For a second consecutive year, the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition reveal happened online this year, with students discovering the details of the latest edition from the comfort of their homes. Even at a distance, you could feel their bustling excitement—so we’re expecting another quality year!
Leroy Athanassoff, creative director and the president of the jury for this 12th edition, spoke to the 23 teams from 12 universities across Quebec and revealed this year’s theme:
STUDENT XP— An introspective look at your life as a student
“We are going through times rife with complexity, during which some demographic groups, such as the student population, can be made vulnerable. As it is, academic careers often cause a certain amount of precarity in young adults, and the last two years of COVID-19 pandemic have accentuated these repercussions,” he said.
“And so, we are offering participants a little down time: a moment to take a breath, come home to yourself, and reflect on your own experience as a student, today, now. This seems to me a very rich theme, because it raises a range of possibilities in terms of game development, but also because it allows you to show empathy to both yourself and your teammates.” – Leroy
In addition to this rather meta theme that opens the door to great creativity, the teams will also need to keep in mind that they need to deliver all the elements specific to this year’s mandate. At the end of their journey, they’ll have to present a playable (and fun, of course) prototype of their game that checks all the following boxes:
· Provide a game session with at least one online element;
· Include a least one element of artificial intelligence that changes at each game session;
· Offer players the possibility to customize at least one element of their game experience;
· Present two elements of concept art.
All of that in only 10 weeks. A challenge worthy of our young talents! Ambition and a hunger for learning seem particularly contagious; this year we set a new participation record with 184 participants. They will be well guided during their journey since each team can count on the support of two mentors from Ubisoft’s Quebec studios—and we’re seizing this opportunity to give a shout out to those who answered the call!
This yearly challenge is part of Ubisoft Education, which has the objective of preparing Quebec youth for the jobs of the future. The winners will be revealed at a gala that will take place at the end of April. Eight prizes and $22,000 in bursaries will be awarded to the deserving teams. Ubisoft has committed to offering internships and/or job offers to a minimum of 10 participants who will have distinguished themselves during the competition. Last year alone, 30 participants joined the Montréal, Quebec City or Saguenay studios!
A huge thank you goes out to the 46 mentors who will oversee the teams from the following institutions:
· Champlain College of Vermont (Montréal campus)
· École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
· Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
· Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) (Montréal and Rouyn-Noranda campuses)
Good luck to everyone!