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Creating the set for ‘Voyage To Valhalla’ – An Assassin’s Creed Gameshow

Getting a chance to work on Assassin’s Creed was part exciting and part scary, as I have been a huge fan since the first game came out 13 years ago.

The opportunity came about through Brad Manuel at Livewire connecting us with the Lowkii TV team who needed a production team to help design a build a set for a live-streamed game show to help launch the latest game in the Assassin’s Creed franchice, AC: Valhalla.

The show was to feature some well-know gaming identities and be hosted by Nich Richardson of Good Game Pocket (ABC). It was to be streamed live on Ubisoft ANZ (Australia/New Zealand) twitch channel with the support of Xbox ANZ.

The initial brief was to go with a viking hall theme, and that was about it. We did get some direction with team set up (2 per team) and a game mechanic that was to feature axes, but the rest was pretty much black canvas.

A truss setup was quickly settled on to provide the structure of the hall, as the columns and beams could be clad to give a wooden appearance, and also provide some extra mounting supports for additional lights and props.

Once we had the basic structure in place, we looked at how the ‘Nords & Crosses’ game mechanic was going to work in small space.

We only had 5m x 4m space to work in so I felt like if we could incorporate ‘Nords & Crosses’ into the base structure it would help save some space and also logistics of moving the talent around in such a small area.

I devised a system that could be both part of the main set, and then as the game progressed, the game cards would be attached to the wall, giving some additional branding to both Xbox and Ubisoft that was achieved in an organic manner through the game.

The table was the next part to be designed. In a cool quirk, The main AC Logo actually provided a perfect shape to create the correct camera angles needed for the teams. I designed a custom tabletop in two pieces from 20mm foamcore that had a fabric drape at the front to hide the contestants legs.

One thing we did need to take into account was that we needed to have adjustable stools as one of the teams featured ex NRL player Eloni Vunakece (@soaplonz) who is 6″2 and Steph Bendixsen (@hexsteph) who is 5″4. So that made it a bit fun to design around.

That final part came in the artwork and theming. Thankfully Ubisoft provided some incredible assets to work with and we had the set looking on-point thanks to our Project Manager Nikki sourcing a whole bunch of amazing props and theming items.

A huge shoutout to ACE Props and events who even created a custom Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla branded Viking shield as seen in the game!

We DID get drinking horns for everyone too, but unfortunately we didn’t know they needed to be waxed before using them. Sorry team!

In the end, Nich, Gus and Pete from the Lowkii team delivered an amazing live stream and the comments and feedback were all super positive.

A huge thanks to everyone involved in the project, and a special thanks to our production manager on set, Josh, who worked tirelessly to ensure the whole event ran smoothly.

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