“At Ubisoft, you need to define something that is not just a gimmick.”
Ubisoft has been innovating in its flagship games for plenty of time now- with a new brand of platforming in Prince of Persia, a fresh new combat and traversing system in Assassin’s Creed, and now, what seems like an innovative form of interacting with the game world in Watch Dogs.
However, creative director Jonathan Morin wants to emphasise that the hacking mechanic in Watch Dogs is more than just a gimmick. It is something that will legitimately effect gameplay.
“At Ubisoft… one of the first things you need to deliver is a differentiator,” Morin said. “You need to define something that is not just a gimmick, but can deliver new gameplay in the entire game.
“The core challenge is always, ‘Let’s find something that will change the game.’ So hacking became that. The very first slide of Watch Dogs that I would qualify as the real pitch of Watch Dogs, was a hand with the red button, and underneath it was written something like, ‘Control an entire city at the press of a button.’ That was the idea.”
“The design idea was ‘hack everything around you — but it has to be one button.’,” Morin continued. “It cannot become super complicated, because we knew already we would have to apply that to driving, to shooting, to mechanics.
“Later on, we did explore, voluntarily, tossing aside shooting, which helped us discover other kinds of mechanics, knowing that in a city like that eventually we would have to have it back. And that was the first inkling of it — that’s why we had hacking quite early, in the end.”
The mechanic of being able to hack anything and everything was met with good reception when it was first revealed for Watch Dogs, but we’re curious to see just how it works out in the actual game itself.
Stay tuned for more updates.