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Annual Assassin's Creed cycle is "ideal"

Director: fast turnaround halts "indecision".

The Assassin's Creed series' 12 month production cycle is "ideal", so says Revelations' mission design director.

Speaking in an interview with Edge, Falco Poiker argued that though Ubisoft's decision to annualise the series has put a lot of pressure on the development team, the time constraint can also work in their favour.

"Yeah, these games, the production cycle is less than a year, which actually for me is about ideal," he explained.

"Most productions - real production is about that length, but because you have the previous game that's just finishing on production and you start the next game's production, there's this very quick ramp-up time where you're just swallowing resources saying, 'OK, let's make this team.'

"And from a 20-person team to a 180-people team within a few months, even that is a bit of a nightmare. Getting to know everybody, what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses, who do I give this important mission to? It's a creative mission - is that person creative or are they technical?"

Poiker went on to claim that the limited development time available makes production more focused and efficient.

"But a lot of people complain about that, I mean I'm talking internally - people say there's not enough time. But it gives an impetus to the team and we find a direction that we say we're going to run in, and there's very little of the indecision that comes with teams that spend two, three, four years developing games.

"Frequently those games will restart completely from the ground-up because they're like, 'We're not satisfied where we are.' We don't have that luxury so the time actually kind of works in our favour. We go one direction and we go with it. If there are problems, oh well, we'll fix it along the way."

Revelations, due out next month, is the fourth game in the series to appear in five years. Check out Eurogamer's Assassin's Creed: Revelations preview for more on how it's shaping up.

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Assassin's Creed III

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Assassin's Creed Revelations

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.