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Ubisoft creative lead hopes for more dynamic narratives in video games

Ubisoft creative lead hopes for more dynamic narratives in video games

November 17, 2016 | By Alissa McAloon

November 17, 2016 | By Alissa McAloon
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More: Console/PC, Design

“I don’t want us to write one story, I want there to be tens of thousands of stories, that each character has one, and I can speak to them if I want to know that story.”

- Serge Hascoët remarks on the kind of experience and depth of decision he believes games should offer a player.

In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Ubisoft’s chief creative officer Serge Hascoët shared his desire to see and create more video games with dynamic and player-focused narratives.

Since Ubisoft games typically tend to sit on the linear side of the narrative spectrum, a preference for more multifaceted stories from someone like Hascoët could signify a change in the kind of experience AAA games deliver to players. 

For him, things like cutscenes and rigid linear stories cripple games and don’t allow the player to fully experience the world created by developers. 

“If I have a game set in San Francisco, I’d want even my mom to be able to have fun, drive a boat, helicopter, or car. There has to be interesting people to meet, too, and that they come across well,” he explained in a quote translated by Game Informer. “The player has to be able to enjoy themselves. We want to give them many methods: private detective, assassin, hacker hunter…”

Watch Dogs 2, he says, is a small step in that direction thanks to its less-repetitive nature, when compared to titles Ubisoft has developed in the past. He says that earlier games in the Assassin’s Creed series, for example, were often very linear in nature.

But the next game in the Assassin's Creed  series, he hopes, will more fully realize his vision for more dynamic narration in games.

“I’m very proud [Assassin’s Creed] remained a narrative game, because we wanted to meet the Borgias, the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, etc,” he explained. "All this is great. But now our business is to meet characters without it being imposed by the game.”

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