I’m curious about how the two of you met each other in the first place.
Well we met back in 1998, about 15 years ago from now.
So right after the launch of Nintendo 648.8. Nintendo 64: A home games console first released in Japan in June 1996. It was later released in Europe in 1997.
I was quite a serious student, so I went to a university called Centrale Paris9 that you could say is the equivalent of Kyoto University10. In that kind of environment, most of the job opportunities are very serious ones where you would need to wear a tie all the time. Then I saw just one internship proposal with an alien character logo on top of it and I thought, “What’s this?” It was an internship proposal from the video game studio where Jérôme was working and it made me think, “Wow, this is different. I should try it out!”
At the time I didn’t think of working in the video game industry as being a real job. I was planning on just trying it and then finding a real job afterwards. It turned out very differently in the end.9. Centrale Paris : A French national engineering university founded in 1829.10. Kyoto University: A Japanese national university founded in 1897.
It was a very new industry back then; it had only just been born.
Exactly. Then two days into the internship, we were already doing very exciting things with 3D and I realised that I could make use of what I do for a hobby in a real company. That’s when I decided that I wanted to work there.Well, actually first I wanted to finish my studies… (laughs)
Alex still wanted to do a PhD. But I convinced him to stay instead of losing time going to university.
I was supposed to be a serious person, but Jérôme changed my mind very quickly and the work was just too attractive to refuse.
Jérôme, what was your impression of Alex when you first met him?
My first impression was of his mathematical skills. He was really, really strong in maths, probably one of the best mathematicians that I knew. I think it was the first time for me to see strong mathematics applied to 3D and to games, so it was very impressive. He was also very kind and we quickly became very good friends.
At the time maths skills were becoming much more important than in the past.
Yeah, but I don’t think we thought too much about that at the time. I was just having fun doing maths and I didn’t see the trend of the industry. I think if I had been 10 years older I could have seen it, but when you are young and fearless you just jump in and have fun. That’s the only motivation.
I can understand that very well. I entered the computer and gaming industry in just the same way. When you are young and you find something truly attractive, you just jump in without thinking too much. In your cases both of you were supposedly very logical and mathematical people, but still jumped in without calculating.
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