QD & ME – NOÉMI ROULEAU – GAMEPLAY PRODUCER
Quantic Dream: Please introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what is your role at QD?
Hello, my name is Noémi Rouleau and I have been living in Montreal for a long time, but I come from Abitibi, in the north of Quebec, Canada. I am a Gameplay Producer at Quantic Dream in Montreal.
Quantic Dream: How did you come to work in the video games industry? Was it a lifelong dream, or did you luckily stumble into it?
By a happy coincidence! I started out teaching French as a second language to newcomers in a studio in Montreal, which gave me an insight into the industry; I met some incredible people who passed on their passion for the medium. After a few years as a teacher, I decided to change careers and with my background in Humanities, I wanted to move into localisation, which is the team in charge of translating and adapting games for each zone in the world. I started as a localisation tester, but soon developed an interest in project and team management. I switched to production management and 10 years later I still love it!
Quantic Dream: Let’s talk about your job at Quantic Dream! Could you elaborate more on your role, and the role of your team?
As a producer, my overall role is to define the deliverables of the gameplay teams, in alignment with the project objectives, to establish an action plan to achieve them and to ensure that everyone has the tools and information needed to achieve their objectives. It’s a lot of planning, process implementation and risk management. I must have a clear vision of the short-, long- and medium-term objectives to ensure that I am meeting the needs of the team and the project. There is also a large part of my role that is in people management. This part of my job focuses more on supporting the teams, listening and collaborating.
Quantic Dream: Tell us more about the members of your team. Any fun story to share?
I have several teams under the gameplay umbrella: Game Design, Gameplay Programming, Level Design and QA. Together we work on the systems and mechanics, from combat design to the flow of each level, that will form the game experience. I don’t know if this counts as an anecdote, but one thing that struck me when I joined Quantic Dream was the candor and caring that is demonstrated daily within our teams. This is a super important element in ensuring an environment where people feel safe to express themselves and be themselves.
Quantic Dream: Can you describe your typical day? Does it exist for you?
First, it’s a good number of meetings, face-to-face or remotely. My mornings are dedicated to synchronising with Paris, on all the subjects that need to be discussed between our two studios. In the afternoon it’s time for individual or small group follow-ups with the Montreal team. This part is more flexible and will change depending on the week’s priorities and the progress of deliverables, but it is very much organised around task follow-ups with the leads, qualitative reviews with the directors and planning the following weeks. I also try to keep some time to work on continuous improvement of our production processes.
Quantic Dream: Are any of your external inspirations reflected in your work?
Yes, very much so! I’ve been blessed to work with some incredible managers in my career, both in games and in other fields, and I draw inspiration from them to continually try to improve myself and the quality of life we give to our teams.
Quantic Dream: Here’s a BIG question… What are your favourite games?
Ah, that’s easy: the whole Bioshock series, which gave me a taste for video games again. A friend of mine put it in my hands and it was a revelation: the horror, the 30s-40s music, the Art Deco style… It’s as if someone had taken everything I like and made a game out of it! I have a soft spot for the first one, but I liked them all a lot.
Quantic Dream: Tell us more about your interests outside of work.
When I’m not trying to train my puppy (Daisy, a Springer Spaniel), I knit – the best hobby for watching Netflix! and sew. Mainly to fill my wardrobe with bespoke clothes, but also because they’re super good hobbies to relax in.
Quantic Dream: All right! What does your ideal Friday night look like?
I like to stay at home on Friday. After a visit to the dog park, a takeout, a horror movie, a glass of white wine, some candy, that’s pretty much my ideal scenario!
Quantic Dream: Do you have a message for our readers?
If you are interested in the video game industry, go for it, no matter what your educational or professional background is! There are a lot of people like me who came into the industry by chance, with atypical backgrounds, and that only makes our teams even stronger and more innovative!
Quantic Dream: Final question! Chocolate cake or fruit pie?
Lemon pie, Quebec or France version 🙂