Since 2008, Jehanne Rousseau has directed the Spiders video game studio, designing and writing each of the games produced by the company. In March 2020 she received the Pegasus Prize for Personality of the Year, awarded by the Academy of Video Game Arts and Techniques.
Published on 05/05/2020
Jehanne Rousseau was four years old when she started playing video games with the Game and Watchconsole. As a child she fed on geek culture, read J. R. R. Tolkien and Isaac Asimov, and enjoyed role-playing. Passionate about antiquity, she decided to study it and enrolled in classics before taking a year of preparatory art classes, then a national diploma of higher education in visual communication. It was by chance that she began working in video games, joining RFX Interactive in 1999 as a 2D graphic designer.
After working on the game Tonic Trouble, she joined Gameloft as a game designer and developed Splinter Cell (2002). In the heart of Monte Cristo she created the world of the game Silverfall (2007). The opportunity to fully develop a role-playing video game world (Role Playing Game, or RPG) supported her ambitions.
« Getting into video games was about combining my passion for writing, systems, rules and graphics. It's a medium that allows me to mix everything I like to do. » In 2008 she created Spiders with other Monte Cristo developers.
« Creating games with passion for passionate players » is Jehanne Rousseau’s philosophy. After creating several games in the world of Heroic Fantasy, she turned to science fiction and found inspiration in both literature and history.
For her, science fiction « above all allows us to talk about humans and the fears we may have ». Her games evoke contemporary issues that question the player. So Faery: Legends of Avalon addresses suicide, ecology and decolonisation. GreedFall (2019), with graphics inspired by Flemish paintings from the 17th century, evokes the discovery of new worlds and colonisation.
Another characteristic of her games is that the player must make his or her own choices and each of their actions promises a consequence in the game’s scenario. Jehanne Rousseau’s writing process is complex, as the different elements interconnect with each other. In Technomancer, the game’s dialogues contain more than 300,000 words.
In March 2020, Jehanne Rousseau received the « Personality of the Year » award at the first Pegasus Ceremony.
Her games sell especially well in Germany and English-speaking countries. The designer is regularly invited to prestigious events as part of the jury for the H.R. Giger prize at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival and in 2020 at the Belgian Game Awards.
Jehanne Rousseau begins her career as a 2D graphic designer at RFX Interactive and works on Tonic Trouble for Gameboy Color.
She joins Monte Cristo and creates the world of Silverfall.
Jehannne Rousseau co-founds and directs the Spiders studio with former Monte Cristo developers. She is also a screenwriter and dialogue writer.
She receives the « Personality of the Year » award at the first Pegasusceremony organised by the Academy of Video Game Arts and Techniques.
In the context of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Institut Français wishes to continue offeringyou portraits, meetings with creators fromall walks of life, works and portfolios. We hope these few pages will bring some breathing space back into an everyday shaped by lockdown.
Jehanne Rousseau's work will be presented on the Institut français platform dedicated to independent video games culturegamer.fr, available at the beginning of 2020.
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