“If I worked for a painter, I’d be the brushmaker”: Meet Tristan Marrec

Over the past five years, Ubisoft Winnipeg has worked on iconic franchises like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed. The studio has developed its own cutting-edge tools and, most importantly, has assembled a team of creative talents. Together, they have taken Ubisoft Winnipeg to new heights. 


The team is a mix of homegrown Manitoba talent and imports from Toronto, Montreal, and even from the other side of the Atlantic. 

Take Tristan Marrec, for example. Driven by wanderlust and a desire to join a unique team, he travelled thousands of miles to be part of the Ubisoft Winnipeg experience. 

For the past two years, Tristan has been a 3D programmer at the studio in Manitoba. When asked what brought him to Winnipeg, the twenty-something developer doesn’t mince words. “I was itching to get out of France and find a job abroad immediately after finishing my studies. I’m young, and now is my chance to try new things,” he says straight up. 


Pandemic woes 

Tristan grew up, studied, and basically spent his entire life in Toulouse. But he was ready for change of scenery. While completing his master’s in Computer Graphics at Paul Sabatier University, he attempted to land a research internship in computer graphics for fluid simulation in Tokyo, Japan, no less! 

But then COVID-19 hit and completely changed his plans. 

“Japan wasn’t accepting foreigners at the time due to COVID-19… so I ended up doing my internship remotely,” he recalls. “Lockdown was in full swing in France, so I worked from my bedroom. Let’s just say it was not at all what I had in mind!” 

Tristan spent another six months in Toulouse, completing his studies from home while also dealing with the odd hours of his Japanese internship. But this didn’t affect his appetite for adventure. Once he graduated, he got right back to looking for an opportunity overseas. 

He applied for a job in Canada… at Ubisoft Winnipeg—and he nailed it! 


“In the end, I had to choose between a job in Germany or Winnipeg. Germany felt closer to French culture, so I opted for Winnipeg, which is quite different,” he explains. 

One transatlantic flight later and Tristan was ready to begin his professional journey in Winnipeg as a 3D programmer. 

He barely landed in North America when one of his preconceptions about Canada proved true: “Yes, Canadians are really friendly!” 

Tristan’s first impression was spot on. One of his new Ubisoft Winnipeg colleagues even came to the airport to was greet him, helped him settle into his temporary accommodations, and even found his missing luggage. The whole nine yards! 

And the support didn’t stop there. When he started working at the studio, everyone was going out of their way to help. 

“Anytime I had a question, people were there to help! I felt really welcomed, and everyone was really nice to me. I had colleagues who even gave me a lift to pick up some furniture since I didn’t have wheels. They also lent me a hand with sorting out immigration issues,” he adds. 


A studio in which to learn and grow 

Fresh out of school, Tristan also got a hand in learning his job as a 3D programmer… in his mother tongue! 

“I lucked out: there was a Swiss 3D programmer who spoke French. It helped me ease into using English every day,” he explains. 


Now, as the only person in this role at Winnipeg, he is the go-to guy for 3D programming at the studio. He collaborates with both local team members and folks in Montreal. 

So how does he describe his job to those who don’t know it? In his view, a 3D programmer is like someone who crafts tools and supplies for artists! 

“If I worked for a painter, I’d be the brushmaker. I build tools to help artists. I’m the one who programs how things appear on the screen. I give my colleagues what they need to make the assets look good, but I’m not the one who actually makes them look good,” Tristan explains with a laugh. 

It’s a role he’s been honing for over two years on the same project at the studio. “It’s a great way for me to dig deep into the work,” Tristan says with a laugh. 

And all in an environment that he considers perfect for learning and growing. 

“The people are cool, and the workspace is chill. I don’t really feel pressured. It’s easy to chat with colleagues,” he adds. 


He also highlights the human scale of the studio, which he sees as a major plus and a cornerstone of the studio’s culture. 

“It’s a friendly workplace culture. We have big in-person meetings with the whole studio. It’s like its own little village where everyone knows each other,” Tristan asserts. 


Feeling at home in Winnipeg 

And what about Winnipeg itself? After all, when you move to another continent, you want to feel comfy in your new city! 

Luckily, Tristan found his bearings fast… even if the “big cars, wide streets, and fast-food chains” are dead giveaways he’s in North America. 

“When I first got here, I felt like I was in a movie!” he chuckles. 


Two years later, the developer says he feels at home in Winnipeg, and the culture shock wasn’t too harsh. He’s stoked about the nature right in the heart of the city, the variety of restaurants, and the vibrant French community in Manitoba’s capital. 

Even the Canadian winter was less harsh than he’d feared! 

“People had me scared, but it wasn’t that bad! Layer up, and you’re good to go. Even at -30 degrees Celsius, my girlfriend and I could take a 30-minute walk outside. I’m surprised at how well we manage,” Tristan says with a grin. 


Since landing in 2022, he’s also built a social circle in Winnipeg, especially with his Ubisoft colleagues, hitting up game bars, dining out, and even boxing during lunch. 

In short, he feels right at home in his new city (and studio!) of choice. And while the call of adventure still beckons, for now, his journey at Ubisoft Winnipeg and the North American landscapes keep answering back. 


Feeling inspired to join our team? Check out our job openings!