IGN's "Making of": The hidden secrets
Markuz, June 22, 2014

E3 is by now over, but we at ATA never stop looking for information, especially when we are pushed by our fans. We recently received more than one private messages in our social inboxes showing how there were still lots of information hidden inside IGN’s first “Making of” video.

We then followed our fans’ advice and tried to analyze the video frame by frame to see if we could find other juicy details for our community and it seems we were successful... if we could say so. The variety of information ranges from what seems to be part of the script of a scene to the identification of some characters through the names of some of the files which appeared on the screens shown in the video.

Without further ado, then, let’s dig in the “Making of” video by IGN!

Arno’s face
It could be easily assumed, but what we see is Arno’s face model. This can be inferred by the name “ACU_FacialRig_ArnoROM” of the file in the top right hand corner of the picture.

Also the file with the 3D grey models seems to be called Arnaud_Wrinkles_ZB.jpg , probably to show how the 3D model’s wrinkles should changed based on the different expressions (yes, the name in this file appears to be Arnaud). In addition, knowing that this is Arno, we can also see that his eyes, if this is the definitive version, are green/light brown.

The Food Chain
The video shows for a very brief amount of time five pictures coming from what appears to be the story board of a co-op mission called "The Food Chain".

The story board shows that the mission takes place in Winter, 1793 and starts with a coach moving along the streets of Paris, possibly carrying food supplies, escorted by guards. A man with a big hat coming from the side of the streets goes towards the carriage and in the last panel pulls out a gun in front of a guard. Who might that man be? It's possible that, considering the title, the mission revolves around the starving crowd who will do anything to survive, even assaulting food convoys.

The Interiors (of the Louvre?)
Another little interesting thing that appeared on the screens of the developers is the interior of a nobly furnished building.

In this case Arno is walking among many people with "Find Le Peletier". The reference, as pointed out by our fan Joe, is probably Louis Michel le Peletier, marquis of Saint-Fargeau. Initially, he shared the ideals of his class (the nobility), but gradually he became more and more radical, a factor that made him very popular and led him to become president of the Constituent Assembly. It was said at the time that it was his vote that condemned King Louis XVI to be guillotined, a vote which ended 361 to 360. On 20 January 1793, the night before the death of the king, Le Peletier was assassinated in the restaurant of the Palais Royal. This can lead to the hypothesis that the setting of the screenshot may be precisely the Palais Royal in Paris The right side of the picture shows the writings "SQ08_M010_SC015_PalaceRyBy", "SQ_08_M020_SC020_CIN_VantagePoint", "SQ09_M010_SC030_CIN_LouvresArrival" and "SQ_12_SC070_CIN_Survivor". These writings, placed under the "Cinematic Scene" section, may be a reference to the cinematics that take place in this building / interior. In this case the building could be the Louvre. Otherwise, if the name of the cinematic scenes is not related with what we see, then at least we possibly know the name of some of the single player missions (SQ should stand for Sequence, M for memory/mission and CIN for cinematics) and the fact that the game should contain at least 12 sequences for the single player campaign.

The Templar woman
The next developer PC screen features a woman dressed in dark blue.

While she may appear to be a normal character (though her clothes and physical traits are very detailed), the name of the file that appears on screen is what is really interesting. The file is called "TST_Ale_Woman_Templar_01_001". So this woman should belong to the Templar Order and looking at her glance, she already seems to play the part.

The prison mission and the Eagle Sense (Pulse) mechanic
This screenshot is actually full of information. We see Arno in a prison-like environment during a co-op mission that is codenamed

"COOP_LB050" that we'll later see with the title "Kill Roux". The mission objective is shown on the left and reads "Locate and Free the 3 captive Assassins 0/3". This should mean that at a certain point of the game the other three Assassins from the co-op mode will be caught by the Templars (or the guards) and Arno will have to free them. It will be interesting to see how this kind of mission will play out, considering that every player is Arno in their own game (Will three of the players have to stay in prison until the fourth one frees them? Will they have a chance to escape by themselves?).

Another interesting element from this picture can be found at the top of the screen. While testing the game there are different
parameters that are constantly monitored. Among these there is a count of the NPCs with a maximum of 88. Of course it's not clear what this means but it's possible that this may refer to the number of NPCs close to the protagonist in a defined range. Lastly, in the video Arno uses his Eagle Sense, or better his Eagle Pulse mechanic. As it was described in the past, the Eagle Pulse is the first of the three levels of the Eagle Sense ability: it gets activated and it lasts for a brief period of time and then it fades away. What we can see from the screenshot on the right is how that also has an indicator in the HUD. In fact, if you look at the bottom right-hand corner of the picture, you will see a square, above the sword icon, with the stylized outline of an eagle. The Eagle Pulse icon slowly gets "drained" and while it's not shown in the video, it's very likely that when the icon is completely empty, the ability will deactivate. This way the player will always know how much the ability will last and will act consequently.

[Minor Spoiler] A little dialogue in Sequence 9
Thankfully for us the developers put on subtitles in the bits that they let IGN show in the Making Of video, so we get to see Arno climbing a building while a little dialogue shows up reading "You'll have to cut the rope!" "It's stuck!". From what we can see at the bottom of the screen, this should appear in SQ09_M030 (which should be memory 3 in Sequence 9).

The choice flow chart
This screenshot shows what appears to be some sort of flow chart with two outcomes starting from the same source, which *should* take place in Sequence 10, Memory 1, Scene 9 "SQ10_M010_SC090_AMB_BringWine" (the name can be seen at the top of the screen and "Bring Wine" might be the name of the mission).

The first choice (the top one) leads to "ExittheCafé". The reference here may be to the Cafés that were mentioned in the news in these past days. The other branch, instead, leads to a green box called "MissionAIConditions" which then leads to "Poisoned". For this branch we have two different hypotheses: "MissionAICondition" maybe is something that checks the condition in which the player's character (or maybe better an AI character) is in and can lead to the outcome "Poisoned", which could be the title of a new mission or, most likely, the end state of a mission that took place in the aforementioned Café. In this particular situation, we could be in front of a mission in which the protagonist has to kill/poison a certain character inside of a Café, but if he gets spotted, he has to exit the Café and start over, in a similar way to the missions in the past games in which the protagonist had to free a certain area from the Templar occupation, but if he had been spotted, the captain would have fled, leading the player to start the mission over.

A new female character, Elise
During the video it's possible to see a new female character. The chances that she might be an important character are high as she is given a name, Elise. Actually the file contains "Elise_ball" so this might be her outfit for a ball and maybe it will not be the only one for her in the game. It's also possible to see in the background many reference pictures that possibly were used to design her clothes.

[SPOILERS AHEAD] The big plot screen
This screen reveals lots of content in terms of plot, even if there aren't very heavy spoilers. What we see in the screenshot is what seems to be program used to contain all the script for the game.

Looking at the screen this is the exact same tool that was shown in February 2013 in an article by Polygon about Corey May and the Alice Studio, a program called Oasis. Following Corey May's words, it's not just a scriptwriting tool but it also has connections to several
other functions such as AI, localization, voice design and so on. It's a sort of "one stop shopping" for Ubisoft's narrative needs, as May stated in 2013. It has a root and branch structure which contains the main content and the side content and going deeper one level it shows each sequence followed by all the missions and they are placed in chronological order and when the user opens a certain scene ("Sequence"-->"Mission"-->"Scene") the program displays what looks like a film/television script of what happens in that scene.
Now that we know how this program works, we can get a clearer idea of what the screen shown in the Making Of video actually portrays. We can see the same root and branch structure on the left, and all the elements probably represent the story "parts" of Assassin's Creed Unity. We can see:

  • [SP] "DNA PARIS" : this should the part dedicated to the plot in the single player campaign, specifically the part dedicated to the storyline in the past which takes place in Paris;

  • [TS] "1000 Stories": this is probaly the part dedicated to the side stories that take place throughout the game world in Paris;

  • [COOP] "Coop Multiplayer": this is the section dedicated to the co-op missions, the Brotherhood Missions;

  • [RIFT] "RIFTS (Time Slices)": this is a part of the game that has not been referenced yet but the core fans will surely remember the word "Rift". It is, in fact, the name of the Cluster puzzle games by Subject 16 in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood! If this proves to be true, some of the plot analyzers in our team and probably in the community will scream in joy and then will faint. The "Time slices" mention could also be a reference to what this part of content may deal with. It is also possible that this is the section dedicated to Nostradamus and his clues left from the past that Arno can find in Paris;

  • [E3MTL] "E3 MTL DEMO": this should be self-explanatory. This is the part dedicated to the demo(s) shown at E3, whose assets will also be used for the final game, as mentioned in the interviews published after E3;

  • [DAVID] "TEST DAVID": this is unclear. While it may just be a test folder with no meaning about the game, it could also be a reference to something that we do not know about yet;

This part of the picture is not complete yet, as the "branch" dedicated to the "Coop Multiplayer" missions has many sub-branches which possibly contain the name of the co-op / Brotherhood missions. Here they are:

  • Machine Infernal: this mission will probably deal with the guillotine;

  • Danton Sacrifice: this mission should revolve around Georges Jacques Danton, a leading figure in the French Revolution era, often described by historians as " the chief force in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the First French Republic". Danton was killed in 1794, was guillotined by the advocates of revolutionary terror (taken from Wikipedia);

  • Heads Will Roll: another reference to the guillotine;

  • The Food Chain: this is the co-op mission about which we saw the storyboards at the beginning of this article;

  • Austrian Audacity: this mission could deal with Marie Antoinette, born in Austria, wife of Louis XVI, and queen from 1774 to 1792, who was guillotined on 16 October 1793;

  • Girondist Round-Up: this mission will almost surely revolve around the Girondist faction and maybe its fall;

  • The Tournament: we will probably have to wait and see what this mission is about;

  • Women's March: this mission should portray the Women's March on Versailles of October 5th, 1789, one of the main events that ignited the French Revolution;

  • Maximilien de Robespierre
    Jacobin Hand: this mission should be about the Jacobin Club, which at its height was led by Maximilien de Robespierre;

  • Kill Roux: this mission should revolve around Jacques Roux, a radical Roman Catholic priest who consistently fought for an economically equal society, turning the crowds against the bourgeois torpor of the Jacobins. Robespierre, fearing Roux threatened the dominance of the Jacobin government, presented accusations of him being a foreign spy intentionally trying to disrupt the revolutionary government. Jean-Paul Marat also turned against him, writing in his newspaper that Roux was a false priest that was only interested in religion as long as it provided income. These and other accusations lead to his imprisonment. He committed suicide when he got to know that he was going to be tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal, which at that time was used for personal ends by Robespierre (source: Wikipedia);

  • Moving Mirabeau: this mission will probably deal with Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, a fallen nobleman who in the early years of the Revolution (1789-1791) became the leader of the moderate position;

  • (COOP E3) Assassinate Bullion: this should be the mission about Marquis de Bullion that was shown at the Microsoft Conference at E3;

  • Hearts: This title is as cryptic as difficult to read from the screenshot.

To go even more deeply, as explained by Corey May, all these missions are made up of several components / scenes and that is what we see in the screenshot about the "Assassinate Bullion" mission. The developer looking at the screen (Fabien Noel, Audio Director, as shown in the top right-hand corner of the screenshot) is checking what seems to be the fourth scene of the mission. As said by May, this makes the program display the script of the scene, which can be partly read:


A man and a woman walk along the alleyway. The man is wounded, and the woman is supporting him. The man collapses as they come in to frame.

-Screams- Noooooo!

As you walk by.

Help! Help me please. Help... Help...

Please... No....

Architecture templates
The next screenshot gives us a better idea of the approach used for building the city of Paris: it seems that the devs make use of architecture templates to create the buildings inside the game world. A rather normal choice if we think about how large the city is and how some of the buildings may have architectural similarities between them.

Dialogue in the E3 Co-op Mission
In a similar way for the aforementioned brief dialogue which is supposed to take place in Sequence 9, the Making of video shows another bit of conversation, which this time happens in the E3 Co-op Mission (which is written in the lower part of the screen). Before going into the conversation, it's interesting to notice that this seems to be another part or another version of the E3 mission, as not only we see Arno interacting with a hay cart and walking among the crowd, but we also see the side objectives for the mission which are "Synch kill 4 guards" and "Don't get any damage". While the second one is a common side objective, the first one is interesting as it was more common in the adversarial multiplayer, specifically in the Wolfpack mode. So we should expect the comeback of the Synch Kills (which are kills that the players have to carry out simultaneously or in a very small amount of time). Regardless of this, here is the transcript of the aforementioned dialogue:

"That would appear to be a load of France's finest grain" (while Arno is in a hay cart)

"Well you see your excellen... uh... citizen, sir... we've had several loads taken. If you could look the other way, I'm" (interrupted sentence)

"Citizen you disgust me! Be glad I don't report you immediately for your repulsive Bande Noire leanings."

"Ah, s'no point, he won't listen. He has his orders. We can't do a damned thing but make the" (interrupted sentence)

The video of course does not contain any explanation about who is talking but it can be hypothesized from the dialogue itself. The first two lines define a dialogue seemingly between Arno and one of his servants. The first line should come from Arno and if that is so, it should be a first glimpse of his wit/irony. The second line comes from the person talking to Arno, and he/she calls him "your excellence" and that is why it's possible to assume he/she is one of Arno's servants. This second line of dialogue also justifies in game why the city of Paris will have all the haystacks and hay carts that Arno will be able to dive in.

The third and fourth lines, however, seem to be unrelated to Arno and his interlocutor. Instead they seem to be some lines from a systemic dialogue coming from the crowd in which Arno is walking. The crowd appears to be gathered around an overturned coach and looking at the dialogue, it seems like we are in front of a public accusation / summary trial. The person who is speaking is, in fact, accusing a citizen to have connections with the Bande Noire (The Black Band), an association of speculative, asset-stripping syndicates that during the French Revolution bought ancient castles and abbeys, formerly properties of the Clergy and the emigrants, at knockdown prices, only to sell them at higher prices or demolish them and sell off the building materials. Whatever the accused citizen answers (if he/she really answers, that is), the speaker continues the accusation and seems to get to a conclusion that cannot be avoided (maybe the guillotine as the only punishment for such a crime?). It's also possible that the last line comes from Arno or his servant, but it doesn't seem that "s'no point" fits with Arno's noble origins and the use of language that a servant is expected to have.


And that's it! This ends our analysis about the first part of IGN's Making Of video, but always stay synchronized with us, you never know what might appear in our next analysis...

comments powered by Disqus




ACUnity - E3 2014

News about ACUnity