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Ubisoft contest offers sneak peak at Montreal’s next generation of game developers

A university game developer tests out Escape Artist at the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition.
A university game developer tests out Escape Artist at the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition. Billy Shields/Global News

The ninth annual Ubisoft Game Lab Competition attracted hundreds of budding Montreal game developers eager to show off their ideas in a bid to join the industry when they graduate from university.

The rules of the competition are that games must be three-dimensional and accessible to people who would want to play them.

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The competition includes 21 teams from a dozen universities. This year’s contest also involves a record percentage of women — about a fourth of the roughly 170 competitors are female developers.

“There’s a big diversity in types of experiences, types of gameplay — those young people have creativity and imagination,” said Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Canadian Studios. “That’s good.”

Fairy Nightfall, developed by Concordia students, was one of the games on display for the ninth annual Game Lab Competition.
Fairy Nightfall, developed by Concordia students, was one of the games on display for the ninth annual Game Lab Competition. Billy Shields/ Global News

The games had to be centred on a single theme; this year’s theme was “spectacle.”

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A wide array of game types were on display as judges evaluated the prototypes with names like Escape Artist, Fairy Nightfall and Witchin’ Kitchen.

Participants in the 10-week competition get mentoring opportunities from Ubisoft’s developers. Other prizes include $22,000 in scholarship money.

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