If you’re preparing to start your career in games, then Ubisoft is probably something of dream move for most graduates. And that dream came true for Brian Evans, a project assistant at Ubisoft Reflections, who was recruited as part of the 2017 graduate campaign. MCV asked him how it came about and how he finds his new role.
Q. Tell us about your route into games and what your role involves
I studied Games Design and Production Management at Abertay University. During my final year, a team from Reflections gave a presentation where the staff talked about their work on The Division. I took this opportunity to ask about production roles at the studio and exactly what was expected specifically from a producer at Reflections as roles can vary studio to studio.
There was an available position for project assistant, which felt like a great opportunity for me based on my experience. So I sent off my CV and cover letter and waited to hear back from the recruiters, which I did!
I was invited to an on-site interview with the production team, which was a great experience and we got to ask a lot of questions. After a couple of months where all the graduate candidates were being considered, I was offered the job, which lined up really well with finishing my degree so I was able to start almost straight after graduating.
Today my current role has been made permanent and involves handling the production of a current title we are working on, I plan tasks and manage the production of Level designers, Level artists, Tech artists. I also oversee some of some smaller teams.
Q. What is your proudest achievement so far?
Working as part of a larger development team to successfully pass all of our development milestones.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
My role allows me to work with a lot of different people on a daily basis. The variety means that I’m always learning and there’s never a dull moment. Despite being a fairly new project assistant I am listened to and I’ve developed a great relationship with the leads that I work with. There really is great camaraderie within the team, which positively impacts every element of our day to day work.
Q. What is your big ambition in games?
I want to leave a legacy of being part of teams that delivered great games and provided fantastic experiences for the players that play them. I’ve been a gamer all my life and along the way, games have taught me a lot about myself and even paved the path for my career and I want to make sure that others can share in my passion regardless of why they play games or what they get out of playing them.
I also want to continue contributing to my studio in every way I can and in my role help the teams I work with achieve great things.
Q. What opportunities have you had for learning and development?
I’ve learned a massive amount since joining the team, the biggest adjustment has been adapting to the responsibility and challenge of being a producer for so many teams. Every team has its challenges so developing my problem-solving skills has meant I can bring answers to the table in these situations and really helps demonstrate the positive impact I can create within the team.
You might think you know about a subject because you learned it at university, but you quickly realise there’s so much more to learn and actually what you have learned may not always be correct when applied to real-world situations.
Luckily there’s a lot of support and opportunities within the studio both via training to further your knowledge and skills and support from your peers.
Q. What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the games industry?
I’d suggest reaching out to people in those companies that you want to work for. It could be a junior artist or the HR manager. Showing the initiative of reaching out in a professional manner is well respected in my book. It promotes your personality and proactivity from the get-go.
Get involved with as many game jams as you can. It might at first not seem that important but being able to talk about your experience of working with others shows how much of a team player you are and it also bolsters your portfolio. It will really help if you strive for the very best grades possible for your University degree, as this is another way you can stand out to studio recruiters when applying for graduate roles.
Demonstrate your passion for gaming and the role and that you apply this passion to everything you do, authentically back this up with evidence that you’ve worked hard to get yourself ‘industry ready’ & you to could find yourself in your dream job!