Japanese Translation of AC2 Combat Article

by Darius Kazemi on December 9, 2009

in combat,design

Kensuke Shimoda, who I met at GDC ’09, just published a Japanese translation of the article I wrote about combat in Assassin’s Creed 2! That’s super cool. He also added some commentary to the article. I do not speak Japanese, but Google Translate does the bulk of the work and I can do a decent job of translating Google English into real English.

In short, Kensuke agrees with the main point of the article. He always has an idea he keeps in his head when designing, which is that the player should not die or fail, but rather you should give the player the ability to play with confidence and express themselves through gameplay. He talks a little bit about how this relates to a game he’s currently working on (which Google sadly can’t translate very well), and concludes by noting that that advanced AI is not the same thing as difficult AI.

He also notes that in his mind AC will always mean Ace Combat, so he proposes abbreviating Assassin’s Creed as ^^. I find this especially amusing since, as a former Turbine employee, AC will always mean Asheron’s Call to me!

Kensuke’s English website is here and his Japanese website is here. He’s a designer who has worked at Square Enix and KOEI on some impressive titles and is currently an independent contractor. If you speak Japanese you might want to follow him on Twitter.

{ 1 comment }

solipsistnation December 9, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I have to say that while I understand the impetus behind it, I don’t agree that the player shouldn’t be allowed to fail. I do agree that games should frame challenges within the story they’re trying to tell, though. AC2′s combat works as it does because the character is supposed to be a badass– punishing the player for not also being a badass would just be frustrating. That said, if the player isn’t paying attention or is just kind of screwing around (or doesn’t understand the controls, I guess), the game shouldn’t coddle them– there has to be something at stake, or there’s no challenge, no impetus to keep playing, and overall no fun. (I do like that in AC2 what’s at stake is usually just a minor setback, lost time, and a failed mission which you can then retry. Framing that in “Your memory is desynchronized from what ACTUALLY happened. We know Ezio didn’t get shanked in the street by a guard, so we’re going to jump you back to before that happened and let you try it again” is also nice, and helps sustain immersion and reduce frustration without turning it into a casual game. I’ve noticed that you do get to keep gold and stuff you collect during failed missions, like if you know you’re going to lose a race and stop to clean out a chest or 2.)

Also, I like the word “Suwasshubakkuringu.”

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