QD & ME – AURÉLIEN LOIZEAU – R&D Manager for Special Projects

Quantic Dream: Please introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what is your role at QD? 

Hello, my name is Aurélien Loizeau, I come from the beautiful region of Cognac, in the west of France, and I am the Research & Development Manager for Special Projects within the technical department. Behind this somewhat obscure position are hidden transversal subjects aimed at helping the dev teams, by intervening on pipelines, server architecture, production lines, etc.

QD: How did you come to work in the video games industry? Was it a lifelong dream, or did you luckily stumble into it? 

A lot of luck and chance, no doubt. I was always attracted by this environment, without knowing what jobs were behind it. With a computer scientist father, I had computers at home at a very young age; I started programming on an Amstrad CPC464, with tapes instead of floppy disks – and I don’t think many people understand that today! ^^

It was really during my studies and my first professional years that programming became a reality and that video games came into the picture. At school, with the first LAN parties in the gym (big up to the Nantarena LAN party!) and then, when I understood that there were tools and programs behind it, not just the game engines.

For an internship, I reached out a few video game studios that I knew of at the time but got no answer; I joined a small business software company instead, where I set up an OpenGL engine for medical image visualisation, with its tools. Then, during my first 2 professional years, I programmed modding tools in my free time, before applying again to all the video game studios in Paris. Quantic Dream saw my profile on the AFJV website and it all came together 😊

In 12 years at Quantic Dream, from Heavy Rain to Detroit: Become Human, I went from tools developer to Lead of different and fantastic teams. I then moved on to French internet provider Bouygues Telecom, before joining Ubisoft for Beyond Good and Evil 2. And after 4 years out of the Quantic Dream fold, I answered the call of my heart and of former colleagues to come back, in May 2022, and I hope to stay at least as long as the first time, haha! 😊

QD: Let’s talk about your job at Quantic Dream! Could you elaborate more on your role, and the role of your team? 

My role depends on the matter at hand. I may have to make progress on certain developments myself, or I may have to work on topics upstream before leaving them to dedicated teams. I can also supervise developments common to several teams, act as an external R&D coordinator, or ensure that servers are running smoothly. I am in direct contact with Jean-Charles Perrier, our CTO, and together we pick the subjects I need to work on.

QD: Tell us more about the members of your team.  

With the time I’ve spent here, I have so many stories to tell ^^ But what I remember fondly about the R&D team is the way it is held together. A lot of veterans who have been here for more than 10, 15 years, or even more, who grew up together, who left, then sometimes came back, and who gradually were joined by new recruits from different backgrounds. And all these people are moving in the same direction to work as flawlessly as possible and help each other.

QD: Can you describe to us a typical day for you? Does a typical day even exist for you? 

A what day now?! ^^ There is not really one typical day and that’s great! That’s what I missed during my time away from the video game industry 😊 Here, we work on a lot of different topics, it changes all the time. And even when no one asks for anything (ok, that almost never happens ^^) we can always optimize our systems.

QD: What are your external inspirations that are reflected in your job? 

I always care about others, whether it’s my children, my relatives or the people I love. This is reflected in my work, I always want my colleagues or the people for whom we develop our tools to feel good, so that they can concentrate on their tasks serenely. I like to make other people’s lives easier, and I try to do it as well as I can!

QD: Be careful, BIG question… What are your favourite games? 

I’m quite eclectic and I enjoy mainstream games; for a long time, it was Baldur’s Gate 2, then Counter Strike, then Quake… Nowadays I like great adventures, like Dishonored, God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn. RPGs too, like The Witcher and Cyperpunk 2077. And I still play Destiny 2 a lot – too much, even!

QD: Tell us more about your hobbies outside of work. 

Video games, obviously, but motorcycling is taking up more and more of my time. I’ve always loved it, but I got my licence very late and it’s just great now 😊 Whenever I can, I go for a ride, alone or with some crazy friends, when the planets align and we can all make it together. And this hobby has brought in another one: photography. I’m a beginner but I love it, even if it’s still a bit too much focused on my bike xD

QD: All right! What does your perfect Friday night look like? 

I love taking my kids out on a Friday night for crêpes, which are French pancakes, and then a movie, or spending time with my partner 😊

QD: Do you have a message for our readers? 

If you want to work in video games, believe in your chances, there is no set path, in my opinion. Be curious, don’t be afraid, experiment, discover what drives you the most. There are many different fields in this industry, that’s what makes it so great!

QD: Final question! Chocolate cake or Fruit pie? 

Fruit tart, but only if it’s a lemon meringue tart!