My Summer at Ubisoft Montreal – Summer 2012

Post by Alex Tardif, Computer Science & Innovation major, Game Programming minor at Champlain College
Wow!!! You know those times when you were in high school and playing video games, saying “Someday I want to make these games.” Well, I can tell you that actually getting to work alongside those who do, and even becoming that yourself, has been a dream come true. I’ll tell you what little my Non-Disclosure Agreement allows me to say about it.
First, it’s freaking huge. There’s over 2000 people working in the same building, and it’s obvious. The office is accommodating and very easy to get used to after just a few days. I’m surrounded with posters, plaques, etc. of various games that Ubisoft has created since it began, but I’m not sure what else I can say about the building so I’ll stop there, sorry!
Alex sporting hoodie from Ubisoft Game: Assasin’s Creed

My co-workers have been absolutely amazing. I haven’t once been treated like “the intern.” Instead, starting day-one, I was immediately thrown into a team and started getting tasks right away. And I’m not talking about those tasks that companies will give interns as “busy-work” that doesn’t have any lasting impact, I mean stuff that’s shipping with some of your favorite games. I know this because I’ve seen various production teams using a service I’ve built, and also because I broke it today and immediately got emails and phone calls from various production teams here in Montreal and out in Paris because they were actively using it. Don’t worry, I fixed it! J For those curious, these productions include Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3, among others, and man! does that feel surreal. Because of Non-Disclosure Agreements, I can’t talk much about what I do, but I can say that I’ve had my hand in a lot of different programming roles, each of which I had someone who was more than willing to help me learn what I needed in order to do the job. I can’t stress enough how great the environment and employees are here, and the experience I’ve gained here is invaluable.

If you come to Montreal, my advice is to get connected as well as you can while you’re here. Go on as many company tours as you can, and meet as many people as you can. Like Burlington, it is SO easy to get connected if you want to. So just get yourself out there!
Anyway, what about living in Montreal? I have to say, it’s nice, but I’m really partial to fall and winter up here, it’s just so beautiful that time of year. Still, there’s plenty to do during the summer and there have been several festivals that have been fun to go to (especially the various art festivals), and there’s no lack of places to go or sites to see. For the most part I’ve been traveling on my weekends, but it’s been a great summer here, I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
Last thought: there are tons of opportunities waiting to be taken up here. Speaking out of my own experience, there will definitely be internship opportunities at Ubisoft in the future, so keep that in mind!