You asked, and we answered! Here are our team members’ responses concerning the work experience at Ubisoft.
1. “What is a new employee’s learning experience in the studio when it comes to learning new software like the studio’s game engine, which no other company delivers?” – Tommy Larsen
Because we develop our own tech, the learning experience is key at the Ubisoft Montreal studio; it’s even part of our production process. When you arrive on a new project, you are given a Welcome Kit that explains how to install the latest build of the game, the editors and all the tools you will need. It also includes links to the resources available on internal Wikis, providing helpful tutorials to help you learn the tools.
Projects have their own internal pages that are populated with documentation written by the Technical Directors and experts in each field. We make sure each employee has a Technical Director who can help answer questions about the tools. Sometimes, after big changes in the editor or tools, the Technical Director will provide specific training on the new features to make sure users understand how to use them efficiently.
At the studio level, Ubisoft Montreal employees are regularly offered extensive and diverse training on different software and tools. In addition, Ubisoft employees from around the world visit the Montreal studio once a year for UDC (Ubisoft Developer’s Conference). It is basically like a GDC for and by Ubisoft employees, where we share knowledge and expertise on various topics ranging from management to the presentation of new tools or technologies and more.
Sebastien Ebacher // Producer
2. What is the motivating factor for us to work for Ubisoft? – Aneeq Skarni
Ubisoft employees are privileged with great liberty in terms of career development. We can progress towards our objectives corresponding to our aspirations and grow within the company. This helps motivate us to improve on a daily basis.
Stephanie Harvey // Game designer
3. Compared to the other Ubisoft studios in the world, is the Montreal studio more adept in certain specialties? – Yann Puron
Each Ubisoft studio has developed their own expertise via the projects they have produced over the years. Montreal has been mainly responsible for producing major AAA franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, Rainbow 6, etc. The expertise developed here is shared and to produce such big games requires collaboration between many Ubisoft studios simultaneously in different countries. The size of our studio in Montreal means we are able to produce a variety of projects at once making it one of the only studios in the industry capable of shipping multiple games in a given year.
Matthew Wiazowski // Recruitment Team Lead
4. I would really like to become a computer programmer, ideally at Ubisoft. Could you explain how a team handles the programming of a highly anticipated game like Assassin’s Creed? What can I do to increase my chances of getting hired? – Thibault Andujar
Different programming teams are involved in game production including AI, UI, Engine, Online, Gameplay, Generalist, Physics, etc., teams. These different teams must work cohesively with other professions such as Modellers, Animators and Game Designers. Collaboration is vital to a game’s success. For this reason, the most valued qualities we search for in a future programmer are excellent communication skills, the ability to work in a team, engagement and, of course, passion. Evidently, knowledge of C++ and software design are essential. Finally, if you work on personal games and projects during your free time, you will undoubtedly stand out from the crowd. For more tips on how start a career in the industry, click here.
Raphael Parent // Lead Programmer
5. What would be a typical day for a game developer? – Emma Jenkins
I start the day by going for coffee with fellow programmers. We chat about what everyone is working on and discuss any blockers we’ve had. If we are working on a new design, we will exchange ideas. Afterwards, a typical gameplay programmer’s day includes a range of many things. We write a lot of code, speak to the design team about ideas and needs for a specific feature and send a changelist to the dev test team to get feedback. After lunch (and another coffee for me!), we talk to the artists to show them our progress, to get art models, animations, FXs and sound. We also act out some of the scenarios we’re working on – props and all! Gameplay programmers are kind of the hub to a lot of the art departments and work with several people to get their features integrated and fully realized. We also play the game a bit to see how things are progressing overall and work on fixing some bugs. Hopefully we get the “go” to submit our new gameplay feature, then we make an awesome video to show it off to our team. We wrap up our day with some team feedback and celebrate at the local bar across the street!
Aleissia Laidacker // Gameplay & AI Programming Team Lead