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‘Assassin’s Creed’ Creator Discusses Prehistoric ‘Ancestors’ Game

Panache Digital Games co-founder and creative director Patrice Desilets spoke on Friday during the Reboot Develop conference about the creative concepts behind his latest project, “Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.”

Desilets announced the project, a third-person action-adventure survival game where players tackle the dangers of a prehistoric Earth, last year. “It is the story of us coming down the trees, getting up, and surviving for the last 10 million years,” he said.

The hour-long speech touched on 20 concepts that influenced the game. Like a slightly befuddled history professor, Desilets discussed topics ranging from mutation, art, and death, to, oddly enough, the French-Canadian curse word “tabarnak.” It originated in Quebec during the early 19th century as a way to express frustration with a controlling Catholic church. It’s like an emotion to the French people, Desilets explained, and it exists only in Quebec. For him, it serves as a reminder that he comes from a certain tribe.

“We all have a tribe like that. And never forget that,” he said. “Don’t forget that you come from a culture. Talk about it.”

Desilets didn’t reveal many details about “Ancestors,” but apparently showed a pre-alpha build to reporters behind closed doors during the conference. No combat was shown, according to Eurogamer, and a release date was not announced.

Desilets is best known for creating the Ubisoft franchise “Assassin’s Creed” and for his work on “Prince of Persia.” He left the publisher in 2010 to help establish THQ Montreal, but became a Ubisoft employee again in late 2012 after it bought the studio. He second tenure with the company didn’t last long. He left months later and sued Ubisoft for the rights to a project he was working on called “1666: Amsterdam.” He reached an agreement with Ubisoft in 2016, getting back all creative rights to the game. Desilets co-founded Montreal-based indie studio Panache Digital Games in 2014. “Ancestors” is its first project.

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