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View Full Version : Improving the tourist aspect of AC



Sushiglutton
04-30-2014, 02:08 PM
Ubi has said that AC is a combination of the assassin fantasy and historical tourism. Yet I feel like the latter is hardly ever discussed and has been sort of neglected. To me it's kind of important though as one of the biggest draws of the franchise for me is the unique worlds. I thought we could discuss some things that could be done to enhance the experience.


Photo mode:
This has allready been discussed here (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/870860-Assassin-s-Creed-needs-a-photo-mode?highlight=photo+mode), but I still thought I should mention it as it's one of the most important additions imo.


Improved maps:
The problem with the maps is that they do not provide basic info such as the name of famous landmarks and main streets. This would make it much easier to navigate the cities and find the interesting spots.


Easy to pull up seamless info:
In AC4 the RB (R1) button was used to quickly get some info on what tasks you had to complete at a given location. I think something similar would be great for tourism. If you are in the vincinity of some landmark (or look at it) and then hold the button, some short info should pop-up WITOUT PAUSING THE GAME. Then there could be an option to tap another button to get a more thorough info (say RB+A (R1+X)).


Seamless (awesome word!) transition to indoor enviroments:
As a tourist you don't just want to climb the outside, you also want to go inside and explore places like the Notre Dame. This is a feature that has been rumoured for Unity and I think it would be absolutely fantastic!


Change how artworks are obtained
Since AC2 artworks have been sold in shops. Problem with this approach is that you don't really get attached to it. Once you have enough money you just go to a shop, quickly click through the menu, spam the accept button and then never think about them again. I'm thinking the proatgonist could be an art thief and steal rare objects by breaking in at some nobles villas (again indoor). Then these objects could be placed in your hideout as trophies.


Replace generic loot with real 3D objects:
Instead of all the generic chests there could be a wide selection of real contemporary objects you could steal/find. This would make the world feel a lot more genuine and less gamey. You would also learn more about what kind of stuff people had back in the day.



Now it's your turn guys and gals :)!

Bastiaen
04-30-2014, 03:14 PM
All really great suggestions. I like the idea of basically having a seamless database. I could see myself reading it as I walked the streets. It would really help.

cawatrooper9
04-30-2014, 03:22 PM
All really great suggestions. I like the idea of basically having a seamless database. I could see myself reading it as I walked the streets. It would really help.

If they're going to have another second screen app like in AC4, it might be cool if they'd allow the database to be accessed in it.

Kirokill
04-30-2014, 03:22 PM
That's a great list listing all the good things. Especially the minimap. I'll come up with something if I get one...

Rugterwyper32
04-30-2014, 03:27 PM
Great suggestions!
I think that for the database, it'd be better if you could check the info when looking at it. Sometimes you have a few landmarks pretty close to each other and I just think that would help with the focus rather than getting the landmark you don't want at the moment. Just preference there.
And I love the idea for artwork and loot. I'm thinking that rather than lots of chests with some gold, a few well protected manors/houses/whatever with valuable artifacts could do.

Dev_Anj
04-30-2014, 03:59 PM
Good concepts, and also how about focus on gaining money through either stealing, or performing appropriate tasks like I'd say, dealing with some errands of nobles or revolutionaries? They shouldn't be like "carry one box from somewhere to another" like that one mission in Assassin's Creed 2, but maybe things like surveying an area, drawing maps of some locations(which you should be able to view), intercepting messages etc.

Also, chests should be gone unless they appear in locations that make sense (say in a noble's bedroom) and to compensate, they can have huge amounts of money. They should be much fewer though.

SixKeys
04-30-2014, 04:10 PM
I like all the suggestions except for the thief ones. Obtaining artwork made sense in AC2, being the Renaissance era and Ezio being a nobleman who wanted to restore Monteriggioni into a tourist attraction. The thief idea would have worked best in AC4 considering Edward's pirate nature, but they made it so that you can just buy things in shops. It's not a gimmick that should remain in the games forever. Stealing useful items is one thing and something that could work in the games, like gathering ingredients to craft a particular type of poison or a new outfit. But I don't want AC to turn into Tomb Raider (2012) where you just find random objects and the protagonist stops whatever they're doing to tell you all about it. "I've got to assassinate this Templar before it's too la-- ooh, an ancient Chinese comb! Judging by the excellent craftsmanship, this must have belonged to a nobleman. Anyway, what was I doing again?"

Dev_Anj
04-30-2014, 04:14 PM
But I don't want AC to turn into Tomb Raider (2012) where you just find random objects and the protagonist stops whatever they're doing to tell you all about it. "I've got to assassinate this Templar before it's too la-- ooh, an ancient Chinese comb! Judging by the excellent craftsmanship, this must have belonged to a nobleman. Anyway, what was I doing again?"

Hahahahaha!

Yeah, the Tomb Raider collectibles didn't make much sense, and in the end were more or less just "Assassin flag" collectibles with some information attached to them. I hope Assassin's Creed can one day distance itself from such collectibles, they just feel pointless and a poor way to raise the content of the game.

SpiritOfNevaeh
04-30-2014, 04:25 PM
Interesting ideas indeed ~ say that five times fast :p

Locopells
04-30-2014, 04:52 PM
...or when you're drunk...

Sushiglutton
04-30-2014, 05:01 PM
Great suggestions!
I think that for the database, it'd be better if you could check the info when looking at it. Sometimes you have a few landmarks pretty close to each other and I just think that would help with the focus rather than getting the landmark you don't want at the moment. Just preference there.
And I love the idea for artwork and loot. I'm thinking that rather than lots of chests with some gold, a few well protected manors/houses/whatever with valuable artifacts could do.


Yeah that may be better. Maybe the game should first try to find a landmark in your LOS and if it isn't possible choose the one closest to you within some radius. There could be a small pic so you know how it should look and an arrow showing how it's placed relative you.




I like all the suggestions except for the thief ones. Obtaining artwork made sense in AC2, being the Renaissance era and Ezio being a nobleman who wanted to restore Monteriggioni into a tourist attraction. The thief idea would have worked best in AC4 considering Edward's pirate nature, but they made it so that you can just buy things in shops. It's not a gimmick that should remain in the games forever. Stealing useful items is one thing and something that could work in the games, like gathering ingredients to craft a particular type of poison or a new outfit. But I don't want AC to turn into Tomb Raider (2012) where you just find random objects and the protagonist stops whatever they're doing to tell you all about it. "I've got to assassinate this Templar before it's too la-- ooh, an ancient Chinese comb! Judging by the excellent craftsmanship, this must have belonged to a nobleman. Anyway, what was I doing again?"


Haha you are right it was pretty silly in TR. I guess I liked her voice so much that it didn't really bother me.

Basically my thinking was: I don't like how the artworks are implemented. It has been the same since AC2 and it feels so disconnected from the rest of the game. At the same having era-specific art is a great way to explore the time period, so I would like them to be there in some fashion.

Perhaps it could be a variation of the plantation raids? You break into some rich guys villa (who is not evil enough to kill) and then you can sneak around and steal some stuff. The game shouldn't display any info during the infiltration, but you can inspect the various pieces at your base?

Rugterwyper32
04-30-2014, 05:16 PM
Yeah that may be better. Maybe the game should first try to find a landmark in your LOS and if it isn't possible choose the one closest to you within some radius. There could be a small pic so you know how it should look and an arrow showing how it's placed relative you.

Yeah, that would work. I don't think it'd be a problem too often, but it'd still come in handy. Better to avoid such trouble from the get-go.


Basically my thinking was: I don't like how the artworks are implemented. It has been the same since AC2 and it feels so disconnected from the rest of the game. At the same having era-specific art is a great way to explore the time period, so I would like them to be there in some fashion.

Perhaps it could be a variation of the plantation raids? You break into some rich guys villa (who is not evil enough to kill) and then you can sneak around and steal some stuff. The game shouldn't display any info during the infiltration, but you can inspect the various pieces at your base?

I can see it working pretty well that way. Fort and plantation style missions sound like something that should become a staple of the series, and that could certainly take over plantations. While Assassins at this point are more of a reactionary force against Templars, they still concern themselves with other affairs of freedom and whatnot, hitting rich and powerful people who oppress others where it hurts without killing them could be a way to do so.

GunnerGalactico
04-30-2014, 06:41 PM
I especially like the suggestion about seamless transition to indoor environments. From a gameplay perspective, I don't only like to free-run on rooftops, climb trees and explore outdoors... I like to explore and be able to go inside different types buildings besides only taverns and shops. Being able to visit the interiors of famous buildings such as the Notre Dame would be a great idea.

ze_topazio
04-30-2014, 06:49 PM
Mini games that force us go on guided tours and visit museums.

The ability to buy souvenirs like postcards and other paraphernalia.

Assassin_M
04-30-2014, 07:05 PM
Those are all superficial elements to me. if there's anything similar i'd take from this list it'd be database videos talking about the time periods but other than that, nothing really appeals to me from the list.

to me, an immersive tourist experience in AC depends on 2 very important aspects. The markets and social events. those 2 define a setting in AC for me. The first thing i do when i'm thrown in the world of AC is search for the big markets. hear the sounds, the merchants calling, the animals, chatter, town criers and church bells/Athan, watch people of different classes walking about, checking stalls, arguing and negotiating, looking at their clothes, colors..etc....all these mesh together to make a satisfying experience for me, if a Market has most of these things then that's part of the tourist aspect complete.
The second part is social events. Social events help add an extra layer of believability that you're in this time period and walking these streets. Social events such as the Carnival, Suleiman's Banquet...etc make a setting more compelling. you'd see decorations and images of celebrations. those are deeply rooted in culture and culture is a HUGE part of the tourist aspect to me

SixKeys
04-30-2014, 07:33 PM
Haha you are right it was pretty silly in TR. I guess I liked her voice so much that it didn't really bother me.

Basically my thinking was: I don't like how the artworks are implemented. It has been the same since AC2 and it feels so disconnected from the rest of the game. At the same having era-specific art is a great way to explore the time period, so I would like them to be there in some fashion.

Perhaps it could be a variation of the plantation raids? You break into some rich guys villa (who is not evil enough to kill) and then you can sneak around and steal some stuff. The game shouldn't display any info during the infiltration, but you can inspect the various pieces at your base?

I still think the items should be mostly useful somehow. We've already got games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted to talk about ancient artifacts. AC's historicism should focus on famous events, people and locations.

oliacr
04-30-2014, 07:37 PM
Agreed with the most.

Sushiglutton
04-30-2014, 07:39 PM
Those are all superficial elements to me. if there's anything similar i'd take from this list it'd be database videos talking about the time periods but other than that, nothing really appeals to me from the list.

to me, an immersive tourist experience in AC depends on 2 very important aspects. The markets and social events. those 2 define a setting in AC for me. The first thing i do when i'm thrown in the world of AC is search for the big markets. hear the sounds, the merchants calling, the animals, chatter, town criers and church bells/Athan, watch people walking about, checking stalls, arguing, negotiating..etc....all these mesh together to make a satisfying experience for me, if a Market has most of these things then that's part of the tourist aspect complete.
The second part is social events. Social events help add an extra layer of believability that you're in this time period and walking these streets. Social events such as the Carnival, Suleiman's Banquet...etc make a setting more compelling. you'd see decorations and images of celebrations. those are deeply rooted in culture and culture is a HUGE part of the tourist aspect to me


Not sure if "superficial" is the proper word to distinguish between the things I listed and the ones you did. I focused more on what tools would help the player to get the most out of the content that is allready there. Your focus is more on what type of content is important to create an immersive and culturally interesting world. Anyhow I agree with you that stuff like the carnivale is real awesome because it allows you to experience culture, while still allowing you full control (as opposed to say watching a mini-movie in RDR). It's cool the way it transforms the city and changes the mood.



I still think the items should be mostly useful somehow. We've already got games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted to talk about ancient artifacts. AC's historicism should focus on famous events, people and locations.

So you are saying they should just be cut entirley? I mean I think that's fine too tbh.

Assassin_M
04-30-2014, 07:50 PM
Not sure if "superficial" is the proper word to distinguish between the things I listed and the ones you did. I focused more on what tools would help the player to get the most out of the content that is allready there. Your focus is more on what type of content is important to create an immersive and culturally interesting world. Anyhow I agree with you that stuff like the carnivale is real awesome because it allows you to experience culture, while still allowing you full control (as opposed to say watching a mini-movie in RDR). It's cool the way it transforms the city and changes the mood.
I generally use superficial to describe something that has no tangible substance. The things you listed feel that way to me, i meant no offense.
I guess you could make that difference but I really listed what would satisfy the historical tourism aspect in AC for me.

Also, now that you mention the movies in RDR, those would actually be a pretty cool addition to AC. plays perhaps...those can be counted towards social events. true, it takes away control for a while but it's really not THAT bad. I believe many open world games fail because they lack the "leisure" aspect of many R* games. being a spectator to something historical can be pretty cool if done right..you can still have some portion of control, like changing seats, changing view, zooming in, zooming out or you can even choose to disrupt the play and earn heat after your hide. Plays can incorporate the interior aspect that many people have asked for too.

Wolfmeister1010
04-30-2014, 07:53 PM
I...LOOVEE YOUR SUGGESTIONS. Especially the one where you break into rich houses to take their paintings. That is a wonderful idea, and is not too drastic of a thing to put in AC. I could basically work with all existing buttons and mechanics. I could totally see it playing out.

I have heard that the Watch Dogs map shows where famous places like the sears tower are. Maybe Unity can do that as well.

Photo mode is awesome and should be in. Simple.

REALLY hope that there is as much seamless outdoor-indoor stuff as is rumored.

The only idea I don't really like is the 3d object one. Where would you keep all this stuff? How would "looting" work? Like, you see an object in the world and you pick it up?

Also, I don't really mind the current "location info" system works where it pauses the game.

DumbGamerTag94
04-30-2014, 08:02 PM
For most of your suggestions if you are really that interested on location of things, and getting in depth info, there's already Google earth for that. type in the landmark you want it sends you right to it, you can see the names of all the streets and buildings near it, view photos inside and out, and get links to Wikipedia and other sources for info. Its very unneccesscary to turn AC into an in depth virtual tour guide, besides most of the buildings aren't completely recreated 100% accurately anyway, too tall, missing parts, etc.

I don't think we need to have more pop ups on screen than we already have, and frankly database entries accessible from the game hud is aweful. Not to mention impractical, you really think you can read an article and wander around at the same time without walking into a guard or something? you will end up standing still to read anyway so might as well keep the pause.

Now I do agree we should be able to see and explore insides of buildings, but I will have to disagree on the database suggestions because I feel having one pop up every time you discover a building enough. If stuff was constantly popping up in the corner of the screen it would be very distracting and annoying, especially when actually trying to play a game instead of gawking around doing nothing.

I like the idea of stealing artworks, but I don't think it would work well for ACU. It would have been perfect for AC4 to steal paintings, china, etc from plantation houses, forts, etc. And on top of that to have found some artifacts in Mayan Ruins and Underwater Shipwrecks. That would have been a cool way to decorate the manor, and maybe fill that treasure room in the basement. It would have really suited the Pirate theme to steal/raid/discover all the important artworks and treasures. But unfortunately that ship has sailed already.

AC3 could have had you find artwork, flags, and other things by raiding those British Caravans, thus decorating the Manor at the Homestead. The British High ranking Officers of the American Revolution were notorious for taking all kind of valuable items like art/food/pets/Alcohols etc. to their headquarters and encampments. It would have been neat to decorate the Manor with the personal Uniforms/Paintings/Sabers/Unit flags/and other valuables of figures like Generals Clinton, Cornwallis, Howe, and others. It would have fit the period and made the Convoys feel far more significant since instead of random stuff they were the personal supplies of actual figures. But once again that ship too has sailed :/

I just feel that the home bases of the Assassins should reflect accomplishments and suit the character and setting rather than just purchasing things. The only one this made sense for was Ezio because he was a rich dude, but the other assassins should have done things like I mentioned above. Hopefully we see some kind of period unique way to improve the home base in Unity, but I highly doubt it since they haven't changed it for the other games.

Sushiglutton
04-30-2014, 08:13 PM
The only idea I don't really like is the 3d object one. Where would you keep all this stuff? How would "looting" work? Like, you see an object in the world and you pick it up?

So my thinking about the looting is that we pick up all these generic things (chests, fragments) that mean nothing. "Real" objects would at least have some sort of content. I suppose they would just translate to money. I didn't really think it through that much tbh, I guess it would be a lot like Thief.



Also, I don't really mind the current "location info" system works where it pauses the game.

Pausing the game pulls you out of the experience and I just rarely do it. I understand that it a pretty minor difference in theory but for me it's the difference between using it or not. I wish AC would adopt the slow-mo weapon selection wheel (like in GTA) to free up the D-pad which could then be used for some minor things such as this (or say whistle for a horse etc).




For most of your suggestions if you are really that interested on location of things, and getting in depth info, there's already Google earth for that. type in the landmark you want it sends you right to it, you can see the names of all the streets and buildings near it, view photos inside and out, and get links to Wikipedia and other sources for info. Its very unneccesscary to turn AC into an in depth virtual tour guide, besides most of the buildings aren't completely recreated 100% accurately anyway, too tall, missing parts, etc.

I want to remain immersed in the animus while getting the info. I also don't think AC city layouts are accurate, especially not compared to the modern cities you can find on google earth. I don't think AC should have the depth that something like wikipedia. I was thinking more like a couple of sentences.



I don't think we need to have more pop ups on screen than we already have, and frankly database entries accessible from the game hud is aweful. Not to mention impractical, you really think you can read an article and wander around at the same time without walking into a guard or something? you will end up standing still to read anyway so might as well keep the pause.

Now I do agree we should be able to see and explore insides of buildings, but I will have to disagree on the database suggestions because I feel having one pop up every time you discover a building enough. If stuff was constantly popping up in the corner of the screen it would be very distracting and annoying, especially when actually trying to play a game instead of gawking around doing nothing.

I hate pop-ups with a passion. That's precisely why I suggested the use of a dedicated info button (like in AC4) that you can tap when you want to.




AI just feel that the home bases of the Assassins should reflect accomplishments and suit the character and setting rather than just purchasing things. The only one this made sense for was Ezio because he was a rich dude, but the other assassins should have done things like I mentioned above. Hopefully we see some kind of period unique way to improve the home base in Unity, but I highly doubt it since they haven't changed it for the other games.

Feel the same way. Not sure if my suggestions to address it were all that great. But the way it works now (buying all the stuff in a store) just isn't right and has grown stale (wasn't that exciting to begin with).

True_Assassin92
04-30-2014, 08:32 PM
There is a chance this time around that there will be some things added to the AC world that have been suggested for over more then a year ago. Like crouching, hood toggle and weapon/armour custimization :). I do hope so!

RinoTheBouncer
04-30-2014, 10:17 PM
I totally agree with everything youíve written above.
I personally love AC for the fantasy and the story. Mainly for Modern Day and First Civ.

But I believe theyíve been trying to make it more about taking you to a location for tourism. I wasnít a big fan of that factor because they traded a good quality story for a theme and place. However, I believe that the games deserve to try new locations that are drastically different from one another because as an Assassin, I spend most of the time above the city, on top of roofs, towers, buildings..etc so everything tends to look the same unless you change from Japan to Middle East to Renaissance Europe which is where the differences lie.

I like the photo mode idea, but I hope it gets more detailed and not just some camera position adjustment, but rather depth of field related stuff. Anyways, Iíve played Infamous: Second Son and I didnít even know about that model until I saw this thread, so it wonít be such a problem for me to have it or not have it.

I love the idea of being able to explore places indoors, the most. I feel like an Assassin should be able to track a target anywhere. Even if it means going inside their own house or mansion or whatever it is as well as exploring these ancient monuments for fun. The best AC moments for me were when Ezio explored churches, tombs, temples and cisterns. They were the best parts and I hope to see more of those.

I like the idea of pulling up info. seamlessly as Iíve always hated having to pause the game for that and I also love the idea of stealing paintings instead of buying them. Iíd also love it if we could bid on certain items and it makes a better side quests than playing board games with others. It feels more Assassin-y even though Iíd rather not have any paintings or feathers or any of those pointless collectibles cause they donít seem to match the story nor the priorities of an assassin.

Looting must be changed into something more realistic. People donít just put treasure chests all around towns or in their balconies or between the markets. People store their treasures in proper places so lets have other objects to loot. They really need to improve that features and add more variety to it. Even if people were to put stuff in their balconies or in alleyways or rooftops, they wouldíve be using the exact same chest LOL.