"Man Versus Machine" Watch Dogs 2 Level Design Breakdown [VIDEO]
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
Watch Dogs 2 shipped this past November. As one level designer belonging to a small team of level designers at Ubisoft Toronto, I was entrusted with a late-game main storyline mission entitled "Man Versus Machine." You'll see in the brief 6-minute video (embedded at the bottom of this article) that it contains two (2) "exotic" one-off gameplay sequences using remote controlled robots of differing size, navigational ability, and so on. Throughout this undertaking, I was incredibly honoured to have worked alongside a talented team of programmers, designers (of all disciplines), and artists.
After the project shipped, I decided to do something different with my portfolio. I really love level design flythrough videos but I was so busy during production that I forgot to record any! In lieu of a flythrough, I decided that I would play through the retail version of the game while capturing everything so I could narrate the breakdown video you're about to see. It was also fun experiment that allowed me to use some of my video editing skills from a past job -- but I also use these skills at Ubisoft Toronto whenever I need to put together a video for documentation or a team meeting.
I'd encourage anybody involved in content creation (and beyond!) to put together a video like this. It's useful to force yourself to reflect deeply about your process and document it so that others may learn from it. (Alternatively, you can go next-level and document everything from start to finish like this production timelapse video from Naughty Dog's Anthony Vaccaro.)
If you have any questions, feel free to @ me on twitter or contact me through my portfolio.
Now, without further delay, I'll stop writing so that you can start watching.