The same can be said for the Assassin's themselves. We know a little bit about them, but their very nature made them a secretive, manipulative bunch. Most of what's known comes from third hand accounts. These were very likely orchestrated events, carefully planned by the Assassins to ensure a specific, controlled image was portrayed. Who were they really? What motivated them? What secrets were members given access to as they rose through the ranks? These were all questions we get to play with in the story. And the answers are pretty interesting.
Q. We bet. So, given all the questions you're raising, and the various factions at work, presumably you're driving at producing characters we gamers really care about?
It's a tragedy that videogames have largely failed to illicit real emotional responses from their players. This is something that cinema has been able to do very well thanks to great writing, acting and directing.
But it should be easier for games than it is for a movie. When you watch a movie you're watching an actor fall in love on the screen or kick someone's ass, or be afraid - so there's a bit of a disconnection between the audience and the story. In videogames, you are that person. You are the one up there on the screen. Since the physical connection between character and player is strong (through the controller), the emotional connection should be even stronger.
The problem is that most games don't take advantage of this potentially powerful emotional connection. Most games have focused solely on graphics and gameplay and never made any room for an emotionally powerful story. This stuff isn't mutually exclusive, so we aim to change that. Games can (and should) have it all.
Q. Tell us how development started...
Patrice Desilets our Creative Director, as well as some other key members of our Creative team, read a book about the Assassins and then started to do a lot of research about the clan and the 3rd Crusade. The more we discovered about these people, the more we wanted to make the game. Even the Assassin Motto "Nothing is True, Everything is permitted" fits the game medium perfectly. We developed our main character, Altair as a forward thinking missionary of sorts, on a mission to end the 3rd crusade.
Q. So where's he fit in?
At the start of our game, Altair is a disgraced Master Assassin sent to end the Third Crusade. To do so, he must seek out those responsible for leading and exacerbating the conflict. The targeted murder of immoral individuals is his primary method of achieving his goal.
Along the way he will discover that the Crusades themselves are simply a cover for a much larger conflict - one in which he will play a pivotal role. But of course there's a lot to be discovered about our hero over the course of the game.