Category: Features

Thanks to Ubisoft, we had the chance to sit down for a chat with Assassins Creed’s II and III Production Manager Julien Laferriere, who visited Australia for the media preview launch of Assassins Creed III.

 

The venue started with an introduction and Q&A, followed by the chance of testing the game on Play Station 3 and Ps Vita, and let us tell you it`s fantastic and features new amazing things, such as the capability of hunting animals to survive in the middle of the forest, mini games and some epic navy combats where you have to command your own ship and defeat enemies in the middle of the sea in order to protect your allies.

 

 

The game is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution in the late 18th century, and introduces a new hero, Ratohnhaké:ton, of Native American and English heritage. Adopting the name Connor, he becomes the new voice for justice in the ancient war between the Assassins and Templars.

 

 

Check our interview with Mr. Julien Laferriere below:

 

 

SR: First of all, thanks for your time, man.

 

JL: Pleasure.

 

SR: First question is how does it feel to be involved in one of the greatest video game sagas ever?

 

JL: (Laughs). Wow! I mean, it’s… I feel like it’s an honour, honestly. It’s really a privilege, and I think everybody on the team sees it like that. A lot of people love that game and look forward to it, so we’ve put a lot of love into it. Fans and players in general? We love to hear what they have to say. We read all the comments on the blogs and the forum posts and we just want to make a good game that players will like.

 

SR: When did you first get on board with the project, and how did you react when you got the letter saying “We are doing another Assassins Creed Game”?

 

JL: (Laughs). I’ve been on the franchise for 5 years now. I started on AC 2, and then I did Brotherhood.  After doing Brotherhood, there was already a team working on AC 3, prototyping some stuff like the forest and the naval battles. Then the senior producer, Francois Pelland, asked me if I wanted to join the team. Obviously I said yes. (Laughs).

 

SR: What would you say is your favourite character of the franchise?

 

JL: That’s a good question. Um. It might be a cliché, but I’m very happy about what we did with Connor. I feel that he’s a very complex and rich character and you get to live key moments of his life and really understand where he’s going. So, I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m working on the game so he’s very close, but I really like Connor. In the Ezio trilogy, I was a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci. I liked the way he was portrayed. I really liked that character a lot. So yeah, it would be a close call between Leo and Connor, but I think Connor wins.

 

 

SR: Are you guys concerned with moving to another main character and not keeping with the Desmond story?

 

JL: We are continuing the Desmond story. Like the metaplot of Assassin’s Creed is a lot about Desmond as well. So we’re following the Desmond story exactly where we left it off after Revelations. But to answer your question… I mean, Ezio was such a popular character, right? Fans loved him. And that’s why we made three games with Ezio. People were loving that guy, so coming up with a new character… obviously there’s always butterflies in your stomach…when you’re gonna introduce that guy. And so far the response has been pretty positive. We’re very happy with the way things came out with Connor. I think he feels very different but very true to the Assassins in the same way. So, we’re pretty happy now, but I can tell you that when we first introduced the character, we knew we had something interesting, but we hoped that players would think the same thing.

 

 

SR: Which one is your favourite feature of this new game?

 

JL: My personal favourite feature is the addition of the forest, it’s true. For me, the forest was the first thing that we prototyped…the first thing that we said we had to do, you know? We have to do the forest. We also have a lot of new stuff in the game. Like – the map itself is really big, really fresh, really new. But all the game play that we have…all the new ingredients come from the forest. Like the hunting, for example, the free running, the climbing.  All of that comes from the forest and we transpose those ideas in the cities. So for me, it’s really the forest that’s my favourite.

 

SR: The Internet buzz says there’s a film adaptation in the works. Do you know anything about that?

 

JL: Ah, honestly – and this is the real answer, it’s not the ‘PR’ answer – I’ve been so busy with working on the single player portion of the game that I can’t really comment on anything going on around the game, unfortunately. I’m so focused on making this game.

 

 

SR: Do you have any favourite actors you’d like to see play them?

 

JL: I don’t know. I mean, there are a lot of good people out there. I just hope that it’s somebody who fits the character, you know, and that it’s true to the story that we’re telling. I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a big name actor. I would just want to see somebody who would play the role right, you know? I don’t have any examples, but for me that would be important, you know? To have somebody who stays true to the character – who doesn’t try to portray him differently from what he is.

 

SR: So, after Assassins 3, what is next for you guys?

 

JL: We’re all gonna be on vacation. A well-deserved vacation, for sure. I mean, we’re all gonna take some time to rest. What are the future plans for the franchise, the next stuff coming up or whatever? You’ll have to wait, and you won’t hear it from me because my job here is to talk about AC3; I can’t really comment about the future.

 

SR: Well, thanks so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.

 

JL:: Thanks to you and enjoy the game

 

Assassins Creed III will be available in Australia on October 31, 2012

Interview thanks to The Spotlight Report

 

 

Azra Alagic is a Brisbane-based writer and former journalist. Her short stories have been published in Borderlands, Miel Magazine and UQ Vanguard. She co-edited Passion, Prose and Poetry, and has received two RADF grants for her writing,and was nominated for an Aurealis Award. Not Like My Mother is her first book and is now available on Ibooks or Amazon

 

1.   NLMM is described as creative non-fiction. What were your primary sources for the books?

The book is based on stories told to me by my parents, grandparents and extended family.  I was intrigued by the complexity of the cultures that made up the former Yugoslavia and the history that influenced the breakout of the Balkan wars. I also researched stories from victims who were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories, and read transcripts from the Hague’s War Crimes Tribunal. For me, writing Not Like My Mother was very much about giving a voice to the victims and to all sides of the civil dispute.

2.  What affect did your families stories about the troubles in the Balkans affect your life growing up?

Though I was born in Australia, I have always had a strong affinity with my parents’ homeland which back in the 80s was Yugoslavia but after the war broke out I suddenly couldn’t call myself Yugoslav anymore because it was ‘politically’ incorrect. Up until then I was unaware of the underlying divisions that had been simmering in Yugoslavia. When the war broke it triggered all these stories from family, they spilled forth as the emotions of watching their homeland be torn apart shook their identity and cracked open the tenuous peace that existed. The war reached out across the world to us here in Australia and peeled away memories that had been tucked away for years. I became obsessed with trying to understand my culture and the hatred and violence that lived there. I don’t think I’ve succeeded yet – it’s a journey that is still evolving.

3.    Can you tell us a little about what to expect from the sequel? When is it due for release?

The Comfort Women picks up on Majra’s story and the bravery of the Bosniak women forced into rape camps. Yasna doesn’t know whether she will find Majra alive or dead but she knows she has to try. It’s a story about strong women, hope survival, song and finding justice in places one might not expect. I’m hoping to have it released late 2013.

4.   What other creative projects are you working on?

I always seem to have a dozen projects on the go and sometimes struggle to stay focused on one particular story because they all speak to me so strongly, but my interest in Australia’s ‘illegal refugees’ has me writing a novel about the plight of an Afghani refugee, a people smuggler and an Australian soldier. The story is very much in it’s infancy but I’m really liking the way it’s coming together. I’m also working on a chic lit called The Other Woman, I’m onto the second draft and it explores lure of infidelity, the spice of a forbidden relationship and the difficulty in being the ‘other’ woman.

5.       What is your best advice for new writers?

Write what you’re passionate about, it will come through in your writing and capture your reader. Never give up on your dream.

PRIEST (the movie) press release from Sony:

Australians crave an escape from tough economic times – to the land of supernatural Australians seek break from reality to world of vampires and the supernatural Priest is available on Blu-ray and DVD from 23rd December 2011.

Australians are increasingly seeking an escape from economic uncertainty through the consumption of supernatural films, TV shows and novels. Ahead of the launch of Priest on Blu-ray and DVD this week, supernatural expert Marianne de Pierres has examined Australia’s vampire obsession.
Marianne de Pierres, one of Australia’s most high profile science fiction writers, states “It’s clear that Australians are seeking an escape from their daily lives, which at present are dominated by global economic uncertainty and political dissatisfaction. We are seeing an increasing preoccupation with the supernatural, with the last half of the year showing the highest rated viewing figures for filmsband TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, Being Human and True Blood’.

“This obsession with the supernatural can be attributed to a need and a desire to escape from daily life and into a world of power, death and the unfamiliar. As shown in the film Priest, the post apocalyptic world is dark and frightening; a place without joy and normality, providing us with the reassurance that even in a time of economic uncertainty, our life is not as bleak as the life lived by characters such as Priest.“By its very nature, despite its dark imagery, post apocalyptic literature and film provide us with an uplifting experience. When emerging from the ruins of society and fighting for the survival of loved ones, post-apocalyptic tales remind us how important fighting for survival is.

Marianne’s examination of the Australian obsession with the supernatural comes as the postapocalyptic thriller Priest is released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 23rd. Priest, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world – one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The film depicts the tale of Priest (Paul Bettany) who disobeys church law to track down the vampires who have kidnapped his niece, with the help of Priestess (Maggie Q).

The supernatural thriller Priest will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from all major retailers across Australia from 23 December 2011.


Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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