Ubisoft teaches high school students to make video games
Published Monday, January 4, 2016 11:00AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 4, 2016 11:51AM EST
High school students may play a lot of video games, but some from LaSalle are spending the school year building games from scratch.
As part of a mentorship program coordinated by the non-profit organization Youth Fusion, several dozen students are learning from video games designers who work for Ubisoft.
Two of the students taking part are Chloe Polson and Jack Sklivas, and they're learning it's more of a challenge then they first thought.
Chloe has traded in her sketch pad for a computer running a digital art software program.
"I am not completely used to it yet. I'm just kinda getting the feel for it and people are teaching me about it ," she said.
Jack said the group has had to scale back their goals.
"Our ideas were really, they were really high so our standards are kind of, you know, downgraded a little bit," he said.
Ubisoft has pledged to spend $8 million over the next five years working with students of all ages, from pre-teens to Post-Doctoral Fellows.
"The goal is really to use the video game, the science of a video game as a springboard for them. A motivational springboard," said Fabrice Giguere.
That ties in with Youth Fusion's goal which is, according to Charles-Antoine Guillemette, at cutting Quebec's high school dropout rate.
"What matters is the kids they learn, they had fun, they built everything and they got to know themselves," said Guillemette.
Giguere added that Ubisoft also wants to build a deep appreciation for the company's work, and the team work and science needed to bring a game from concept to console.
He said that since the program began in the autumn, he's been impressed by the work ethic and creativity displayed by teenagers.
"It's mind boggling to see what they can do when we just give them the means to get their creative side to flourish," he said.
The students have months of work left to complete, but they will get to see their games released later this year.