IP director Tommy Francois was responsible for the development of Ubsoft’s internal WTF tool – officially called World Texture Facility, if not colloquially known as such – a web app available on Ubisoft’s servers that catalogues every piece of data accumulated by a project and organises it into a clear and readable format. Its front page looks like Pinterest, complete with Like buttons and comment boxes. If you’re working on The
Division, for instance, and you want to see how people dress in a New York winter, there’s a category for clothes filled with photos the team took on its Christmas research trip.
“Being creatively mature doesn’t mean we don’t use references,” Francois says. “So we have this dynamic tool where the team uploads everything to be shared across the studio. We always used to do the research, but nobody has time to see it on a production team because we’re always running late. People can’t read a 500-page Powerpoint on the American Revolution, and we can only take a few people on these research trips, so we needed a way to share that data.”