Assassin's Creed: Ubisoft breaks the silence

We contacted a historian early in the conception phase of development to help us build a foundation of research. We have used the web, documentaries, old medieval encyclopedias, paintings and novels. The historian helped us with some harder to find information such as original city plans of Jerusalem, Damascus and Acre that date back to the 3rd crusade. There is one book called "The Third Crusade 1191: Richard the Lionheart, Saladin and the Battle for Jerusalem" that has been especially helpful because it covers the year in which our game takes place.

Q: Going back to "nothing is true, everything is permitted", then... er, explain more...
The phrase itself defines the Assassins. The Assassins function with knowledge and information being given to members only as they move through the organization's ranks. To understand the true meaning of this phrase, you'll have to play the game - and gain Assassin knowledge alongside Altair. To say more would be to give away some rather exciting plot twists and betray the Assassins' secrets!

You can also apply the creed to the game itself - traditional game design rules that enforce linear level design and restricted gamplay are being thrown away. Previous action/adventure standards are abolished ("Nothing is true") - and the player is given the freedom to experience this adventure in a manner that fits their individual play style ("Everything is permitted.") Thus this concept influences all levels of the game - story, structure, and design. It's all incredibly exciting!

Q: So, you've based the game on some serious historical fact. What advantage does this give you?
By grounding a story in reality, you increase its credibility. Suspension of disbelief becomes easier because it's happening in our world. You're exploring cities that still exist today, encountering infamous individuals whose names everyone knows, witnessing battles that really occurred.

At the same time, because our setting is far removed in time (this is nearly 1000 years ago), there's plenty of freedom to tweak people's personalities and motivations. It's fun to explore the idea that something else was happening beneath the information gleaned from historical textbooks. People are also fascinated by history's mysteries and the Templar Treasure was ripe for exploring. What did the Templars find beneath Solomon's Temple? Why did they want it? Where is it today?