QD & ME – KEVIN HAVRANEK – 3D ENGINE PROGRAMMER
Quantic Dream: Please introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what is your role at QD?
Hello! I am Kevin Havranek, from Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris, and I’ve been a 3D Engine Programmer here since May 11th, 2020, precisely!
QD: How did you come to work in the video games industry? Was it a lifelong dream, or did you luckily stumble into it?
So obviously, like many people in this field, I grew up with video games; when I started my studies in computer science, I was intrigued by their complexity, be it technical, artistic, commercial, etc. But what really made me want to work in this the gaming industry was when I started 3D rendering programming. I was fascinated to see all the work that had to be done to find the right balance between creating a “pretty” game and respecting performance constraints, both to render in real time and to make it enjoyable for players. And so, from there my dream job was to be able to participate in the development of a rendering engine. Quantic Dream was a great goal for me, because it’s a company that favours the development of its own tools and engine. Before that, I was working in the industrial world and a friend of mine, himself a 3D Engine Programmer, recommended me for a position in the studio. And here I am, with my dream fulfilled!
QD: Let’s talk about your job at Quantic Dream! Could you elaborate more on your role, and the role of your team?
I work on the rendering engine, more specifically on optimisation and architecture issues; the objective is that our engine is as adapted as possible to the needs of our artists while offering the best possible performance on the targeted platforms.
QD: Tell us more about the members of your team. Any fun story to share?
There are currently 15 people in the 3D Engine team, and each of them is great, very technically gifted, and always ready to listen. There is a lot of mutual support, which is great for someone like me who is new to this field and wants to progress. A little anecdote? Three of us in the team come from the same university, Paris 8: Florent, Philippe and me! I took the course a year before them, and I was even Florent’s tutor for a few sessions, but in the end, it was he who got me into Quantic Dream!
QD: Can you describe to us a typical day for you? Does a typical day even exist for you?
It’s very traditional, I do a lot of development overall. Our three Leads deal with and plan the different things we’re working on, which allows us to concentrate on our work. And then, of course, as with any other project, I sometimes deal with bugs and more urgent tasks.
QD: What are your external inspirations that are reflected in your job?
Yes, very much! Before adding any feature to the engine, it’s always important to see what already exists to get inspiration for what we want to add to our engine.
QD: Be careful, BIG question… What are your favourite games?
It’s a highly complicated question, there are so many of them, and I discover new ones every day! When I was young, I loved the Splinter Cell saga. Left 4 Dead also accompanied me for a long time with my friends! I love adventure games, like the works of Yoko Taro (Nier Automata, Nier Replicant), Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid, Death Stranding), or Fumito Ueda (ICO, Shadow of the Colossus). In France, we can mention Eric Chahi (Another World), Frédérick Raynal (Alone in the Dark, Little Big Adventure), Benoit Sokal (Syberia), and of course, David Cage. They are, in my opinion, considerable talents in gaming.
My mother introduced me to Myst and Riven by the Miller brothers, which I loved. I’m also a space opera fan, like Mass Effect and Outer Wilds. Retrogaming-wise, I love the DoDonPachi and Metal Slug series. I’m also into Bioshock, Red Dead Redemption, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which I’m discovering. Long story short, I like too many games, and I crave even more! Like the Yakuza series and… Ok, stop!
QD: Tell us more about your hobbies outside of work.
I love motorcycling; it gives me a feeling of floating and freedom that allows me to escape, physically and psychologically. As it requires a lot of concentration, it helps me forget the minor worries of everyday life.
QD: All right! What does your perfect Friday night look like?
I like to spend time with my children and my darling, just to spend time with them. When the weather is nice, I want to spend time with them. When the weather is nice, I like to go to the park with them. I also like to introduce my oldest to video games, and I hope to do the same with my other children if they want to (and if they behave!).
QD: Do you have a message for our readers?
Wow, that’s complicated! I will do the classic: it’s always interesting to listen to people in general, even if you don’t always agree with them. It opens your mind.
QD: Final question! Chocolate cake or Fruit pie?
I’m not much of a cake person, but if I had to choose, I would go for chocolate!