Ubisoft Toronto NEXT: 2022 Winners’ Innovation, Imagination Impress Judges

The ninth Ubisoft Toronto NEXT challenge saw a plethora of talent as our entrants overcame the challenges of working and learning from home. Hundreds of students across Ontario competed to win a paid apprenticeship at our studio and left the judges’ panel in awe.  

“What is fantastic about NEXT is that it gives students the opportunity to put their work in front of seasoned game development professionals for advice, perspective, and feedback. And it’s a super interesting way for us to identify new talent,” says Istvan Tajnay, Managing Director of Ubisoft Toronto. 

Winners of the six categories; 3D Art, Programming, Concept Art, Level Design, Animation, and Technical Art; will have the opportunity to refine their skills over the course of their apprenticeship and develop under the guidance of top experts in the game development industry.  

“NEXT is just a starting point and the finalists can vouch for the valuable feedback they receive during the interview process. That is the kind of involvement you will see from their managers, buddies, and mentors during their apprenticeship,” says Tanvi Athavale, Team Lead Talent Acquisition at Ubisoft Toronto. 

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Ubisoft Toronto NEXT challenge! 

THE 2022 UBISOFT TORONTO NEXT WINNERS 

3D Art 

For this year’s theme, participants in the 3D Art challenge were asked to create a 3D video game environment diorama of the interior of an attic through the prism of a child’s eerie dream. The studio encouraged entrants to be creative and advised them to emphasize aesthetics and the uneasiness of the scene.  

Winner: Ryan Honey from Durham College 

It is clear from the submission that Ryan has a really good eye for composition, color theory, lighting, attention to detail, and everything else.

— Amanda Mundt, Level Artist

Second place: Mitchell Fukuzawa from Ontario Tech University 

Third place: Sepehr Nofal from Ontario Tech University 

 

Animation 

The brief for this year’s animation challenge was “bump” wherein participants were required to create an animation that displayed either one character bumping into another or two characters bumping into each other. Participants were asked to consider body mechanics, acting, timing/pacing, dynamic posing, and staging.  

Winner: Yuxing Wang from Sheridan College 

The contrast in the characters, the contrast in the way they move, the setting, and the addition of 2D elements — everything made the submission very comical, and we fell in love with it.

— Santi Hurtado, Team Lead Animator 

Second place: Daniel Hyuntack Oh from OCAD University 

Third place: Ning-Yu Chu from Sheridan College 

 

Programming 

Students were challenged to create a game made entirely in C++ over the course of a weekend! Drawing inspiration from arcade classic Atari Gravitar, participants were encouraged to be innovative and add their own touch to the game.  

Winner: Victor Shi from Western University 

Victor put together a very detailed and complete engine with lots of cool features. The game had a great feel and was really fun to play which truly cemented their place as a winner.

— Gavin Whitlock, Lead Programmer

Second place: Myles Cragg from Ontario Tech University 

Third place: Tamerlan Tahirli from George Brown College 

 

Level Design 

From creating a pitch to a playable blockmesh, students had to apply their design sensibilities across this two-part challenge, which was designed to be representative of the production journey a mission takes.  

Winner: Camila Kukulski from Sheridan College 

Camila’s work featured great sightlines and good player leading. It showed great technical expertise in debugging and in the way they introduced gameplay mechanics.

— Anish Antony, Level Designer

Second place: Aaron Munavish-Hogarth from Sheridan College 

Third place: Mauricio Castro from Sheridan College 

 

Technical Art 

Creativity and technical skill come together in this challenge where students had to create a technical interpretation of a 3D art scene featuring a child’s eerie dream. The goal was to ensure that the production of the game is not only efficient, but also achievable on a larger scale.  

Winner: Yuan Chen from Western University 

A few things that really stuck out in Yuan’s submission were the details, the elegance, and the planning. Something that hit us both while reviewing the submission is that Yuan had a good write-up about how the submission could be improved and optimized.

Shaun Jennings, Technical Art Director. 

Second place: William Marques from Durham College 

 

Concept Art 

Bring a story to life! Students were asked to create a dark and gritty crime scene set in an “urban fantasy” landscape. Participants were advised to pay close attention to the descriptions in the brief and showcase their creative interpretation through the scene’s details. 

Winner: Jackson Kachun So from George Brown College 

Jackson did a great job at presenting what we wanted while also interjecting a greater sense of story and a little more mystery. All-in-all, it is a piece that both impressed and surprised us.

— Branko Bistrovic, Senior Concept Artist

Second place: Dawn Niu from Sheridan College 

Third place: Peiyang Zhang from Centennial College 

Congratulations to all Ubisoft Toronto NEXT winners and finalists! And special thanks to all participants and judges for being a part of this program!


Read more: Woman working in front of computer at desk at Ubisoft Toronto studio

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