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Game Dev Fireside Chat: Jade Raymond, Haven Studios

Bartski

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- Game now developed in collab with Playstation was the project they were working for Stadia, google was supportive for her looking to other opportunities when it became clear they will not be investing in gamedev
- Core team in Haven is the core team she had at google, others are veterans she worked within Ubi and EA
- Raphael Lacoste (art director of all AC games till Vaalhala) and Corey May (lead writer on AC from 1 to Syndicate) is on the team. Other people from early Assassins Creed teams, incl creative director (didn't catch the name)
- Also people from Rainbow Six: Seige and Watch Dogs
- Team now 53 people & growing to support an AAA IP in development
- Studio culture big focus, key value is kindness
- Big emphasis on diverse, inclusive hiring process
- Google experience as great insight in future tech of streaming leading to advancements in could infrastructure for the studio; insight into how to support a "maybe the first 1TB game"
- Kudos to Sony for great tech support and understanding of the creative development process and the need for creative autonomy
- Mostly excited about the future of games as a social platform, the content remix culture. As AC was created for future teams to own and continue evolving across history in future installments, the new IP is designed for the fans to own, "design" and evolve for its long-lasting appeal.
 
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NikuNashi

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Unproven freerider trading off her natural looks, we will see when the metacritic scores come in for this game (unless she jumps ship or the studio closes before release).
 
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Elios83

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When it was announced that Sony was backing Jade and Haven the usual "experts" stated that it was impossible that this was the Google project because Google was not selling their assets so everything would be conceived from scratch and the game would be many many years away.
Emmmm...lol.

Btw really looking forward to see what this game is about. Jade is almost getting better with age:messenger_winking_tongue:
 
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CitizenZ

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Kind of like in coaching where they keep hiring the same people who havent done anything in the their past iterations. But, she is always one step ahead with that special check mark.
 

TheMan

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Good luck to her. No surprise google got cold feet after their laughably pathetic foray into games, but here’s hoping haven has something good for us
 

Men_in_Boxes

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NeoGAF sees an attractive woman...




Excited to see the game. The idea of creating positive social interactions may turn into something special.
 
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skit_data

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Is it just me or does she have a pretty massive underbite?

Damn, I lost points. Or gained. Dammit.
 

Clear

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Sorry Jade, but I don't believe "kindness", fine virtue that it is, unlocks creativity.

If anything the reverse is true. Monomaniacal "genius" types are the ones who really push ideas forward, because their singular obsession with manifesting a thing that only exists in their heads -at any cost- is both more productive and radical.

If toxicity is a side-effect of great art. I'll take it. Because mediocrity is ephemeral, and genius lasts forever.
 

ManaByte

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Unproven freerider trading off her natural looks, we will see when the metacritic scores come in for this game (unless she jumps ship or the studio closes before release).
Don’t worry she’ll hire some game director who’ll really make the game and she’ll then go on a PR tour where the games media will credit her for every aspect of development. Just like she did to Patrice on AC1.
 

ManaByte

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NeoGAF sees an attractive woman...

Nice job completely ignoring history for a hot take shitpost against the community.

Patrice Désilets was the game director on the original Assassin’s Creed. He was the true creator of the series after leading the modern Prince of Persia games at Ubi. But you rarely see him credited anymore in the media. Instead tbe game “journalists” credit Jade Raymond as the creator of Assassin’s Creed. Why is that?

Well, Ubi brought Jade Raymond on as a producer on the first AC (because in this industry you fail upwards) and realized “Hey, she’s hot. Let’s market that”.

Try to find Patrice in this team photo:



This has nothing to do with GAF hating on an attractive woman. This is about rightful credit being basically stolen from a talented game director.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Nice job completely ignoring history for a hot take shitpost against the community.

Patrice Désilets was the game director on the original Assassin’s Creed. He was the true creator of the series after leading the modern Prince of Persia games at Ubi. But you rarely see him credited anymore in the media. Instead tbe game “journalists” credit Jade Raymond as the creator of Assassin’s Creed. Why is that?

Well, Ubi brought Jade Raymond on as a producer on the first AC (because in this industry you fail upwards) and realized “Hey, she’s hot. Let’s market that”.

Try to find Patrice in this team photo:



This has nothing to do with GAF hating on an attractive woman. This is about rightful credit being basically stolen from a talented game director.

Your criticisms of Jade Raymond and my comment/pic aren't related.
 

MJackson

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This is about rightful credit being basically stolen from a talented game director.

Jades a fucking nerd, she used to be a software engineer for Sony long before she became the face of assassin's creed.

It's sad when folks think she got her current job and status based on bring a cutiepie, she has a legit impressive career and knowledge of game development that folks just don't hear about because they presume pretty women cannot be talented.

I don't think she's a great director based on her track record, but she absolutely deserved to be given a chance at being a game director based on her skillset.
 
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mckmas8808

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Unproven freerider trading off her natural looks, we will see when the metacritic scores come in for this game (unless she jumps ship or the studio closes before release).

Why do people say such stupid crap like this?
 

Fbh

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Bonus points for replies that don’t mention her looks

Come on give us a break, the industry is constantly shoving overweight side shaved danger hair women in front of the camera, let us enjoy a regular good looking woman talking about games for a change.

And let's be real, Raymond hasn't really been involved in anything relevant for like 10 years and has left 2 previous studios with nothing to show for it. Until she has a trailer or something more concrete to give us these interviews are of limited interest.
 

mckmas8808

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Age old, lots of "people of color" who look different but think the same.

Why the hell would you think all "people of color" think the same? Is GAF on drugs this morning? What's going on?
 

yurinka

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The project sounds interesting and innovative, the team sounds very solid, talented and experienced. Nice to see also that they didn't start the project from scratch when they went with Sony, but already working on it before in Google. So maybe we won't have that long as I expected (maybe we get it in 2024 or 2025). And looking at the video seems she lives now in the jungle :messenger_tears_of_joy:


Kind of like in coaching where they keep hiring the same people who havent done anything in the their past iterations. But, she is always one step ahead with that special check mark.
And let's be real, Raymond hasn't really been involved in anything relevant for like 10 years and has left 2 previous studios with nothing to show for it. Until she has a trailer or something more concrete to give us these interviews are of limited interest.
She was the boss of studios that worked on Star Wars Squadrons, Star Wars Battlefront II (as support team), Rainbow Six Siege, Watch Dogs 1 & 2, The Division 1 & 2, For Honor, Splinter Cell Blacklist and some relatively recent AC and FC games plus like a dozen of AAA hits more. She left after they released some of these games that were greenlighted when she was there and were pretty much complete (other than optimization/polishing/bugfixing) when she left. Before being promoted to be studio boss she was producer (even if she also produced a few games while being studio boss) and before being producer at Ubisofft she producer The Sims Online when back then it was a very innovative concept and before that she was programmer at Sony Online.

damn Jadie lookin cute <3
She looks even better in person ;)
 
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Salz01

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The project sounds years away. I assume PlayStation saw something in this team. I’m very skeptical.
 

mckmas8808

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The project sounds years away. I assume PlayStation saw something in this team. I’m very skeptical.

I'm neutral. I'll just wait and see what they have. Very interested though.
 

yurinka

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Patrice Désilets was the game director on the original Assassin’s Creed. He was the true creator of the series after leading the modern Prince of Persia games at Ubi. But you rarely see him credited anymore in the media. Instead tbe game “journalists” credit Jade Raymond as the creator of Assassin’s Creed. Why is that?
Because this is a lie. He wasn't a game director, he was a creative director. He and she weren't 'the true creator of AC', 900 people worked on that game. In places like Ubisoft, there are 3 people in charge of a game: Producer (managing budget and hirings, managing the dev team to make sure gets their tasks done in time, solving blocker issues, etc), Product Manager (market data research, branding stuff, marketing and communications etc) and Creative Director (lore, world building, art style etc, sets the way to follow by designers and artists).

After they worked together all he released was a game with monkeys. She instead built and lead the studio and team what now is the 2nd biggest Ubisoft studio so she worked while she was there in many games like Splinter Cell Blacklist, the first two Watchdogs and The Division games, Rainbow Six Siege plus some FC, AC and many more. Then she left to create another studio for EA that did help on Star Wars Battlefront II as support team and made Star Wars Squadrons. Then she left to be VP of Google overviewing some small 3rd party exclusives and started to build a team to make in-house games but Google shut it down before they published their first game. That project and team she built there had to be good because in less than a month Sony signed it as 2nd party.
 
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8BiTw0LF

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They're developing and testing on laptops. Yeah, this game is coming out in 2025, at least. The whole diversity thing is also a puzzle in grander scale. I get it - it's good to have different types of people, but we all know which types Haven Studios are looking for, so the "diversity" is really not that diverse. Next step should be building teams with different ideologies working together in a healthy invironment - that means without hate or discrimination.

But goddammit...

If she says buy - I'll buy...

Raymond Pozo Dominican GIF by Dominicana's Got Talent

*simping
 

Perrott

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Try to find Patrice in this team photo:

Well, it's kind of hard to find Patrice on a photo made at a studio (Ubisoft Toronto) he never worked at in the first place, don't you think?
 
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SlimySnake

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Nice job completely ignoring history for a hot take shitpost against the community.

Patrice Désilets was the game director on the original Assassin’s Creed. He was the true creator of the series after leading the modern Prince of Persia games at Ubi. But you rarely see him credited anymore in the media. Instead tbe game “journalists” credit Jade Raymond as the creator of Assassin’s Creed. Why is that?

Well, Ubi brought Jade Raymond on as a producer on the first AC (because in this industry you fail upwards) and realized “Hey, she’s hot. Let’s market that”.

Try to find Patrice in this team photo:



This has nothing to do with GAF hating on an attractive woman. This is about rightful credit being basically stolen from a talented game director.
Jade definitely has some talent. Producing a game or a movie does take a level of skill so her experience shipping so many AC games is definitely a plus.

But overall, I agree with you on Patrice. He deserved most of the credit.
 

ManaByte

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Because this is a lie. He wasn't a game director, he was a creative director. He and she weren't 'the true creator of AC', 900 people worked on that game. In places like Ubisoft, there are 3 people in charge of a game: Producer (managing budget and hirings, managing the dev team to make sure gets their tasks done in time, solving blocker issues, etc), Product Manager (market data research, branding stuff, marketing and communications etc) and Creative Director (lore, world building, art style etc, sets the way to follow by designers and artists).

After they worked together all he released was a game with monkeys. She instead built and lead the studio and team what now is the 2nd biggest Ubisoft studio so she worked while she was there in many games like Splinter Cell Blacklist, the first two Watchdogs and The Division games, Rainbow Six Siege plus some FC, AC and many more. Then she left to create another studio for EA that did help on Star Wars Battlefront II as support team and made Star Wars Squadrons. Then she left to be VP of Google overviewing some small 3rd party exclusives and started to build a team to make in-house games but Google shut it down before they published their first game. That project and team she built there had to be good because in less than a month Sony signed it as 2nd party.

Ah we've found the Jade Raymond simp.

Her only credit before UbiSoft handed her credit for AC on a silver platter was one Sims game. Patrice was responsible for the successful reboots of Prince of Persia and because of that UbiSoft allowed him to create Assassin's Creed.

Jade Raymond being credited for "creating" Assassin's Creed is no different than someone having a career in this industry for licking a PSP.
 

Bartski

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They're developing and testing on laptops.
Their whole infra is on the cloud so they just vpn to an internal network and stream all dev apps to the remote home workstation where the laptop she mentioned is kind of a data relay.
It's normal practice these days in home office development, she said experience in google help them pushing this workflow
 
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yurinka

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but we all know which types Haven Studios are looking for, so the "diversity" is really not that diverse.
AAA games traditionally have a lot of people from many countries, skin colors, cultures, etc. There are LGTB people but are a small portion of people as they are in the whole society. In tech areas there are a less portion of women and in marketing & communications related ones there are more. But since tech positions are the big majority of these teams there's a small percentage of women (around 20% of the total). Now studios try to have more 'diversity' (meaning less heterosexual white cis males), but what they find to hire isn't very different of what they already got.

Ah we've found the Jade Raymond simp.

Her only credit before UbiSoft handed her credit for AC on a silver platter was one Sims game. Patrice was responsible for the successful reboots of Prince of Persia and because of that UbiSoft allowed him to create Assassin's Creed.

Jade Raymond being credited for "creating" Assassin's Creed is no different than someone having a career in this industry for licking a PSP.
Ah, we've found the uninformed hater who has no idea about Jade's and Patrice's careers and roles, and thinks that the work of a thousand people in a AAA is really made by the single guy who appears in some PR interviews, and thinks she can't be talented because she is hot.

As the producer of AC, Jade was in charge of the game development team, in the same way the brand or product manager was in charge of the marketing team. One of the guys of that development team managed by the producer is the creative director. They three report to the editorial team of Ubisoft, who set the overall corporate style, vision, workflow and guidelines for all the games and overviews and supports the production, product management and creative side of all their games.

With the corporate vision and guidelines, the product manager provides market research and player feedback to see what works in the market and what people wants, and chooses between different options pitched by the team after testing it with playears what it's going to work better in the market and sets sales goals, prepares marketing and communication campaigns etc. They are the ones of the fictional 'excel sheet' that according uninformed people mention in places like neogaf makes a game. For some reason people also thinks games aren't made by like a thousand people working during years, but with an excel sheet, and some even think by a single guy.

The producer gets a budget for the game, builds the team making hirings if needed and manages the game development team making sure they keep achieving the milestones with the available time, budget and resources they have, helping to solve issues between departments or blockers that may appear, etc. One of the persons of that gamedev team is the creative director, which is the guy in charge of let's say setting the vision the game design and art departments and choosing or approving stuff made by concept artists, writers or game designers.

Which doesn't mean he makes all that work, there are concept artists setting the art style, working on the environments and character designs, an art director who is in charge of the art, there are writers who write the lore and there are game designers working on the mechanics, level design etc. And obviusly the rest of he team implementing everything, testers testing stuff etc.

And all this development team is managed by the producer, not the creative director (which isn't the same as a game director). Patrice wasn't the game director of AC or Prince of Persia Sands of Time, he was he creative director. And he wasn't making whatever he wanted, the decisions of a creative director have to be agreed and greenlighted by the producer, the product manager and the editorial team, and the lore / art / mechanics / prototypes were designed and created by other people. He was another piece of the giant puzzle that is the development of a AAA game.

So to replace him was easy and with Jade and without him they had over a dozen AAA hits including new IPs like Watchdogs, The Division or For Honor or rebooting/refreshing series with games like Splinter Cell Blacklist or Rainbow Six Siege first at Ubi Montreal and later at Ubi Toronto, team build and lead by Jade before she left to create and lead Motive to work in games like Battlefront II or Star Wars Squadrons. She got hired at Ubi after being a producer at The Sims Online (which was pretty innovative and successful back then in 2002), and before that a programmer at Sony Online Entertainment R&D. Patrice instead, after working with Jade and this team all he released was a game with monkeys on it.

They worked in different roles but Jade was in a higher position and has a way longer list of big hits on her CV. And just to be clear, I know how they work there because I worked at Ubi for years, met personally both Jade and Patrice, I think both are very talented for their positions but never worked in their games.

Only 53 people. This game is probably 5 years away.
I assume they have been working for a year in preproduction with a smaller team, this size means they started to escalate it as they entered full production. Probably for this game they will double its size during the couple of years or so, and like in every AAA game around 90% of their staff will be in other offices of the publisher and in outsourcing studios. And yes, I assume they will release it in 4 or (more likely) 5 years from now.

But being a new IP, a non traditional blockbuster concept, a new team (even if most of the leads already worked together and are very experienced and talented), working for a new publisher and considering covid you could add another year on top.
 
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Pedro Motta

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Ah we've found the Jade Raymond simp.

Her only credit before UbiSoft handed her credit for AC on a silver platter was one Sims game. Patrice was responsible for the successful reboots of Prince of Persia and because of that UbiSoft allowed him to create Assassin's Creed.

Jade Raymond being credited for "creating" Assassin's Creed is no different than someone having a career in this industry for licking a PSP.
Why so much hate man? Feeling opressed by a woman more inteligent and successful than you?
 
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ManaByte

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Why so much hate man? Feeling opressed by a woman more inteligent and successful than you?

You obviously weren't around for that shitshow so I can understand you simping her. The Prince of Persia games were part of what made UbiSoft into what they are today and they flushed the person responsible for that down the toilet for what was basically virtue signaling.