1) Tell us about the submission challenge you completed when you registered for DAU. What did you learn from the experience?
The challenge was to create a new operator for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. This operator needed to appeal to new players and focus on the player experience.
The submission process was broken down into two stages to mimic Ubisoft Toronto’s internal design process.
The first stage was to outline the goals of the operator focusing on defining the problems the operator is trying to solve and a summary of how they will solve them.
The second stage was to create a pitch presentation that further elaborates on the design decisions that were made and outlining the overview of how the operator fits into R6S. This includes a breakdown of the operator’s kit, a walkthrough of the experience the player will have while playing them, and explaining how your character interacts with other operators in the game.
The attacker I created focused on tagging a defenders’ primary gadget. When that defender was killed, their gadget would self-destruct. By having players focus on one defender and their ability at a time, they can better understand the connexion between each defender and their primary gadget, as well as teach them the difference between different operators, how to use them, and how they interact and impact gameplay.
From this experience, I gained an understanding of what the expectations of a game designer are. The design challenge had me evaluate Rainbow Six Siege, identify what the game is currently lacking in regard to the new player experience, and outlining how my design addresses what’s missing. Doing this made me realize that being a game designer isn’t about having the most unique or coolest ideas, it’s about problem solving and designing with a purpose. You need to be able to understand the goals and intentions behind a design to design it effectively and to make sure it fits into the overall game. You might have an interesting design, but if players don’t understand the point or the use cases of it, they are less likely to engage with it.
2) What were the main benefits of being mentored during this program?
The mentorship aspect of the program led to me having email exchanges and a one-on-one meeting with a Ubisoft Toronto Designer. Each participant had a maximum of two emails they could send to a designer. In these emails, I asked questions about my work and got feedback on my design that I used to improve my submission. What was most impactful was the one-on-one meeting with a Ubisoft Toronto Designer. During this time, I asked them about their experience in the industry and learned about their journey as a game designer. I was able to get advice on how to improve myself as a designer, and how to manage being a woman in a male-dominated industry.
3) What would you like to say to people who would like to take part in the next edition?
I would encourage everyone to take part in Develop At Ubisoft. I know it can be daunting to put yourself out there and to try something new, especially if you don’t have the confidence in your abilities, but don’t sell yourself short! Everyone that is part of DAU wants to help you and they want to see you succeed and grow. It’s an amazing experience and you learn a lot about the games industry and what it’s like to be a game designer.