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Rayman Origins: Ubisoft Montpellier Studio Tour

by Annette Gonzalez on May 10, 2011 at 06:00 AM

At age 17, Ubisoft luminary Michel Ancel conceptualized a character simple in design, but complex in ability. Ancel admittedly lacked the artistic chops to animate a fully figured being, thus the limbless hero was born. The game creator brought in a team of five to his home in southern France to complete the original 2D Rayman. As the team grew, they moved to an apartment to work on Rayman 2. Once the space was no longer big enough to house the staff, Ancel began a search for the perfect studio. This led to the discovery of a modest 400-year-old home located in a quiet neighborhood in the heart of Montpellier. Affectionately known by the team simply as “La Villa,” the humble abode became the birthplace of Jade and Pey’j from Beyond Good & Evil, King Kong’s video game adaptation, and the Rabbids. Eight years after Rayman’s last traditional console release, Hoodlum Havoc, La Villa is also where one of Ancel’s earliest creations will be reborn.

Enjoy the photographic studio tour filled with images from our trip to France. Check out the Montpellier team hard at work on Rayman Origins, never-before-seen concept art, and more. This is where the magic happens.

A side view of the studio

The Montpellier team is sectioned off into separate rooms for art, programming, QA, etc.

A colorful look at Rayman

Character art for Darktoons and Betilla


Clay creation used to conceptualize art

Another look at the team

Concept art for different characters and enemies in Rayman Origins

A closer look

Not sure if the art to the right will make it into the game...

Quick white board sketch

Rayman's origins. Concept art from the first three games in the series

Rayman holds the team together. Not bad considering his lack of biceps

For the full scoop on Rayman Origins, check out our six-page feature in issue 218 of Game Informer.