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Livelock

Livelock: Meet Tuque - Mathieu Lavoie

Par Amanda
mar. 20 sept. 2016 09:00:00 PDT

Mathieu Lavoie is an award winning composer, audio artist, radio host and co-founder at Vibe Avenue, in Montreal. He is also an associate professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) since 2013, specialising in film and video game classes. He holds a doctorates’ degree in composition, obtained at the University of Montreal in 2012. He has composed music for more than 60 films and videogames, as well as many concert pieces. His studio, Vibe Avenue has become one of Montreal’s main audio and music outsourcing studio for video games. With FX Dupas, he has composed music for multiple games, including Stories: the path of destinies (PS4), Livelock (PS4, Xbox, PC), Ultimate Chicken Horse (PC), Leap of Fate (PC, mobile), Lakewood Plaza Turbo (Mobile), Big Action Mega Fight (PC, Mobile) and is currently working on many upcoming titles. He is also the founder of the Montreal international film scoring competition.

 
What are a few of your biggest influences for Livelock?

Diablo, Mad Max, and Metallica!


Growing up, what were your favorite games?

There are so many! Here's a few: Final Fantasy I on Game boy, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Zelda on NES, all the Sierra "quest" games (King's quest, Space quest, etc.) on the Tandy 1000 TX computer. A bit later, Monkey Island, Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empire, Heroes of Might & Magic V, Civilization, Sims, Oblivion... .


What are your favorite games from the past few years?

Fallout 3, Civilization V, Far Cry 3, Dead Space, Diablo, Skyrim, Limbo, Telltales's Walking Dead and Game of Throne games, Bioshock Infinite...

 

What made you want to become a developer/work in gaming?

I started playing games on my Coleco Gemini system when I was 5 years old, and have become addicted to them. As they are such an important part of my life, it seems logical that I spend a part of it not just making them, but making them better. I've also worked on films. Films are great, but games force me to use my brain more. Composing for games is quite simply one of the greatest challenge a 21st century composer can have. Actually, as a composer, working in games today is the equivalent of doing opera in the 19th century. To not do it would be to not live in our time! 

 

What is your background in the games industry; how long have you been a part of it, what have you worked on prior to Livelock?

I co-founded Beenox in my parent's basement when I was 18 years old. So I guess I've been working in games for a pretty long time. But on a more regular basis, I've been composing with my studio partner FX Dupas, for Vibe Avenue, since 2013. Since then, we've scored an impressive amount of amazing games and continue to do so.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't working on Livelock?

Probably crying somewhere in a dark place... Ha! No seriously, I've been also composing the music for other games during the developpement of Livelock, such as Stories: the path of Destinies (Spearhead Games), Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endevous), Lakewood Plaza Turbo (Double Stallion Games/Cartoon Network), Leap of Fate (Clever Plays), and many more! I've also been teaching as a professor of film and video game music at University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). So I've always been quite busy. But working on Livelock has been an important part of my life these past few years, and I've also grown quite fond of the Tuque Games team. I guess had I not been working on Livelock, my life would be quite different!

 

What is your background in the games industry; how long have you been a part of it, what have you worked on prior to Livelock?

I co-founded Beenox in my parent's basement when I was 18 years old. So I guess I've been working in games for a pretty long time. But on a more regular basis, I've been composing with my studio partner FX Dupas, for Vibe Avenue, since 2013. Since then, we've scored an impressive amount of amazing games and continue to do so.

 

What can players see or engage with in-game that you are directly responsible for?

Everything their ears can hear has gone through us! Aside from composing music for the game with FX Dupas, we've also been critically involved in the game's audio design and implementation from the start. The audio team actually started being just FX and myself. Our team grew with the game's needs. 

 

Making a new title with a fresh studio, what has been the most exciting or terrifying moment?

I'd have been terrified if Tuque's producer was Vanguard. But thankfully that wasn't the case! Everything from the begining through the end of the game's developpement was simply exciting. What helps make everything non-terrifying is that the developpement is spread over such a great amount of time, that even during intense crunch time to reach certain milestones, you still will eventually have time left to make everything better. And knowing that you always have the option to trade off sleep for a few extra minutes of music is reassuring.  

 

Everyone needs a break from work, are there any office pastimes that you partake in (e.g. gaming, tcgs, board games, etc)?

I love running! I've done a few marathons, half marathons and plan to do more. Composing requires a lot of "sitting around". Running just brings your body back to what it should look and feel like. Especially since eating is another one of my hobbies! And recently, spending some quality time with my baby daughter Émilianne is the icing on the cake.  


What's a normal work day look like for you?

If I said how many hours I work per day or week, it would seem like I'm either bragging, exagerating or trying to get pity somewhere. If you want to be a composer for games, a normal day of work has nothing to do with an 8 to 5 job. It's work all the time. So basically, I wake up, drink coffee and have breakfast in front of my computer, reading emails and skype messages. Then I start composing. I usually have lunch while working in front of the computer, and even dinner, during crunch time. I have a very understanding girlfriend! Often, I'll take a break around 4PM to go running. Then, it's back to work. Obviously, once in a while, I break the routine and have a normal life. Everything works out! I love what I do and I'm passionnate about it so it's all time well spent.   

 


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