Short presentation of yourself & what you do at Borealys Games?
I joined the studio as a Game Designer a little more than a year ago, but I’ve been working in the video game industry for the last 9 years. I studied in Computer Science and Computation Arts at Concordia University and I later met Louis-Félix (CEO) and Patric (Game Director) when I was a student at L’Université de Montréal in Game Design. They were also students in this program at the time, but I only began working with them at Borealys.
Since my arrival, I’ve done some level design work, but I’ve mainly dealt with Patric for the narrative design of the game and the logic behind the main and secondary quests. I’ve also had to be sure that what we’re doing matches the story of Mages of Mystralia’s author, Ed Greenwood. I had to write some additional dialogues and integrate all the texts. Part of my job is to make sure every character says the right thing at the right time. This makes it that it’s necessary for me to review the texts and make sure the players have enough information to advance in the game and understand the story without telling them too much. We want to add clues, but we don’t want the game to be too easy.
There are some tasks I find harder to do, like adding lines of small talk (optional dialogue in game) to the characters. That’s not my cup of tea in real life so it isn’t easy for me to write those types of dialogue. It can also be hard to know whether you can edit the author’s texts or not. However, I love this job because I’m a big fan of games with complex stories.
Can you talk a little bit about the story? Without spoilers, of course!
Yes and no! I can’t talk about the story itself, but I can explain how it was created. We sent our ideas and the primary elements that had to be in the game to Ed Greenwood. With that in mind, he wrote the story of Mystralia based on that. Afterwards, we integrated his story in the game and had to make sure our designs worked with the characters, the timeline and etc. Sometimes, we had pre-established regions and had to make some change in the texts, but we always made sure to have Ed Greenwood’s approval before making the final changes.
We would like to know more about Mages of Mystralia’s webcomic (by Brian Clevinger & Carey Pietsch) and your implication in this project.
I had to make sure Brian’s text and Carey’s drawing matched the story and the universe of the game. I also had to be sure there were no spoilers for the game! The magic used in the comic had to fit with the one in the game and with our spellcrafting system. I sent some reference pictures to Carey so her work wasn’t too different from our artistic direction. Besides, the art team at Borealys was very impressed by how Carey adapted her art to theirs. We’re very lucky to have the chance to work with two amazing artists and we hope we will continue to develop Mystralia’s story with them.
What made you fall in love with video games?
I’ve been playing video games for as long as I remember! I used to play Wheel of Fortune on an old DOS PC with a floppy disk and no computer mouse. I was very bad because it was in English. After that, my parents bought us a Sega Genesis. I was always gaming with my sister and my best friend. We loved to play all day long at games like Shining Force 2 and later Final Fantasy VII on PC. That’s the game that made me start loving video games more than I love manga. It’s only when I was a student in Game Design that I began to play other types games than RPGs! I started discovering different and inspiring game mechanics. I love looking for games with unique mechanics, such as Michigan Report From Hell.
What’s your opinion on the indie video game industry in Quebec?
It’s fantastic! There’s a lot of studios and a lot of good things are created! We also have a nice reputation worldwide. In Quebec, it’s possible to start a studio if you want and succeed. Since I work at Borealys, I play more indie games because we have a team that loves those and talks a lot about them. It’s also very interesting to see what other studios are making.
What game(s) are you currently playing?
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse (3DS), Raw Danger (PS2), Life is Strange (PS4), Silent Hill Downpour (PS2), but only with my sister, Pokemon Picross (3DS) and Persona 5 that I imported since it’s not yet sold in Canada ^^
What’s the first thing you do when you get in at work?
I drop my Nintendo 3DS and my cellphone on my desk. ☺
What does your desk looks like?
It’s a big mess! I have a pile of artbook that almost towers over my computer screens… and a lot of paper. I like to use writing to help me think about the game’s scenario. I’m also the only person in the studio with colored pencils and highlighters!
Hardcore or Casual gamer?
Hardcore! I have a PS4, PS3, PS2 English version, PS2 Japanese version, Xbox 360, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn Japanese version, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, PSP, Wii, Game Cube ^^
Consoles or PC?
Superheros or Anime?
Anime! But I prefer manga. I read more than I watch TV.