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  1. #1

    New Winnipeg studio to: "increase the quality of the open worlds"

    Ubisoft is adding another studio in Canada this time in Winnipeg. I just know all these towns as various hockey teams, but Ubisoft is soon to get bigger than the NHL .

    Link: https://www.resetera.com/threads/ubi...d-games.34433/


    The studio is not developing its own games (at the beginning at least) but rather:

    There's a very specific and complementary mandate for the studio, which is that we want to contribute to the development of the big AAA brands--like Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs--specifically in the area of building open worlds," he said. "Our goal in Winnipeg is to do the research and development on the processes, the pipeline and the tools, to put the investment in to making them as efficient as possible, and ultimately increase the quality of the open worlds we're producing for our games. So we'll be working hand-in-hand with the other Canadian studios to develop their AAA brands, and specifically their open worlds.

    Sounds like a really tough challenge imo. The problem is the balance between efficiency and at the same time not making it feel massproduced. All OW games suffer from the latter to some extent and so does Origins. In particular when it comes to location objectives. It's just really hard to fill an open world with "stuff to do" without creating a sense of repetetiveness and like you are performing chores. In particular since these objectives need to be simple enough so the player quickly gets them. Anyway I'm not sure if this is the particular design challenge they will work on. But if so I wish them the best of luck because it's a very interesting one and something the entire industry struggles with.


    What open world related things do you want them to focus on?
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  2. #2
    Excellent news! Really hope Ubisoft will be improving the open world genre that's becoming more and more stale.
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  3. #3
    Frag_Maniac's Avatar Banned
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    Originally Posted by sushiglutton Go to original post
    Anyway I'm not sure if this is the particular design challenge they will work on.
    Pretty sure they're talking about the world itself vs the gameplay. Personally I feel Origins' world has plenty variety. I only recall one post complaining it didn't, and only regarding too many brown fronds in the same pattern on palm trees. I thought the palms looked fine, but I guess some go around and stare at them all.

    My only concern if they plan to pack more into open worlds in the future, is they spend enough time making sure they work enough on optimization. That said, GRW is a prime example of how they are making great strides in that area.
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  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Frag_Maniac Go to original post
    Pretty sure they're talking about the world itself vs the gameplay. Personally I feel Origins' world has plenty variety. I only recall one post complaining it didn't, and only regarding too many brown fronds in the same pattern on palm trees. I thought the palms looked fine, but I guess some go around and stare at them all.

    My only concern if they plan to pack more into open worlds in the future, is they spend enough time making sure they work enough on optimization. That said, GRW is a prime example of how they are making great strides in that area.

    I think you are correct that they will probably work on tech rather than gamedesign. I also agree that the world in Origins was fine.

    Rumour has it next gen consoles are on the way (2019/2020?) so maybe they will investigate what to do with the extra power. From what I understand a significant CPU-upgrade is what people are anticipating the most. That would impact stuff like AI and physics. Even if the world in Origins was beautiful it's still not that interactive. Huge potential there imo.
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  5. #5
    cawatrooper9's Avatar AC Forum Moderator
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    Originally Posted by sushiglutton Go to original post
    I think you are correct that they will probably work on tech rather than gamedesign. I also agree that the world in Origins was fine.
    My guess is you're both right about that.

    However, I think there is some good that could come from rethinking open world design. I really enjoyed how Far Cry 5 handled its open world (with a couple big grievances).

    Rather than the "Tower Reveal" thing we've had since AC1, exploration felt natural and rewarding.

    The only issue is, it could become a little frustrating if you were looking for some specific action (for instance, an Outpost).
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  6. #6
    My impression from the mandate is they'll have little or nothing to do with the game design of the open world games. What they will do is consolidate tools and tech to ensure all teams at all studios working on open world games are using shared coding libraries and art and design processes, which will make it easier for designers, artists and programmers to assist other teams as needed. An improved toolset and world creating process also means the game teams can either do the same job as now for less cost, or have more time to implement their game vision for the same cost, because they'll be able to iterate faster. The timing being 2-3 years before next gen is obviously to reign in the expectation of expanding development costs.
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