In preparation for E3, Ubisoft released a video showing how much work has gone into the demo of Assassin’s Creed 3 that will debut at the show. “We’re right at the apex of excitement and terror,” Creative Director Alex Hutchinson said. Philippe Bergeron, AC3‘s Mission Director, added, “We’re sweating and suffering but it’s coming to fruition.”
The video is a fast-cut promotional confection but it captures how strangely intrusive the process of creating demos for games can be. Ubisoft is especially notorious for their massive team sizes, with the end credits for last year’s Rayman Origins taking almost 20 minutes to list everyone who had some big or small contribution to the game.
Marshaling a group of professionals of that size must surely be overwhelming. Having to interrupt the workflow to pull large groups of people away to make a demo must be a logistical nightmare. Doubly so given how years of work on a major game like AC3 can happen in relative secrecy, with developers cut off from feedback from the potential players.
E3 is an exciting and colorful platform for a public unveiling, but it’s also a fine platform for a public beheading. Developers never know which it will be until they’ve climbed up onto the stage.