GDC Talk: 10 Years of Assassin’s Creed

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At the Game Developers Conference of 2018, Creative Director Jean Guesdon’s segment reflected on ten years of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, shedding lights on the various aspects of the brand and how they were evolved and changed over time and what rules they adhere to and where the teams have more freedom when developing a new game. Watch the full talk, here.

Here’s a transcript of the “Ten Commandments” the “Dos and Don’ts” that the dev teams adhere to when creating a new Assassin’s Creed. Special thanks to Loomer:

10 Commandments

Version 1.0 – 1.07

 

Creative 10 Commandments

1. Assassin’s Creed will always tell the story of the secret war between Assassins and Templars

2. Being an assassin doesn’t make the main character a ruthless killer. He kills, but he has principles and never murders innocents. He avoids collateral damage as much as possible

3. The war between Assassins and Templars is the foundation of our Franchise story in the past and present.

4. The Assassin should always be agile, socially skilled, unbeatable with a blade, and a stylish bad-ass.

5. Pivotal moments in Human History are the basis of our Franchise. Asssassin’s Creed will always take a revisionist approach on real events. We’ll use historical gaps to create our story.

6. History should always be portrayed as relevant to our core audience, with facts that tie in to present day common knowledge and edgy modern Art Direction

7. Assassin’s Creed is based on Technology – Nothing is Magical, Everything has a plausible technological explanation.

8. Assassin’s Creed is about digging in a character’s past through their DNA in order to understand what really happened in key historical moments.

9. Since the player relives the deeds of his kin through his DNA, the I.P. cannot be set in the future. DNA of unborn people does not exist.

10. Assassin’s Creed can bend Historical accuracy but cannot create an Uchronia.

CAN AND CANNOT

1.06 – Version 1.0

 

WHAT CAN’T CHANGE IN THE IP

The following are immutable elements of the IP. If they are not present, the IP shifts.

 

IN GENERAL

 

– Historical places and Events. Give a new explanation for historical facts and events. Brings “historical lessons” to the player in a way that’s relevant to a modern person

– Main character silhouette or posture

– The “static/glimpse” and “limbo” elements

– Present conspiracy. What the Templars are planning in 2012 and why they are looking for clues in ancestor lives.

 

FOR GAMES ONLY

 

– Player Fantasy of being an Assassin

– Animation quality

– The living world (big scale, living crowd, sense of freedom). Excludes handheld and Wii because we don’t want a lesser experience of the same concept. We want a complementary experience that expands the universe. The game design could be totally different.

– Free run. Excludes handheld and Wii because we don’t want a lesser experience of the same concept. We want a complementary experience that expands the universe. The game design could be totally different.

 

WHAT COULD CHANGE IN THE NEW ITERATIONS

 

– Any other change pending Brand Creative Team Support

– Time Period

– Past Main Character

– The present day locations and secondary characters

-The Animus (could/can be upgraded)

As long as you are delivering on the promise of being an assassin, gameplay can be adapted to media.

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