after you tackle them... for instance, some criminals will try and shoot at you, some will get away in a car, some might get back up, etc. Not only is the crime random, but so is what happens after you get involved. That's really cool and AC would really benefit from it.

I'm playing RDR right now (I played it when it first came out but never got around to finishing it so I restarted it and wow... I really missed out on a great game. Rockstar definitely makes the best open world games because they know how to fill it with content that never stops giving.)

Those are the biggest things that need to happen


Retooled climbing mechanics
Greater emphasis on crafting a dynamic and believable game world with random events that will pop up on your mini-map that you can chose to ignore or take on and that never "dry up."
More stealthy options


Other than that... things start to get less important to me, personally. Combat could get a makeover as well I suppose but it's not as big a priority IMO.

I agree with all you said and i've been thinking off going back to RDR. 80+ hours in AC4 on PS4 and 85% completed. Should hurry up and finish it before more PS4 games come out cuz i have not finished Arkham City either and have Bioshock infinite and Uncharted 3 to play lol

I will just add it would be nice to be able to run without being in parkour mode... often when trying to catch a courier trying to run up a set of stair that turns, i would just start climbing the wall because i didnt turn at the exact millisecond needed.

phoenix-force411
03-07-2014, 09:48 PM
The game should start concentrating on letting players explore inside buildings as well, because the formula of just staying outside is getting pretty repetitive. I like to explore a lot.

poptartz20
03-07-2014, 10:03 PM
The game should start concentrating on letting players explore inside buildings as well, because the formula of just staying outside is getting pretty repetitive. I like to explore a lot.

well.. there are the occasional building that you are aloud to go in. But I don't see the point in exploring more buildings as an assassin. What would be the purpose? Even your RPG games dont' let you explore a ton of buildings. I would like to see more community action. or contacts.

As far as free running goes. I really liked the Animations in AC3 it added a level of realism to it.

Fatal-Feit
03-07-2014, 10:14 PM
The game should start concentrating on letting players explore inside buildings as well, because the formula of just staying outside is getting pretty repetitive. I like to explore a lot.

That's what they've always done except they have to keep it at a minimum due to restraints. I honestly don't know what they can do next to make these games feel more organic besides improving on the core mechanics.

We've explored
*tall/high architectures
*forests/wilderness
*ocean/sea
*dungeons/catacombs
*somewhat of the sky with Leonardo's machine
If anyone have any idea, feel free to share.

Dome500
03-08-2014, 02:08 AM
@jdowny => Agreed. A reasonable level of control.

Like for example:

- A separation of the sprint+climb and the only-sprint function so our Assassin can sprint but does not necessarily climb everything that comes to close. ("Q" run+climb/run on rooftops <=> "E" = just run/on rooftops you only run until the edge, normal running at the ground (including vaulting over obstacles))
- A button to go DOWN a building, especially for those moments where the system has 2 choices (up or down) (something like "Q"(run+climb) and "X" (to climb down))
- A less clumsy move going down buildings, with a roll that takes the momentum with it and the protagonist just keeps running
- The climbing move which had you reaching very high for a ledge should have an additional button (not 2 like in ACII - Revelations, but 1 to initiate it)

Some stuff like that to add more sophistication to the running system while still making it as comfortable as possible.

@Fata-Feit => Yeah, there is not much left to add...

phoenix-force411
03-08-2014, 05:42 AM
That's what they've always done except they have to keep it at a minimum due to restraints. I honestly don't know what they can do next to make these games feel more organic besides improving on the core mechanics.

We've explored
*tall/high architectures
*forests/wilderness
*ocean/sea
*dungeons/catacombs
*somewhat of the sky with Leonardo's machine
If anyone have any idea, feel free to share.

ACIII did quite well with it. ACIV had some buildings you could go in such as taverns, but they were hardly of any attraction.

Kirokill
03-08-2014, 06:45 AM
I didn't all posts so apologies if it got mentioned.
I really think this parkour needs few things that always annoyed me.
1- Jumping from a building to building, it is annoying how the protagonist takes a moment to fully jump. I am no expert at parkour but jumping should be without stopping, the stop moment to jump is just to jump high and not forward.
2- Virtual system in brotherhood was really a good thing that made who plays it become good at it, to know when to go down from a roof, and when you need to jump, it was really helpful because I always thought if you wanted to go down you should grab the ledge of the building, then drop. Since the engine changed, mechanics changed. And so you press "High Profile" + "O or B" which was alright in AC3 but messed up in AC4. In short, a parkour training like the virtual training in brotherhood would be good.