Ubisoft Game Director Enjoys Co-Development Process

When you think of how intricate and twisted the Assassin’s Creed story is, as well as how beautiful they look, it’s hard to believe how they manage to bring a new one to us every year.  They have done this by employing an incredibly elaborate co-development strategy that has a number of teams working on a single game.

For example, although Ubisoft Montreal spearheaded development of Assassin’s Creed 3, five other teams worked on different parts of the game. Ubisoft Kiev, Romania, Annecy, Singapore, and Quebec all contributed to AC3 in order to ship the incredibly ambitious game just one year after Assassin’s Creed Revelations.

This can do a lot of good things for a company and can help a development team better hone their skills and advance their craft.  Game Director at Ubisoft Quebec, Marc-Alexis Cote, talking at this year’s GDC, answered some questions about the co-development process and how it can really make everyone better.

“Focus brings polish. We often complain as developers that we don’t have enough time to polish the features we’re working. But when you’re a co-dev partner, you will focus on a limited number of features and those features–you will be able to polish them… and the team will take a lot of pride in the final product because it is polished.  Talent rubs off on people; my Quebec City team has grown faster by working with the top talent from Montreal.”

Quebec first started working on Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood in order to build the game’s Leonardo missions. They did the same for Revelations, working on “exotic gameplay sequences.” While some studios would rather be working on their own original titles, becoming an Assassin’s Creed co-dev was quite fruitful for the studio. “Working on a popular product is motivating for a team. Having millions of fans instead of a hundred thousand–it has incredible benefits for the motivation of the team.”

While the annualized Assassin’s Creed franchise has helped the studio in a number of ways, he also warns that the studio cannot continue forever.  Eventually, they will want to move away from the shadow of the lead studio and prove they can handle such a big name project on their own.

“I don’t think teams can be co-dev partners forever, while we do get more ownership with every project we undertake, I think that at one point you want to be able to do it by yourself and show that you can do the whole thing by yourself.”

That doesn’t appear to be on the horizon yet, as Cote and his team are currently putting the finishing touches on Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, slated for release later this year on all major consoles.

Source: Shack News