Arnaud

We become part of their team, share their game engines, work with their files, and are suddenly part of a new giant AAA team for a few months.

Department:

Level Art

Chinese Horoscope:

Rat

Why did you join Virtuos?

I was looking for an experience in China, and after some research it appeared that Virtuos was the place to be to grow my carrier and improve my network.

At first I had some prejudices about outsourcing companies – that western companies just outsource the least interesting parts of production. But at Virtuos it’s different. Thanks to Virtuos’ excellent track record and a strong reputation, we actually get the most interesting parts of production: main characters, top quality assets, iconic levels…

When our clients dream too big, and don’t have the capacity to realize all those dreams in their games, that is when we step in to make those dreams come true! Okay that is a bit corny, but you know what I mean, I think.

What is your favorite Virtuos project?

My favorite project is always the one I’m currently working on! I’d love to talk about it but I’m not allowed yet, come back in a few months

Generally, my favorite projects are when we are directly integrated to client pipelines. We become part of their team, share their game engines, work with their files, and are suddenly part of a new giant AAA team for a few months.

Do you need to know Chinese to work here?

You don’t need to know Chinese. Most of our staff can speak English, and when they can’t there’s always someone around to translate for you. Most foreigners I know don’t speak Chinese at all and have no trouble to live and work here, for years.

But the real fun begin when you jump the step and start learning the language. Suddenly,  the world becomes wider. You can leave foreigner districts and explore the hidden wonders of the city, travel in a grandiose country without a tour guide, and meet warm people with a really different culture.

Suddenly, workmates turn into friends.

How many projects do you work on in a year?

As a Lead Level Artist, I supervised around 30 levels on 8 different games last year. Some of them were part of full games developed here, but most were outsourced levels for famous AAA games on Xbox360, PS3, PC and even next generation consoles.

I’m also training the staff, which is constantly growing. It’s very rewarding.

As a comparison, in my previous company I worked two years on one single game!

What’s it like living in Shanghai?

Shanghai is a city of contrast. I couldn’t define it better. Contrast is everywhere and, as an artist, is purely amazing.

Contrast in wealth (you can have a drink in a luxury bar at the top of a skyscraper and then eat street food just down the building), contrast in people (my closest friends are from 6 different countries), contrast in style (from the high tech financial center of Lujiazui to the cozy streets of the French Concession, to popular alleys around People Square), even contrast in weather (tropical summers and ice-cold winters!)

What is your favorite game?

They’re legions ! I’m an “old school” gamer who tries to evolve with the industry. My favorite games are usually fast paced and challenging (Tribes and Unreal Tournament series) and RPGs with a strong narrative (The Witcher…).  I don’t like easy games which tend to reward simple actions.

Challenge is a lifestyle.

Cai

Now my dream has come true, and I’m a game designer able to create game environments.

Position

Artist

Hometown

Shanghai

Where did you go to school?

Shanghai Normal University

Why did you join Virtuos?

It is commonly thought that overseas game companies only outsource the least interesting parts of their games. That is not true at Virtuos. With a big team, we get to work on big projects for the world’s biggest developers. And they share a lot of their development techniques and technology – we are very integrated into big clients’ teams. I feel like we are really standing at the top of the industry.

I call this situation a ‘Virtuos cycle’ or a positive cycle: that means the more support we receive from our clients, the better results we are able to deliver. And then as we perform better, we receive a bigger part of the project, and are able to take more pride in the final game. That is absolutely a win-win situation.

What do you think about your teammates?

It is a very international team – like I’m working at the United Nations! The difference of the backgrounds and nationalities among my workmates has expanded my perspective and I am gaining a lot from it. That helps make this ultimately a great period in my career life.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young, I dreamed that I can do something related to game world. But I didn’t have a clear idea of what I can do in game industry. The reason why I fascinated with this field is that I love it.

I remember when I was 9 years old, I had my first game console, the Nintendo Gameboy Color. I was totally addicted in that magnificent world, it likes a portable magic box and it’s the first time I can see the colorful game image in a tiny handheld game console. Even now, it still feels exciting that I can play games like Pokemon, Zelda and Super Mario in my hand. I enjoy it all day and all night although the graphics were ancient and the game had only 4 buttons.

Now my dream has come true, and I’m a game designer able to create game environments. Games are an amazing industry and I am able to achieve something that I cannot other industries, so maybe I was born to be a gamer.

Now that you have been here 1-3 months, what are you most surprised by?

It is absolutely the amount of personal responsibility and trust that the company gives us. Work schedules have flexibility.

It feels like you are the driver instead of a passenger – you have a strong sense of responsibility for your projects and your team. You see people moving themselves according to their new projects, shipping a game after a couple months, and moving again. I have worked with a lot of teammates that way, and have gotten to know many people who have their own special character and personality.

What are you most excited about?

There are hundreds of projects here, and I have a great chance to be involved with them and enjoy the experience of new projects and new research and development. We get a chance to work with all mainstream platforms – the latest home game consoles, and the newest mobile devices.

What is your ultimate career goal now?

I regard myself as not only a dream maker, but more likely a doer. I will strive for myself to be a great game producer. It is a wonderful moment to know that one day in the future, people will experience my product, enjoy it and have fun through the game with friends and family.

I hope that one day when people talk about game, they will change their mind that game is not a kind of a toy or a way of entertaining but it’s an art or a part people’s life equal to music, film, literature and opera in this century, and can change people’s lives. That’s an evolution in this century.

Not only that, but I also think the charm of games is that they can attract almost all kinds of people now, no matter the age, race or gender. We can all fall in love with games, and it brings us closer. I think that is also the very essence of games and why they have existed since the first day.

Chen

Everything is open and it is convenient for the team to communicate and discuss the issues we may meet.

Position

Programmer

Hometown

My small hometown is Nantong in Jiangsu Province. In Nangong we have a port market where you can get fresh shrimp and fish every day.

 

Why did you join Virtuos?

I love playing games since childhood, so I’m very interested in game development. The fame of Virtuos game development is well known here, and for a long time I hoped to join the company.

My biggest hobby is studying games, including battle models, gameplay models, as well as how elements like background music, CG animation and more play into the game’s overall impression. I hope to contribute to some projects at Virtuos, and I will be proud of myself when playing the very games with my friends. My wish is to grow with Virtuos.

How do you feel about Virtuos?

It’s less a month since I got here. And the thing surprised me is the fun and relaxed working atmosphere. Everyone here wears very casual clothes – it really is a game company!

The other thing is that we don’t have desk-dividing walls. Everything is open and it is convenient for the team to communicate and discuss the issues we may meet.

Can you describe the work process?

My team assigns tasks for me according to my skill level, and other team members will help me when I get stuck. The team responsibilities are clear and efficient. Everyone can count on each other and it feels like the true meaning of ‘team.’

The assignments center around projects: first big goals are set, then smaller ones for every group, and finally every member works towards a single goal.

What’s your target of game industry career?

My end target is to be the best in my field. And I know it’s not that easy. I need to learn about every part of game development and become very well-rounded. To know every system and how the systems interact. The first step on this path is joining in Virtuos, and I believe I can learn more from working on the variety of different projects we have

Hugo

I’ve been wanting to work with video games for a long time now, and Virtuos represented a great opportunity to do so.

Hometown

Nantes (France)

Where did you go to school?

I have attended school in my hometown of Nantes, and also Marseille, France. Then I came to China and studied in a university in Chongqing, which is in the middle of China.

Why did you want to join Virtuos?

I’ve been wanting to work with video games for a long time now, and Virtuos represented a great opportunity to do so. The job looked really interesting and quite different from what I’ve been doing before, so I looked at it as a great way to get more knowledge in a field I did not have before.

I have been here for a few months and it is quite a challenge! I also really liked the fact that it’s a multicultural company, which means a great way to learn about different cultures, with a fast growing pace and a lot of young people. These three factors create a great work dynamic which I really enjoy.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional video games player? Haha, actually, I never seriously thought about it, especially since it did not quite exist at the time. Anyway, video games in general were a passion, but playing was a hobby, not something I could have seen myself doing for the rest of my life. I guess I needed a bit more challenge than that.

So in fact, I did not really have ideas about what I wanted to do. I think I could have been happy with a lot of things, but foremost, I wanted to do something I’d like and be passionate about. I think that I found that here, hope it will go for the best.

What are you most excited about?

Working, signing new contracts, sharing my passion with clients and building long-term relationships. I would add seeing the market evolve, and just be part of this whole process, adventure.

What is your ultimate career goal now?

I’m not quite sure about my ultimate career goal but I know what I want to do in my career: do my best every day, go beyond the objectives that are set, prove myself I can always do better, stay passionate, stay happy and friendly, stay myself.

Anything else?

Thanks to Virtuos for giving me such a great opportunity, I hope that all together, we’ll make it even better every day.

Lu

Virtuos works with the top clients on the planet, and participates in the best game projects in this world!

Department:

Producer

Chinese Horoscope:

Tiger

Hometown:

Shanghai!

Why did you join Virtuos?

If you have a clear mind and know exactly what you want, and then you will find great advantages in joining Virtuos. Virtuos works with the top clients on the planet, and participates in the best game projects in this world!

What is your favorite Virtuos project?

My favorite project is one of the biggest PS3 exclusive games of 2012. It’s my first big project and we have been working on it for more than a year, so you could say that we have had a huge influence on the game.

We did 25 sets various from modern city to countryside, as well as clothes for the main character.  It has been a very exciting experience to work with the game developer – they have excellent artistic sense and help us push our quality to the next level.  At the same time, they are quite organized and reasonable. I have learned a lot from the experience of working with them.

How many projects do you work on in a year?

Normally I work in 2-3 long-term projects at the same time, including next-gen game projects and movie projects. As a producer, I manage teams from 6 to 30 people.

What’s it like living in Shanghai?

What I love best about Shanghai is that it’s a very artistic city.  There are tons of art exhibitions and live music happening every day.  It’s the paradise for an art lover like me.

What is your favorite game?

I love Heavy Rain. I got really wrapped up in that story – it’s just like watching a good movie. I believe everyone who has played it feels the same.  It is a thrilling ride with an incredible ending. I’m very excited to play Quantic Dream’s next game

Qiao

We have many types of projects that allow me to learn and use various design techniques, and gain a lot of experience from working in the team.

Department:

Game Design

Hometown:

Bengbu, Anhui

Why did you join Virtuos?

I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Game Design in the UK, and I wanted to find an advanced game development company to match my passion in the subject.

Virtuos was perfect – we have many types of projects that allow me to use different engines, learn and use various design techniques, and gain a lot of experience from working in the team. Virtuos has a game design team from all over the world.  I work with people from France, the US, Denmark and Taiwan – and everybody brings interesting experience and a unique perspective.

What is your favorite Virtuos project?

When I’m trying to answer this question and looking back all the projects I have worked on, I have to say that my favorite project is always the ones I’m currently working on. Maybe because everything is always very new and exciting – a AAA game or a brand new IPs. Every project provides new challenges and fun.  One project that does stick out in my memory was a big project for a client in the Netherlands, our team was able to visit their studio in Amsterdam. It was a great trip!

 

How many projects do you work on in a year?

Right now as a leader in the game design department, I supervise several projects at the same time – about 5 to 8 games per year. Even junior game designers can expect to contribute to up to three games each year.

What is your favorite game?

As a game designer, I have appreciation for a lot of different games. The Hitman series, Shadow of the Colossus, the Baldur’s Gate Trilogy, Bayonetta, World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons are my favorite games among numerous games I have played.

Qin

Every time we go see one of the movies that we worked on, it is incredibly gratifying to see our work up on the big screen.

Hometown

In Hubei province, near the Three Gorges

Why did you join Virtuos?

I was one of the first graduates of Virtuos in-house training program (now Virtuos Academy) way back in 2006. I chose Virtuos because it was a foreign company, and it seemed like a great way to broaden my horizons.

I did not realize that it would be the start of such a big career. What motivated me to join that program was a love of games and movies, and when I began to learn about the techniques and processes of 3D art, I really began to love to practice and improve my skills in art and production.

What is your favorite Virtuos project?

I have been focused on film projects exclusively for the past four years. We have contributed to the VFX of more than 10 films, and I don’t think I can choose a favorite. Every time we go see one of the movies that we worked on, it is incredibly gratifying to see our work up on the big screen.

So I guess you could say that my favorite project has been the work to develop and expand the film art production team.

How Many projects do you work on i a year?

Two to three projects, because our film projects are usually very large projects that involve a lot of very high-detail, high-quality assets.

What has been the highlight of your Virtuos Career?

Last year I had the chance to have a business trip to San Francisco, to visit the studios of one of our major clients. Me and my Australian colleague spent a week learning about their new VFX techniques in preparation for upcoming projects. And of course, we had a little time to see San Francisco’s big sites.

Zhao

I am involved with more than ten projects every year. I think this is one of the main advantages to joining Virtuos – we have access to all kinds of games.

Department

3D Art

Chinese Horoscope

Tiger

Why did you join Virtuos?

I graduated from the Art school in 2007, and I wanted to join the 3D art industry. It was a very fast-growing industry and Virtuos was among my top choices. Virtuos was still a young company at that time, but it was already very well known among my classmates for being very professional, very challenging, and for having very good projects.

I joined the Virtuos training program, and after 3 months passed the test to join the company. It matched all my expectations about the high standards and high caliber of work. My portfolio now includes top game and film productions.

What are your most memorable projects at Virtuos?

I’ll tell you about my very first project, and my most recent one.

One of my first projects at Virtuos was creating art for one of the biggest Korean MMOs. It was a very big project and is still one of my favorite memories because everything was so new and exciting. It was a time of learning for me, and my Team Leader and Art Director gave me so much knowledge. And there was an incredible feeling of teamwork because it was a such a challenging project with high artistic requirements.

And my most recent one was one of the biggest AAA games at E3 2012. I participated in creating levels for the game, and the artistic techniques and styles we used were in many ways completely different from my previous experience.

The thing these two projects have in common is that they were very challenging. I really like being on the challenging projects because there is a great spirit of teamwork – to work together and raise our skills to meet the highest standards.

How many projects do you work on in a year?

I am involved with more than ten projects every year.  I think this is one of the main advantages to joining Virtuos – we have access to all kinds of games. For me, an artist, being able to work on a lot of different games is a great thing. Every game has a different art style to explore and different challenges to master. I love it.

What is your favorite game?

I love nearly all kinds of games. I play Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Crysis, World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Heroes of Might and Magic, Sangokumusou, Metal Gear Solid, GTA, Need for Speed, Monster Hunter and a lot of board games. Board games are very popular at Virtuos!