The first believer of Season – A short story of passion

Sep 3, 2020

Hello! I am Amélie, co-founder of Scavengers Studio. As CEO and Executive Producer of the company, I finance video game projects and participate in the creative effort. I hire the key leaders/talents and I supervise them. I can do a lot of different things; funding, attracting investors into the videogame project, legal, design, marketing and advisory, etc. As our mission is to brand/create new IP, I spend most of my time building strategy and work plans with the directors. Also, I think it’s important to improve processes to build a studio culture and human resource strategy that fits the studio’s mission. I do not get involved with the day-to-day of a production like a director/producer does (unless I have to ;)).

Who am I?

I am a curious, enthusiastic, resourceful woman who loves team projects. As a kid, I truly pushed every boundary I could. At 10 years old, I got suspended from elementary school and kicked out of high school at 14. From my teenage years, I searched for eclectic work experiences. The more outside of my comfort zone I was, the more fun I had.

These experiences have brought me to many different places…

1. In the woods, where I learned the true value of a good and hot meal.

2. Into the craziness of the entertainment industry, where I learned what it REALLY means to “work hard”

3. All the way to Northern Quebec, taking part in a program that helped create more Inuit jobs and career opportunities at Glencore Raglan Mine -Tamatumani, where I learned to enjoy (for real) the present moment.

Finally, at the age of 24, I decided to invest myself (and all my savings!) in my first video game project: Darwin Project. Looking back at my journey, becoming an entrepreneur and managing my own business was a natural progression as I was constantly looking to discover new horizons and challenge myself.

Having my own company allowed me to live my greatest personal and professional adventure to date. The youth of the video game industry allows me to create from scratch the entrepreneurial environment that I want because there is room for creativity, going beyond my limits and above all, room for failures and learning. 

Being an outsider of the video game industry, the first 4 years were a kind of a MBA crash course into the business, production and support of video games. Building a studio/business from the ground up is the most difficult thing you can try to do. There is no class, no books that can prepare you for what’s to come. Everything that you do is always a first timer, so it’s inevitable that you make mistakes. I made a decision that I would never do the same now this demonstrates how I learned so much. I keep learning every day. Thanks to the indie community in Montreal. Each studio is really close to one another. We share and learn a lot from the experience of others as well. 

Those years were crucial to Season. As I was starting to play a whole bunch of games, I was also building a unique vision of what video games should be as a powerful medium of art and storytelling.

About my vision

You can have all the inclusion policies and space-free politics in the world inside your company, you need a diverse workforce in a position of leadership to have a real impact.

It took me a lot of courage to invest all my savings in Simon Darveau ideas. 

Now, he is investing in my direction and there’s nothing more that I wish for other women and people from diverse backgrounds. Simon is far from being perfect (neither am I), but when people asked me how women can be more included into positions of leadership, I say take a risk and just hire a woman. That’s it. I don’t want to hear about the fact that she doesn’t have the same background or as much experience as a more suitable candidate. If your mission is really to bring more women into the video game industry, you need to put your foot down and take a look at all the female candidates you have and just hire one of them. 

And naturally, I turned around and took a risk in hiring artists from outside the industry, our art director and our creative director. Being junior in the video game industry, it does involve a bumpy road of production, but thanks to the experience of our core team on Darwin Project, we are able to work all together into building something new. I do believe that there are no greater gains without taking big risks. I am not here for the status quo. I have been pushing boundaries my whole life and this is what I will keep doing.

More about Season

What I like the most about our protagonist is her courage. She demonstrates that it is worth the trouble to “participate”. To demonstrate courage, you have to “go and participate” not to “win” something but to “live an experience”. Being deeply involved in a project, being ready to learn, to evolve. It’s hard and it creates friction and discomfort. But I believe that being out of my comfort zone is the place where I learn the most. 

She goes on a quest. Life does not come to us, we have to go towards it. To participate, to get involved, it takes a dose of courage and commitment. After that, it will probably bring out aspects of our personality that we do not know. That’s the spirit of the game; go elsewhere to see what’s going on and take back the best with us.

I also believe that it is “this participation” that connects me to the protagonist in Season. I go there, I face it, I explore, I learn, I expose myself and I am alive.

Those two different games make a unique piece of who I am; Darwin Project touched my brain, Season touched my heart. Season is an invitation to open up, it gets me vulnerable. It puts me in a position where I want to meet others. It turns you into something better. 

I shed tears without sound but with a slight smile. It’s the feeling I hope I will have when I die. 

I would tell people who want to get involved in the wonderful world of video games that it takes a good deal of courage and character. Yes. But above all, it takes passion. If that’s what you want, I’m sure you’ve got it. Thank you and I’m really excited to present you Season soon to make you feel that way too. 

– Amélie. x