Archive for the ‘My life’ Category



April 1, 2008

san francisco usa flag


random() people

March 19, 2008

Some photos I just added on my Flickr page, shot a few month ago in Paris.

stranger paris 2 bis

stranger paris 2

stranger paris 3

stranger paris 1


Barcelona D-1

March 11, 2008

Hi! I’ve been quite silent since I got back from the SF’s GDC, so here are some news.

I’ll be flying to Barcelona, Spain tomorrow for a few days trip for Ubisoft where I’ll meet the team responsible for a new project. I really can’t say more about it because the game hasn’t be announced yet. The goal is to learn from a specific technology they’re developing over there which is very exiting (couldn’t tease more I guess), help them on their new game, and see how it could be used in other upcoming projects.

I’ve already done this kind of mission before for another technology made by the Montpellier team, a bit the same genre and older, but still confidential. So I’m glad to renew the experience with another studio, that I don’t know yet. Actually I already worked with the Barcelona team on Driver Parallel Lines for Wii last year, on the Wii-specific controls for the character/camera and vehicle, so I know a few of them.

As usual, I didn’t pack my stuff yet, the last time I did the same for my travel to San Francisco and the result was that I couldn’t find my digital camera battery recharger:/

Beside that, I told you I was making a small game engine and tool on top of Ogre and wxWidgets… Well it only has a few days of work, so the editor has nothing fancy for now (I’m still discovering wxWidgets), but the engine starts to be interesting from a usage point of view. There’s nothing Next-Gen in it but with a bit of work it’s gonna be … “wait for it … LENGEN…”, no, just cool.


In fact, in my end of studies project, as soon as I wanted to make a test with Ogre (or with the physics engine) I added things in my current in-game gamestate or player or camera class, and everytime it was making the code uglier with lots of previous test in the usual Update() methods (I’m summarizing but you can imagine), because I had only ONE game, so with my new project, the goal is to be able to make a new ‘demo’ with a few clicks (like a game on itself). I’ll explain that idea next time (moreover the editor part of this process hasn’t been done yet). Anyway here is a screenshot of it :


It hasn’t any name yet, but I’m working on it 🙂 The only cool thing for now is that the wxAUI and wxPropertyGrid parts of wxWidgets produce controls that look like the .net ones (auto-hide, dockable, drag’n drop, properties, blabla…).


Last day in San Francisco

February 23, 2008

Hey! I did just have my last day at the GDC and in San Francisco, and will fly back to France tomorrow morning. There’s a transfer in New York but it’s a couple of hours to take the second flight, so too bad I won’t be able to visit this city. Anyway these 3 days in here were pretty good! I’m not gonna say ‘awesome’ because some of the (programming) sessions didn’t met my expectations (too technical and fast and not so useful, not technical at all, etc.), and also because 3 days is really short to visit the city, especially when you are all days long in a building.

But I repeat it was great! We went to the Ubisoft’s party at the Fluid Bar (it’s a kind of club more than a bar) for the End War game’s presentation and .. I don’t even remember the initial theme/goal of the party. Anyway we enjoyed the free bar, I came back to hotel with a perlin disturbance in my walk and this morning was really difficult …

Today, after the last session at the Moscone Center, I took a random cable train near the hotel (on Powel St) and stopped at the last station! And in fact I arrived at Fisherman’s Wharf (top north of SF), and it was really nice. I found the cable train really cool, with great sightseeings from the top of some hills.

fisherman's wharf

People here are cool! In half an hour I met 4 different people, I mean I spoke to them between 5 and 20 minutes, in the street, in the cable train, … and this kind of situation never happens (to me at least) in France. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m French and they can hear that or because I was alone (Arnaud took a walk in another part of the city), but I think it’s more a general way of life because they talk to others American people too. Whatever that’s a nice feeling, and they’re also polite and do not seem stressed, it’s totally the opposite of the Parisians behavior.

There was a very strong smell near the Fisherman’s Wharf, because of the bay I guess and all the fish and crab restaurants! So I walked a little, the night was falling, and I reached a pier where I could hear and see some seahorses and have a nice view on Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, a big part of the city all lighted, and other cities around forming tons of lights on some kind of small mountains. It was really nice!

san francisco

I’m totally exhausted and tomorrow is gonna be a looooong day. I’ll try to talk more about what I’ve seen at the GDC and post some photos soon 😉


First day in San Francisco

February 21, 2008

Hey! First of all, Arnaud could make it, he’s here, it’s gonna be quite more fun for the next days to discuss about the GDC sessions we’ll see and visit San Francisco.

Yesterday after dinner, we had a long walk, and went on the top of some hills to see a bit more the city. Well the view is not that good because of all the buildings hiding everything, but there are some good spots anyway! Some hills are incredibly sloping (maybe 30 or 40 degres)! It’s impossible to stand at the ground’s normal (geek stupid joke in the street).

Before he arrived from the airport I went for a walk too with my D200 camera, and now my battery is not charged anymore, like I planned (I forgot my battery charger at my mom’s). I bought a few candies and chocolate stuff that you can’t find in France (peanut butter M&M’s, cinnamon stuff, etc.). Here are some random things I noted:

  • people don’t have dogs
  • people are doing jogging (I saw 3 or 4 persons, 6, 9, .. and then a group of about 30 runners!)
  • there are a lot of classy hotels
  • there are many homeless people
  • Starbucks is much cheaper than in France (3.4$ vs. 4.6E for the same beverage)
  • the city is very nice!

I can’t post any photo because I didn’t took my usb cable! I’ll make it up once I go back home.

It’s 7:22am and we’re going for the 2nd day at the GDC! I’ll tell you more about the first day at the GDC next time, it was REALLY great! Just to tease a bit, the session of the Bioshock’s storytelling (Empowering Players to Care About Your Stupid Story) was the best I saw and maybe has the best interest to be applied in our games.

Oh and just a thing, in my both flies (Paris – Chicago, Chicago – SF), there was this french movie actor, I even asked him for a pen, but I can’t figure it out who’s this! I have a ridiculously tiny photo took with my cellphone, so someone could tell me his name! That’s weird he took the fly to SF too, I have a doubt he’s actually a Ubisoft employee, but .. no I’m sure it’s an actor! Or not.


18 hours later

February 20, 2008

Hi there, just a few words to say I just arrived to my hotel. It has been a 18 hours trip with a transfert at Chicago. I have no news about Arnaud, he has been stuck in Paris because his passeport wasn’t a biometric one, and on the U.S. only, it has to be. I hope he did succeed to obtain a new one within the day and will take a fly today …

I’m currently connected to a free WiFi access, lucky me because the hotel’s Wireless connection isn’t free.

In Chicago, I met some engine programmers from Midway that were going to the GDC. I was waiting for the flight when I heard about ‘Design … Halo 3 … everything in the same time’, then I asked and my guess my right 🙂

I’m gonna take a few steps outside to see what’s near the hotel (I’m a bit hungry but I don’t know if there is anything still open), and after that a short sleep (I’m totally exhausted) before going to the Moscone Center.


GDC 2008

February 18, 2008

Hi there, today was my last presentation at school (there’s still my intership presentation at the end of the year but..) about my external activities during my 5th year, meaning my work at Ubisoft. So now I can really say my work ‘at school’ is over!

I’m working in the company for 2 years now, and tomorrow I’ll be flying to San Francisco with my friend and colleague Arnaud to assist to the Game Developer Conference (GDC) 2008. It’s only a 4 days trip, but I’m sure it totally worth it!


There are so many lectures and presentations, we can’t see everything we want to :/ But we’re really looking foward to watch some of them:

All these are in the Game Design track (remember we’re developers ;)) but seem to be very interesting from a gameplay point of view. And of course technical sessions like:

And personally, I would enjoy assist to the next ones but it’s often in the same time that to biggest ones above.

Here is the programming track (almost 100 sessions) and here is the game design one (about 150 sessions). These are the two tracks we’re really interested in. Too bad we can’t see the Ubisoft’s conferences.

I’m really exited with the idea of going to the United States for the first time! I’ll try to take a few photos of San Francisco, stay tuned.


Snowscoot at Meribel

February 17, 2008

I was in my old town (Aix les Bains, Savoy, in the Alps) this week end, where my mom and some of my best friends live, and as often during the winter I went for a ride at Meribel Mottaret with my buddy Jeff. This time I wanted to try snowscoot, and I did!


First thing: it’s SO heavy, when you have to carry it in the street and can’t make it slide because there is no snow, it’s such a pain in the ass.

Well I gave it back to the renting store about 30 mins after I took it! The ride was incredibly intense, I mean after taking one downhill I couldn’t feel my muscles. It’s quite easy to control the first time (if you’re already snowboarding I guess), you have to do some hard and quick moves with your pelvis and legs, and balance your weight between the two skates. So after 2 or 3 turns I was controlling it, but the hardest part is to resist during the full ride to shakes (even if it has shock absorbers) and the pain in your hands/arms! I guess my technique wasn’t the best one but I seriously need to strengthen myself! SharkOne, I totally disagree with your “muscles suck”.

I could have keep it but I thought quite quickly that the sensations were not as cool as I expected and I would have regret my snowboard 1 hour later because I go snowboarding only a few days every year, so …

Anyway I succeed to do a ridiculous jump AND a small fall. That was a really good experience, I wanted to try, now it’s done and I’m sure I’m definitely a snowboarder 🙂

Oh and lucky me, what a sky and sun all day long!


I can’t edit the video shot by Jeff of me riding the snowscoot, but I’ll post it when I come back in Paris, till then here is a video showing some insane gap jumps with snowscoots:


My turn!

February 14, 2008

Hi everyone, I’m Romain Dura aka Romz and after my 2 friends and collegues Nico and SharkOne initiatives, and my last blog attempt (about 6 month ago with only 1 post!), here is my new try for a blog!

I’m 24 years old and finishing my 5 years computer science studies in Epitech (actually the last year is finished and to complete it I have to do an internship). I’m working for two years in Ubisoft (Paris) as a 1.5yrs part-time job + a 6 month training course, and I’m waiting for a full-time renewal.

I’ll use this blog to let people know about my life, my work (as long as it respects the inevitable NDA) , my personnal projects, some photos I make, and other random stuff 🙂


I have the position of gameplay developer at Ubisoft but I like experimenting all kind of game programming, I mean general 3D programming, physics, shaders, tools making, etc. And here we go, ‘tools making’, I’m currently creating an Ogre editor and game engine, but instead of hijacking that first post, I’ll tell you more about it soon.

I hope this time I’ll have the courage to keep this blog updated, and I hope you’ll like it! And the default header image won’t last very long I guess.