I joined Ubisoft Leamington in 2017, enabling me to have unique the privilege of working in a small, intimate studio (fewer than 50 people at the time) on a huge AAA title – Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.
In general my role at Ubisoft, when working on an open world, consists of:
- Researching locations to find suitable places for activities and collectables based on the location’s unique appeal, gameplay potential and technical constraints
- Collating information into design documentation, presenting to leads and directors for approval
- Whiteboxing layouts for activity locations, adhering to design guidelines and working with environment artists to ensure the design intentions do not contradict art direction
- Setting up the logic of activities, including scripting side missions (spawning enemies, updating objectives and checkpoints, triggering VO and other sequences, etc)
- Iterating on all content to adapt to changing requirements and director feedback
- Working with environment artists, technical artists, technical level designers and narrative designers (often situated in other studios worldwide) to ensure all content runs smoothly, adheres to art direction, and makes sense in terms of narrative and world logic
- Maintaining communication with other studios to ensure we are aligned with direction and keeping the quality up to standard
- Maintaining the health of my content, including bugfixing and polish
The major project of my final year was for my dissertation. I chose to research the effectiveness of dynamic learning algorithms in providing an adaptive, real-time finite state machine in a game environment. After doing a literature review to get up to speed on Bayesian networks, artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms, I chose to focus my research on the latter. I felt genetic algorithms could offer a working solution, and I was interested in programming one and seeing for myself exactly how it would work.
Week 7! Bit of a mixed bag this week.
I decided to start simple with my first Game a Week by taking an old classic and putting my own twist on it. The result is this weird hybrid of Space Invaders and Super Hexagon, which you can play below (requires Unity Webplayer):
I included a God Mode functionality just in case you don’t have the patience to play the game cautiously, simply complete one run and start the next by pressing ‘G’ instead of the space bar. And there is a bug where sometimes the death animation doesn’t play, I don’t know why this happens yet, but if it does you’ll have to refresh the page. Sorry :(.
I decided to start this week as I knew I’d have a lot of spare time, without any university work or other commitments to worry about, but even so I ended up spending a lot longer on it per-day than I expected. I feel that it paid off, though, as I think the end result is a half decent experience.