Growing the Assassin's Creed universe

Ubisoft reaffirms plans for Assassin's Creed III amidst details of the franchise's increasing scope and Ezio's legacy in it.

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Who was there: Darby McDevitt (writer), Brent Ashe (presentation designer), Louis-Pierre Pharand (transmedia producer), and Cameron Stewart (writer and artist) for Assassin's Creed: The Fall.

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What they talked about: McDevitt kicked things off by explaining that a writer in his position generally gets orders to craft his story to complement the predetermined location and overall narrative structure for an Assassin's Creed game. Then, he and his team go into research mode to learn as much as they can about a location. Eventually, this leads to something emerging that they can latch onto and use as a means for developing characters and events from history.

Later in the Q&A sessions, McDevitt answered the brunt of questions asked by the audience. In response to what is going to happen after Assassin's Creed: Revelations, he said that there are plans for Assassin's Creed III. He also said that for Revelations, fans can expect better integration of the Brotherhood with more opportunities to do specific things with them. The way players meet and recruit the members will also be more varied. Interestingly, he said that the team made sure that the trailer to Revelations was actually tied into the game (even hinting that it is in fact the very beginning of the game), and not just a representation of Ezio's new abilities in a new setting.

Pharand then chimed in with some details on Assassin's Creed: Embers, a 21-minute long animated short film (spoiler alert) that follows Ezio in his later years, living with his wife and children and the fear that, one day, someone will try to hurt them. The short uses assets taken directly from the game as part of a Ubisoft project to improve its asset pipeline for creating projects such as this. Pharand added that while it may use some of these game assets, it's a story that couldn't be told within the traditional Assassin's Creed setting.

Ashe then jumped in to describe his duties since Assassin's Creed II: Brotherhood went into development. He said that he's responsible for the general user interface and the animus. He mentioned that players will see the animus change for Assassin's Creed: Revelations because Desmond is changing. Ashe also heads up all of the brand-design, logos, and other such elements of the Assassin's Creed universe.

Finally, Stewart spoke a little about the Assassin's Creed comic, The Fall and said that he was happy that they were able to explore characters and history outside of the Assassin's Creed games. In the process, they've been able to expand the mythology of the universe. He added that a collected edition will be available in November, and it will include a special epilogue.

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The takeaway: Not surprisingly, all of the panelists mentioned a major aspect of the Assassin's Creed series was the blending of historical and science-fiction elements. But they all reaffirmed that even though the historical part is where the players spend the majority of their time, it was important to bring them back and remind them that the universe is still science-fiction oriented.

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