WHAT WENT RIGHT: 2. UBISOFT PARTNERSHIP
It's no secret that working with a franchise is often a complicated exercise. Having worked in the video game industry, I have heard many testimonials from friends who have experienced complicated situations. For example, having to wait weeks for each illustration approval or, in the case of a collaboration with a video game publisher, that the latter has difficulty understanding the constraints of the board game, like why one cannot finely model the hair on a miniature (which will be 1 inch high once manufactured). From the point of view of the licensor, it can be challenging as well when the licensee lacks good knowledge of the franchise and it proves necessary to regularly put them back on track. In these conditions, adding new elements to the franchise's universe is often out of the question, especially characters!
The royalties to be paid to the licensor are often between 10 and 20% of the price of the game and can push some publishers to make choices resulting in a lower quality of the game. Licensed games are often viewed with suspicion by players. Sadly, their quality often leaves something to be desired.
That said, being a fan of stealth video games such as Metal Gear Solid, Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell, and tactical stealth games like X-Com, I dreamed of one day being able to adapt one of these franchises to the tabletop game format...
Our first game, V-Sabotage, is a stealth game with a historical dimension that is heavily inspired by stealth video games. Fabrice and I worked at Ubisoft Montreal, where Assassin's Creed was born, and we have a good knowledge of the franchise as we have worked on it and played hundreds of hours in the various episodes. All the conditions therefore seemed to be met for the next Triton Noir game to be based on the Assassin's Creed license! On this subject, I invite you to watch the video we created for the Kickstarter campaign, where we go into details of how the project began with Aymar Azaïzia, our main contact at Ubisoft throughout the development of the game.
From the start, we wanted to bring something new compared to what was being released at the time: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice takes place between Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. In these episodes, all Assassins were male. Additionally, there was only one playable Assassin: the notorious Ezio Auditore. We quickly dismissed the idea that one of the players could control him (the other players would have been frustrated not to be able to play him). The game being designed for 1 to 4 players, four new Assassins had to be created. Ubisoft quickly gave us the green light to start creating them, knowing that we wanted two of them to be women. You can discover the process of creating the Assassin Alif here. The creation and validation process was very fast thanks to the great responsiveness of Aymar and his team. It went so well that we renewed the experience by creating four additional Assassins for the Roma expansion!
The 4 Assassins of the core box: Alessandra, Bastiano, Dariâ and Caudio.We wanted to stay true to the spirit of the first Assassin's Creed games, but also make the connection with more recent episodes. We have created bosses, some of which are large, like the winged lion, one of the symbols of the city of Venice:
Throughout the development of the game, we have benefited from the expertise and advice of Aymar and his team in order to be sure to respect the universe of Assassin's Creed and to reach the hearts of Assassin's Creed fans. I would like to thank them warmly for their support and for their confidence in our team!
To end on a topical note, we have renewed our licensing agreement with Ubisoft for the Assassin's Creed franchise and since March 2022, we have been working on a new project. The crowdfunding campaign will take place in the first half of 2023. This expansion is bigger than the previous 3 and will see the Assassins of Roma (Alif, Beatrice, Domenico and Clara) explore a region that has never been seen in the franchise! For the first 4 boxes we created for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice, we had the opportunity to use a lot of existing illustrations created by Ubisoft. This time, everything has to be designed from scratch: enemies, weapons, equipment, level designs, bosses... Our objective is to guarantee you a fresh experience faithful to Assassin's Creed.