AC3 is now out in the wild and IGN has created a wonderful set of videos depicting many of the challenges that we overcame throughout development of this massive project.
Part 1: Origins – Discusses the initial production process of the game, starting back when only a small number of us formed the team in early 2010. At this stage we knew only the time period and setting, so created a test video to give an idea of how a typical play of the game might look and feel – from which point we began prototyping all the various systems and technology we’d need to make it real.
Part 2: Refining The Assassin – Because the titular hero is the single thread tying the entire game together, this video is devoted almost entirely to the development of our new Assassin, Connor.
Locking this down enables the story to build around him, and also informs a lot of the ingame animation. We really changed up the feeling of combat and navigation from previous Assassins to fit with Connor’s native heritage and the new environment, as well as his heavier-set body.
Part 3: Into The Wild – This episode focuses on the challenges inherent on having a character navigate a fully organic world, from the lack of rules in positioning various level design elements such as trees and rockfaces, to getting the combat to work on undulating terrain and slopes, and additionally the amount of work that went into bringing the animals of the Frontier to life.
Part 4: The Revolution – This final episode looks at the level of historical research that went into the revolutionary period that forms the backdrop of the game, covering the vast amounts of documentation, (some written by the historical characters themselves), to the gameplay limitations of musket firing and the epic battles that took place at sea.