Here is the second article of our “Meet the team” series that allows you to know more about each member of our team. Today, Guillaume Vidal, Lead Programmer of Draw Me A Pixel, answers a few questions about his work. Have a good read!
What is your professional background?
I have a rather classical and general training as a computer engineer but video game development has been with me since high school. My first significant experience was at Coktel Studios in Paris where I developed educational games. I’ve been working at several video game studios since then, with closures and third-party projects that were not always creative but often stressful. So I took the opportunity twice to emancipate myself and to work independently with a few people (Pascal and Sophie) that I liked and who shared the same will. After a first failure, followed by a less playful but more rewarding personal incursion, we tried our luck together on the basis of this very original project.
What is your job and can you describe your role within the team?
Officially I’m a Lead Programmer but in such a small team, we’ll say that I’m the technical referent and the only developer. My activities range from animated meetings around the presentation and validation of the game design, to the technological watch and the choice of tools and hardware used by the company, as well as some customer support. But most of my time is spent on the development tools and on programming alone. Later on when the team grows, I expect to do a bit more management and planning.
What were your contributions to There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension?
On TING I was in charge of transcribing and bringing to life all the game specifications defined by Pascal. From the different graphic, sound and textual resources, I create the movement, the interactions, the sequences of actions and events that unfold the narrative. I design the different systems that respond to a particular technical problem such as being able to play videos without interruption or to synchronize a gameplay phase with the music, but also all the systems more common to the development of a video game such as saving, control management or localization.
Finally, I was also in charge of porting the game to mobile platforms and Nintendo Switch.
What did you like to do/what did you like to do the least?
TING is a game that brings a lot of variety in its development even under the guise of a point&click and that’s its appeal. Each scene has its own challenges and it’s exciting. The counterpart is that it is very difficult to think in terms of genericity, since you can always do things that are out of the ordinary, such as playing with elements of the interface.
But the least interesting part of the game is obviously the debugging phase which puts you in front of your own mistakes and sometimes requires you to test again and again certain game phases to the point of not enjoying them anymore.
What is your favorite moment in the game and why?
The game is full of great moments. I could talk about the musical part of chapter 5 with the rap and especially Gigi’s song but I wouldn’t be very original because I know that it was well liked.
But in the end I have a lot of affection for the encounter with Game at the very beginning because it is the first contact we have with the game, it is well paced and it brings fun by this paradoxical struggle to have the possibility to play.
Finally, what are your favorite video games?
I have a rather heterogeneous taste. I like “great” games (be careful, I didn’t necessarily say AAA) which know how to catch me by a clever alchemy between immersive universe, richness of the narration and game mechanics. So in no particular order we can find games like Dragon Age: Origins, Hollow Knight, Elex, Death Stranding or even The Secret of Monkey Island for the older ones, but there are so many others.