Around my past
As a lot of the actual developers did, I started playing video game at my youngest age and spent a lot of time on the old school games such as Maniac Mansion, Another World, Battle Isle, Dune, Wolfenstein 3D or even Bubble Bobble ; I tried myself with coding in BASIC language, but never did anything serious in those early ages.
My biggest luck was to have two grand brothers who tried level design with Doom 2, using DCK or DoomEdit ; I followed them, and did my first levels ever, it was my first step in the level designing. I didn't know at that time that i was going to have a few more.
It's only with Quake 3 Arena, released in 1999, that I started more serious level design, I was older and ready to learn all by myself (though it's still my brothers who launched me, once again) joining the Quake 3 World Community and their Level Editing forum where I met many people who taught me all the basics as well as some advanced notions ; this is there that everything started for me.
I spent some time making maps, learning various processions, talking with theses experienced people ; nowadays, many of them are working for famous companies such as Splash Damage, Raven Software, 3DRealms or Environment Software, I wish them to keep their position or to make headway.
One day, I received a mail from Lee Vermeulen, from Alientrap Software, he wanted me to join his team as a level designer, for their game, Nexuiz.
Of course, as anyone would have do, I accepted ; It was my first team ever, we were in 2001.
Nexuiz is a 3D Deathmatch game, Vermeulen wanted it to looks like Quake, but it finally looks like Unreal Tournament, first of the sequel ; however, it works with an advanced 3D engine made by Forest Hale, this engine supported the new generation features like normal mapping, real time lighting and dynamic shadows, it was a real pleasure to discover theses features before a lot of people (We are around 2002) who are still waiting for Doom 3 to discover real time shadow casting. Of course, we were not as skilled as the Id Software level designers, but we were still having fun making maps and playing around with lighting and shadows !
Finally, Nexuiz has been released after Doom 3 since the first version was available for download the May 31st 2005. I was disappointed with that late release, and found that the team organization wasn't good, no milestone, no defined goals, just make maps and we will add them to the final game if they works with... It's not the way I expect a game development to happens. So when i saw that Zymotic, the new project, was heading the same way, I left the team and joined a french team : Requiem Team, which was working on a remake of the famous game : Requiem Avenging Angel ; this remake was going to be a Total Conversion Mod for Quake 4. It was a really up and coming project and the guys their had the skills to carry on the large amount of work there is to achieve. I was the Project Leader and Lead Level Designer on this project but unfortunately I have to slacken my activity on the project to focus on my studies...
As I stated on my home page, I am now preparing a Ph.D in Sciences and Technology of Arts (with a specialisation in Artificial Intelligence).
Separately, I practice a lot of sport, especially fighting sport and martial arts. First started with Judo & Ju-Jitsu at the age of 7, and then, once I've been older I oriented myself on Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Grappling.
Now I am an instructor in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and I practice fighting following the M.M.A way. Using echniques from any discipline, just taking what I think is good. My only goal being : to progress.
Here is a list of some of the games which blazed me the most, all along the years, from the oldest ones to the most recent. > 1988
L'Arche du Capitaine Blood
"L'Arche du Capitaine Blood
", Captain Blood in english, is one of the greatest game i ever played, and also one of the oldest.
It's a french video game released in 1988 in the one, the titular character is a video game designer developing a new video game about aliens and space travel. While testing for the first time his new project, he becomes warped inside the spaceship of the very game he had designed.
During the process he has been duplicated into 30 clones which are taking is vital fluid, he must find them and destroy them. When the game begins, only five clones are remaining, but Blood as only a few hours left to destroy them before he gets himself transformed into a machine.
To find them, the player must speak to various aliens and gain their trust. Communication with aliens occurs via an icon-based interface known as UPCOM. This consists of around 150 icons, each representing a different concept. As each alien race discovered speaks its own language and reacts differently, the player must learn to negotiate using these UPCOM concepts in a style that suits the races.
We are in 2008 and I am still playing this game on time to time. > 1988
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders Zak McKracken
is the third game in the famous LucasArts adventure game series (first one is Labyrinth) and the second one to use the outstanding SCUMM engine.
In the game, you will follow four different characters known as Zak McKracken, a writer for a tabloid newspaper, Annie Larris, a freelance scientist and Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two students ; in their attempt to prevent aliens, who have infiltrated society in the guise of a phone company, from slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth using dial tones. The game is pretty humorist and fancy, I spent much time on it, but, shame on me, because of my young age, I never finished it. Usually, I finish old games using DosBox or a Dos Virtual Machine, but I don't know why, I never took the time to finish this one. I add it on my todo list right now. > 1989
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
is the fourth adventure game released by LucasArts, the whole game is based on the film, from the story, to the overall ambiance and humor ; also, it is one of the first adventure game that can be completed in several different ways.
It is probably on of the best adventure game ever, in my humble opinion and liking. > 1989
Les Voyageurs du temps : La menace Les Voyageurs du temps : La menace
(Future Wars : Time travelers in English) is an old adventure game developed by Delphine Software, its atmosphere wasn't as good as the LucasArt games and the game had many different issues such as being blocked 10 minutes before the end of the game because you forgot to do something 10 minutes after the beginning of the game. But, it's the game with the one I discovered adventure game in the point'n click way. It was a bit difficult and I was too young to finish it, I only finished it some years ago when I discovered the DosBox magics ; but my brothers did it while I was just looking at them, trying to understand the story and the game mechanics. It was a good game, not the best one for this era, but it marked it yet. > 1989
Prince of Persia
One hour is enough to finish this one, but we would be play Prince of Persia
a lot more. First game to use rotoscoping, first fights with sword instead of banana or jump on his head ; it's the only one platform game I like to play. It's mechanics aren't too annoying and can be passed with a few try. Animations are smooth and looks pretty real, thanks to rotoscoping. > 1989
Who doesn't know SimCity
? first of the sequel, it was also my first simulation and building game, and the first game by Will Wright too. The objective of the game is of course, to build a whole city and to manage many its aspects, such as electricity, crime, pollution, traffic, taxes, commercials zones, industries, residences and even to face disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or even monsters... > 1989
I belive Populous
is the first God Game, I've never heard of any before. It has a very peculiar atmosphere, the screen wasn't big, many things everywhere, was a bit hard to understand the way to play. But once you got it, you can play it for hours. > 1990
is an amazing game, you have to play it only to round of your video game culture. It is, once again, a LucasArt game, based on SCUMM engine, etc... But, the main difference is on the gameplay : the player has no possible direct action but only a magic distaff that he can use to play tunes, each one is a specific spell such as "open" "fire" "gold" and many more. Casting spell, the player will be able to interact with the different items in the environment.
Graphic designs are fantasy and various all along the game scenes and levels. It's a fairy visual atmosphere with a poetic sound track which make the game a "must have". > 1990
The Secret of Monkey Island > 1991
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Hey ! The Secret of Monkey Island
! Its, for me, the best adventure game ever with it's sequel : Monkey Island 2 ; they are both memorable for their witty humor and unforeseen jokes and tricks along the game. Sound track is still a pleasure to listen at, and graphics, without being the best ever seen, were pretty good for the epoch.
Wikipedia says : "The game is still considered very high quality with contemporary reviewers scoring the game highly. Monkey Island 2 is often cited as one of the greats in the point-and-click genre, which stands up well against modern adventure game titles."
Which isn't too bad for a 1991 game... > 1992
is a very specific game, because it is the first one I know, to blend into an adventure game both economic and military strategies ; Along the game, seen always in first person through Paul Atreides, you have to manage and balance this two aspects of the game : harvesting spice for the emperor and fighting and defending against the Harkonnen invasion. > 1992
Here we go, it's there... Wolfenstein 3D
One of the first person shooter after Catacomb 3D and Hoover Tank ; But the first one to left his name in the list of greatest video game of all times.
Amazing graphics with real time animation, action, firearms, shots, corpses and evil guys to kill. here is the formula used in Wolf3D, and it worked.
And the FPS fundamentals that are still used in todays FPS were, at first, created in 1992 with Wolfenstein 3D. > 1992
Dune II : The Building of a Dynasty
We are now talking about Dune II
, the real time strategy game that defined most of the standards for this type of game: technology tree for units and buildings, resources, defenses... Unfortunately, the first version isn't easily playable now because we've get used to multiple selection and it wasn't possible with Dune 2 where you have to command each unit one by one, it can be really disappointing now. Anyaway, this is probably one of the game I played the most. > 1993
The only game which has been the cause of decreased productivity in business the year following it's release.
- "Doom became a major problem at workplaces, both occupying the time of employees and clogging computer networks with traffic caused by deathmatches"
- "Intel, Lotus Development and Carnegie Mellon University are among many organizations reported to form policies specifically disallowing Doom-playing during work hours."
- "At the Microsoft campus, Doom was by one account equal to a religious phenomenon."
Doom is the most famous FPS ever and one of the greatest PC video game ever released.
But keep in mind that it only reuse all the fundamentals used in Wolfenstein 3D and simply enhance them : better graphics, more weapons, better enemies, longer game, horrific ambiance...
It is widely recognized for pioneering immersive 3D graphics, networked multiplayer gaming on the PC platform, and support for custom expansions. > 1994
Doom II : Hell on Earth
Well, it's not too late... It is with Doom II
that I started level designing, working on DCK which was a really buggy tool !
Doom II was the worthy sequel to Doom, I find it better, speeder, with more action and better enemies such as the Mancubus or the Arch-Vile !
The game technology is the same than in Doom, there is just more assets and new levels. Also, Id added the Super Shotgun weapon, unforgettable reloading sound...
However, Doom 2 is the game that launched me in the video game development for the first time ; okay, it is an heavy violent game ; I admit it is not required to have an outstanding IQ to play it and to finish it. But, it has an amazing technology which makes it one of the most interesting and customizable game, in 1994 of course. That's why I spent so much time with it, that's why there is many people still spending time with it, customizing, optimizing, making new versions, in 3D, with new technologies, making remakes using last engines, etc... > 1995
The Need For Speed
"The Need For Speed
" is a great race game, cops, speed sensation, open tracks, various graphic theme. The first race game I seriously played after Jaguar on Amiga. I then played all Need For Speed games, I think the best were the third and fourth opus. > 1996
Command And Conquer : Red Alert
Dune 2 was the first of the kind, C&C made RTS one of the most popular type of game, C&C Red Alert is the one which really grabbed me in. It was a new kind of game for me, with thoses movies between missions, and also the perspective of another WWII. Sound track added a lot to the immersion as well as sfx and graphics quality. Westwood was at it's apogee. > 1996
Here we go, here it is. Quake, first of the name. The new generation of game in 3D. A new kind of graphic engine, a kind i have been working on for years. For me, Quake is more of a 3DEngine than a game. Of course the game is great, amazing multiplayer over the Internet, great bosses, weapons, etc... But it's nothing in comparison to the 3Dengine.Have a look here if you do not see what I am talking about > 1997
In Dungeon Keeper, you are the incarnation of evil, you control minions of trolls, dragons, demons, spiders, bugs, and other orcs or tentacles ; you have to dig caverns and lair for them, then, rush over the good guys, and slaughter them all.
Despite this extremely violent description, Dungeon Keeper is a game full of humor and irony about what is good, and what is bad.
Dungeon Keeper 2 was a good game too, but, i prefer the first one. I think huge dungeons are better than the small ones we lead in DK2, and that we must be able to control as much creatures as we want, and not a weird limit that make any creature too precious for a simple servant.
Mana max and growth limitation is another handicap in the game. I am against all kind of limitations in game. > 1999
Quake III Arena
With Quake 3, I seriously started mapping and customizing games. Thanks Id for this game and for the way you make your game so easy to modify, to look inside, to study, and to understand the way games works.
As well as Quake, Quake 3 isn't only a great game, it's also an amazing 3D Engine.
Ho, i almost forgot : I Love My Q3map2 ! Thanks for it Ydnar. > 2000 & further
Into modern games, I do not find games that please me as much as old ones did. I spent last 6 years on mapping and video game development.
though, the following games were pretty good in my humble opinion :Hitman SerieCrysis
=> great graphics, I love great graphics.S.T.A.L.K.E.R
=> First russian game i had my hands on. I'll buy Clear Sky too.Black & White
=> Populous is back !Test Drive Unlimited
=> Unfortunately the speed sensation is too low.The Elder Scroll (Morrowind & Oblivion)
=> good games, I am still playing Oblivion, this is a really immersing game.