Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ubisoft Toronto Aims for "Five Triple-As"

I read this article back in August, but seeing as one of my marking criteria is to discuss industry related articles I thought I'd talk about it because I found this article particularly interesting. This could also prove to be a potential employment possibility; that is of course if I am willing to leave everything behind and go to work in another country, but it's food for thought.


In an interview with Develop, Jade Raymond (Ubisoft Toronto's Studio's Managing Director) discusses her ambitions to build five triple-A projects at the new Toronto based Ubisoft studio.

She goes on to say "We want to grow to 800 staff in ten years, we're on two major projects now, and eventually we'll be working on five". Raymond previously revealed that the studio's focus is on building triple-A projects, and nothing else. She explained that this strategy would naturally tempt developers to join the studio.

Raymond also says "If developers have ambitions to make triple-A projects, and want to have their place in what is a thriving start-up, then Ubisoft Toronto is the place for them.", which makes the studio seem that much more accessible than some of the others out there. That doesn't mean to say that because they are starting up they will just take on anyone, however given their stance and the way in which they want to help developers kick-start their careers, then perhaps there would be an opening for someone in my position. I remember another Ubisoft Toronto related article, which I can't seem to find right now, that I read around the same time that mentioned how a lot of the Montreal team has relocated to Toronto, and the plan was to use their expertise to help train up new recruits, in the hope that those new recruits would then train the next 'generation', and so on, to help the studio grow to its full potential over the next ten years.

Now obviously I'd be incredibly lucky if I could land my first job in the games industry in such a mammoth company, and I am completely aware that from a realistic point of view, it is much more likely that I'd start working for a small company, and then work my way up gradually, but after reading this article, I figured it's still worth thinking about.

Full Article:

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Blade & Soul G-Star 2010 Trailer + Playable Demo

I have been trauling the internet/YouTube for the past few days to try and find any videos of the playable demo of Blade and Soul, seeing as G-Star expo was on Sunday, and finally I found some:

First up is a nice new Trailer which unveils a new 'Assassin' class, and shows some awesome footage of characters gliding through the air among other awesome things:

Next up is a long video that shows off the 'Blade Master' and the 'Kung-Fu Master' in solo play:

And finally is a short video that shows group play in a dungeon, and it includes a boss fight at the end:

*Edit: Just added the official G-Star 2010 Blade and Soul Trailer, and another gameplay video that features group play. Thanks to Blade & Soul Dojo for these!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Self Promotion 02

Ok, so I thought it was about time I do another University related post, and talk about what I am doing to promote myself.

So first of all, about two weeks ago I finalised my CV and my Covering letter, so now I have something suitable to start sending out to different companies. Admittedly I am still slightly hesitant to start sending them out until I have my portfolio up and running, but I guess getting my name out there wont do any harm.


So following up from the finalisation of my CV and Covering letter, I decided to get in contact with the guys from Splash Damage that I met at Eurogamer Expo. Given that I had met them in person, and talked to them throughout the day, I decided to send a more informal, friendly email expressing my interest in any positions they might have available. Although the email I sent was slightly more informal, I also attached my CV and Covering letter so that they could either read it themselves, or perhaps pass it on to someone that would read it. I expressed my interest in programming and level design, but also said that I'd be happy to do anything if the opportunity arose, even if it was just work shadowing or testing. Alas, that was a couple of weeks back, and I haven't heard anything yet, but I imagine they are extremely busy, so I wont let that get me down, I'll just re-apply to them again in the new year.


In the mean time, the most recent thing I have been doing is setting up my profile on Linkedin. Linkedin is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. So I thought this would be a perfect way to try and get some additional contacts. I found it a bit annoying to try and upload my CV to given that it wont just let me upload a document for people to view/download; instead, the site tries to extract the information and put it into its respective fields, which somewhat messes up my layout, but after a little bit of messing around, I managed to get my profile sorted. So I have added a few contacts from my Gmail account, and have sent out a few other invitations to various other industry people, so hopefully, I can build up my social-network.

Other than that, the only other thing I have been doing lately is something I have been doing for a long time, which is regularly checking job listings on websites such as GamesIndustry.biz, Gamasutra and Develop, to see if there is anything remotely applicable to my current position. Right now I am just making a note of some of the potential job listings from different companies, given that a lot of them have very strict requirements as to what they are looking for, and applying to those without a portfolio wouldn't get me far. So the next step is to build my online portfolio; and given that I have now finished making the website for the Oxford University Christ Church Ball, I can now focus my web-design elsewhere.

That's it from me for now, but I think my next 'Self Promotion' post will probably detail the production of my website/online-portfolio, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Fable III

Ok, so I finished playing Fable III the other day for the second time so I thought I'd give my thoughts on the game; I wanted to be evil, so I did an evil play-through with TwoSixNine on my game, then did a good play-through on his game.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the game despite the immense amounts of glitches. I mean I'm not trying to slate Lionhead, but did anyone actually test the game? Because some of the glitches seemed so obvious and occurred in almost all my friends' games. But that aside, surprisingly enough, the glitches didn't seem to detract from the enjoyment of the game one bit. I mean given that I played through the game twice, and didn't get bored once, surely that has to stand for something.


One minor complaint I did have, was that when playing co-op, if you aren't the host, you don't feel very important in the other persons game. I understand that you are playing in the hosts game, so it's not like you are going to become king as well, but just simple things like including the second player in cut-scenes would be nice, because you'd feel more involved.


Perhaps what would have been cool, would have been to make the second player a bodyguard of sorts for the king; to think you played through the whole game side by side, helping each other out, and even appearing in their 'Road to Rule', but then the host becomes king, and you are just forgotten. But perhaps they will think of that in Fable IV?


Either way, the game itself was still really good, and I don't think it deserves some of the harsh reviews it has been given. At the core, the game is sound; it has a lot of awesome features, and a lot of great concepts that, for the most part, have been delivered. The overall execution could do with a little refining, but as an overall experience, the game is great.


The pictures above are from my play-through with TwoSixNine; I really like how the evil character looks at the end of the game. And I also really like how your tattoos glow through your clothes when you charge up moves!

Anyway, that's me done for now, so I'll post again soon. I think my next post will have to be directly university related, so it doesn't look like I'm going too far off the beaten track.