WHAT THE BOX SAID

The Caribbean, 1715.  Legendary pirates rule the land and sea, plundering fortunes and bringing empires to their knees.  Among these outlaws is Edward Kenway, a fearless young captain who earns the respect of the pirates, but whose thirst for gold and glory may destroy everything they have built.

Discover the richest world ever in Assassin's Creed. Travel among such legendary pirates as Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and Benjamin Hornigold as you build a lawless republic in the Bahamas and re-enact the breathtaking events that shaped the Golden Age of piracy. Lead a pirate's life in 50 unique locations, from Kingston to Nassau. As captain, design your ship according to your wishes, search for lost treasures, hunt rare animals and loot lost shipwrecks. 

WHAT I SAY

ACIV was a big game!  In every way.  5 studios worked on development across the globe, it was a 24h development cycle.  I was in Singapore where, having pioneered the naval elements in AC3 were put in charge of almost all the ocean based activities and the ocean itself.  A classic AC experience but much more refined, polished, with a better story and characters and more interesting locations and distractions to engage with than AC3 had ultimately delivered.  It really was a wonderful achievement.

WHAT I DID

I joined the project during pre-production and, initially worked on missions but was quickly asked to investigate the fort gameplay and essentially left to my own devices for a while to design and then prototype (using the engines visual scripting language) the coastal fort gameplay; how it should work, what were the goals, how small/big did it all need to be.

After sharing what I'd developed with the lead studio, Montreal, everyone was happy and we moved forwards with the development and integrating the idea of seamless ground gameplay.  Establishing a need for a dynamic experience we introduced realblast (a physics system borrowed and adapted from the team making Rainbow Six Siege at the time) and began turning what we had into something truly intense and explosive.  This quickly became something more than a side element of the naval gameplay and they wanted it to work as the gating mechanism for the open world and they wanted 11 of them!  Something that wasn't initially planned.  So, by introducing a relatively simple modular idea of using a base layout with modified components, myself, whilst leading 7 others worked long and hard to develop the Forts that are in the game.

This was easily one of the most fun and rewarding, albeit intense and tiring, experiences I've had working in the games industry.  It truly was creatively satisfying and we had relative freedom to really make something special.

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