Assassin's Creed 3 interview: 'Everyone was British in those days... there was no America yet'

Ubisoft's lead writer on (not) rewriting history...

The writers behind the Assassin's Creed series pride themselves on their historical authenticity. One of the game's chief scribes once told us 'if it can be found on Wikipedia within a few minutes, it has to go in the game'.

Assassin's Creed 3 offers a new challenge. "It's harder on this game," lead writer Matt Turner admits at a London preview event. "This time period is very well documented so you have to pay attention to it.

"It can be annoying at times because you're like, 'I just want this to happen!' But then at the same time it gives you an opportunity to recreate these situations in peoples' lives.


"Everyone knows what George Washington looks like - he's on the American one dollar bill - but they don't know who he is."

In our full interview Turner discussed the challenges of working in one of the most well documented periods of history ever, separating the series from Dan Brown's work and more...

Ubisoft's already calling Assassin's Creed 3 its "biggest game ever"...

Our goal is a lofty one and to do that you need time and people. Basically when we set our sights that high we realised we needed to arm ourselves with the tools to accomplish that. It's one thing to say 'we want to make the best game we've ever made', and another to actually do it.

We started with a huge development window which allows two-to-three years to get it done, then the next step was capacity. We have actually twice the amount of resources we've ever had before on Assassin's Creed. That's allowing us the ability to create a bigger world and create something on a scale that we haven't reached before.

You heard yesterday the frontier map is 1.5 times the size of AC: Brotherhood's Rome - and that's just one map. The scale of the game is huge and that comes from people and time.

Ubisoft's said the AC3 team will be spending its final six months simply polishing the game. That means you must be pretty close to finishing core development?

That's the thing... we want to have a first draft and we're working towards that - we're getting close - but it's not just a window for show, we're actually going to get in there an get our hands dirty. That first draft will be there on the table, and we want to get in there and rip it apart and see how we can change it.

Obviously we're limited a little bit but we're going to use that time - it's not just going to be us tinkering, if something doesn't work we'll get it out of there and replace it with something else.


So assuming you can pretty much play through the game at this stage, how do you think it's turned out so far?

I'm really happy. You saw yesterday the target game footage - that was over two years ago and when you saw the reveal demo they're both really close. The bets we made back then and the vision that we had for what it could be were mostly right, and that for us feels really good.

We weren't totally off pace when we were making those ideas. Because when you're making a game that's going to come out in three years, you're making bets - trying to guess what people are going to be in to at that time. I think those two videos show that we were pretty on base when we made those calls and that just makes us excited.

When you see that level of success in that area it helps push the team to get excited for the polish phase. Not only is it awesome but we have this time to make it more impressive. It's a lot of work - it's a huge, huge game - but we're really happy with where we are right now and we're really happy with the time we have to spit-shine it a little bit.

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