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Meet PAD, our music composer and game designer

· ZGS Team
Paul-Alexandre Dournel, sound designer and game designer at Zero Games Studios (and Douzy the sausage)

At what age did you discover your first video game? For me, it was at 3 years old, on PS1 with Tekken 3. But the game that marked me the most in my childhood was a Disney Mario Kart-like game: Magic Racing Tour. Today, my favorite games are mainly Elden Ring, The Last of Us Part 2, and Death Stranding!

Working in the video game industry is something I've been considering for a while, since high school to be honest. It was a distant idea, but feasible. My thing has always been music, the stage, building a band. But I've always preferred composing than playing. And it seemed more accessible to me to make music for video games than for movies, I was more sensitive to it. I started out with a video entrepreneur on YouTube who was creating his second video game. After three years of collaboration, I left the company to continue the adventure in a video game studio as a composer and game designer.

What I love about my work as a composer is quite difficult to describe, it's more of a feeling. It's ✨that moment✨ when you feel like you've pulled the right cable, that something is happening and you're on the right track.

As for my second role, game designer, it's the phase I call "anything is possible", when you're still in the concept stage. When you have a vague idea of what you want, and ideas are flying back and forth. When the foundations are laid and there's a brainstorm.

If I were a video game character, I would say it would be Joel from The Last of Us, because he's not a fantasy, not a hero, and I probably wouldn't do better than him. He's a man with a lot of weaknesses, but an incredible kind of strength.

I learned an important lesson from one of my previous experiences, and I want to share it with you. During a project for an augmented novel for which I was writing the soundtrack, I had a responsibility that I didn't realize: to assess the feasibility of a project. I didn't know that the project was impossible to complete within the given deadline, and that I should have refused the contract. I should have explained that either we cut the workload in half, or we extend the project time. We shouldn't blame others for not knowing our job, they're waiting to be guided. We always have 50% responsibility in the realization of a project.

You can find my work on my website!

I'll finish with this quote: "The head screams, the heart speaks, and the guts whisper."