One dev spent two years making the Notre Dame in Assassin’s Creed Unity

One dev spent two years making the Notre Dame in Assassin's Creed Unity screenshot

[In the aftermath of yesterday’s awful fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, there are reports that the modeling from Assassin’s Creed Unity might be used to help rebuild it ^(https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/3d-maps-rebuild-notre-dame-fire-assasins-creed-13769593.php). We interviewed Ubisoft’s Caroline Miousse back in 2018 about her experiences recreating the Notre Dame for a video game. As unfortunate as the circumstances may be, the interview is acutely relevant again. This is the story of how the Notre Dame was built in Assassin’s Creed Unity.] 

The Paris depicted in Assassin’s Creed Unity is shaping up to be a juggernaut among videogame cities. Larger than all other Assassin’s Creed locales to date and significantly more detailed, the development team is taking whatever steps are necessary to make Paris the true star of the game ^(http://appmarsh.com/post.phtml?pk=282129).

That might not be any more evident than in the case of senior level artist Caroline Miousse. Miousse had worked on titles with tremendous scale before, as she was a designer on the likes of Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed III. But, in the process of planning Unity, Ubisoft approached her with an interesting prospect — create the Notre Dame, perhaps the most famous of all cathedrals in the world.

All along, the development team had big things pegged for Unity‘s take on the Notre Dame. When talking to the game’s art director and world design director, they immediately pointed to the monument as the single best example of a landmark that got preferential treatment — partially because of how breathtaking and iconic it is, partially because it’s the perfect subject to benchmark development on new consoles.