Meet Mareva Rousselle, our Lead Vehicle Artist!
If you want to know more about the Vehicle Artist to Kylotonn, this interview is for you!
How would you define the job of Vehicle Artist at KT?
As a Vehicle Artist, The tasks are multiple and different depending on the project: We outsource the vehicle modelling because we also have to manage a lot of things internally: taking care of the integration of the vehicles in the engine, the reworking of the cars (3D, materials, textures...), the customisation, the deliveries... We are always in relation with the programmers, the game designers, the UI Artists...
As the cars are the heart of our games, we have to pay special attention to the details in order to offer the players the best possible result!
Can you tell us more about your role in Kylotonn?
I'm lead Vehicle Artist so I manage the team that makes the vehicles. On the one hand, I manage the external people who model the cars, and on the other hand, the internal team that does all the things I mentioned above (retouching, customisation, engine integration, textures etc.). I discuss and exchange with the other departments to solve the various problems we may have. I also have to manage everyone's schedules. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to produce (I do it when I have a free moment...but it's rare!).
Can you tell us about your background?
I did a baccalauréat S, then a bachelor in the Haute École Albert Jacquard in Belgium. It's a graphic design school where you can specialise in video games.
In 2014 during my 3rd year, I was taken on as an intern at Kylotonn as a level builder and...I never left!
I have been environment artist I had been a modeler for a while, and as I really liked the nice "clean" models, and the precision that it requires to make vehicles, I was able to evolve with time and practice. And my leads at the time were very supportive!
What do you like the most about your job?
The right balance between the artistic and the technical! It's a lot of constraints, we always have to be very precise and we're not allowed to do anything "close to the mark". Firstly, for the pleasure of the player who will play with these vehicles, and secondly, as we work closely with the manufacturers, we must model their vehicles well!
And it's super rewarding to see the work that the whole team does at the front of the game. The car is the first thing you see, it's a very important thing and our fans will pay a lot of attention to it. So it requires a lot of precision. As a little anecdote, I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Tourist Trophy in the Isle of Man and I got to meet some of the players and drivers. It was really impressive to see some of the riders coming up to us and saying "I loved the game, can you put my bike in the game please"! It was crazy, and really rewarding!
What is your typical day?
As a Lead, we don't really have a "typical day", because we often have questions or problems that come up in addition to the schedule we give ourselves. Overall, every day I give feedback to the internal and external teams, I try to find solutions to the problems we have just discovered, I discuss with the other divisions to find improvements to be made... and I have meetings!
I have fixed times that I reserve for myself, for example on Friday afternoons I always do an hour of testing the game we are working on at the moment.
What qualities do you consider indispensable for your job and for VA?
To be a lead as well as a Vehicle Artist, precision and attention to detail are paramount. On the artistic side, as I mentioned, we try to make the rendering as perfect as possible, both for the players and for the builders. On the technical side, we have to be very careful when integrating the vehicle into the game because there is a lot to do, and the slightest mistake can block the development work for several people and even several teams!
So overall, it's a job that requires a lot of precision and of course good modelling skills. Even if some parts of the vehicle modelling are outsourced, we still have to do most of the steps in-house. I would add that on the lead side in particular, you need (very) good organisational skills, good interpersonal skills and solid technical knowledge.
What was your favorite project to work on?
I think it's Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, which I'm working on at the moment. I can't say too much about it of course, but it's exciting, ambitious, and modelling dream cars is really great as a Vehicle Artist!
Plus it's very different from other Kylotonn projects so it's very interesting to work on these things.
Any anecdotes you would like to share with us?
I have a little anecdote for the more knowledgeable of our games:
I'm in TT Isle of Man! In the sidecar DLC to be precise. We needed people to be models for the pictures of the fake sidecar drivers. So I'm the co-driver of Mike Cooper who is also a former KT employee, I'm Sarah Laurent!
WRC 10 is available on PlayStation®4, Playstation®5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Steam PC and Nintendo Switch™.