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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

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

Jurie Horneman  (Lead R&D Programmer, Ubisoft)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

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

This presentation describes the technology built for missions in Watch Dogs: Legion, particularly how it works with the game's Play As Anyone feature, which allows players to recruit and play as anyone in London.

Missions use procedurally generated characters, which the player can affect in many systemic ways, including recruiting and killing them. To handle this the team built tools for mission designers, narrative designers, and translators.

Missions are the building blocks for many different kinds of experiences. Apart from the single player story missions, origin missions and revenge missions are part of the game's core gameplay loops, while the online teams built several different coop experiences out of missions.

The mission tech architecture is based on functional programming principles to handle mission resources as well saving and loading and multiplayer logic.

The speaker will discuss the challenges the team faced, how they were solved, and the key lessons learned.


Attendees will learn ways to build a mission architecture that works well with procedural generation in a AAA quality game, that supports gameplay systems that have a strong effect on NPCs, and that works as part of many different game experiences, both online and offline.

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.