In July 2020, a significant event occurred in Ubisoft Saguenay’s short history. The team was finally able to unveil its very first large-scale project: Hyper Scape.
In addition to working on an entirely new brand, in the form of an urban, intense and vertical Battle Royale experience, the team had a major role to play, in particular the creation of the Crowncast Twitch extension and menus. Thanks to the collaboration of Ubisoft Saguenay and other studios, all players around the world can have a unique and exciting experience with the Twitch extension that we developed in Saguenay!
We interviewed Patricia Lefebvre, Production Manager, and Dany Savard, IT Product Manager, prior to the official launch of the Hyper Scape’s open beta.
Hi Patricia, Hi Dany. First of all, Hyper Scape is the result of two years of work and it has finally been made public! How do you feel now?
Patricia: That’s a good question! We feel so many emotions at the same time. We had the chance to be involved from the game’s conception and that brings challenges with it. We’re really proud of our team members, both because they succeeded in delivering an innovative and high‑quality final product, but also because they were able to complete the project with passion, creativity and resilience.
Dany: I would add that we’re even prouder because we’ve already gotten good feedback from our colleagues and the gaming community. On Sunday, we launched the open beta of the game on PC. This enables us to improve the game based on player feedback, fix any bugs and deliver the best possible game at the official launch of Season 1 later this summer. The game and extension will change in future seasons. In other words, we’re far from finished improving existing content and creating new content!
We were really happy to read the positive feedback from players when the exclusive features of our extension were announced, such as the ability to progress the Battle Pass by watching Hyper Scape streams on Twitch, or for streamers to invite their viewers directly to join their squad.
Speaking of what you do, what specifically did the Ubisoft Saguenay team work on?
Dany: From the beginning of the project, the trend of viewer/players, who spend as much or more time watching as they do actually playing, influenced the Hyper Scape team’s creative process. We were very excited by the idea that a Twitch extension could interact with the game and create a completely different dynamic than the one players are used to.
Patricia: The challenge was laid down, and we accepted! We developed the Twitch extension, called Hyper Scape Crowncast, which allows players to interact directly with the game in various ways. For example, when streamers equip their channel with the extension, their viewers can have real-time access to a lot of information about the status of their game and vote to make effects appear that will change the conditions of the live game, such as changing the gravity, giving infinite ammunition, making all players visible on the map, etc.
Dany: Everything related to this extension was developed by our team here at the Saguenay studio: setting up the online infrastructure, creating the visuals and developing the features. This project was really important for the game because it’s a major innovation and major distinguishing feature.
Patricia: Another part of the team worked to create the game menus and interactive displays, such as player data, health bar, progress and game map. The goal was to create an immersive virtual world that even starts with the main menu. Our team did a great job with the user experience and very intuitive visual design.
Dany: Finally, our team designed the build system, which is a series of tools that enable players to test the whole game by using different versions. These tools are very important elements of a large‑scale production like Hyper Scape.
Patricia: In short, we’re really proud to have made such a huge contribution to the development of Hyper Scape, which is a truly unique Battle Royale. This is the first game that enabled us to demonstrate our know-how as a team and that is directly in line with our perception of the Saguenay studio. This project is a prime example of where we want to go and the role we have to play at Ubisoft and within the industry. Although it’s often been said, Ubisoft Saguenay made it its mission to develop connected experiences within Ubisoft, which is one of the video game industry’s primary areas of growth and innovation. That’s what we did!
What are the next steps for Ubisoft Saguenay?
Patricia: As Dany said, many people on our team will continue working on Hyper Scape. It’s really great to have the chance to grow our brands after their official launch. We provide more complete experiences than before.
As far as the studio as a whole is concerned, we hope to be able to showcase all of our team’s skills and position ourselves as a highly qualified studio that makes a significant contribution to the Ubisoft Group. And at the moment, we have no shortage of challenges to meet (laughs).
Dany: We do have many challenges, since we’re always creating from scratch. It’s very exciting for our teams. We’re still recruiting a wide range of talent. We’re keeping our objective to build a multidisciplinary team of professionals from various backgrounds, ranging from production management to programming, graphic design, modelling, animation and game-level design. We still have 75 positions to fill between now and 2022!
Patricia: I would like to end with the most important thing, which is to thank all our colleagues who we have the opportunity to work with. We really do have a great team. The people are motivated, talented and passionate. They care about Ubisoft Saguenay’s success and it shows in everything they do. I hope others will join us on our journey, because we honestly have the best team in the world (laughs).