Sunday, January 7, 2018

Final Notes: MIGS 17

Raphael Colantonio Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017
FRANÇAIS fonction traduction à gauche

As we all know, life enjoys playing with our plans. I had recorded four delightful interviews with the most interesting people but before I could complete my edit, the interviews were lost. All four interviews up in smoke! 

However, our conversations were so interesting I can share the main features of our dialogues anyway.

Raphael Colantonio 
On Monday December 11, 2017 I had an appointment to speak with Raphael Colantonio who is currently consultant in game Design. He was President and Co-Creative Director of Arkane Studios until September 2017. Raphael founded Arkane studios in 1999 in Lyon, France and expanded to Austin, Texas in 2005. In 2010, he sold the studio to ZeniMax Media, Inc. He directed Prey (PC/XboxOne/PS4), co-directed Dishonored (PC/Xbox360/PS3), Directed Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (PC), and directed Arx Fatalis (PC)
A few images from Dishonored & Prey, two remarkable games from Arkane Studios
He had just completed a full day, from 9 AM to 5 PM, Master Class on using inner narrations as source material to create game stories. What is remarkable about his games is their complexity. The scenes are well executed and the characters rich and complex. I compared Dishonored and Prey and found that in the first the player must combat a dystopian society where the enemies are powerful and relentless whereas in Prey the enemies appear to me like inner monsters each of us must constantly grapple with. Colantonio is currently on an undetermined sabbatical when it comes to creating a new game. So I asked him to tell us the most important advice he would give to a would-be game developer. His answer reminded me of what famed author J.K. Rowling said about how she created the Harry Potter series. "First, work out all the details of the story you want to transmit: who is the hero, who are the adversaries, who are the friends. Where is the story unfolding, when. Then flesh it out."

Julien Charlebois Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017

Julien Charlebois

The next day I met up with Julien Charlebois a who is Head of Production of Framestore VR Studio’s newest post in Montreal. He graduated from École Polytechnique de Montréal with a degree in Software Engineering before acquiring a degree in management. His experience at EA Mobile is what led him to his interest in game development.

He then worked at Hibernum Creations on projects like Fruit Ninja Kinect, Bruce Lee: Enter the Game, and Saber's Edge. Now his main concern is the creation of complex VR Games.
Very exciting stuff!
One of the projects from Framestore
is Fantastic Beasts and where to
find them

Indeed there was a lot of VR interactive games being sampled in the exhibitor's hall and it was AWESOME!!!

Frédéric Bohn
Isabella Pedrosa with Frédérick Bohm Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017 
Frédéric Bohn has been in Montreal for the past few years developing the game Save Your Nuts at his company Triple Scale Games.

He works with two associates and they are part of the many independent game designers that compete for financing during MIGS. The premise of the game is the endless combat between dogs and squirrels. In this case, it is a chase for  nuts.
They have a presentation on Bright Locker and their intent is to share 40% of the crowdfunding funds with a the SPCA

Johannes Saam 

Johannes Saam Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017 
We had such a great wide ranging profound conversation it filled me with hope to realize that we can still meet people who have deep thoughts about life and others. It just evolved organically.

He is first a self-taught programmer who then studied at SAE Institute. He began his career at Scanline VFX in Munich. He then went to Rising Sun Pictures to work on these following films: Legend of the Guardians, Mad Max 4, Thor, Captain America - The First Avenger, Prometheus, 300 Rise of an EmpireExodus: God and Kings. 

His accomplishments are remarkable: « Among many achievements and honors, Johannes has a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his development, prototyping and promotion of technologies and workflows for Deep Compositing, six Siggraph showcases and three animago AWARDs. He’s a frequent speaker within the industry at events such as Digital Hollywood, VRLA and LA Games Conference. » 

We spoke about human life, about the disturbing fact that we have become accustomed to seeing homeless people, how are we going to deal with ecology for our children, he has a three year old son. In the end, he concluded our conversation with the perfect thought: « For me, I am always mindful of treating others as I myself want to be treated. This helps me find my moral compass in this rapidly evolving world. »

He now lives and works as Senior Creative Developer for Framestore in Los Angeles. 

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