I’m quite good at Dance Dance Revolution

Jany Villeneuve

3D Artist

Hello Jany,

How did you start in the gaming industry?

This is actually my very first job in the gaming industry. After graduating from Concordia University, I worked as a graphic designer but I would always think back on that one elective in game design I had taken during my last year at uni. As a kid, I would draw and play Doom practically daily, so the idea of making video games always stayed at the back of my head. Having a close friend studying 3D modeling kinda sealed the deal for me, as she kept talking about what she was doing at school. It definitely piqued my interest. After a while, I decided to go back to school to focus exclusively on 3D modelling for video games and then happily landed here, at Panache.

What is your role at Panache?

Since we’re a small-ish team, I deal with environment or props, 3D assets and textures, and I also help out with other tasks. I really love the fact that I’m expected to try all sorts of different things, as opposed to routinely doing similar tasks.

What do you consider to be easy and challenging in your job?

It’s really easy to talk directly to my coworkers when I need to address game-related issues. Everyone knows what everyone is working on, so ideas get passed along with ease. Things can move on really fast because of this, and so the pace of my workflow is quite pleasant.

What’s challenging about my job is not eating all of the maple oatmeal in the kitchen. Kidding! I guess that a great deal of my job involves making sure that all of the assets I make for the game look like they belong in the same universe. It’s easy to get carried away and end up with something that has nothing to do with the chosen artistic direction. I’m also learning a lot of new techniques as I go, but I don’t consider this to be a chore.

Artistically, who are your top 3 people that influence you?

Richard Taylor, definitely. I really admire his attention to detail and his dedication to his work, especially while he was working on The Lord of The Rings. I also love Hayao Miyazaki’s work (surprise, surprise). And if we stick to people’s work that hit closer to home, I spend a good amount of time ogling Marco Plouffe’s 3D projects.

What are you playing at the moment?

To my team’s dismay, still The Binding of Isaac. I’ve also started the new Outlast game, but I need to take breaks every fifteen minutes or so to… err… breathe through my nose.

What is it about games that you like?

I really love games that challenge the very meaning of what a game should be and tell epic stories. The medium itself is so new that I feel we’ve just brushed the surface. There’s so much untapped potential there, and these days we see this new wave of creators rethinking the basic rules of games… I find this really exciting. Anything from Bioshock to Dear Esther, it’s all very interesting to me.

What are your favorite games of all time?

The Binding Of Isaac
Yoshi’s Island
Dance Dance Revolution
Dream Daddy no… nevermind this one.

Apart from games, what are your other artistic interests?

I draw a great deal and always carry a small pad in my bag to sketch. I also love design-related things such as interior design and graphic design.

What about sports?

I’m quite good at Dance Dance Revolution :)

Your thoughts on games?

Love ‘em. A+, would recommend.

I think that games should try to move away from the medium of movies. Sure, there are some great games out there with excessively strict narratives that lead players down a non-decision path. Since movies do this already very well, I always find games that focus more on player-based choices more entertaining.

And to conclude :

What is your favorite meal?

This is the hardest question of all. Food is so great. I guess seafood ranks pretty high with me.

Your favorite spots in Montreal?

That section of Notre-Dame Street with all the antique stores. I love to go window shopping there, it’s full of very old and weird items. I’m also really really fond of the Kazu restaurant on Ste-Catherine’s.

Your wallpaper?

A neon pink vaporwave album cover.

Your favorite moment of the week at work?

Whenever I get told I need to create a new plant for the game. I really love making plants. I’m also a fan of when there’s maple oatmeal in the kitchen.

Your hockey team?

Is there a polite way of saying that I don’t watch hockey?

Who has had the most influence on you professionally?

A bunch of teachers, colleagues and fellow students, of course. I think the person who influenced me the most was my character modelling teacher, Ludovic Pinard. He really cared about the knowledge he was giving us and pushed us to better ourselves throughout the year I spent at the Campus ADN.

The best advice we gave you?

“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”
- The 3rd Doctor

Merci Jany