Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Get to know - Johanny Clerc-Renaud - Lead Programmer

Recommended Posts

Hello Outlanders!
We are bringing the "Get to know Vigor Team" Interviews back. This week we prepared for you an exclusive interview with our Lead Programmer - Johanny Clerc-Renaud.




▶ What is your role in the Vigor Team?

I was hired almost two years ago as a Backend Programmer (online services) for Vigor. Since last November, I am the Lead Programmer.


▶ What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome/solve as a Lead Programmer?

I am now leading a team spanning across multiple programming disciplines (backend, gameplay, rendering). I think this is my biggest challenge at the moment. I am a backend guy at my core, but now I also need to lead programmers working in totally different fields. I am doing my best to learn about these various fields in my free time. Luckily the programmers working on the game code are autonomous and able to share some of their knowledge with me. Kudos, guys, you're doing amazing work.


▶ What is your contribution to the Vigor Team?

As a backend programmer, I wrote some of the game's online services (Challenges, Battle Pass, Map Rotation). I implemented the server code directly interacting with the game and also made tools for Game Designers to balance these features in the game.

Now, I am primarily responsible for stirring the programming team in the right direction. It's mostly a lot of communication, listening to the community feedback and the rest of the team, and coming up with a plan to reach our goals. I am also providing insights to the rest of the development team on live issues and suggesting ways to address them efficiently. For instance, I am proud of the way we fixed the "bigger groups" exploit. We were able to address it without updating the game, which takes a really long time (weeks). Instead, we updated our Matchmaking servers that we can roll out much quicker, in a matter of minutes, once the fix is implemented and validated by our QA department.


▶ What do you like about Vigor?

As a player, I love the slow build-up of tension while visiting points of interest one after the other until reaching the exit and not knowing if I will make it. Sadly, my survival rate is not that great; I am way too greedy and a poor shooter. I also like our various game modes and how each of them feels different and rewarding in their own way.

As a developer, I really enjoy the fact that Vigor is a live game, and we have the chance to improve our game from update to update, react to feedback, and keep on adding new features. There is always a fresh new challenge.


▶ What would you like to see in Vigor?

 I would like to improve the shooting experience; at the moment, shooting in Vigor is decent but not great. I would like to improve it, keep its uniqueness and make it feel great.


▶ Why did you decide to become a Game Developer?

Back in high school, I had to decide what to do with my life. I knew I had some affinity with computers, and I was playing a lot of video games. I decided to go to a school teaching multimedia. There I made short movies, music, infographics, and programming, and... turns out I sucked at everything but programming, so I naturally followed this path until I eventually got the chance to visit the Ubisoft Annecy game studio. And it was on that day, while I was visiting the studio, that I knew that this is what I wanted to do. It was just too cool.


▶ What is your favorite thing about your job? And your least favorite?

My favorite thing is creativity, not just about the content and features we put in the game but also how we get to do it and address issues. It's fantastic. My least favorite thing is when we are unable to achieve our vision because of various reasons; because we have limited time, we are a small team, etc. 


▶ What do you like the most about the Vigor team?

Everyone is just so friendly! It's a delight to work with my colleagues; they are friendly and passionate, which is an amazing environment to work in.


▶ What do you do when you are not making Vigor?

I spend time with my lovely wife and our puppy - a very cute and moody toy puddle called Lola. We go around Brno for walks and throw items for her. I also play a good chunk of video games on various platforms, mainly PlayStation 4 (I have yet to snatch a PlayStation 5... Ach jo) and PC.


▶ Did game dev change your view on the games, and how?

Absolutely, before working in game dev, I was much more tolerant to grinding in video games. I loved to play games like Disgeae or Dark Orbit. But programming made me aware that I was chasing numbers, and it started feeling dull. Now I am looking for games that have unique mechanics that create emotions or require skills. 


▶ Your favorite games and why?

The latest God of War on PlayStation, first it has a brilliant story. I want to be a father, and the relationship between Atreus and Kratos resonated well with me. Second, the game is just very well made. The pacing of the game is well tinkered, progressing bits of story at times, battling in challenging fights at others. The game also has a huge emphasis on exploration, and it does it very well. The game never gives you the solution for exploring, but it constantly gives you clues through dialogues, level design, and the camera. Learning to notice them and use them is super rewarding. If you're not convinced yet, ask my wife, I've never ended a single play session without saying, "This game is so great." She was even following the story from a distance because the dialogues are well written and voiced (even in French ).


▶ What's your favorite music, movie, show, book, and why?

I am a big fan of Metal; my favorite band is Metallica, followed closely by Parkway Drive and Gojira (that I have yet to see live! Darn you Pandemic). My favorite movie is The Martian. I can watch it dozens of times and still have the same feelings. I don't have a favorite show, but I always come back to The Big Bang Theory. My favorite book is actually a saga, the Royal Assassin. I've read almost everything written by Robin Hobb. I love to escape in the worlds she created.


▶ Is there something that you want to say to our community?

The team is working really hard to make the game more stable, more fun, more engaging. It's not always easy, and we make mistakes - as we all do. Please continue to give us your feedback on what we are doing because it helps us choose what to prioritize.


▶ You are an Outlander, and you just woke up in the tunnel (you know which one). What would you do as a first thing?

I know my survival basics:

Find potable water

Make a fire

Find food

Build a Shelter


▶ What is the most interesting bug you have ever come across in a video game?

I think everybody is tired of reading at this point. A picture is worth thousands of words.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this