The end of the school year concludes another edition of the Youth Fusion video game design project in partnership with Ubisoft Education, a program that strives to prepare Quebec youth for the jobs of the future.
The project introduces primary and high school students to technology, art and design by building complete video games from September to May. Young people go through all the game development stages and learn concretely how to use a variety of tech tools while building essential skills like teamwork, creativity and critical thinking.
1 project, 6 Ubisoft studios
The video game design project rolls out in collaboration with Ubisoft studios in Montreal, Quebec City and the Saguenay, but also Toronto, Bordeaux and Paris. It’s been going on for 7 years now thanks to the involvement of employees who train the university students who coordinate the project, mentor the groups of students and evaluate the games developed at the end of the program. In Quebec alone, 25 employees from the 3 studios were involved this year, supporting 750 young people from all over the province.
Just like Ubisoft’s production teams, students had to cope with the unique situation that the pandemic created – this year’s program was conducted in large part online. And because video game design requires pooling several areas of expertise – meaning prioritizing teamwork – this project allowed the young people to stay in touch at a time when everybody really needed to.
Gabriel Pilote, jury member and graphic designer at the Saguenay studio, emphasizes the aspect of teamwork.
Designing video games lets young people tap into their imaginations, then bring their ideas to life in a concrete way by collaborating with other young people who also share their ideas. It’s a great opportunity accomplish things and it’s the kind of experience that can change a life at their age.
Future opportunities for young people
The project also offered some participants the chance to identify college and even university-level educational opportunities, “My high school students in grades 9 to 11 were very keen on learning more about their career options. For them, having an interesting, good paying job in a techno-creative field especially in art is no longer just a dream. It’s particularly satisfying for me having studied art at a time when there weren’t many opportunities open to me, to see the confidence and self-assurance in these kids’ eyes,” explains Kiara Lauzon-Tavares, mentor and Montreal studio texture artist.
Grab your joysticks!
So how were the games? “The students succeeded in delivering a variety of projects and often of great quality. Several even proposed immersive experiences, especially in their interpretation of a game style. The experiences offered showed a lot of creativity. They surprised me, which also touched me,” said Gabriel Pilote.
You can play all the games made for this project here. Have fun!