Interview Guillaume Danel.
In this new section, “the video game jobs”, I want to show that to create a game, it takes a lot of expertise, that there are many possible paths to get to work in this industry, and that it is composed of many different profiles.
Guillaume Danel is one of my former colleagues.
I want to talk to him today because I know that he wanted to work in the video game industry quite late and he did it. I think his background can inspire children, teenagers and students who aspire to join the industry.
Marc: Hello Guillaume! Could you please tell us what your current profession is?
Guillaume: Hi Marc!
Marc: And is this your first job in the video game?
M: What studies have you done?
G: After a scientific baccalaureate I did two years of preparatory class and then three years in computer engineering school and applied mathematics in Toulouse, France.
M: What has been your background in working in the video game industry?
G: I had a rather unusual background because although I was passionate about video games it had never occurred to me to make it my profession.
My graduate studies led me to a job as a developer in a service company for Airbus (Toulouse obliges) that I held for four years. Subsequently I went to Japan where I completely changed careers by becoming headhunter for foreign IT companies for five years.
During these years the programming started to really miss me and by chance a friend of mine started using Unity on his free time which made me want to try. I immediately fell in love with this software that allowed me to create (small) games on my own and express my creativity. Living a little far from my job I had time in transportation to learn how to use Unity and when those moments became the best moments of my day I realized that I had to try to make it my profession.
I moved to Montreal where there were a lot of development studios using Unity and I spent time improving my skills by creating several mobile games. When I felt ready I contacted several companies and it was iLLOGIKA who tried his luck with me despite my funny journey.
What does a typical day as a Lead Programmer (Unity) look like?
On a typical day I do some code review (checking the code of other people to see if everything is correct and possibly improve some points), I communicate with other leads (designer, art, etc.) if necessary to check what are the most priority tasks to develop and of course I also develop the tasks assigned to me.
What are the points you enjoy most when working in the industry?
My experience in the industry is limited to iLLOGIKA but what I appreciate most is the atmosphere. We are among video game enthusiasts so we all have a lot in common and everyone is in a good mood. Also in these times the fact that it is an industry that lends itself very well to work at home is really an opportunity and is very reassuring for the long term future.
What are the negatives when working in the industry?
The industry is unfortunately known for its crunch culture (working for many overtime hours for an extended period of weeks, months or years) and sometimes being a boys club so not always very inclusive. The experience I have is the opposite of all of this so I personally haven’t been confronted with anything negative.