On February 10, nine Ubigrads took over the Life At Ubisoft Facebook page to host a special AMA session about the Ubisoft Graduate Program where they shared some information on what it’s like to get first-hand experience in game development at different Ubisoft studios around the world. Below, you’ll find some of the more popular questions and answers from that session (edited for clarity). If you’re interested in applying you can apply here. Applications are due February 29.
What’s the most interesting part of your day?
Toober, Project Manager at Red Lynx: Personally, the most interesting part of my day-to-day work is to absorb, process a lot of information, and then communicate or plan/act accordingly. On my project, I get to work with designers, online programmers, 2D & 3D artists, and other producers. It's very fascinating to see different aspects of game production, and how the teams gel together to work toward a common goal.
How can a Project Manager stand out?
Maëlle, Proect Manager at HQ, Paris: I'd recommend you show that you possess a good knowledge of the industry and the day-to-day realities of project management. Keep up to date with the latest trends shaping the market, watch behind-the-scenes documentaries or look up game devs' post-mortems, Gamasutra and GamesIndustry are good sources for that kind of info! I think that demonstrating, thanks to this knowledge, that I wasn't naive about what I wanted to get into, was an important point to make. Also, as you would for any interview, be sure to show you’re an efficient and reliable communicator.
My university background is business and economics and I’ve written both my theses on videogames, would this be useful to me in the Project Management application process?
Maëlle: Plenty of people on the track come from a business management background. Being business-savvy is definitely helpful, as a big part of the role of a Project Manager is to manage and monitor costs/budgets.
How can I stand out as a UX Designer?
Mandy, UX Designer at Ubisoft Singapore: Being able to showcase your problem-solving skills. It’s helpful to be able to see the thinking process you've went through to solve a problem, so even pencil sketches that have evolved into a cleaner mockups would be great!
What does your typical day look like for the UX team?
Annie, UX Designer at Ubisoft Toronto: My typical day varies a lot. Sometimes I'll be working on wireframes and designs all day, sometimes I'll be going back and forth between other departments for information. It depends on the need of the project at each stage in development and what other departments need from me. There are a lot of asking and answering questions on a daily basis in addition to the design work.
What kind of responsibilities are gameplay programmers given, do you receive mentorship, and what has Ubisoft done to help give you a voice as a programmer?
Tanja, Gameplay Programmer at Ubisoft Berlin: This can differ across studios, but I started with some simple debugging tasks to get to know the engine and also the code base. From there I met with my manager to discuss the direction I wanted to develop. Aside from this I was given a mentor that I selected, and I would meet with frequently. Additionally, my code is reviewed which allows for great feedback and quick growth.
Regarding your last question, there is always a dialogue between programmers and designers. This means when you have an idea for the game, or a different approach, the feedback is welcome and wanted. This way you not only influence the gameplay but also the design. Ubisoft Berlin is supporting that by setting up surveys and during our meetings we decide ourselves what we want to work on next.
For more information Inside Ubisoft, check out our previous coverage.