Assassin’s Creed developer, Charles Randall, has shared how side quests came to be in AC, how the infamous Templer glitch happened, and more.
Way back in 2007, the first submission of Assassin’s Creed was just about to shipped off to the world, until the team was hit with a slightly terrifying statement. The finished product of the franchise’s first installment needed more work. A lot more work.
According to Ubisoft’s fight system AI lead, Charles Randall, that just five days before the release, a spanner was thrown into the works by the lead developer. He was told that the CEO’s kid had tested the game, but “it was boring and there was nothing to do in the game.”
Answering the question on Twitter: “give me a horror story from your specialty in five words or less,” Randall responded with “The CEO’s kid played it.”
Randall then went on to explain what he claims to be “the craziest 5 days of my life.”
If you can imagine how much work developing a game takes then imagine what it would take to add an extra five hours of gameplay in just as many days. Not to mention it had to be bug-free. Any developer will tell you that it’s certainly not uncommon for a game to get a “second submission” status, but what makes this scenario different than the rest is that Randall himself cannot remember anything inside of the five-day deadline.
After agreeing to take on the assignment of adding some much-needed extras to the already finished title, all Randall needed was a team and a card key sealed main conference area of Montreal’s Peck Building. After moving all the team’s equipment into the secure room, they went on to spend all five days creating an extra 5 hours of side missions not previously added into the game, which makes up a quarter of the average completion time, according to How Long to Beat.
Randall recalls that the assignment was completed within the time limit and almost went off without any problems except for one teeny, weeny, huge, gigantic bug. The type of bug that doesn’t break the game as such, but it did stop you from getting the 100 percent completion score.
The bug itself had a major impact on the completion of Assassin’s Creed. Players were charged with eliminating Templar soldiers throughout the world, which was one of the side quests added to the game in those dreaded last five days. One particular Templar would sometimes disappear if approached from a certain direction, falling through the ground and classed as dead by the game’s system.
This took credit away from the player, leaving them without the ability to kill him and the complete list of memories. Gamers would have to start from scratch to re-attempt the side quest. Randall has since apologized for this bug and adds: “But I literally don’t remember what happened in that period of five days.” He also included:
“… it’s a miracle that the game didn’t just melt your console or whatever.”
As crazy as this may have seemed at the time, Randall has stated that Assassin’s Creed was a “wild ride” and changed his career completely. Most of the memories were good ones (except maybe the five missing days) still says that AC1 was the easiest game to ship with the least amount of overtime.
Hats off to the team at Ubisoft for giving us the groundbreaking Assassin’s Creed franchise debut and to Charles Randall for this fantastic story.
What do you think? Did you enjoy AC with the included side quests? Could it have done so well without? Tell us below!