I was born on year 1988, in Lille, France, a nice metropolitan city that will always hold a special place in my heart. At that time my father worked for one of the national TV channels, editing video sequences for the news, while my mother worked in a public library. Both of them followed cinema studies and shared an uncommon love for literature.
“When you began talking it became impossible to stop you!” my mother once told me.
It’s true that as a little child I talked a lot, no matter someone listened to me or not. In kid’s garden I was often found alone in a corner of the court, telling the stories coming to my mind. While my mother worried a bit the carers did enjoy my vocabulary and imagination.
Regarding the other children I spent a lot of time observing them to understand why they could be so nice, mean or scorning with each other. As a four-year old kid one of my favorite games was to look at other children and try to picture what could be seen from their point of view.
We all have a special vision of the world, it’s our vision, not only defined by our position in space and the direction we look in, but also defined by the way we interpret the images we see, by the feelings they induce. I wanted to get how feelings and reason work.
Like all children I wanted to know and understand everything, why the sky is blue, what traffic lamps are made for, how rainbows are created…. And why the word “word” means word? Who decided that?
I was fond of language and the magic of letters. …It didn’t help me writing properly though. I couldn’t write without minor mistakes until the middle of Jr. High school despite all my father’s crazy efforts to teach me French. I just didn’t care for rules, trying to break their conventions before being able to apply them properly.
Like most children I was read a lot of stories and tales, by my father, and watched a lot of cartoons (of all kinds except animes). However I was really hard to entertain. Weak scenarios, bad plot devices, time line incoherences, characters acting out of characters, poor dialogs… I spotted everything. I hated anything simple, I hated to know the end of the episode before it even started, I hated soulless plain characters, I hated flat universes. And bad humor.
How many times did I found myself staring at the TV screen in horror and shame for the creators?
Things had to be fixed. As I loved to draw I decided I wanted to become a drawer. But as I was putting texts on most of my drawings I decided I wanted to become a comic artist. But as I starting playing and listening to music with more attention I decided I wanted to become a storyboard artist. But as I started to play video games I decided I wanted to be a writer in the game industry.
I wanted to see images telling an interactive story, to touch the heart through sight, hearing and touch as you hold a game pad in your hands.
At this point I was fifteen, I collected all the dictionaries I could find, had written many story plots, even complete stories, adapted some into comics and adapted comics into books, I was working on a video game plot, digging a new universe and characters, designing them and letting them live in small storyboards.
It was also when my father died, leaving us within a year of illness as a cancer corroded his body.
As a child I used to be so afraid of death and fear itself that I wished to die soon to be afraid for a shorter time. I knew it could cause sorrow to the people who loved me but thought I wouldn’t be a great loss since I was of no use to society. I was extremely pessimistic as I couldn’t find a meaning to life.
When my father died was the moment I started to be truly optimistic. I saw the beauty in the tragedy. As I arrived to the crematorium for the ceremony I felt an immense joy at the sight of all the family and friends I hadn’t met for years, seeing they all came to honor my father’s memory. There was sadness and I cried but I also laughed as I hugged my cousins. To me this moment was full of love warming the cold void in my chest.
From there on I never stopped writing to the point of dreaming I was writing, eventually waking up and finding me trying to type while sleeping. I wrote original stories, poems in prose or rhymes, songs, philosophical essays and fanfictions as well. All mattered was to give my best in those texts, to convey a message and feelings right through the reader’s heart. As I seek for perfection in every word and punctuation mark I greatly improved within few years.
Soon though I found myself limited by my native tongue and felt the need to explore other languages. I had been learning Spanish as second language in Jr. High school but found out that despite my good level I forgot about everything after my father’s death. As I entered High school I had Japanese classes. I hadn’t picked this for the fashion, at that time I read only one manga so far, something not much famous called “Naruto” about ninjas… No, if I picked the Japanese class it is that I wanted to learn a language in all ways different from all I knew and blow my mind with the new vision of the world coming along.
So I started playing with Japanese, the kanjis fascinated me with their meanings, the kanas amazed me with their graphic shapes.
Still as beginner I couldn’t write the true stories I wanted to express, I needed to break free from conventions and of course went for English. English and its magic of changing any word or onomatopoeia into a verb, a noun or an adjective as you wish, again and again.
I would write in English and my first project was going to be a fanfiction based on Final Fantasy VII and its wonderful plot holes, infinite dark pits for any writer to dive in and put light on anything feeling good to be found there.
I bet I could invent the most twisted and foolish theories and make them look credible, I shook the scenarios and characters into a maze of connections beyond everything I could imagine.
And I wrote.
And I did it.
I made the incredible come credible while keeping the characters in character.
Because there’s no wrong idea and nothing’s impossible if you find the way to explain it. It’s just a matter of adjusting your logic. Because there’s no bad concept, only bad writers. Because characters are people too, with desires and doubts, fears and hopes.
In parallel to this I’ve been following video game studies in the Haute École Albert Jacquard, Namur, Belgium. I’ve developed a certain admiration for technical challenges with the teaching of Franck Sauer (Arts & Magic, Appeal, Fresh Engine) and a particular interest for the PSP. I’ve always been more attracted by old gen than next gen games, while I can appreciate the rather realist look of games such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted 2 or the latest Final Fantasy episodes.
The reason is probably that once all the money has been tossed in fantabulous renders it seems that few is left for writers and we get games as marvelously designed as flat-plotted. Of course there are few gorgeous exceptions like Metal Gear Solid but what would it be like without Hideo Kojima? If he really was to leave the industry I doubt the series could survive him with all the depth and plot twists we love.
Now I don’t want to keep on criticizing like back when I was a little child watching TV, it’s time for a little less conversation and a little more action.
I still have the eyes of the child I was and they’re still amazed by anything they see, unleashing imagination before I even notice it, tuning me into a concept machine. I’ll make a vast concept from scratch and your constraints will be as many playful challenges for me, I’ll adapt the scenes to the changes in production with ease and care, I’ll give a result as flexible as you want it to be and I’ll make sure it is ready to enjoy.