— 20 September 2021 | Portrait
12 Devs in 12 months: Julien Galloudec
Even if our 15th anniversary is behind us, we still have a bunch of amazing employees that deserve to be known. That’s why we’re starting the second edition of 12 Devs in 12 Months. Until March 2022, you’ll get to meet 12 new talented and friendly members of our team.
This month, we’re introducing you to JULIEN GALLOUDEC, Game director, who has been with us for 5 years.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN A GIF.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY UBI?
It’s not easy to stop at one memory, but the summer I spent in Montreal helping finish Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is high on the list. It was one of my first experiences in the heart of a large-scale game production, and being involved in the development process.
I was blown away by the energy that comes from a team working on a thousand things while bringing it all together into one incredible game experience. It was an amazing experience in terms of the people I met, the things I learned, and the end result.
WHAT LED YOU TO THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY?
My fascination for the medium. I discovered video games at a very young age, playing on an Atari ST full of games, most of which were well above my level. But even if I didn’t always understand what I was playing, I was fascinated by this form of entertainment. The interactivity, the challenge, the worlds to explore, the immersion… it hooked me right away, and never let go.
Later, when I got to the age where people start asking you “what do you want to do when you grow up” I naturally answered “make video games”. Because I already knew that it was not only the desire to play, but especially the desire to contribute to the creation of these playful experiences.
I then followed this dream. By continuing to play of course, but also by being interested in how games were made. This later led me to study Game Design and Production, and then here!
WHAT WAS THE BEST PROJECT YOU WORKED ON?
Another tough question! I’m very proud of what we’ve done with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which has been an odyssey for us as much as it has been for the players. And I’m very proud of that game. But I think Immortals Fenyx Rising has taken us even further as a team. All the experience we gained on Odyssey made us even more efficient and confident to go out and try new things.
It was an incredible adventure as a developer, where I saw the incredible power of a team that knows how to work together and masters its subject. The icing on the cake is the creation of a new game experience!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WORKING FROM HOME? WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST?
I’m personally not a big fan of telecommuting. What I like about game creation is the emulation of different talents and professions, the interaction between people – including the unexpected interactions, which will give birth to an idea or a breakthrough.
Emulation is more difficult in telecommuting. Not impossible, but less spontaneous.
The part I like the most is probably to see how much my cat sleeps, whether I’m there or not!
IF YOU HAD ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO DO THE SAME JOB AS YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Work to understand what elements constitute a game, how they can impact the experience, and why.
It means going beyond “play” and trying to get through the looking glass. It also means being interested in a multitude of topics. Being curious to understand, without becoming an expert in everything, but having a good level of understanding of the whole.
And then it’s always asking yourself about the relevance, the impact and the purpose of what’s being put into the game – how it enhances or enriches the game experience, whether it’s through a mechanic, a challenge or an emotion.
WHICH COLLEAGUE HAS MARKED YOU IN THE LAST YEAR AND WHY?
Definitely another difficult choice! I work with a lot of people, all of whom have an impact on my day-to-day vision or thinking.
But if I had to choose one, I would say Marc Brassard with whom I worked on the IFR DLCs. He was one of the people in charge of the art side and was really a driving force, especially on the last DLC which was Top Down and a whole new way of perceiving things, with the impact that can have on the Art.
He attacked these subjects without fear, and worked with the team to find solutions and build a new recipe. Many thanks to him!
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT OUTSIDE OF WORK?
This won’t surprise many people, but video games. Beyond “my work” it remains one of my main passions. I play a lot of different games. Always curious to try new experiences and adventures.
But I’m also a big Star Wars fan and play a lot of X-Wings miniature game – a fusion between chess and Magic, with Star Wars ships. I play competitively, and this year I’m trying to rank in world competitions.
WHAT DID WORK FROM HOME ALLOWED YOU TO DISCOVER ABOUT YOURSELF?
That I love the energy of a group and the unpredictability that comes with it. It prevents routine and keeps my energy level up.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST ABOUT GOING BACK TO THE STUDIO?
Cookies Wednesdays! A habit I got into with the team on Immortals Fenyx Rising. Every Wednesday, after the lunch break, I bring cookies for the floor, and I send an email with a trailer marking the week a small homemade Meme made with cookies.
This has become a real ritual and a special moment for the team, which I can’t wait to see again.
[GUYLAINE’S QUESTION] IF YOU COULD MEET SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE (ALIVE OR DEAD), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
You have definitely tested my ability to choose from too many good things!
If I had to pick just one, I think I would choose Walt Disney. Whether you like what he created or not, he was a visionary like few others. Someone who had a vision, not just in his field, but for everything around him. And a passion for creating and pushing boundaries.
I would have loved to have discussed all this with him.
WHAT QUESTION WOULD YOU ASK THE NEXT #12DEVSEN12MONTH PARTICIPANT?
What was the last film that made an impression on you and why?