We all know that Assasin's Creed IV Black Flag is centered around killing foes and getting the job done. Even though the killing never stops being fun, players might need a break from that entire mindless button mashing once in a while. And for that, the game offers a variety of board games to offer.
Players can pick from Checkers, Fanorana and Morris. It's beautiful how the game's developers have carefully researched that period of history to include games from that specific time period.
"We were looking for games that would at the same time be fun to play and easy to learn - and since they were being developed for Assassin's Creed III, could have been found in an American Revolution household or tavern," says Olivier Garneau, team lead, programming at Ubisoft Québec, where the minigames were developed.
"The historians searched and found two games that matched those criteria: Fanorona and Nine Men's Morris," Garneau continues. "After careful research on the more common rules for those games and analysis of their feasibility, we decided to keep them and started working on their implementation."
According to Ubisoft, the Québec team studied all kinds of intricate details of each game. This included everything from regional rules to a variety of board sizes. They decided on the popular 9×5 board for Fanorona along with three of the most common Morris sizes: Six, Nine and Twelve.
Garneau also spoke about how the team had to dumb down the board game AI so that it would be possible for players to win.
"The first might sound silly, but it was to ensure the A.I. is not too good. There's a reason why computer science researchers have an interest in board game A.I.; it's because computers are especially good at it. So, when we completed our first implementation, we realized that the opponents were pretty much unbeatable! To the average player, this is not fun at all. So, we used a lot of tricks to have nice difficulty levels and to make the opponent beatable but without making him look dumb."
Do try out some of the board games today for a first-hand experience of its charm.