Listen to our Cogitons Sciences Podcast: Video Game Engineers [Des ingénieurs qui cassent la routine #2]

Welcome to the 11th episode of Cogitons Sciences, the podcast that deciphers the problems of science! We invite you to discover the underside of the professions of engineers developing in the field of video games. Our guest engineers, Gauthier Riquebourg and Romain André, both work for Nacon, a French video game company specializing in gaming accessories. They tell us about their journey.

Gauthier Riquebourg and Romain André are respectively an Electronics Engineer and Electronic Product Project Manager (Electrical Engineer by training) in the Video Game Accessories Design Department at Nacon. But before joining this subsidiary of the BigBen group, they started their engineering career in the automotive industry. With this change came a whole new way of working! An integral part of their daily lives: valuable professional flexibility and a shared passion for video games.

A gaming experience and pastime, ubiquitous in our popular culture, video games are first and foremost products: they are designed, tested, validated and approved before they are released to the market. We suspect that there are engineers among the many professionals working in the gaming industry! Among them are Gauthier Riquebourg and Romain André.

Listen to the episode here.

Multi-caps [2:18 – 30:12]

“Every day my work comes down to a few hats.Gauthier Riquebourg explains. The first lab cap that presents the checks, tests and specifications of various video game accessories. The second hat, this time engineering, which is more related to the specification in order to develop an accessory, and here I help my colleague Romain, these missions are related to user interface, electronics and electrics. Thirdly, continuous product improvement based on customer feedback, and we are always on the lookout for new technologies and new components.”.

For his part, Romain André is involved in overseeing product development. “From the initial idea to leaving the factory and arriving at the store” : “This includes fully defining the product from a technical standpoint with lab members including Gauthier, overseeing development throughout the manufacturing chain, participating in packaging development, and working with marketing teams to introduce the product. product to customers”.

Increased professional flexibility [30:25 – 49:57]

From the beginning of their work in the world of video games, the two engineers have benefited from greater flexibility in their work. So, for Gauthier Riquebourg: “At Nacon, when we have an idea or a project, whether it’s accessory development or whatever, we can execute it very easily because the hierarchy is very accessible, all the way down to the CEO. (Alain Falk, editor’s note) and we can also exchange with many professions, be it our colleagues in accounting or IT, our industrial partners who are based in China for example, our technology partners scattered around the world, or even fellow project managers such as Romain, or even fellow industrialists. designers… Today I was able to develop the interdisciplinary side, which is very nice, because it is intellectually challenging.”.

Romain Andre goes further and says that this flexibility is one of the advantages that motivated him to pursue his career in the video game sector: “Flexibility is the ability to get down to business and see how a concept conceived with colleagues takes shape and is brought to life. That’s one of the things that makes the sector as a whole and also innovation very interesting because it’s not a sector that stays the same. If, for example, today we see how the controller evolved, how it looked and what was inside 10 years ago, then today it is no longer the same, it has completely changed! And we can say the same about the evolution of video games, gaming media, and also headphones. And at the industrial level, this flexibility has allowed me to meet people who are embracing technologies that, if I had stayed in the automotive sector, I might not have discovered otherwise if I had not changed the field of activity or place … Whereas today I work on categories of products that are completely different from each other, while remaining in the same place”.

Listen to the episode here.

Quoted links:

Nakon

Breton company trustmasterwhich produces joysticks and steering wheels

French car supplier Valeo

Resources for further development:

Turn on: Xbox history”, a series of documentaries on the Microsoft YouTube channel

High Score: The Golden Age of Gaminga documentary series on Netflix

Gaming consoles”, a book by Evan Amos (Omake editions)

Video game history books offered by Omake editions

Joypads! Handle design”, a book by Laurent Bolli and Nicolas Nova (Electric Sheep editions)

technical meeting” as well as “Meeting with the game”, podcasts hosted by Patrick Beja

technical cafe”, a podcast hosted by Guillaume Vande and Guillaume Poggiaspalla

Let’s think about the sciences is a podcast produced by Engineering Techniques. This episode was directed by Intissar El Hadj Mohamed in collaboration with Marie-Caroline Lorike. The credits were directed by Pierre Ginon and the podcast was visually designed by Camille Van Belle.

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