Working for one of the largest video game companies in the world is a pretty big deal. Leading a team that helped the company to earn a spot on Apple’s Best of 2019 list is a dream come true.
“It’s surreal at times, seeing your name followed by Ubisoft in the email address,” says Keegan Dillman, a Truro Campus grad and Quality Control Lead for Ubisoft Halifax. “I'm so happy to be where I am and doing what I do.”
Dedicated entirely to mobile development, Ubisoft Halifax’s team of more than 75 talented professionals develops titles for smartphones and tablets exclusively. One of the team’s most recent app accomplishments — Assassin’s Creed Rebellion — is generating a buzz internationally for putting a twist on an established game genre. In addition to Apple, the game was also named one of Google’s Best Innovative Games of 2019 and has been featured in all major gaming magazines.
“The entire Assassin’s Creed Rebellion Team worked very hard to help bring that award to the office,” says Keegan who manages a group of nine who uncover issues and find solutions before Ubisoft’s apps hit the market. “The QC team assigned to this project did such great work. I'm very proud of what they've accomplished.”
Keegan explains that as a Quality Control Lead, his role is largely about people. While there are a number of talented Game Development graduates at the company, it’s his IT Web Programming that’s allowed him to carve out his unique niche.
“My technical education gave me the ability to draw on what I know about programming to talk to the developers about issues that might arise. The soft skills I gained in the project management and business courses help me bridge the gap between the technical and non-technical stakeholders - like between production and art.”
He adds, “These skills are always required no matter where you are.”
An unusual route
As a videogame buff, Keegan says he wanted to work in video games from a very young age. However, it wasn’t until he enrolled in a Computer Programing course in high school that he truly began to envision a future in the industry.
“Hearing things being explained logically and reducing problems down to simple binary and logical concepts blew my teenage mind,” he says. “From there, I talked to people who worked even remotely close to the field and determined that I wanted to go to NSCC.”
Keegan says that his path to Ubisoft after that was anything but direct.
“I think the traditional view of someone's career is that they stick to a direct path, but I've navigated my way almost every way but directly. I left my program for a time, went back, switched career tracks and took a chance on a short-term contract with a really big company.”
The latter being the contract with Ubisoft Halifax that’s now become a fulltime gig.
“I’ve taken an unusual route to where I am, but I've learned it's important to take opportunities when they’re available. Work hard and be dedicated to what you do. And, while working hard alongside people comes with the territory, working with those people is what’s really important. Make friends, laugh and be engaged with what you do."