Eric Viennot is a famous french game designer. He established his reputation on creating innovative game concepts, based on strong narrative ideas and on transmedia games. Among his most famous creations, we can notice Uncle Albert’s Adventures, La boite à bidules, Missing: Since January, Evidence: The Last Ritual and Alt-Minds.
During his study in Art at university Paris 1, Eric Viennot gets interested in modern art, especially in minimalist art and land art (Carl Andre, Walter de Maria, Richard Long…).
He starts an artistic process influenced by those movements and takes part, with the Groupe Equipage 10, to several expositions all over Europe. He creates installations mixing many art forms, as sculpture, painting, photography and video.
At the end of the eighties, he gets interested in the emergence of computer graphics. He learns to create CGI on Amiga 500, then Amiga 200, and establishes the Lexis Numérique company.
Eric Viennot starts his career as a game designer by creating the Uncle Albert’s adventures, a serie of video game adventures for children. Translated in 15 languages, the serie knows a great success and gets several prices in France and in foreign countries. It offers the opportunity for Lexis Numérique, founded in 1990, to grow from 5 to 50 employees in the early 2000.
A spin off called La Boite à Bidules is then created, targeting younger children. It features 4 endearing characters, Gus, Bébert, Léonie and Toto, living great adventures in a strange box, invented by Uncle Albert in the fifties.
With Missing: Since January, edited by Ubisoft in 2003, Eric Viennot creates for the first time a game for a mature audience. This interactive thriller is the first ARG (Alternate Reality Game) in Europe. This brand new genre, from which Eric Viennot is a pioneer, places the player in the center of the story, making him a character among the others. It uses a set of interconnected media, in order to create a coherent system: movies, websites, emails, mini-games, even sms or phone calls. The player is tracking a serial killer and has to decode the macabre “interactive master piece” he is mocking the police with. It is a success in Europe, where 250 000 exemplaires are sold, and in the US. The second opus, called Evidence: The Last Ritual is released in 2006.
After the In Memoriam serie (Missing : Since January and Evidence: The Last Ritual), Eric Viennot keeps exploring the transmedia games he contributed to promote. He works for several years on Alt-Minds, which is released in 2012. Mixing TV show and video game, this hybrid work involves players to be part of a 8 month long interactive investigation. Some journalists noticed a link to PokemonGO, released 4 years later, considering that collecting items in real life appears similar to the Niantic game.
Since 2014, Eric Viennot is a freelance author. He is working on a new game called Unknown and several VR documentary films.
While conducting his author career, Eric Viennot runs the Lexis Numérique studio until 2014. Over 8 million games were sold during this period.
Lexis produced a great amount of games for young people, such as the well known serie Alexandra Ledermann, developed by Ubisoft, but also Itacante la Cité des robots, The Beauty or the Beast, and more recently the Pooyoos serie. The studio works with several editors (Disney, Ubisoft, Emme, Mindscape…) on adapting well known video game licences, derived from movies, books or comics: Les aventures du Poisson Arc-en-ciel, E.T l’extraterrestre, The Jungle Book, Boule et Bill, C’est pas sorcier, etc.
Lexis is also famous for creating innovative and award winning concepts, such as Experience 112 (2008) or the Red Johnson’s Chronicles (2011).
Centre Pompidou – CNAM/ENJMIN – CNC – Le Cube – ESCP – Département de l’Aude – Dixit – La Femis – Fonds des Médias Canadiens – Festival Tous écrans de Genève – Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal – Festival du cinéma fantastique de Neuchâtel – Forum blanc – France Télévision – Gobelins – INA (en charge du cursus Transmedia au sein du Master de production Audiovisuelle)-Lincoln Center de New-York – MIT Boston – PRIMI – Thecamp – Université Paris 1 – Université Paris 8 …
Eric wrote a widely read and commented blog on the website Libération. The blog called Y’a pas que les jeux vidéo dans la vie ! (Life is not all about video games!) is still online.
Game design – Narrative design – Fiction Design – Art Direction – Transmedia Scenario and Architecture – UX Design – UI Design – Community Design