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9.4.2020

WATCH DOGS: LEGION – REDDIT AMA WITH CREATIVE DIRECTOR CLINT HOCKING

Rookiemlg: How does permadeath factor into online multiplayer? If you have permadeath enabled, can you lose a character in online, due to another player? Thanks Clint

Clint: Permadeath is an option in the main game, however it’s not part of Multiplayer because we found very early that there was too much potential for griefing and randomness that didn’t add to the fun of the game. We’ll talk more about MP soon.

Vanade: Hey Clint! Welcome to the sub. The masks obviously play a huge part in the imagery of WD Legion and setting it apart from WD1/WD2 which both featured simple bandana/sleeve style masks to protect the wearer’s identity. I’m very curious about how you guys went from there to the idea of different types of full masks & helmets. Can you share anything about that process/what the first mask designed was?

Clint: In large part, we were inspired by Wrench, but also, we were looking at different British cultural inspirations. Back when we first started there was a lot of imagery of protestors in masks – both from the occupy movement and in protest of PM Cameron at the time. There is also the iconic Guy Fawkes mask, and numerous others. Part of the way we wanted to capture the absurdism that the British often use in protests was to have outlandish masks.

Mrhelmand: Hi Clint! My questions is this: What was the inspiration for the ‘play as anyone’ mechanic? It seems such an ambitious idea, but totally in keeping with the WD franchise. I’d love to know how this came to fruition.

Clint: Play As Anyone was inspired by the original Watch_Dogs. The very idea of being able to look at someone on the street and see their job and their income and some little fact about them inspired so much imagination and made the characters in the world feel so real. When we started asking ourselves what would take that to the next level, we came up with the idea that everyone could be real… they could have a real home and a real job and a family and friends and all that. On top of that, as we looked at the evolution from a single hero in WD1 to a team in WD2 (and you get to play as all of them for a bit in the final mission) we said, what if you built your own team by recruiting your own DedSec.

ArmChairMajor: With the ability for each playable character to permanently die, is it possible for players to have one character that they use throughout the game? For example, if I pick a character and get used to them, and like them, but they die, do I just have to move on? Is that it for them? Should I prepare to have to switch characters every time a character dies?

Clint: Permadeath is an option in the main game, so you do not have to play with Permadeath on. Either way, you can choose to use one character throughout the game – as long as they are not arrested or hospitalized (or killed), you can stick with the same character throughout – except for a couple of instances where you might need someone specific.

BATFAMILYFORLIF: Hi Clint thanks for doing this. In terms of side content how much variety is there in the missions and story’s if there’s any.

Clint: Aside from the missions in the main storyline, there are many side missions that unlock as you play through the game. These delve into stories that reflect on the city, technology and other themes in our near future version of London. Also, Borough Liberation involves engaging in activities that lead to cool climactic missions featuring really unique gameplay, that inspire each Borough to rise up.

Fit_Philosophy6472: Are all NPCs going to be generic, or will there be unique NPCs in the game that have ability and gadgets no one else has?

Clint: There are many characters in the world who have very rare or unusual abilities or combinations of abilities, and there are at least a few abilities that are unique to certain types of individuals. For example, only Tidis Beekeepers can summon and control swarms of robotic bee drones and use them as a weapon. My favorite characters tend to be those with more common abilities that come together in unusual combinations: for example, some of the champion fighters in the underground Bare Knuckle League have common melee abilities, but they have several of them stacked in interesting ways that make for awesome melee characters.

Thiagopioferrari: Hi Clint!! Considering the amount of characters you can play in the game, how did you guys manage to voice all of them?

Clint: Writing and recording the entire script with a huge number of actors in order to attempt to capture the diversity of voices and personalities you would find in a city like London was an enormous creative, technical and production challenge. Each of the writers on our team was tasked with writing the script from the point of view of an individual character (or characters). On the audio side, we spent months going back and forth to London to record actors and capture all the dialogue lines. On top of that, we have had to innovate and develop new technologies to modulate actors voices to create even more performances… it was incredible to see the different departments on our team all come together to make this happen, and we’re very proud of what we’ve managed to deliver.

[WDL] [Play Anyone] [Hero] Pig Mask In Crowd

Fatguy46: I know this is probably the most asked question ever, but will Aiden Pearce be back in this game at all?

Clint: That would be awesome.

CobraGamer: What defines Watch Dogs, according to you?

Clint: Watch Dogs has always been about holding those in power accountable. Legion is no different. Obiously, it has a focus on technology, privacy, and individual liberty – and that’s something we’ve tried to focus on very strongly with Watch Dogs: Legion.

eocflora: Hiya Clint! Thanks for doing this, it’s awesome. I’ve got two questions for ya: 1. What are you most excited for players to see when the game launches? 2. If this is the first Watch Dogs game you’ve worked on, what drew you to the series? And if it’s not, what keeps you interested in the series?

Clint: I really love Bagley – his personality, his sense of humour, and his unique (and twisted) perspective as a borderline superintelligence. I think players will love him too, and I can’t wait for players to discover more about him.

The reason I was so excited to work on Watch Dogs is that the original Watch_Dogs team was largely formed from the team I worked with on Far Cry 2, and they are great friends of mine, who I respect tremendously – it’s a real honour to be able to accept the torch from them, and I hope they will be proud of what we do with Watch Dogs: Legion.

Treviso: Hello Clint! WD2 had great HUD customization, with being able to turn off almost everything individually. Does Legion offer a similar or even greater degree of customization? Will I be able to find a Grandma with Gunkata takedowns in the open world or is the combo too out there?

Clint: Hey – glad you asked about HUD customization – it’s something we’re very proud of. There is a lot to say so here’s a link with more details about our customization and accessibility features. ALSO About Grandmas with Gunkata – yes it is possible – but it is extremely improbable/unlikely for this character to spawn. So if you find one make sure to share it with us! I’d love to see it!!

Wesam_L: Will the game be heavily story rich driven or will it be just a wheel for the gameplay progression?

Clint: The story is the core through line of the entire Watch Dogs: Legion experience. The game opens with a prologue sequence, which introduces Zero Day, the main villain and the central conflict, and establishes why you need to start your own DedSec Resistance from scratch.

Once you have your first operatives, you start down the main path of the story, confronting the different villains and uncovering different pieces of the mystery as you go. Each of the major villains – like Mary Kelley and Nigel Cass – are confronted as major chapters in the story, and as you defeat them (and others) more of the plot and the mystery is revealed.

Because there is a mystery at the heart of the game, I can’t give away too much, but there are at least a couple of villains we have not talked about yet, and some very exciting twists and climaxes in the story.

AestethicTrust: If we choose the easy difficulty does that mean there’s no permanent death?

Clint: Difficulty and Permadeath are separate options. You can play in Easy, Normal, or Hard, and you can play with Permadeath on or off in any difficulty.

Helios-88: If we recruit people do they instantly get the ability to hack things? Or do we have to train them or something?

Clint: When you recruit a new Operative, they get access to DedSec’s suite of hacking tools and a cracked Optik device. They also get access to choose to equip one of DedSec’s gadgets (like the Spiderbot, or the AR Cloak) and they get access to DedSec’s arsenal of non-lethal weapons. Of course, many characters come with their own abilities: some have their own gadgets, vehicles, hacks, melee weapons, guns, etc. So yes, everyone you recruit can immediately access DedSec’s basic suite of hacks, but they also bring their own abilities.

Elevatorisbest: Hi! First of all, good job to the whole team that worked on Watch Dogs Legion! Game looks really interesting! Second of all, has the developer team put some secret easter eggs somewhere in the game that we will be able to look for?

Clint: SECRET – I reported a bug a couple weeks ago about a ((redacted)) that I was unable to get. Turns out it was not a bug. This caused me to be let into the secret club of people on the team who know about the ((secret easter egg)) and I was shown the test validation for how it can be acquired /SECRET

Blueice999: How has COVID-19 affected the work done on the game? Thanks for doing this AMA.

Clint: Back in mid-March, we closed down the studio and transferred everyone in our offices in Toronto to Work From Home. Other parts of the team around the world were also moved to Work From Home at different times. This was an enormous undertaking that required hundreds of team members to figure out how to work remotely. Our tech and support teams did a really incredible job to help all of us pivot to this new way of working quickly and efficiently. I’m super proud of how well the team has managed to function during this time, and extremely happy with the results we’re seeing in the game.

Ignas04: Welcome Clint! My question is – can you create an army of MI6 spy grandmas or is there only one grandma in the world? Like can you find a clone of a character elsewhere in the world?

Clint: A grandma who is a spy would be an incredibly rare spawn. I have never seen one, and seeing more than one in a single playthrough would be one in a billion, I imagine. If you manage to get a spy crew of grandmas, make sure to share!

[WDL] [News] [June 26] Hands-On With DedSec Recruitment, Spiderbot Hacking, And A Living London - Granny

Rotundjer: Hi Clint! My question is: 1) Are you a dog person or cat person? 2) Will there be any characters from previous WD games appearing in WDL? 3) Did any of the games you previously worked on inspire you in the Legion project?

Clint: 1) A dog person who owns a cat. 2) Do you think players would like that? 3) You’ll find some part of every game I have ever worked on in Watch Dogs: Legion.

Skyburner: Hello from the Netherlands! Thank you for doing this AMA! Who is composing the soundtrack for Watch Dogs: Legion?

Clint: The musical score for the game was composed by Stephen Barton, who is a renowned and award winning British composer. We had the opportunity to work with him at Abbey Road Studios in the UK, which was an amazing experience.

Ieffow: What’s your favorite spot in London?

Clint: In both the real London, and in the game, I am particularly fond of Shoreditch.

Luca_1611: Is clothing that you buy shared across characters? Or is clothing unique to each person you recruit?

Clint: Each person you recruit comes with their own clothing which is personally theirs, but then any clothing that you purchase from shops can be worn by anyone on your team.

FlatBoulder: How expansive is London? Will you be able to take the London Underground? Are you able to go inside any buildings in the game?

Clint: Our open world version of London stretches from Wellington Arch in the west to Limehouse Basin in the east, and from Camden Market in the north to Windrush Square in the south. It’s a very large area, and the city feels huge, with tons of stuff to do. While the Tube is only used for Fast Travel, there are many buildings in the game that you can enter – particularly the major gameplay locations.

DatedRhyme713: What’s your favourite dinosaur? And why??

Clint: Ankylosaurus is my favorite dinosaur, because who would not want to have a club for a tail?

Thank you again to the community for all of their great questions. Read the AMA directly on Reddit, or follow us on Twitter for more highlights.

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