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Campus UBISOFT in Montreal: suggestions, advices, impressions...HELP NEEDED

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Hi, I'm a graduated student of CS and Multimedia for Enginyeria La Salle, in Barcelona, Spain. I'm interested in doing the DESS en design de jeux in Campus Ubisoft. - Anybody can tell me about the reputation of this degree or the whole Campus Ubisoft? - There are real chances to work for Ubisoft (or any other big name company) once finished the degree? - There are any good alternative to this one-year game design degree in Canada? Will be nice if somebody involved in the Campus (either student or ex-student) can offer his/her opinion or real experiences. As you can see, the decision of leaving my country and cross the ocean for study and work in the industry is a big one, so any other advice you think it's interesting to know will be very appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time!!

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Hi,

At first I'll say that I'm not involved in anyway with the campus. But right now I'm living in Montreal and studying at University of Sherbrooke so I might help. The Campus Ubisoft was founded by my university in the last years and it seems to be in some kind of "beta" state since all the programs are new and no one yet graduated. Other schools are now joining in the Campus and new programs starts to appear on the website.

Quote:
Original post by youtoomedia
I'm interested in doing the DESS en design de jeux in Campus Ubisoft.

- Anybody can tell me about the reputation of this degree or the whole Campus Ubisoft?


For the reputation of that campus I can't say... it's too soon to talk about that. The campus was founded last year I think and since then only speculations have been made since nobody graduated yet.

Campus Ubisoft was first founded with University of Sherbrooke which is a great university. According to the website the university is classified in the firsts ones in Canada.

What they want right now is to get more partnership with other universities/CÉGEP to have more programs.


Quote:
Original post by youtoomedia
- There are real chances to work for Ubisoft (or any other big name company) once finished the degree?


This question is answered in the FAQ on the website of Campus Ubisoft. They say that they think that it will be easy to get a job in the game industry once finished and that there are no obligations to work at Ubisoft. But what I think is that you don't get really better chances than any other person who just graduated and had personal projects (games).

Quote:
Original post by youtoomedia
- There are any good alternative to this one-year game design degree in Canada?


Since this is post-graduate I don't think there are any alternatives to that anywhere but I might be wrong.

There's a degree at University of Sherbrooke (no in Montreal) called "Imagerie et médias numériques" (Imagery and numerical medias) in which I'm currently studying that was also founded with a partnership with Ubisoft (and Softimage). It what I'm doing at the moment (if not working in Montreal). There's another degree somewhere else in Québec but can't remember where (I don't know the programs in the rest of Canada).

Quote:
Original post by youtoomedia
As you can see, the decision of leaving my country and cross the ocean for study and work in the industry is a big one, so any other advice you think it's interesting to know will be very appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your time!!



What I should add is that whether you choose Campus Ubisoft or anything else in Québec the classes will be given in French. As for Campus Ubisoft I was told that they're working hard to provide all the programs in English. I don't know if the language will be a problem for you but it's best if I'm telling you now ;).

The guy who help found those programs with University of Sherbrooke also founded the program I'm studying right now.

From what I understood the program given at Campus Ubisoft was created from parts of my program and made a bit more specific to game development. Like next semester I have a course called "Computer animation" in which will see different approaches to animation (key frames, bones, etc) but this will be applied to any kind of multimedia applications (Ubisoft and Softimage are partners in this [wink]). Courses in image synthesis are not centered around real time rendering, we're making ray tracers actually (and other variants like path tracer).

Anyway, it's all I have to say right now and I'll get back to work!

And sorry for any typo that are present in the previous text... I'm making a lot of those today [wink].

JFF

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I second everything jff_f said. This program/campus is very, very new. There was some reserves from other game compagnies when it was created, as they said it would only teach the "ubisoft way". That came mainly from EA, their biggest hiring competitor in Montreal, so its not very surprising, and should be taken with a grain of salt.

At any rate, what you have to show (hobby projects) is the biggest factor to get a job in the industry. What you get in this program is that you'll only get classes related to games. No OS classes, no databases classes, no compiler classes, etc. But since you are already graduated from CS, I guess it doesnt matter too much.

Games compagnies are hiring like crazy in Montreal these days.

fun fact, "The guy who help found those programs" is also my master degree advisor. I will try to ask him about Campus Ubisoft and how things are going on. Hopefully I can come back to you before you have to take any decision.

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Quote:
Original post by Steadtler
At any rate, what you have to show (hobby projects) is the biggest factor to get a job in the industry.

Actually it isn't even a factor in most of the industry and is usually an 'icing on the cake' if there are two equal people applying. Maybe Ubisoft does something different that I'm not aware of, but for the vast majority the important things are your degree, your experience, and than the ability to do well in questions/interview.

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In fact, the DESS en design de jeux is teached in University of Montreal, not in University of Sherbrooke, like the other degrees of the Campus Ubisoft.

So, how about the University of Montreal reputation? Any thoughts about it?

""fun fact, "The guy who help found those programs" is also my master degree advisor. I will try to ask him about Campus Ubisoft and how things are going on. Hopefully I can come back to you before you have to take any decision.""

Steadtler, will be very nice if you can get such info from your master degree advisor. Please, keep me informed!

Thanks for your help!!

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Is there any thoughs about working in game industry in Canada?

What about the language issue in working in Montreal? Any Ubi insider can tell em the primary language at work?

Thanks!!

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Quote:
Original post by youtoomedia
Is there any thoughs about working in game industry in Canada?


Right now I'm working in Montreal and I don't know for other parts of Canada. All I know is that the game industry is mostly developed in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Québec City (there must be others but I don't know them). Ubisoft's studio in Montreal is the biggest game studio over here.

You should definitely refer to the IGDA chapters in Canada to see all game companies and/or studios in Canada. I heard there is more that 70 in Montreal alone (including Ubisoft, Gameloft, EA, EA Mobile (Jamdat), A2M, etc). In Québec city I know that Ubisoft is there but I'm not sure about others.

Quote:
Original post by youtoomedia
What about the language issue in working in Montreal? Any Ubi insider can tell em the primary language at work?


The province of Québec is mostly French speaking. But in Montreal a lot of people speaks English. I'm not working at Ubisoft but my guess would be that it's like any other places in Montreal, all the work (code, documentation, etc) is done in English and for other communication people will just speak a common language that is spoken by both side­ (probably English if you don't speak French).

I should repeat that as far as I know the classes at Ubisoft Campus are given in French (at University of Montreal).


JFF

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Alright, here is the info I got.

The program is a second cycle program, which means you will need a bachelor degree in computer science or something equivalent to be accepted. It last 9 months, 5 days a week, each group is around 20-30 people now. Seems to mainly teach computer graphics and I.A as they apply to games. Also classes about management of game projects, communication, etc. Taught in french, but it is not unusual for english speaking students to follow second cycles classes in french.

Thats the public info. What I got more,
In the the group of 13 students who completed the program last year:

8 are working for Ubisoft
1 started a business
1 is working in Montreal, but not in the game area
1 working in the USA

last one is pursuing personal interests.

Interpret that as you wish...

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Hi,

before anything, thanks for your help!

Only to be sure, the 2n cycle degree you asked for is "DESS en design du jeu video" (http://campusubisoft.com/fr/DESS.php, Univ. Montreal) or "Diplome developpement du jeux video" (http://campusubisoft.com/fr/developpement.php, Univ. Sherbrooke)?

I ask cause, as far as I know, the "DESS en design du jeu video" last only 6 months and, looking in the topics it covers seems strange to be focused in Computer Graphics and I.A.


Thank you for your time!

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