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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

AI Summit: Missions Played As Anyone in 'Watch Dogs: Legion'

Jurie Horneman  (Lead R&D Programmer, Ubisoft)

Date: Tuesday, July 20

Time: 10:50am - 11:20am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

This presentation describes how the missions in Watch Dogs: Legion interact with Play As Anyone, the game's core innovation, which allows players to recruit and play as anyone in London.

Missions are the building blocks for many different kinds of experiences in Watch Dogs: Legion. Beyond the traditional single player story missions, the game contains recruitment missions and revenge missions, which are part of the game's core gameplay loops, as well as several other kinds of mission types, both single- and multiplayer.

Missions use procedurally generated characters, which the player can affect in many systemic ways, including injuring and recruiting them. This introduced new edge cases which the team had to handle.

The speaker will discuss the challenges of making authored missions, procedural NPC generation, and social simulations work together, and how missions can become part of gameplay loops.


Attendees will learn how to approach mission technology in a way that works well with procedural generation and social simulation in a AAA quality game.

Intended Audience

This presentation is aimed at gameplay programmers and technical designers. No particular prerequisite knowledge is needed, although familiarity with missions and procedural generation is helpful.