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Love Assassin's Creed? You need to read this...

Check out our revealing, uncensored post-review interview with the Assassin's Creed 2 team. It's bigger than a Giant Squid...

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Each city is around 1km square divided into a dozen cells that allow the engine to load & display the big environment gradually. To make cities fit in memory we used a lot of 'recycling' of geometries (buildings and props) and smartly spread them to avoid repetition and maximize realism.

PSM3: The Assassin's Tombs are fantastic. What was the thinking behind these? And how did you go about designing such complex platforming challenges? A lot of gamers have compared them to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - what do you think about this?

Patrick Plourde - Lead game designer
We wanted to have a radically different experience for the tombs to change the pace from the main game. That's why the Tombs are always inside buildings and are linear - because they are the exact opposite of the rest of the game. We wanted the secret locations to be optional to the players. If they want to complete them, they can. We didn't want to force all the players to complete these. Therefore, we decided that only one of them would be mandatory to the main path, the one in the end of sequence 4, Santa Maria Novella where Ezio spies on the meeting with the Pazzi. But, if players completed them all, they would have the ultimate reward in Assassin's Creed 2...

PSM3: You had a very big team working on Assassin's Creed 2, and the end result was an incredible game. Do you think it is getting more and more difficult for smaller devs to compete with the big development studios with their limited resources?

Patrick Plourde - Lead Game Designer
We had a big team indeed! Montreal took care of what we call the 'core' game: AI, Fight, Missions, Behaviours, UI, Database, Economic System, etc. Our job was also to provide technical support to the 'outsource' teams.
Singapore took care of the Secret Locations. The core team there is composed of Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia veterans, so they knew the engine well and how to create maps that would capture the PoP vibe quite well. Annecy took care of the Auditore Villa.
As for how we manage to keep track of all this, well it was a challenge (mind boggling would be appropriate) but to sum things up, we had a team of people dedicated into communicating regularly to make sure all teams would be on the same page. One of the biggest challenge was with the time difference. Singapore is about 14h ahead of Montreal, while Annecy is 6-7h early. Some conference calls took place around midnight.

PSM3: Finally, the giant squid in the Santa Maria Delle Visitazione is a nice Easter Egg. What was the thinking behind that?

Patrick Plourde - Lead Game Designer
This was a little surprise for us too! The Singapore team decided to put this little Easter Egg in the game.

Made it to the end? Good for you. Have a great weekend.

Andy H, PSM3

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