Q&A with with Thibaud de la Touanne (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice)
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Assassin’s Creed®: Brotherhood of Venice is a tabletop board game with miniatures aiming to capture the essence of Assassin's Creed® and turn it into a fun, fully cooperative game for 1 to 4 players.
It is played in a campaign spanning several months in 1509 in which you play a small team of Assassins in charge of developing the Headquarters of the Brotherhood of Assassins in Venice, after Ezio Auditore has defeated Cesare Borgia and his allies, between the events of Assassin’s Creed®: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed®: Revelations.
Players will use their Assassin's skills, equipment and their own sense of tactics to complete various objectives while evading detection from the Guards.
The campaign will pit you against Templars, let you explore unknown events of the Brotherhood in Venice, and determine the fate of the Brotherhood in the famous City of Masks.
Our Community Admin Col_96 sat down with Thibaud de la Touanne, Founder of Triton Noir, the Montreal based studio behind Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice.
Col: Welcome Thibaud, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. How are you?
Thibaud: Working on the game’s development, so very good, thank you!
Col: Fantastic. I understand you’ve been very busy recently. How would you describe the project, and how did it all start?
Thibaud: Our first tabletop game V-Commandos was inspired by the fun gameplay of some famous stealth-based video games such as Metal Gear Solid, the Commandos series, and obviously Assassin’s Creed. As we thought about our next game, it struck us that the gameplay of V-Commandos could be a good inspiration for an Assassin’s Creed game. What’s more, our Story Designer Fabrice Lamidey was Creative Director of Assassin’s Creed Initiates. His knowledge was crucial to start developing the board game because he gave us a great insight on both the passion and diversity of the fans as well as on the way the universe and franchise work. Actually, a big part of the whole team has been into those video games for quite a long time, which makes it very easy and natural for us to develop an Assassin’s Creed board game. Having kept great relations with Ubisoft, it felt natural to talk to them about the idea of making Assassin’s Creed®: Brotherhood of Venice.
Col: This is one of the first ever crowd funded Assassin’s Creed projects. How does it feel to know that it has been a huge success, and to see that over 7100 people have backed the project?
Thibaud: We are very proud of such a success. With a license deal signed with Ubisoft Montreal, Triton Noir has been developing Assassin’s Creed®: Brotherhood of Venice for months. The first public demos and the campaign indeed received a warm welcome from both the press and the players. Like we said already, behind the new game, there is a whole team of veterans from the board and video game industries. To ensure a top-quality Assassin’s Creed tabletop game, we made the call to go on Kickstarter. Having financed the first development steps, we needed the support from the backers to make sure the project was to be fulfilled with all the cool stuff we wanted to implement – fans of the famous Assassin’s Creed® franchise, but also players who were convinced by our first game V-Commandos, and those who are into cooperative and/or infiltration games in general. Anyway, with thousands of people backing the projects on Kickstarter, we are the happiest board game developers! Thank you all for making it possible!
Col: How has the development process changed since the financial backing? Has the project become more ambitious at all?
Thibaud: We had very high expectations in terms of quality and quantity. We wanted to create a collector game. The campaign just allowed to do it as we planned. Well, that said, we could not resist adding some new features or improve some assets for the game… We also decided to rework some of the assets shown during the campaign, such as the tiles which were entirely redesigned, or Dariâ’s miniature.
Col: How much freedom do the team in Montreal have over the creative direction of the project, and are Ubisoft overseeing its development?
Thibaud: Ubisoft is working closely with us on every aspect of the game. We are checking every single asset, character, miniature use in the game, getting sure that everything is up to the Assassin’s Creed® standards. That said, the trust between our team and Ubisoft allows us to be creative too, which is, to us, very rare in a license deal. It’s a blast to work with those guys that have been friends for years, and former colleague as well!
Col: Are there anyone individuals at Ubisoft who have really helped to make this project a reality?
Thibaud: Yes, let’s give a warm thank you to Transmedia & Business Development Director at Ubisoft, Aymar Azaïzia!
Col: The game has been available to play at several events. Have you had any feedback from fans, and has anything been changed/adapted at all?
Thibaud: We definitely run tons of playtests during conventions since the game was ready to test, about 2 years ago. Quality Assurance playtests have been part of the video games development, and we work the same way. We get lots of positive feedback and the fans of the licence tell us that they find the spirit of the Assassin’s Creed® video games. This is great for us, but what we are looking for most of all are all the feedback allowing us to improve the game by any way (cards, icons, rules, etc.).
Col: Does the game add new characters to the franchise, and if so, can we consider them canon in the AC Universe?
Thibaud: Yes! The narrative set in the past, is canon with what happened during the Italian Renaissance and deals with the Brotherhood established by Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The narrative set in the present will also be canon and we are working on it now!
Col As the miniatures all come unpainted, are the team encouraging players to paint them? If so, will guides become available on how to do this successfully?
Thibaud: Definitely! Check out the awesome work of Angel Giraldez on Facebook and YouTube. He had our minis painted and the results are amazing!
Col: You can see the intricate detailing of each miniature, and it’s clear that lots of time and effort has gone into making this project a reality. What’s the next stage of the project, and how are the team preparing for launch?
Thibaud: All the minis sculpt are done now; it was a huge amount of work that required up to 7 artists. What they did exceeded our expectations! We are currently working the illustrations and tiles, designing the remaining Memories (missions) and cards, the Assassins hideouts, the rules and balancing these Memories difficulty. Launch is planned for June 2020, so we still have time to think about it :).
You can now pre-order Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice!
Brotherhood of Venice:
Finally, to conclude our 5 year anniversary celebrations, we are giving you the chance to win an exclusive Follower of Romulus miniature figure from the Brotherhood of Venice tabletop board game!