ANCESTORS: The Humankind Odyssey is a new game being developed by Panache Studios, headed by Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets. The game is set 10 million to 2 million years ago, and is a third person action adventure game with survival elements. It was initially set to be an episodic game, but as the game’s scope and ambition grew, that is no longer the case.
Patrice Desilets is the man who created the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and worked on the earlier, also arguably the best, games in the series. He had also been in charge of some of the best Prince of Persia games, including Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. He later left Ubisoft, and started his own studio. The game does look promising, and very little had been shown so far. However, at the Reboot Develop conference held in Croatia recently, he revealed a lot more detail about the game, including a short trailer:
Here’s a gist of what he had to say about the game, compiled courtesy of VG247:
- The game is no longer episodic as it’s grown too big.
- The game is currently playable but isn’t ready to release anytime soon. Panache does have a date in mind for release so it’s not a “ship when it’s ready” affair.
- “It’s a third-person action adventure game set 10 million to 2 million years ago,” according to Desilets.
- There will be resource management and survival elements.
- The team has discussed cannibalism and whether it should feature in the game as it has in human history.
- On fighting or tribal conflict in the game: “Eventually, maybe, there will be conflict [in the game] but it’s not there yet.”
- The game was originally about playing “hour to hour” when episodic, now it’s “open, bigger” and “has systems working together”.
- The same animator who created Ezio in Assassin’s Creed and the prince in Prince of Persia is working on the characters of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
- A significant part of the game is set in Africa: “the game world is big,” says Desilets, but he’s not keen to spoil too much of the game ahead of the release.
- “It’s the first time I’ve created a character who interacts with the jungle. There are no walls. What’s the light like? I’ve never worked on that before. There’s no sword, no swordfights. Eventually you get a branch…”
- Desilets wants players to “have fun with the toy I’m giving you and you’ll create the story of your ancestors.”
- Desilet’s other project, 1666: Amsterdam is currently on hold while work continues on Ancestors.
- The project is “well funded” and being built by 32 staff at the studio in Montreal. When you work at Panache, no one works on a Monday (!).
- On hiring female staff to work on his game: “If the candidate has a dick he’s not hired. I’m not telling the story of humankind only with guys. It didn’t happen that way. You need to make babies.”
- On the Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia movies: “I never participated in them.”
While the gameplay bits of his presentation are interesting, the trailer does seem lacking in content. Granted that the game is still in early development, so I hope we see something more meaty in the coming months.
And there’s the bit about his second to last point mentioned above – “If the candidate has a dick he’s not hired. I’m not telling the story of humankind only with guys. It didn’t happen that way. You need to make babies.” I am not sure if that is some kind of error in transcribing or simply a joke in bad taste on Desilets behalf, but that remark sounds very sexist.