Nowadays, Assassin's Creed is well known for its open-world structure, filled with side activities across the map. It turns out that these additional side missions weren't always planned for the series, as the original game was going to ship without any.
Charles Randall, a former Ubisoft Montreal developer, worked on the first Assassin's Creed back in 2007. Five days before the game was scheduled to be printed on discs and shipped off to retailers, “the CEO's kid played it”, described the open world as boring and thus, the crunch began.
The CEO's kid played it https://t.co/0DCT5XaA91
— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) May 23, 2020
The Twitter thread reveals that a small portion of the team, roughly 5 or 6 people, then locked themselves in a conference room for five days to add additional objectives to the map. This included ‘additional memories', like flag collection missions and Templar assassinations.
This five-day crunch apparently “went super well” but some bugs did end up in the final game. For instance, a bug that caused two assassin's to appear if you had two Xbox 360 controllers plugged in was missed, as was an issue with one of the non-story Templar assassinations, in which if the player approached the target from the wrong direction, the enemy would fall through the map and die.
This death would not be counted as a successful assassination on the player's part and the target did not respawn. As a result, dedicated achievement hunters looking to earn all 1000 gamerscore on Xbox 360 would need to start the game again.
Of course, this period of swift development also took its toll on the small group involved, with Randall saying “I literally don't remember what happened in that period of five days”, describing it all as a “blur”.
KitGuru Says: We've seen plenty of stories of developer crunch, but very few of them have involved a boss's child not liking the game. Did many of you play the original Assassin's Creed back in the day? Did many of you play the side content?