Assassin's Creed Tweak Guide
[Page 10] Neat Stuff & Conclusion
This section deals with several important performance and convenience tips and advice. Do not skip this section, as this information can be just as useful as any tweak.
Skipping the Introductory Movies
One of the great annoyances of Assassin's Creed is that you can't skip through the startup movies/logos each time you begin the game. There is however a way you can remove them to speed up your startup time. Go to your \Program Files\Ubisoft\Assassin's Creed\Videos directory, and rename all the .bik files there, although I recommend leaving LoadingScreen.bik, otherwise you will face a long black screen on loadup with no indication of how far loading has progressed. Alternatively, instead of renaming the relevant .bik files, you can just create a new folder under the Video directory and move the movie files there. In any case once you do this, the next time you start the game it will reach the main menu much more quickly.
Quitting the Game Faster
Assassin's Creed's rather comedic requirement of clicking eleven buttons/keys just to exit the game surely ranks as one of the dumbest design decisions ever made. Let me elaborate - to exit an active game at any time you need to do the following: Press ESC> Select Exit Memory >Click Yes >Select Exit Animus >Press ESC >Select Quit Game >Click Yes >Press Any key or button >Select Profile >Select Exit >Click Yes. I really hope that Ubisoft patches the game to fix this absurd situation, clearly another sign of the game's console heritage which they seem to have been too lazy to fix for the PC. However for the moment there is a quick way to exit - press ALT+F4 and the game instantly quits.
Bear in mind however that this is not a perfect solution. Assassin's Creed automatically saves your game at certain points, and more importantly, holds all your save data in a single .sav file under your profile directory - see the Profile setting under the In-Game Settings section for details. This means that should you ALT+F4 at the wrong time, such as during a save, you risk corrupting your saved game file, and this could be disastrous, requiring you to start the game all over again. So make sure you don't see any save icon when quitting this way, and usually best done once you're at the Animus screen.
A further consideration is that quitting the game via ALT+F4 appears to leave the game's audio system active at times (i.e. it will not exit the audio system properly), which can result in residual background noise, and/or may conflict with other games you launch afterwards. Typically this problem goes away if you relaunch Assassin's Creed and then shut it down normally, but keep this in mind.
Assassin's Creed Soundtrack
If you enjoy the music in Assassin's Creed - and it's certainly excellent and atmospheric - then you can download some of the tracks from the official soundtrack by Jesper Kyd for free. In MP3 format, you can download the following two tracks:
In .WAV format you can download 5 other tracks in from the Official Ubisoft Assassin's Creed Soundtrack site - the "password" is Target (case sensitive). If you like this sampler of music from the game, I recommend you buy the full album.
Measuring FPS, Taking Screenshots & Videos, Benchmarking
Assassin's Creed has no built-in method of measuring FPS, taking screenshots or capturing videos. The best way to do all of the above is to use the free FRAPS utility. Measuring FPS with FRAPS provides no performance hit, but capturing videos can reduce your FPS to a noticeable extent while recording. A sample video of my Assassin's Creed gameplay as captured by FRAPS is here: Gameplay Video. You can also benchmark the game using a set walkthrough a particular section of the game and measure the minimum, maximum and average FPS results again using FRAPs.
Note that at the moment, FRAPS can glitch when displaying the framerate on top of the black bars in Assassin's Creed. This has no impact on performance, but a new version of FRAPS should fix this.
That brings this guide to a conclusion. Assassin's Creed is essentially a console port, so tweaking options aren't many and varied, but I've tried to cover all the information any player of the game would need to be able to get the most out of the game, so hopefully I've achieved that in this guide. As with all of my other guides, I'll be making sure to keep the guide fully updated, so be sure to check back on it regularly. I must stress that unfortunately I can't provide any tech or tweaking support/advice, and I also don't provide permission for the guide to be reproduced or translated elsewhere for several reasons.
Anyway I hope you've found the guide useful, and until next time, take care!