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How video games made a mark on the lives of 3 of our ludians

It’s International Video Game Day! As you can imagine, at Ludia we have a special attachment to games. They are an integral part of our Ludians’ lives!

Today we’re sharing with you 3 great stories about how video games made a mark on some of our Ludians…

Father and Son: A Drawing and the Birth of a New Game – By Eddy Léja-Six, Lead Game Designer

In 2017, my son Elric drew this when he was 6 years old:

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At that time, he only played small 2D platform games. He was already curious about my job as a Game Designer, and he was very motivated to invent his own game (he still is!).

I asked him questions about his game to understand how it was supposed to work. Then one Saturday morning, while he was playing with his sister, I scanned his drawing, turned it into sprites and created a very small prototype of his game.

Then I placed his drawing on my laptop screen, called him, and removed the drawing revealing  the game. It took him a few seconds to realize that it was really playable. 

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The same day, he was unable to finish the game.

But 2 years later, he asked me to play it again, and he succeeded! The screen at the end of the game was very poor, it was just a text displayed in the middle of the screen, but he was glad he succeeded. And I was delighted that 2 years later he still remembers it.

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An Encounter That Changed Everything – Claudie Léger, Graphic Designer 

In 2009, I was playing Diablo2, when I got into a Chaos run with my necromancer. I wrote in French on the chat and another Quebecer answered me. In the past it was quite rare to find another person speaking French in a game. I told him I was a girl, he didn’t believe me, so we exchanged our MSN to talk to each other. After a year of virtual friendship, we decided to meet at the Longueuil metro station and that was the beginning of our love story that has been going on now for 10 years!  

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The First Steps – Olivier Rayé-Lalonde, Game Designer

When I was little, I played Doom with a friend in a hot seat.

The first time we met a Pink Demon, we let out a high-pitched scream as we backed away from the computer screen! My father knew at the time that video games were visceral and immersive for me. Going from the SNES to N64 with the same use of the computer, I knew pretty quickly that I was hooked. Very young, in the 90’s, I started doing amateur level design. I thought it was crazy that games provide us with free editors to make maps in their machines.

So I had fun making maps for strategy games such as Age of Empires and Starcraft, but also for the first person shooters of the second generation: my favorite being Worldcraft from the original Half-Life. Some of my levels were part of additions to the game, commonly called “mods” (for modification). I played and modded a lot one of the first shooter coop games I knew at the time, I named Sven Coop. As a gamer, I was involved in the development of the Valve Source engine, particularly enjoying the Half-Life (then Half Life 2) mods such as Team Fortress Classic, Counter Strike (which was just a mod at the time!), The Specialists and The Hidden. 

This passion and talent acquired during my early years allowed me to access the Game Level Design program at the ADN Campus in the 2000s, and then land a series of jobs in level design!