Julien Lamoureux: Lead IGE Designer
11/06/2014 09:00 AM
Julien Lamoureux is a man of the people. As the lead designer of the In-Game Editor, his focus is always on the community and creating the tools they’ll use to create their own unique Far Cry experience.
“The first thing we did when we started to work on the editor was analyze what was done on Far Cry 3 and look at the reception from the community,” says Julien. “What was clear, as we saw on YouTube, the forums, everywhere, was that a lot of people were using it not necessarily to build multiplayer maps, but to create a really special experience and basically play around with the toys that were provided in what we call the sandbox mode. It was something that Far Cry was allowing that a lot of games weren’t.”
One look at the Far Cry map community makes it clear that Julien’s done his research. The creativity and ingenuity is evident in the elaborate worlds they’ve created and even the missions—or all-new games—they’ve designed with the tools. It’s something that inspired Julien to broaden the scope of what was possible in the editor.
“The idea when we started was to make sure that we could deliver the Outpost Creator, but we also wanted to deliver some spice: little twists for the player that would make the entire experience feel a bit different from the rest of the campaign. So in addition to the game modes we added [Hunt, Extraction, Outpost and Assault], we came up with the idea of adding modifiers. You can play around with the amount of health, you can play around with the inventory you start with, you can decide that, for instance, you're immune to fire or explosions, you can make it so your vehicle never gets destroyed in collisions. Then we also pushed some a little bit further: so you can die in one shot, kill in one shot. One of the craziest ones is you can literally increase the distance you can jump up to 50 metres and you can play with the gravity. It gives you a totally different way of playing."
“You're not only designing the level, you're designing how it's played.”
Of course, it’s not only about the more outlandish abilities; Julien’s aware that some fans just want to up the challenge for themselves and the players who play their maps: “We saw there some players had an appetite for a more hard-core experience, so we wanted to provide other modifiers for them. Everything from death upon detection to a countdown that's always ticking in the level, so you have to complete it in a certain time.”
And what it’s all about is giving the fans as much power as possible. “We wanted to make sure that as a creator, you can design your own level, but on top of that, give you this extra twist of really being a game designer. So you're not only designing the level, you're designing how it's played.”
It’s something Julien and his team are all passionate about: the greatest honour they can have is knowing that fans are making the Map Editor their own. “At the end of the day,” Julien explains, “this tool can only exist if the community decides to embrace it.”