Qui sait ce que cela signifie?
I really should update more often. In the more than two months since my last bout of writing compulsion, I've had my first credit on a released game, I've worked on a second, really awesome one, and I've moved to Paris to work with Ubisoft.
I suppose I should start with the first piece of news. Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm was released a few weeks ago for Xbox360 Live Arcade and on PC via Steam. This is my first credited release and what can aptly be described as a learning experience. The timeline was excruciatingly short, but I did get to work on everything, from gameplay, to AI, to frontend, to testing. I also think I hold the worldwide record for the level and game highscore that I got during final testing. I'll stick a screengrab up when I get my memory key back because I forgot it back in England.
After HTF shipped, I shimmied over to work on the Magic: The Gathering title for Wizards of the Coast. I can't actually say much about this because I'm still under an NDA etc., but it's really awesome and when it comes out, it's going to pwn everything on Live Arcade. Not to build it up much or anything, but this game will Change Your Life™.
Then I decided to ship myself over to Paris to work in the Ubisoft global headquarters, because I can. My actual job title is Gameplay Engineer, and unlike a binman calling himself a Waste Disposal Engineer or something, it's actually quite descriptive of the job. Some of my job tasks include:
- Working with existing titles on camera, controls, and character to make sure they make the grade. Some of the current team members are out in studios in Montreal and Shanghai to namedrop but a few
- Research current and future trends and see how they can be used for games
- Prototype demos and game ideas to see if they work. If they do, then they're put where developers can see them and use them
- Learn about and play current games and find out what makes them good
- Manage myself in terms of projects and timelines
- Crucify the French language
So far I've had a pretty cool first week. It's been a lot of fun and everyone at the office is pretty sound. One of the things everyone does when they come in, is go around and shake hands with everyone in the office. This may not sound like much, but I've never seen it done before, and it does lead to a pretty relaxed, informal atmosphere. Than and huge LAN games of course.
Paris itself is pretty cool - the weather at the minute is so hot that I find myself dreaming of the rain back home. I had my first wine (read whisky) and cheese party last night, and now my fridge is full of about 4/5 bottles of leftover wine and acres of cheese. Don't even get me started on the smell...
Some of the things I've learned in the last month or so, in no apparent order:
- Mysterious bruises can often be explained with some careful Facebooking
- Never give me your passport to keep safe
- My younger brother is extremely protective when it comes to my even younger sister
- Paris apparently has a GAA team
- Petite amie means girlfriend, petit ami means boyfriend
- Never come to Paris wearing a bright yellow t-shirt when it's Gay Pride marching week
- Strangers smiling at you are probably doing so because to laugh out loud would be rude
- Moving is made so much easier if you're not the one to lift the boxes up the stairs
- Moving is made so much easier when a decent source of proper milk is found
- Before deciding to take a "shortcut", decide if you really need that extra minute
- Cheese covered in charcoal doesn't seem to present a problem to the average French person
- If it smells like a dead chicken, bets are it probably tastes like one as well
- It gets marginally better if you eat it with wine, probably because you're getting drunker, but only if you like wine
- There's a reason why it's wine and cheese and not whiskey and cheese
- Burning your tongue is never a good idea, as will be repeatedly made apparently during the following week
- Never be cheeky with a French woman unless you're absolutely sure she doesn't speak English