Concordia students win the Jury’s Special Award at the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition
A team of eight Concordia students had just 10 weeks to come up with an idea for an exciting, interactive video game and develop a working prototype — all while managing their full course loads.
And they delivered.
The game also earned nominations for Best Prototype, and Best Creativity and Integration of the Theme.
“The Jury's Special Award signifies that we excelled in many different categories,” says team member Nicole Parmentier, a student in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.
“Our game is not a one-trick pony. We succeeded in making an overall excellent game and a genuinely fun experience.”
In total, 21 teams from 12 different universities competed in Ubisoft’s annual university challenge. Polytechnique Montréal, in collaboration with École NAD-UQAC, won the prize for the best prototype for their game, Seaside Circus.
Teams were invited to create games that allow spectators to digitally interact with the competitors.
Yannis Mallat, Ubisoft's Canadian studio CEO and jury chairman, says the theme of “Spectacle” was born from the fact that games are becoming more interactive, gathering both players and fans around a common inclusive experience.
“It was a conscious choice on the part of the jury to get students thinking and working on the games of the future," he says.
The winning ingredient
In Witchin’ Kitchen players are on a live TV show trying to collect and cook the most ingredients. “Punch or throw fireballs at your competitors to get them out of the way!”
Meanwhile spectators can join the game by using their smartphone, and interfere with the outcome by casting various spells on their favourite (or least favourite) player.
The students faced a difficult challenge creating the interactive component, says Charalambos Poullis, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE), who helped organize the Concordia team.
“They had to spend quite some time coming up with a way to put this within the context of a ‘fun’ game. I believe the team did an excellent job addressing this goal.”
The Concordia students didn’t earn academic credits for their game-development project, but Parmentier insists the 30 hours per week that the team members spent on the project provided an exceptional learning opportunity.
“This competition is a real-world game development experience,” she says.
“You're working with people you don't know from other disciplines, you're exercising your creativity to meet the project mandate in innovative ways in order to stand out, you're making hard choices about what features to keep and what features to cut, and you're developing the requisite time- and team-management skills. If that's not applicable to a student studying in Computer Games, I don't know what is.”
The Concordia team members:
Cody Gaudet, Film Animation and Game Design
Tiffany Chenn, Design and Computation Arts, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Jen Powroznyk, Design and Computation Arts
Charles Rabbat, Design and Computation Arts, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Victor Debray, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Theo Penavaire, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Nicole Parmentier, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Mark Beiline, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Find out more about the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Faculty of Fine Arts.