Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players, so we needed 4 playable Assassins and we only had one, the famous Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
We quickly dismissed the idea of Ezio being played by one of the players, it would probably have frustrated the others... The best solution seemed to create 4 new Assassins, a very ambitious task because these new Assassins would then be part of the official lore of the franchise.
Thanks to our proximity to Ubisoft, we still gave it a shot, and it went so well, that we added 4 more for the Roma expansion, so we created 8 new Assassins in total! We took advantage of this to create not only Italian characters, but also others coming from various backgrounds, while also ensuring a good balance between male and female characters.
Tip: Did you know that it is possible to swap Assassins from the base set with those from Roma? Have you tried to create an all-female Assassin party?
Today, we are going to reveal the process of creating one of them: Alif (from the Roma expansion)...
Everything starts with a brief by Fabrice Lamidey. This brief must then be approved by Ubisoft before going any further. So you are going to learn more about this Assassin!
Alif is a young and brash Assassin. He grew up on a small coastal village of what would later be known as Morocco. At the age of 6, he was kidnapped by a pirate crew. Immediately put to work as a cabin boy, he learned the seafaring ways and means the hard way as his ship and crew roamed the Mediterranean. As a result of those harsh years among a ruthless pirate crew, Alif has become strong, impulsive and bold.
At 17 he and his crew attacked a Venetian cargo ship sailing to Constantinople, or so they thought. It was in fact a decoy full of Venetian soldiers and a captain of the Doge.
As his fellow pirates were executed to make an example, he managed to escape and entangle the captain in a fishing net. Although the captain could easily have killed Alif, he saw the rage in his eyes and his thirst for freedom. He then knew he could channel it through the Assassins Brotherhood. He spared Alif's life, started mentoring him and finally introduced him to the Brotherhood in Rome, where Alif is now a promising recruit.
He is very muscular, especially from the chest, having been a rower and sailor. He has black curly hair and a long black beard that makes him look older than he is.
He has kept his pirate looks and wears baggy trousers, a feathered turban, a long cape with a hoodie and soft shoes. He has a tunic with a large cloth belt held with a buckle with an Assassin symbol. He wears two armbands covering his forearms, inscribed with assassin’s motto in Arabic. He wears his assassin hoodie all the time.
Then we gather a few visual references. Here are some of them:
Most of the time, we found posing references on Internet or we created the pose with a little plastic dummy and sometime, simply by taking photos of people working in the office. Here, Sébastien Bizos from the Scorpion Masqué team (we shared the same office before Covid).
Emile Denis then started to design Alif. The first posing (below) was not OK because the character would hardly fit on the card.
Sculpting & Painting
Now, Edgar Skomorowski started sculpting the mini:
And here is the final result (resin model), painted by Angel Giraldez: