It seems that everyone is jumping on the second screen bandwagon. Companion apps look like they may become a default in upcoming games. Now we get details of how Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will make you a tablet pirate.
It seems a bit odd to me that Game Director Ashraf Ismail believes we need comforting while playing, but apparently that’s what he’s going for:
“The philosophy behind the companion app is that it’s an extension of the game and a comfort tool. Comfort in the sense that you can have the world map out and it’s directly connected to the game, so it’s not just a static map. It’s actually updating live with what’s happening in your world.”
The app will provide a fully functional, real-time map that allows you to tag nearby things and create waypoints in game. Originally, this was developed so that players could find things easily, but that aspect has evolved into a “first mate” experience.
“We know a lot of the time when people play they will have their significant other, friend, brother or sister in the room. Maybe they really enjoy the story and they’re just watching – but to actually have them involved is really cool. It’s not an intense experience, but they can see stuff you might not be paying attention to and they can highlight it for you and tell you, Hey, something is happening over there.”
I honestly love this concept. Before I started playing games myself, I used to watch my older brother play, draw up maps and generally act as the navigator/brains. While plenty of people play games on their own, this could be a nice way to engage with significant others or close friends while completing a single player campaign. I think it would be really cool to be “first mate” – could be involved in the gaming experience, even if not holding the controller.