Crowd AI now lets its members be "attracted to areas or interactions," and then move on into another sequence. Animals are the "'crowd' of the wilderness" and they too have lives to live.
The creative director boasts they've really tuned up how the NPCs exist. They really did this so players can take part in the "tracking and trapping elements" of hunting.
"The biggest additions have been to allow crowd member to be attracted to areas or interactions, and then to leave those and begin another action in sequence," Alex Hutchinson told AusGamers. “No longer will you be able to watch people stay in a conversation for hours. Eventually they’ll go on their way.”
Animals aren't mindless 'sitting ducks' to be culled with little thought. "Players can obviously hunt the animals, but we really want people to immerse themselves in the tracking and trapping elements of interacting with animals," he said.
“We want people to see some species just by navigating the world, but many others will require the player to use tactics and strategy to find and kill them. In a sense, we want players to assassinate animals more than just shoot them.”
Hutchinson also revealed that player actions can be rewarded by "alternate gameplay loops", he said, where a hunting club could approach Connor to join their club after observing his behaviour with a bow.
"They will give the player an invitation which will allow them access to a previously inaccessible area of the map where they can join the club and gain a bunch of new side-challenges and rewards,” he continued.
Assassin's Creed III releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC October 31st. Check out thebetween Alex Hutchinson and AusGamers, discussing the changes the Ubisoft team have worked on.