top of page

TOWCB Recap: Reddit AMA with the Assassin’s Creed Mirage Dev Team


13 Jul 2023

Written By:

Edited By:

Banner by Thea Marie Rivedal (Moonchildgecko) from TOWCB Art Team.

The official Assassin’s Creed Twitter account announced this last week that the devs of AC Mirage would be holding an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit’s r/Assassin’s Creed on the 13th of July, 2023. Present for the AMA were Creative Director Stephane Boudon, Narrative Director Sarah Beaulieu, and Art Director Jean-Luc Sala. The Q&A session lasted for about 3 hours with 23k reported views (via Moderator u/WhiteWolfWhispers) and we have gathered and trimmed all of the questions and responses from the devs below for you to read in an easy and organized fashion.

You can read through the full subreddit thread here.

Game Development and Design

u/WhiteWolfWhispers: Just curious, at what point during Valhalla was it decided to make Mirage a full game instead of a dlc and why?

Sarah Beaulieu: Hi! We decided to make Mirage a full game in the following weeks after starting working on it. The opportunity of working on the city of Baghdad, and on the character of Basim, was too good to be missed!


u/SparkedSynapse: Is there a chance of Assassin Focus being visually retouched to add more digital-artifacting, Animus distortion, floating text, and the like? 

Stephane Boudon: The walkthrough trailer was still work in progress and we continue to improve the visual of the game.


u/andyreloads-YouTube: How long will it take in hours to complete the game (100%) & how big is the map in KM?

Sarah Beaulieu: In terms of playtime, we are closer to the first AC games.


u/SparkedSynapse: Is there any chance of quest replay or mission replay being made available in a potential post-launch update?

Stephane Boudon: For now, Mirage has no plan for DLC or extensive post-launch


u/Ras_AlHim: Maybe a silly question, but will there be credits playing at the end (unlike the past few ACs)?

Sarah Beaulieu: Not a silly question! Yes, you'll be able to read the names of everyone who worked on Mirage at the end of the game!


u/ClaudioACSy: I would like to know what accomplishment you're the most proud of and what is the hardest challenge you've faced during the development of this game?

Sarah Beaulieu: I'm especially proud of the cast of characters and actors we gathered for Mirage. The talents brought passion and authenticity to the story, and I'm so grateful for this.

When working on a complex and huge lore such as Assassin's Creed, the hardest challenge is to stay consistent, while creating bridges with existing lore elements, and new ones... This is key!


u/NeedleworkerPure5092: The game is set in the period called “Anarchy at Samarra”. Then, why doesn't it include Samarra, Basim’s birthplace and the Abbasid Caliphate’s capital at that time? It’s the city where all of the caliphs lived and most important historical events happened.

Sarah Beaulieu: The city of Baghdad was the center of the world at that time, home to many scholars and artists, so we decided it was the perfect place for our story. And back then, caliphs came to Baghdad regularly. We tell the story of the origins of the rebellion, and tie it to the Hidden Ones'.


u/PapaSmurph: Why give Basim an Eagle companion when he had no such companion in Valhalla and Eagle Vision makes the Eagle companion almost obsolete?

Sarah Beaulieu: Hello! About the eagle, and on the story side, you'll get an answer in Mirage on why Basim doesn't have his eagle in Valhalla…


u/Sir-Fluf: Could you explain your decision to not include modern day within this game? Will we still see some in the future?

Sarah Beaulieu: Hi, thanks for the question! As the game is more condensed in terms of narrative, we decided to focus on Basim's story during his time in Baghdad, since it was already so dense. There is a scene at the beginning of the game where you will have the modern day context, then the experience will focus on Basim's evolution as a Hidden One.


u/fabled765: What is the approach to weaving philosophy into the story of Mirage? Does Basim seek liberty for all or just himself?

Sarah Beaulieu: Freedom is actually the core theme of the conflict. Basim is torn between his strong will to bring back justice in Baghdad, and his own struggles. This supports the whole story and character evolution.


u/NoTax20: Will there be any ties/connections to Origins or the Babylonians?

Jean-Luc Sala: The visual identity we chose for the masks of the Order of the Ancients has a connection to AC Origins, which also suggests a presence of the Order during the Babylonian era. We also have in-game items that will definitely remind you of Origins.


u/OlgaBaikova: Why did you choose Basim to be the main character of this game? We've seen the end of his story in Valhalla, and if this game becomes an absolute success, there will be not much left to explore about Basim's life in case of a sequel; unlike the mysterious other assassin, Haytham, whose life we know almost nothing about, and who is the "real deal", if you know what I mean.

Sarah Beaulieu: Basim's origin story was basically a blank page, so we saw this as a great opportunity to explore his complex personality. He is the kind of character I love working on. How did he become the character from Valhalla? What happened to him? And as the team really wanted to explore Baghdad's history, Basim made even more sense!


u/lillchicken126: What books did the team read to get ready for this period?

Jean-Luc Sala: A lot, but Guy Le Strange book "Baghdad During the Abbasid Caliphate From Contemporary Arabic and Persian Sources" was a solid start for us. Historians, specialists of the topic, inside and outside Ubisoft helped us a lot.


u/yautja-hunter: Will there be assassin headquarters like in the earlier games? Also, can we train our own assassins and use them in combat?

Sarah Beaulieu: Each district in Baghdad has a Hidden Ones Bureau, where you will report to the rafiqs and collect assassination contracts. The experience is centered around Basim becoming a Master Assassin, therefore he does not train any other assassins yet!


u/Assassiinuss: Also in the gameplay walkthrough the player picks up a contract from a board - are those contracts handcrafted and limited in number (as in you can do every contract only once) or are they randomly generated out of a set of locations, objectives and other modifiers like for example the quests from the message boards in the Wrath of the Druids DLC?

Stephane Boudon: All the contracts are handcrafted and limited in number, no random generation.


u/SparkedSynapse: How possible and available are Ejects during movement?

Stephane Boudon: For Parkour we are focusing on fluidity and control and building our own thing, taking inspiration from several ACs. Back ejects and side ejects as in the pre-AC3 games are not part of our Parkour system, but we put a lot of effort working on small details to make sure players have the best control on Basim. We are still fine-tuning the Parkour to reinforce even more this control and the feeling of fluidity and agility when traversing Baghdad.


u/SparkedSynapse: If they have the resource for it, can a player activate Assassin Focus during any state? (Walking, Jumping, On A Wall, etc)

Stephane Boudon: You can only activate the Assassin Focus outside a conflict.


u/SixKeys: How does the skill tree work? Can we obtain skills in any order and ignore ones we don't care for, or do we have to buy certain skills to unlock the rest? Can we unequip skills and armor for a no-upgrades run?

Stephane Boudon: We’re still fine tuning the skill tree. Skills are dependent on each other so you will have to unlock a path to access the next skill. You can unequip most skills except the ones concerning an additional tool we newly added. Armor/Outfit can’t be unequipped, but you can override them visually with a Costume.


u/Ti2738: What are your thoughts on the backlash towards the new “Focus Assassination”, specifically towards the comments on how it ruins the game by being too fantasy-like visually. Is it too late to change the look of this ability and, in your honest opinion, do you agree with what people are saying or do you stand by how the ability looks currently?

Stephane Boudon: Basim is an incredibly agile and efficient Assassin, and when using the Assassin Focus he is so fast that the Animus has a hard time keeping up with his movements - that's what we convey with the visual effect. From a game design point of view the Assassin Focus is an incentive for players to use Stealth, as you need to do Stealth kills to fill in your gauge.

It is also a way to reward the player with a possibility to eliminate in a blast the remaining targets of a specific location. But using it is completely optional and it will be your choice to invest or not skill points in the ability to upgrade it. When triggering it, you will also have to be very careful about where Basim will end after the last kill, or you could be easily detected.


u/SixKeys: Can you tell us more about social stealth? Can we blend with anyone or just certain groups? Is blending automatic or do we need to press/hold a button like in Valhalla?

Stephane Boudon: You can blend with any civilians in AC Mirage (except children) as soon as you have three people in Basim’s vicinity, however you can also trigger a patrol blending.


u/BrunoHM: Outside of the 6 tools shown, are there more to be revealed? Could we get more examples of how we can change their properties?

Stephane Boudon: Yes, Basim will be able to access 3 tiers for each of the five tools he will unlock (Torch is not upgradable). Each tier will allow you to choose a new modifier. For instance, a smoke bomb can be turned into a healing vapor refilling Basim’s health or throwing knife can be charged to deal more damage.


u/Assassiinuss: In the gameplay walkthrough it is said that tools will get branching upgrades - are those choices permanent or can they be swapped/rolled back?

Stephane Boudon: You can roll back or swap those upgrades at the bureau if you want.


u/MedicinalM1Abrams: What differentiates costumes from outfits? Are they disguises that the player can wear to better blend in and sneak into enemy compounds(like a guard costume that lets Basim walk right through the front gates of a restricted area?)

Jean-Luc Sala: Costumes are official costumes Basim would wear in "real life" (like the assassins costumes) and outfits are to player discretion. You can dye the outfits and not the costumes. In certain circumstances the game will require [you] to wear some specific costumes in order to infiltrate a location. Outfit[s] give you specific perks.


u/Enviromental-Crew66: Will there be an option to toggle Basim's hood during gameplay? Either like Valhalla with a quick access wheel or in Origins with a menu button?

Stephane Boudon: No, you can’t do it. For us, Basim is a predator that must remain hidden. It was for us natural that Basim keeps his hood on every time he’s on [a] mission in Baghdad like Altair will do later. Of course, you will be able to witness Basim without his hood in bureaus or when Basim is with his fellow Hidden Ones.


u/MedicinalM1Abrams: What exactly are talismans meant to be? Do they have any tangible gameplay benefit or are they trophies/trinkets taken from any one of Basims targets that we can wear for further aesthetic customization?

Sarah Beaulieu: The talismans are cosmetic only! But I can already tell you that some of them are well hidden in the world…


u/andyreloads-YouTube: Is there an ISU armor set to obtain in Mirage?

Sarah Beaulieu: About the Isu elements, we definitely have some surprises in store!


u/BrunoHM: After the prologue, how much freedom do we have in regards to the main targets and map exploration? Will our Rank restrict us in the same way "Levels" or "Power" would?

Stephane Boudon: The first target is mandatory in Baghdad after that you’ll be free to start your investigation in one of the 3 other bureaus of Baghdad.


u/BrunoHM: Exploration-wise, are you using Valhalla's Artifacts, Mysteries and Wealth? What type of activities, and rewards, will we find around Baghdad and Alamut?

Stephane Boudon: Like in AC Valhalla you will be able to discover unique world events, treasure maps and loot but we have also new specific activities, such as pickpocket contracts and roaming target to tackle inside the world.


u/BusyBizBusyBiz: Even if the main story is shorter than previous installments, will we be able to keep playing with challenges and exploration? In the same vein, is there a new game plus planned for this release?

Sarah Beaulieu: Apart from the main story, you will encounter world events as you explore Baghdad and its surroundings: you will meet characters and experience short narrative moments! You will also have assassination contracts that you will collect from the Hidden Ones Bureau, as well as world activities. All of them support either the world, the lore, or Basim's characterization.

World & Environment

u/Max-full: How did you reconstruct the city of Baghdad during this period ? Was it difficult?

Jean-Luc Sala: Was it difficult ? Well bringing back to life a lost city is for sure always a challenge. Historians inside and outside Ubisoft were a great help. We will give details on this topic in our next Dev Diary. We based our work on Guy LeStrange['s] incredible book about Baghdad. The map of Baghdad in the game is very close to the Le Strange reconstruction. Le Strange book : Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate.


u/neelabh2818: How dense is the city?

Jean-Luc Sala: The city is very, very large. From an urbanistic point of view : it depends on the district, we have some intricate streets in the poor districts like in the city of Anbar and the workers district. Some other areas have large avenues. You will have the feelings of Mazes in the Round City. From a population point of view: you can expect more people in the commercial district of Karkh.


u/Ras_AlHim: How different are the districts of Baghdad visually, what makes them unique?

Jean-Luc Sala: The type of people and activities to be found in each city will affect their look and feel. Each District surrounding the Round City has a dedicated role. One is mostly industry and workers houses, the other is dedicated to trading and the last is about knowledge and science. You can expect very typical landmarks for each, [such] as factories, Great Mosque, Prison, Grand Bazaar, sellers streets and markets, Pharmacy, Hospital (Bimaristan), House of Wisdom, to name a few. The heart of the empire is the Round City and you can expect in this specific part of the city, the most exquisite display of Abbasid architecture and gardens, Administrations, Harem, a zoo and the Caliphal Palace at the very centre of the City.


u/norranradd: What part of Baghdad did you enjoy building the most, or what part of the city is the most beautiful?

Jean-Luc Sala: It's hard to choose :) I love the reconstruction of Dur-Kurigalzu (An ancient Ziggurat) and the southern marshes with flocks of Flamingos. The Western movie vibes of the Nestorian monastery is also one of my fav places. Of course the jewel of the empire is the round city, but the vibes in the bazaar district and the district of wisdom are really places I love to wander. As you see, it's hard to choose. :)

Game Options & Modes

u/SparkedSynapse: Was the Quick-Save feature visible in recent screenshots of the Inventory screen made available due to the consideration that Mirage leans harder on Stealth, and thus more punishing combat than Assassin's Creed previously has in many years?

Stephane Boudon: In a way, we noticed stealth players love quick saving and we decided to make it more accessible. The game difficulty is a factor of course.


u/SparkedSynapse: How does the Quick-Save feature work, and how "reliable" is loading your Quick-Save? In Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla for example, loading a save sometimes caused guards to be mispositioned or for guards "killed in a previous timeline" (IE, killed before you loaded the save) to still be dead. How "bulletproof" do you feel Quick-Save is? Are there important limitations for us to be aware of, with this feature?

Stephane Boudon: This is part of our debug process, and we are committed to give you the best level of quality for AC Mirage.


u/virtualtourism: Will there be a photomode to capture Basim and Baghdad? Will it be improved from the previous titles to have a photo mode?

Jean-Luc Sala: Yes we still use the photo mode and you will have a lot of opportunities as Baghdad and surroundings are really visually stunning. You can also try to photo safari the now extinct Arabian Ostriches. We'll have the same feature set as for ACV, but you will also be able to play in-game (and capture shots through Photomode) with our AC1 nostalgic filter.


u/Moon_Logic: Will there be a Discovery Tour or at least a no enemies free roam mode? How hard was it to recreate a city that was destroyed so long ago? Is accuracy even possible?

Jean-Luc Sala: The recently announced feature "History of Baghdad" is our way to bring the historical content forward in your game experience. It felt important to us to share all the historical research and knowledge that went into the making of the game.

Even if the city was destroyed in the 13th century, a lot of information can be found about [the] city . The reconstruction started with us learning the architectural Abbasid style in order to find back "the spirit of Baghdad". 

Bringing back the codex is also part of our "back to the roots" overall take on the game :)

So what are your thoughts on what we learned today? Share your thoughts here or on our @ACFirstCiv Twitter and on Facebook.


Share Your ThoughtsBe the first to write a comment.

About the Author

Mike Smith is a collector of all things Assassin's Creed and a major supporter of transmedia who joined TOWCB as a writer from 2021 - 2024

With nearly a full library of Assassin's Creed media, his work explored the universe in order of Genetic Memory.

Notably, his Assassin's Creed Timeline became an essential tool for fans of the franchise looking to complete their collection and consume AC media in a particular order.

Michael Smith

bottom of page