ANCESTORS comes from the mind of Patrice Désilets, a French-Canadian man who is perhaps best known as the creator of the Assassin’s Creed games. He founded Panache Digital Games in 2014 after a tumultuous departure from Ubisoft. A few months later, Panache Digital Games released a teaser trailer for their project at Reboot Develop 2015. Two years later, a new trailer has been released showcasing some pre-alpha footage from the game:
Speaking to the audience at Reboot Develop 2017, Patrice Désilets expanded on what ANCESTORS: The Humankind Odyssey would be all about. The game is set ten million years in the past, and players are taking on the role of the titular ancestors of mankind.
“It’s a third-person adventure game set 10 million years ago. Before it was episodic and that changed the pace, but the content is the same. It’s a bigger game, a bigger world. It was hour to hour, now it’s open and I let the player tell their own stories. There are systems talking to each other, not me taking players by the hand. You’ll create the story of your own ancestors, and maybe it will be different than what science claims.”
The focus of ANCESTORS will be players telling their own story through a third-person perspective in an action-adventure environment. The game was originally planned to be episodic, but two years after its introduction it appears that those plans have been scrapped. The details of what exactly will take place in the game were scant, but it can be insinuated from the 2017 teaser and the Reboot Develop 2017 talk that the game may feature an open-world environment where the player has the freedom to move around. Mr. Désilets emphasized how he was a bit tired of following the “journey of the hero” (as he had done with Assassin’s Creed) but would nonetheless like to work in a third-person action-adventure environment, reinforcing this statement by saying that he expects his “next 15 games” to be of a similar style.
Towards the close of the talk, Mr. Désilets went into some of his general management philosophy that he practices at Panache Digital Games. At Panache, there are “no Mondays” – meetings cannot be scheduled for that day, and employees will typically take some time to run errands or otherwise take it easier than usual. He’s also reluctant to make any decisions on a Friday because he often will change his mind by the start of the following work week. The team also tries to keep the game playable and minimize bugs with each successive build, operating on a philosophy of always being “ready to ship”.
No firm details on the release of ANCESTORS: The Humankind Odyssey have been made available. Mr. Désilets promised that a playable version of the game would be available in “months”, a timeline that would make it available for shows such as Gamescom and E3.
What do you think of ANCESTORS: The Humankind Odyssey? Do you think the game will live up to the legacy of Patrice Désilets’ previous work? What do you expect the game will be all about? Let us know in the comments below!