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Assassin's Creed Brotherhood: devs talk multi-player, offer killer tips

Plus, how ACB's multi-player was inspired by Highlander, and why - even after three years in development - it might never have seen the light of day

Hello, and welcome to day four of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood week on psm3mag.com. So far we've chatted to the developers of Brotherhood about Rome, Ezio and the game being more than just an expansion pack for AC2 - all to celebrate the release of the game tomorrow (yes, only one day left to wait) and the latest issue of PSM3, which features Ubiosft's game as its cover star.

Today is all about multi-player. Many see Assassin's Creed as a series that doesn't need multi-player. And no, it doesn't need it - but it's a fantastic thing to have. We've been playing online with US gamers who have been playing since Tuesday, and can confirm that Brotherhood is fantastic when shared with friends / enemies. Despite appearing complex from the outside, it really is wonderfully simple - with the real depth coming from your imagination, as you work out increasingly devious ways to score kills and avoid death.

Play with the PSM3 team
If you fancy a game with the team this weekend, we'll be online both Saturday and Sunday. Send friend requests to the following IDs and hopefully, we'll see you for some good-natured murderising this weekend. PSN: shark_in_a_jar (Andy H) PSN: uncle_bbq (Rich) PSN: varnished_monkey (Milf).

As ever, if you've come to Assassin's Creed week fresh today, here are the links to the blogs you've missed - all featuring exclusive chats with the Brotherhood dev team:

Monday - following Assassin's Creed 2
Tuesday - Ezio, Desmond and... George Clooney?
Wednesday - Rome: did the dev team cheat?

And if you want to hear the team chatting about Brotherhood, Black Ops and the other big Christmas games, check out our podcast:

iTunes subscription link here
Full archive here.

The devs talk multi-player
Right, on with the main event - check out today's interview below:

PSM3: Can you explain where the idea for the multi-player in ACB originated?
Stéphane Beaudet, Creative Director Annecy Studio: The starting idea is inspired from a live RPG called Killer and the Highlander movie killer loop. Every participant of the loop has to assassinate a designated participant, that same participant will be someone else's target. Overall, the idea was that of an Assassination death match mode with designed targets. From that initial idea, we then integrated the core game play elements of AC games such as the assassination, the stealth, and the free-running.

PSM3: How have you gone about balancing the multi-player aspect of Brotherhood? Has it been a challenge?
SB: Balancing is a big challenge for all multiplayer games; rules have to be refined multiple times to get them right. The design work is totally different than on a single player action adventure game. In a multiplayer game, the players are on their own to create their game experience; you can't use scripted events to force them to play the way you think they should.

The game rules, score, sign and feedbacks will only encourage the players to play a certain way, but at the end of the day, the players will always do whatever they can to win. In order to make the game fun to play, we observe and record statistics during Playtest sessions. Based on that data and our observations of the favourable and not so favourable gamer experiences, we adjust the rules to remove frustrations and increase the fun factor. It is a bit like cooking; testing the meal and adjusting the ingredients is necessary to get the best possible recipe.

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