Tom Clancy's The Division 2: Warlords of New York
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online action role-playing video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. Warlords of New York is a narrative expansion to the base game and got shipped on 2nd of March in 2020 for PC, XBOX ONE, PS4, and Stadia.
I worked in the AI/NPC team as a Junior Gameplay Programmer Intern during my internship period which was between Augustus 2019 and June 2020. Massive Entertainment gave me the opportunity to work on some Title Updates for The Division 2 and on the Warlords of New York expansion. This included some feature development work and periods of bug-fixing. This expansion is my first AAA commercial product that I have been a part of and help ship.
Working in the AI/NPC team means that we have ownership of all of the Non-Playable-Characters in the game, friendly or foe. This brings a lot of responsibilities as they are one of the main points of interaction in the world for players.
Having joined The Division 2 project post-launch meant that most systems are in place already. Most of my work involved either bug-fixing various existing issues or some smaller feature or polish work for AI systems and behaviours. I also have been there to support Level Design with NPC issues/tasks for their missions. Working on the codebase & Behaviour Tree systems was quite an interesting challenge, especially since this was all done in a custom C++ engine called Snowdrop which I haven’t worked on before.
This internship was quite an experience, it brought many new things with it and I got to learn quite a bit by working at a studio such as Massive/Ubisoft.
My Main Contributions
To re-iterate, I worked on the AI/NPC team, which means that I touched & worked on AI/NPC Features and Systems. The base game had already launched, so a large chunk of the work that I did was for post-launch Title Updates, which involved looking into (live) bugs and crashes. However, as for the Warlords of New York expansion, I had done some feature work as well.
One of my main contribution points was the close collaboration with Level Design regarding NPCs work for missions. Mainly for the intro mission of Warlords of New York, which features a cooperative NPC - Kelso. She guides and fights with the player throughout the mission alongside the player and talks about New York. There was some feature work to be done for this to get the mission to get it to the state that it is in now. And also Level Design code support, which involved me having to dive into mission scripts.
Besides the intro mission, I had also helped out with some of the other missions in WoNY and for the TU6 Pentagon Rooftop mission.
During the production of the expansion, I have also been closely involved in various polishing tasks regarding NPCs. This covered the full aspect of NPC Development, including iteration on AI Behaviours, implementing fixes or improvements to core NPC Systems, and polishing of NPC Animation and Locomotion. (I had also looked into polishing tasks for non-NPC systems.)