Meeting with Julie Vuitton
Meet The Team is a casual interview of the studio’s talents. Get to know us, discover our backgrounds, our favorite games, our life at Ubisoft and our hidden talents! This time, let’s meet Julie Vuitton, Lead Community Developer on Howrse.
ARE YOU A GAMER?
I’m not a big gamer. In my life I have had two consoles: my Gameboy Pocket and the Switch and between the two… there’s a huge gap! The Switch is a way to meet up with my father and my sister, we play a lot of Mario Kart online. When we see each other in real life, there’s also a chance that we end up playing it! But I tend to get addicted quickly to the games I try. I also play on mobile, very casual things like Picross.
WHAT IS THE VIDEO GAME THAT INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST?
I can’t choose between two games. The first is The Lion King on Gameboy, one of the first games I played. I loved the game; I still remember the first level that I replayed many times. It was super hard!
The second game is Sim City 2000. I remember my father who got it on his computer and we both played it. I remember the first thing we placed on the map was a power pole that was blinking because it needed power! I think even now if you give me Sim City I can play dozens of hours.
WHICH BOSS WAS THE HARDEST?
El Stomacho in Rayman Legends. It’s a level where you’re in his stomach and it’s pretty tough. I couldn’t leave the game on my Switch to start another one because otherwise I would have to start the level from the beginning, so I just put my Switch on standby and I had to finish it (laughs). I ended up taking a break and coming back to it after a few months, and finally managed to complete the level super fast. I was very proud of myself.
HOW DID YOU END UP IN OUR STUDIO?
I started as Community Manager for Howrse’s German server a little over 10 years ago, when I was neither a big gamer, nor a fan of horse riding and I didn’t play the game. So it was more my skills in German that made it possible. One thing leading to another, I kept going and ended up Lead Community Developer!
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR JOB WITH AN IMAGE OR A MEME?
I’ve been doing this job for 10 years and this afternoon, once again, I found myself explaining it to my mother. It was not the first time that I explained it to her of course. It’s always an issue. Seeing my Teams window from afar she asked me if the person I was writing to was a player, but actually it was just someone on my team. (Laughs).
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY AT UBISOFT?
The one I’m thinking of is the frenzy of E3 where we gather as a team, at the office, and where we feverishly await the announcement of the project which was confidential until that very moment. From this moment, we can finally talk about the project we have been working on for months and months, even years. In the context of my work, this is also the time when we will be able to activate all the communication channels. We launch the Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, the Youtube channel… All that is already ready but not visible to the public, we just have to press a few buttons to publish. It’s very stressful because we’re always a little afraid of leaking since everything is online. For one of the Ubisoft Forwards, I was working on a game with a really nice trailer, it was great. On the other hand, we had our pre-download links which did not work, it was during a July 14 weekend so a lot of people were off, it was very stressful. But the public’s reaction to the trailer was a great moment, it always is a great moment.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT WORK?
I enjoy climbing with my colleagues. We started a little over a year ago and I love it. It’s a sport that is both social and individual, there are people around you who support you, we celebrate everyone’s successes, we manage to help each other progress. And the room is really right next to work so we have this ritual: every Thursday evening, we go there. And often when you go there for lunch, you meet other Ubi colleagues. It’s really cool. Apart from climbing, I have also been doing a lot of yoga for 4 years, as well as cycling since 2017. But also city cycling, since I come to the studio by bike. Finally, when I can, at lunchtime, I go to the gym or run in the Bois de Vincennes!
WHAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I have a yoga teacher diploma! It is a Vinyasa yoga diploma that I obtained two years ago. Before confinement I practiced triathlon in a club and during confinement I started doing a lot of Yoga (even if I had started before). The person whose yoga videos I was following online had a training in 200 hours that I followed. I graduated in March 2021. For the graduation sequence, the last weekend of the training, I did something special: I took out my guitar to make the other participants of the training sing the Shiva Shambo mantra. I also gave classes to friends online, even if I don’t have much space at home. In any case, I’m super proud of it and it helps me a lot in my Yoga practice even if I don’t give classes today.
WHICH SONG IS SURE TO MAKE YOUR DAY BETTER?
It’s a song called Atari by Hiatus Kaiyote, by the way right now I’m wearing a t-shirt from one of their concerts I went to recently. It’s neo-soul or future soul. I can come back to it any time. I must have known them for 10 years, and I discovered them on Youtube, a platform on which I go from music to music and which shows me which groups are linked to other groups. A great discovery!
Editeur : Jean-Baptiste Fantova
Graphiste : Stéphanie Guérin