Have you ever heard of the 5-second rule? It states that food dropped on the ground won't be contaminated if you can pick it up and shove it back into your face within 5 seconds. Of course, if you haven't had a chance to read our hands-on preview of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, then you missed Ubisoft's own 5-second rule for fact and fiction in Assassin's Creed.
Game Director Ashraf Ismail explained the 8-second rule of Assassin's Creed historical accuracy during our interview at PAX Prime. While Ismail said that "credibility is really important" to the team, "Assassin's Creed is not about realism or simulation, it's about credibility." To that end, Ubisoft's brought on weapons experts and historians to gather information about the West Indies and the characters you'll meet in game, but a metric is in place for the developer to blend fact and fiction where possible:
We have the 8 second rule. The 8 second rule states that if you can look something up and get an answer for it in 8 seconds, it has to be accurate. Let's say on Wikipedia, on Google, if you research it, if you get an answer without having to scroll too much, then we have to stay true to that. If you have to dig deeper in some database or something, then we can fudge it.
I guess next time you notice any historical inaccuracies in Assassin's Creed, you should think about how long you allow yourself to eat food off the floor and then get embarrassed when you realize that the 5 second rule doesn't save you from germs and that Assassin's Creed is just a game. Do you think this a good system for maintaining historical fact in Ubisoft's flagship franchise?
We'll have more from our interview with Ismail over the next week, so keep it locked to GameRevolution for more Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag and more from the show floor at PAX Prime.