This is my informal bio, my full professional resume is available here
In case you missed earlier episodes:
My name is Alexandre Mutel since 1973
I spent my childhood in the country side in the south of France near a city called Perpignan and the Spanish border. That was a great place and a great time where it was still possible to play several hours outside, building some huts in the forest or just go out for some adventure!
Around 1981, I coded my first BASIC program on a Ti-99/4A
While I was visiting an uncle, I discovered that he bought the TI99-4A to its daughters. For some reasons, I was already attracted a lot by computers, but being able to directly use it instead of touching them in electronic stores was something extremely exciting. I don't exactly know which BASIC program I copied from the reference manual, but It was short and after entering RUN, it asked me a question, something like adding 2 numbers and it gave me the answers. I can still remember how much this was an astonishing experience...
1984, I got my first computer: The Amstrad CPC-464
My first computer book was "Adventure Games and How to Develop Them on CPC" from a popular collection in France called "Micro Application AMSTRAD".
I quickly discovered that I was much more interested in developing effects and understanding how games were working than playing with them... One year later, I was able to get my hand on a magazine that was giving some listing in assembler. Woot! I found a Z80 book and programmed my first effects in BASIC, inputting directly HEX values that I can still remember today after 30 years like the
- 1988, I got the Amiga 500!
I have been always attracted by real-time graphics and music, together, and this was a perfect platform to explore this! I started to compose music with it and quickly found some resources to program demos in Motorola 68000 assembler, this machine was just incredible... While I was playing in an arcade game center, I met a guy that introduced me to a French demo group called Iris. I had a great time with Goofy, a graphist, and Ulrick was my first and best coding/musiker companion from this time. I used the nickname Ace. In 1989 and 1990, I released one intro (as part of the Artefact MegaDemo but we haven't been able to recover a disk!) and two demos: Olympia and SpaceDepths.
1992, I spent 5 years at university of INSA Lyon
This is where I started to learn the "serious" things about computer. On the side, I met an English teacher John Hughes that was playing the guitar and a great singer. Thanks to his very inspirational mind, I spent lots of time learning to play the guitar folk. I also bought an Amiga 1200 and coded some demo effects. Sadly, a few years later, my mother thrown away all my Amiga code and musics, without telling me... boooooo! During a summer, I started to code on 386 and 486, with the mythic WATCOM C++, DOS/4GW protected mode and some x86 assembler (for the triangle rasterizer) and started to get familiar with a popular technique for 3D rendering called BSP. I had the next year a great opportunity to develop a 3D real-time renderer with texture mapping and GPS positioning with some friends to visualize the race of boats in realtime for the student EDHEC sailing cup.
1997, I spent 9 years developing software trading systems for Société Générale
That was not really the kind of job I expected to do... but right after the university, I had to do my military service and there was a super opportunity to do it for a bank in New York. So I spent 15 months in NY as a support developer for traders. NY was such a fantastic experience! Then I came back to Paris to work on several challenging projects mostly about distributed services in Java... But hey, I realize myself that It was not really my place...
2004, I took a sabbatical year to do a backpacking world tour
What is love? What do I know about this planet where I leave?... That was the questions I had for this travel. I went around west Africa, south America, Isla de Pasqua, Tahiti, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal and India. Eleven months travelling around the world. I even shared my experience on a website at this time!. At the beginning of my trip, I met a girl that became few years later my wife... and incidentally, at the end of my trip in India, I came through a strong experience that has shaken my whole perception of life... Life is just incredible!
2006, back to school for 3 years to study social working
The travel transformed a bit more my life than I ever expected. I became vegetarian ~ vegan, started to read lots of philosophers and went back to school to become a social worker - specialized educator. Having mostly a background in mathematics and engineering, that was a radical and exciting change to learn sociology, psycho-sociology, psycho-analysis, group interaction... In the mean time, my friend Ulrick trapped me (hey buddy!) to do some demo again... and I joined the demo group FRequency to help on some the nice intros that we released. I started to work as an educator to help kids in the street in Paris... but realized that my original passion of coding was still here and getting stronger... You can't do this kind of job if you think about something else while working... It is really tough and I admire people working in education and social fields... It is so difficult, fragile, and little rewarded! Oh, one more thing, during this period, I got a child, a little boy, what a joy!
2010, demoscene and back to coding
I released this year a 4k intro called ergon with my friend Ulrick (more info here), decided to quit my educator job and to work on a project called SharpDX that quickly became a reference project for DirectX for .NET developers. I had a dream to build a demo engine with it... but coming back to a domain where you have been away for more than 15 years, that was quite challenging, so many things to learn! The next year, I was contacted by Virgile to work with him on a C# Game Engine at Silicon Studio in Tokyo... woot! In the mean time, I got another child, a little girl, what a joy bis!
2011 until early 2016, I have been working on Xenko at Silicon Studio in Tokyo Japan
I never expected to live in Japan... this was a remarkable experience! And the journey for developing a new game engine in C# was tremendously challenging... I still have some side democoding projects haunting my mind for the past few years, hope to make it real at some point...
2016, New challenges ahead!
Going back to France, joining Unity Technologies to make .NET performance more awesome, and some upcoming OSS projects to share... Happy Coding!