Monday, May 30, 2011

Retrospective: Ubisoft Talks About Ashan

I thought I'd share a pretty funny read from one of Heroes V's development diaries circa 2005. Prior to Heroes V's release, the community had high hopes for Ubisoft's new world and storyline. The concept of an emotionally broken but determined young warrior queen trying to hold her kingdom together had promise. At least on paper, the story sounded mature and complex.

The actual story of Heroes V featuring stupid, one-dimensional characters and horrendously inane dialog. The storyline was a failure in every respect and had no redeeming value.

In the diary, Erwan Le Breton, M&M Content Director, and Richard Dansky, M&M World Designer, discussed their intention to create the world of Ashan. Here's an excerpt:
12. To conclude why do you think people will enjoy the universe you helped to create?
I think that the best praise we could get for this new universe is that it “feels strong and it feels real”. 
All of the different factions have very good reasons to justify their existence and their ongoing struggles with the rival nations. 
All of the characters have legitimate motivations and credible mindsets. 
The drama is tight, focused on a long chain of major events that covers millennia of spoken myths and written history.
Everything is related. Every action has its consequences, sometimes hundreds of years later.
Now you see why this is funny. Heroes V's plot ended up being the opposite of Le Breton and Dansky's original vision. One wonders how the developers managed to screw things up so badly. Was Nival that incompetent? Was it the result of too many cooks in the kitchen?

Suffering through the terrible storyline of Heroes V made me appreciate the well though-out world of Heroes III and the textured motivations of its inhabitants. There's currently a lot of talk about Heroes VI's storyline. It allegedly follows the lives of five siblings from the Falcon Empire and their various political machinations. Once again, the premise sounds good on paper. However, time will tell if Ubisoft can truly resurrect Ashan from the cesspool of bullshit it currently resides.

No comments:

Post a Comment