Building an inclusive industry, and better games for all
With more people playing games than ever before, Develop at Ubisoft is a mentorship opportunity designed to support emerging talent and to create inclusive entertainment that is truly reflective of our diverse world. This also benefits the industry by fostering talent from different backgrounds, fresh perspectives, and new ideas.
What is Develop at Ubisoft?
Develop at Ubisoft (DAU) is an annual competition and mentorship program aimed at developing talent from underrepresented gender identities. With the expansion of the competition over the past 4 years, the competition is open to students & new graduates who identify as woman, transgender, non-binary, and/or Two-Spirit.
Develop at Ubisoft is a testament to Ubisoft Toronto’s goal to build an inclusive industry and create better games for all. “Through fostering talent from underrepresented gender identities, Develop at Ubisoft aims to break barriers, create opportunities, and support a strong foundation in pursuing a career in game development,” says Tanvi Athavale, Team Lead Campus & Early Career Programs.
DAU currently offers three different disciplines: Programming, Game Design, and recently added, Production Management.
The winners of DAU receive a paid internship with Ubisoft Toronto to gain real-world experience, as well as mentorship from top talent at Ubisoft.
Over its three editions, the Develop at Ubisoft program has attracted almost 300 applications from over 30 different schools and has resulted in 6 winners. We are proud to say that half of our previous DAU winners have gone on to become permanent employees at Ubisoft, as well as become mentors in the competition!
Develop at Ubisoft takes a mentorship approach to support and guide participants throughout the program. This includes networking sessions with the judges, 1:1 coffee chats, and continuous feedback at each stage of the submission.
The 2023 Ubisoft Toronto “Develop at Ubisoft” winners
For this year’s challenge, participants were asked to let their creativity run wild and utilize their technical gameplay skills in creating and submitting a game made entirely in C++ using a provided API.
Winner: Gabrielle Madden (She/Her) from University of Toronto
“Easy to follow code that had no memory leaks, and accompanied by great documentation, Gabrielle blew away judges with her amazing learning mindset and her strong knowledge of the lower-level specifics of C++”
— Shaked Brosh (She/Her), Gameplay Programmer
Second place: Ame Gilham (She/Her) from Ontario Tech University
Third place: Shaelynn Keiko (She/Her) from University of Toronto
It wouldn’t be a Ubisoft challenge if we didn’t include some aspect of our games! Students were asked to apply their design sensibilities across a multi-part Game Design challenge to design a new supremo for Far Cry 6! A supremo is a powerful backpack that offers the player special abilities. The challenge took participants through the different stages of defining design goals, creating a pitch, and constructing a design document.
Winner: Darian Schumacher (they/them) from Toronto Metropolitan University
“Darian’s designs demonstrated an incredibly strong understanding of the player experience and how their designs compliment different playstyles. Showing a high degree of systemic thinking and illustrating how small changes to one design can have a significant impact on other features in the game.”
— Jaylin Grierson (She/Her), Game Designer
Second place: Catherine Bui (She/them) from University of Waterloo
Third place: Kris Orel (She/Her) from Sheridan College
As a new discipline for this year’s competition, we knew we wanted to offer participants a thrilling, real-world challenge. Participants were tasked with applying their project management skills to analyze and solve everyday problems that are tackled by our Production Management teams. From creating an initial project plan, block plan, and case study, to a final interview and presentation of their overall submission.
Winner: Jessica Yang (She/Her) from Western University
“By making use of multiple techniques to share her thought process (including a dialogue tree which was a complex approach), to adding her own creative details (such as the wizard guard) that made us smile. Jessica highlighted her mistakes along the way, and how she was already changing the way she approached work outside this competition.”
— Jennifer Owen (She/Her), Production Manager
Second place: Madison Simpson (She/Her) from Brock University
Third place: Darian Schumacher (they/them) from Toronto Metropolitan University
Congratulations to all Develop at Ubisoft winners and finalists! And special thanks to all participants and judges for being a part of this program!