Q&As// Jordane Thiboust: Lead Designer Hot Pixel

...a young skater boy and a middle-aged corporate guy playing PSPs

Posted 31 May 2007 15:30 by
Jordane Thiboust
Jordane Thiboust
Some games just ooze style. Jet Set Radio is one of this writer’s very favourite games for it – there is just something about a game’s art direction that you can really appreciate, even if in reality one might baulk at being ‘street’ or skating around town tagging walls (blame me for being slightly of the metal-headed persuasion here). It’s the art and culture that can be appreciated, all the same.

Atari is aiming to capture this culture by combining the ways of the street and digital lifestyles together and coming up with a crazy mini-game showcase for the PSP called Hot Pixel. A game that looks like insane fun with artwork that puts it into the aforementioned realm of ‘style oozer’. SPOnG managed to catch up with Jordane Thiboust of developers zSlide, to chat about the culture, the lifestyle, and a certain moustachioed anti-hero…

SPOnG: First, could we get a little background information on you? What interested you about working on video games and how did you get into the industry?

Jordane Thiboust: I am Jordane Thiboust the lead game designer on Hot Pixel. I was always interested in working on video games and in game design in particular, as I have always considered game design as a science as much as an art.

It’s an art because you have to get creative, get new ideas and create concepts. It’s a science because you have to look at what your predecessors and competitors did, and from there enhance, create and evolve. I think it is quite a unique job and that really excites me.

As for how I got into the industry, I simply joined a game design school, completed my internship with zSlide. My challenge for Hot Pixel was to create over 200 mini-games, which was very exciting! I finally ended up being the lead game designer on the project.

SPOnG: The game looks unique with an original theme. Why did you decide to combine street culture and today’s obsession with the digital age?

Jordane Thiboust: Because we think all of those are merging in some ways. Today you will see both a young skater boy and a middle-aged corporate guy playing PSPs and listening to their Mp3 Players. All those people share being into what we like to call the “digital lifestyle”, which basically means people who like high-tech gadgets and live with them daily.

In the past video games were for kids, today they are for everyone, because the mentalities have evolved and because the kids have grown up. Kids like you and me, who are part of the “80s’ Generation”.

SPOnG: What is the premise of the game, and how does it tie in to the street/digital theme Hot Pixel has adopted?

Jordane Thiboust: The idea behind Hot Pixel was to provide a product that would be fun, original, adapted to a handheld console for when you don’t have much time to play - and even more to the advanced multimedia features of the PSP.

That’s why we thought a street/digital theme for the game was nice to have, street and digital is all about waiting in the subway while you are playing your console and listening to your Mp3 player…
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