Original Assassin's Creed Game Had Side Content Added In Five Days
The original Assassin's Creed didn't have side missions until it was almost ready to ship.
When you think of AAA game development, images of designers, programmers, and engineers creating and iterating on their titles for months and years likely come to mind. The original Assassin's Creed spawned an enormous franchise developed today by thousands of people, but a series of assassination side missions were actually developed in a span of just five days.
Charles Randall--a former Ubisoft employee who worked on the first two Assassin's Creed games--shared that the original game was essentially finished when the company's CEO apparently had his son give it a try.
so we're all ready to ship the game, first submission goes pretty well, and then— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) May 23, 2020
The CEO's kid played the game and said it was boring and there was nothing to do in the game
so my lead comes to me and he says "so, we have to add a bunch of side activities into the game. we have a plan from patrice, but I'm not going to say yes unless you are in."— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) May 23, 2020
I tell him to give me some time to think about it, and I go crank my music and have a nap at my desk
oh yeah I forgot the key part. he says "we have to put all these side missions into the game in five days, and they have to be bug free, because the build is going to be burned directly to disc and released to retail."— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) May 23, 2020
He found that version of the game to be boring and didn't think there was enough to do, and the team then decided to add in side missions as a result. They only had five days to implement them, as the build they produced was going to be burned directly to discs and shipped.
One bug seemed to have made its way into Assassin's Creed during this five-day crunch period, which can result in a Templar leader falling through the map and becoming impossible to kill. This can make it impossible to get all available Gamerscore without restarting.
So yeah, if you had to play AC multiple times to get your max gamerscore or whatever, sorry. But I literally don't remember what happened in that period of five days.— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) May 23, 2020
But I know it's a miracle that the game didn't just melt your console or whatever.
Despite the tough deadline, Randall said there was less overtime on Assassin's Creed than any other game he has shipped. No new art had to be used for the side missions, which instead used existing assets in new ways. It's a far cry (sorry) from current Assassin's Creed games, which are stuffed to the gills with side content that many players might never see.
The next game in the series, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, releases later this year for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, and PC.
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