Videogame developers… and high school students

The 300 teenagers participating in the 3rd edition of the videogame creation project by Youth Fusion celebrated their achievements last Tuesday, May 2nd at a gala held at Rialto Theater.

This project, presented by Ubisoft and the Quebec Government, in collaboration with Montréal City, aims at lowering the dropout rate by offering high school students to collaborate in the creation of a videogame from A to Z. This year, 14 high schools have participated. The outcome: 50 videogames developed on the theme of Quebec stories and legends, and hundreds of inspired and motivated students who thrived on passion throughout the year.

Ever-growing interest

“The videogame creation project has kept on growing since its creation. Schools boards and high schools around Quebec are showing more and more interest in the project, which for us is the ultimate proof of success. Making a video game is challenging, and requires creativity, collaboration, and skills in a variety of areas. It’s a great playground to exercise curiosity and maybe even find a new passion,” says Jean-Philippe Grou, director of communication at Ubisoft Montreal.

Real impacts
The two previous editions proved to have real positive impacts on the participants’ motivation and success:

  • Increased attendance in school and interest in class;
  • Improved academic performance;
  • Discovery of new careers and educational pathway opportunities;
  • Better problem solving ability;
  • Improved social skills.

“I loved learning about game coding. But what captivated me the most was to see how we could achieve such a great result by working in team. I’ve learned to be persistent; sometimes you have to try many things before succeeding. I would love to work in video games later. This project will help me for my future career!” says Olivier Roy, from Roger-Comtois high school.

Inspiring teenagers
15 Ubisoft employees in Montreal and Quebec have been mentoring the groups since last fall, providing them with advice and motivation. Each group could also count on the weekly follow-up of university students acting as coordinators who received training from Ubisoft in various fields of the world of videogame.

“It’s always a great surprise to see the passion, courage and talent the next generation is capable of. Those teenagers show creativity and adaptation, two important qualities in the videogame industry. And since I have the chance to be a mentor at the same school that helped beat dropping out of school, I have proof that following one’s passion may lead to good things”, says Nicolas Gauthier-Régis, modeler and mentor at École secondaire Calixa-Lavallée.

Nicolas Guérin, associate director, level design and president of the jury, summarizes what many employees have been saying since the beginning of the project:

“There’s nothing more beautiful than feeling we make a difference in the lives of others. This project gives the opportunity to all people involved to produce a positive impact on the path of wonderful young people who only need an “achievement unlocked” in their lives. Seeing a spark in their eyes is great!”

And the winners are…

  • Best Videogame: Légendes from École secondaire Roger-Comtois, Qc
  • Best Use of the Theme and Constraints: Shawksa et le conte secret from École secondaire Joseph-François-Perrault, Qc
  • Best Narrative: L’aube du corbeau from Académie Dunton, Mtl
  • Best Technical Innovation: La chasse endiablée from Académie Dunton, Mtl
  • Best Audio Design: Le conte from École secondaire Joseph-François-Perrault, Qc
  • Best Art Design: Wendigo from École secondaire Roger-Comtois, Qc
  • Best Game Design: 18 h 59 from École secondaire André-Laurendeau, Mtl

Discover all videogames created during the project: open Google Chrome, grab a Xbox controller and click here!

Learn more about the Ubisoft Codex program
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