How Ubisoft Organized Playable Demos During A Pandemic
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ubisoft teams had to reimagine their usual E3 conference plans and find a way to organize test sessions for journalists, influencers, star players, and partners in the lead-up to their 100% digital event, Ubisoft Forward. Harbour Streaming, a Ubisoft team based in Bordeaux, France, took on the challenge and participated in a wide-ranging collaboration with teams based in Saguenay, Canada, and beyond to stream unreleased games securely for the first time.
Petit was charged with working on projects to create tools to measure latency in Ubisoft’s games.
HANDS-ON DEMO SESSIONS
“When we talk about hands-on, we’re talking about an in-person play session of our games,” said Pascal Nguyen, associate director of International Events at Ubisoft. “The computers and in-progress builds are on-site, and guests can also talk with demoists and developers.”
CREATING A WORKING SOLUTION IN TWO MONTHS
Philippe Dias, technical advisor at Ubisoft Bordeaux and head of the Harbour Streaming team, contacted the International Events team to suggest a streaming solution for game demos.
We called on a number of teams at Ubisoft. We needed help on development, of course, but also on quality control and IT security. Having so many teams working together meant that everyone could bring their own expertise to the project.
1,200 MILES AWAY
Once the application was set up, hosting machines were installed at a dozen Ubisoft sites around the world, each one managed by a demoist who was responsible for accompanying attendees on demos ranging from thirty minutes to several hours.
For several weeks, teams carried out tests to determine the maximum possible distance between the machine and the attendee.
A VIABLE SOLUTION FOR THE FUTURE?
“The perception around this experience was very positive,” Nguyen confirmed. What’s also interesting is that we can offer many more sessions than we could during the usual physical events and offer these sessions to people who don’t usually have the opportunity to participate in a physical event like E3. For example, Ubisoft achieved an industry first by offering hands-on sessions with a focus on accessibility to 10 relevant press outlets and content creators, with fully customizable accessibility options for Watch Dogs: Legion.
Sep 10, 2020 at 03:24