Ubisoft has been working on some smaller-scale development titles like Child of Light. Ubisoft director Patrick Plourde talks about working on the smaller title in a house build on big budget AAA titles.
Child of Light will use Ubi-Art Framework, the same engine that powered games like Rayman Legends, to bring drawings to life and "make a game that is a playable painting." While games like Final Fantasy VI was inspired by the artist artwork and transferred to pixilated form, Ubi-Art Framwork allows the original art to be used and manipulated directly in game.
Plourde described Child of Light's gameplay as a combination between Limbo and Final Fantasy VI with a side-scrolling gameplay and turn-based battles. The game's story centers on the coming-of-age tale of a young women.
Plourde also explained some of the challenges with marketing any game. In those respects Child of Light will be download only, "With digital, there's no shelf space to fight over, and that is the crux of the battle in publishing." It also will not be free to play, side-stepping most buzzwords usually associated with projects like this.
Child of Light will the smallest game to come out of Ubisoft, but creating an indie-like title in a big game house has its advantages, the team of about 36 has a lot of support and tools that wouldn't be available without them.
Could this be the first step in big gaming companies pulling more indie developers under their wings and embracing the differences that they offer, we hope so.