I’d just completed a French law degree when I came across the Game and Level Design course. I had no experience in the video game domain at the time. I clearly loved to play, but I didn’t have any knowledge of video game development and no artistic talent. LaSalle College gave me the training I needed to allow me to enter the video games industry, an industry with ever more exacting standards.
During the course of my studies, I met excellent teachers, all with insight into the current industry. I also met a mentor, Stéphane Nepton there, who was able to share his passion for VFX with me. As teachers are industry professionals, their courses and the software they teach are rooted in the reality of the daily operations of a production studio. In fact, completing our studies has already given us a kind of foot in the industry door.
Towards the end of my studies, I developed an augmented reality app to present some of my VFX to the final panel of judges. I was really proud to see that the outcome met the standard of work I had to produce in order to develop it.
Everything progressed very quickly for me from that point on. After graduating, I applied to a number of AAA studios. I received a great deal of positive feedback. I passed tests and had interviews with several different companies. I am currently a Junior VFX artist at Ubisoft Montpellier. Even though I had already worked for them, I was very proud of the fact that several AAA studios contacted me following the submission of my real demo. I received a lot of positive feedback from artists I admire in the industry.
As is the case for everything, hard work is one of the keys to success. The video game industry is a thriving industry rich in opportunities, but it also comes with many contenders. The competition is fierce.
My advice to students would be not to downplay the importance of subject choice. In the first cycle, I had overlooked certain “arts” subjects, particularly in 3D design. I was sure I was heading towards a career in game and level design. I immediately regretted my choice as, in order to do VFX, this type of development is often used. From that point on, I worked as hard across all subjects, and that is clearly a facet that recruiters have appreciated.
Finally, without wanting to add to the pressure on students in the third cycle, the “demo reel” must be current. It clearly must contain your best pieces, but above all, it needs to meet industry standards.