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.”

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