Level: Airship
Level: Blackwall Yard
Level: Embankment
Level: Catacombs

Chapter 5: Agamemnon Rising

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Preventing the Assassination

Galahad soon finds an alternate route into the foyer, one which lets him take the stairs up to the top level without being seen. He contacts Malory and unwraps a package on his back—a disassembled sniper rifle.

Through its scope, he observes not only Lord Hastings, but another Knight as well: Alastair, brother of Isabeau. He scans the crowd as instructed by Malory, taking note of several guards in the room who could be Rebel infiltrators. Two, he notes, are missing the East India Company's insignia, suggesting that their uniforms are incomplete (and therefore likely to be the ones worn by Rebels). Malory gives him the go-ahead to take them out just as one begins to walk across the room toward Hastings and Lucan.

Galahad recognizes the aggressive intent behind the act in time and shoots. He yells to Alastair to get Lord Hastings to safety just as more Rebels arrive to finish the job. The ruckus causes the civilians to flee, leaving only Galahad and the enemy combatants facing off.


Gameplay Video


 
Development

The foyer layout has a lot to accomplish, design-wise. First, the space needed to be reasonably-well populated to convey the idea of the Agamemnon as a luxury vessel. However, human characters at the level of detail our art team was able to achieve are expensive to render, so I had to balance a "relatively-full-feeling, relatively large" room with using the minimum number of characters I felt were needed.

Second, the room needed sufficient cover to support the post-assassination battle, but chosen and arranged to compromise the "realism" (such as by placing one of the low cabinets directly on a carpet runner).




Third, the sequence plays out by Galahad observing the gathering through his sniper rifle scope. One of the more contentious issues on the project was how to limit the number of "edge cases" (situations caused by unintentional player action, such as shooting a vase instead of the Rebel target) without taking away too much player agency. We discussed and discarded quite a few iterations, but finally settled on something that satisfied all the concerend parties:

  • Have Malory issue Galahad a "hold fire" command until the Rebels are identified

  • Once the "hold fire" is released, only allow the player to fire IF the shot would be a kill shot (to avoid having to create extra content for near misses or other edge cases)

  • The player has to mark all the guards in the room so can Galahad unambiguously identify each one as either "friendly" or "Rebel" so the player knows in advance which characters to watch for hostile action

  • A second Rebel who is not the assassin can be shot without penalty if desired



These rules result in a sequence which retains some player agency (what order to mark targets in, whether or not to shoot the Rebel "spotter") but has a relatively-constrained possibility space, a good mid-sequence checkpoint spot (after all the guards have been identified), and only a single "fail" case to script for—if the player does not manage to shoot the assassin Rebel in time, he kills Lord Hastings and the sequence repeats from the moment Galahad is given permission to fire.






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