Assassin’s Creed Unity has a lot to prove on the technical side of things. It’s the first Assassin’s Creed game designed for new-gen hardware and the development team is making the most of the available resources.
Speaking to Develop, Jeffrey Spicer, character and FX production manager at Ubisoft, said that the team was able to reach new levels in effects and atmospherics.
“It’s the 1790s – it was a dirty time and it was important that we were able to portray that within the city,” he said. “On the effects side, it just allowed us to make much richer effects because of the memory that was allowed us and the performance capabilities of the consoles.”
Individual details on NPCs also got a major push. The game has the biggest crowd in any Assassin’s Creed game, while also having the most unique characters, according to Spicer. “We’ve made breakthroughs in facial scanning, skin shaders, eye wetness – all of that comes together to really make much more believable and realistic characters that help draw you into the storyline and make them feel like real people and real characters with a real story to help keep you immersed in the game world,” he said.
As a result, character models have had lots of details put into them. Character artists are now required to work “like fashion designers.”
“Instead of just modelling a single 3D unit, they model actual patterns (like how a shirt would be made with a front and a back), then they stitch that fabric together and each aspect of it has weight.
“Every seam and every fold has a different weight. We’ve been able to do a lot with what we call ‘soft cloth’, where we give cloth real physics to make it feel like it’s living and breathing and it reacts to the game world.”
The interview also goes into more detail about the development pipeline, how different parts of Paris will be occupied by NPCs with matching social status, and much more.
So do give it a read.