Interview with Julien Hamaide, Co-Owner of Fire Falcom05/04/2018

What is your background? 

I’m an electrical engineer specialized in signal processing. After graduation, I worked for the university on smart video surveillance and tumor detection using scan. Two years after I left and started to work at Elsewhere entertainment in the gaming industry, a dream since my childhood, then 10tacle studio where I was Lead Programmer. When the studio went bankrupt, I co-founded Fishing Cactus with the position of technical director for nine years and recently started a new studio with Gauthier Billlot, the mix between Firefly and the Millennium Falcon, Fire Falcom.

What is the concept of the company you founded?

With Fire Falcom we want to explore new things like adding a twist to existing video game genres like RTS (real-time strategy) or tower defense with our latest project. We do not limit ourselves to video games as we plan to create a pinball. We love all medium of the gaming industry.

What makes you different from other game company?

We always challenge ourselves, we create our own game engine and have experience in AI and deep learning. We don’t plan on becoming the next Activision or Ubisoft as we focus on the human, on our passion as game devs without getting chocked by the financial constraints of big companies. In that sense, our models are Jonathan Blow with his games Braid and the Witness, as well as Hello Games, who with a small team created a huge world. If we don’t believe in a project, we won’t do it.

Why did you come to the Bay Area?

We came to San Francisco for the Game Developer Conference (GDC) as it is a wonderful gathering of gaming professionals. To have a booth there not only gives you visibility and credibility but gets you touch with contacts inaccessible at other times. It is also a good place to learn and grow from others during conferences and workshops.

How do you see the future of the video game and entertainment industry?

I believe that we are at the start of a new era as AI and deep learning will create new ways of interacting, like speech recognition. VR and AR are promising but we need more games created for that medium as it opens new ways of thinking, creating, and playing the game.

Do you have a tip for young/would be entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you can’t know everything, Go out and meet other entrepreneurs as they've dealt with the same problems before you.

As a game developer, I didn’t know at first about accounting, HR or how to talk to investors. By seeking counsel, it helped me grow and focus on what mattered most, the game.