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Benoit Sokal Interview - Armchair Empire

Benoit Sokal Interview

Benoit Sokal is the Lead UI designer for Tera Rising, another one of those MMORPG(Massively Multiplayer Online Role Paying Games) which is gaining popularity worldwide. Although most of these games have some similarities in terms of look and feel, there is oftentimes a difference in how the overall look of each game is done.

The overall look and feel of the game is the main concern of the Lead UI Designer. Such is the case for Benoit Sokal, who got his first break in the gaming industry as an illustrator for Counterstrike, one of the early games that became popular online in the early 2000’s. “The look and feel of the game makes it or breaks it. That simple, really.”

We got a chance to talk with Benoit and ask him about his experience as a Lead UI designer. The down-to-earth, soft-spoken 23-year-old is actually a funny guy when you see and talk to him in person. We caught up with him on the eve of the release of their latest project Tera Rising, and we asked him some questions regarding his experience working on this project.

What follows is the full excerpt of that interview with Benoit:

NA: Hi Benoit! It’s nice to see you here today. Are you excited about the release of your latest project?

BS: Hello there. Yes, I’m absolutely pumped for this occasion. It is always exciting to come to these occasions. It’s like the premiere night of a big movie. In our case, it is indeed a big night for us. Most of the time, we are behind the scenes, slaving in front of our monitors for hours and many sleepless nights trying to beat deadlines. At least for this one night, we get a little bit of the spotlight and come out and mingle with everybody who’s come out here to show us their support. So yes, it’s exciting to be here and to be part of this team.

NA: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to deal with?

BS: There are a lot of challenges to be had, in this line of work which I chose for myself. But it’s not a bad thing all the time. I, for one, love to be challenged. It keeps me on my toes, it keeps me sharp. I don’t look at challenges as obstacles, but rather, like a puzzle or a task in a game, which I have to overcome in order to play on. On this project, the biggest challenge for my team came in the very beginning, when we had to decide which theme we were going to stick with. There were a lot of heated arguments, debates and discussion. Slowly but surely, we were able to iron them out. Thus, here we are today.

NA: What’s the best part in your line of work?

BS: That’s an easy one. The best part is the friendship I get to form with the whole team. At work, we’re like a family when we all get together. The mood is light, fun, the people I work with are great. It’s not really all work for me. We have a lot of fun at the office. It’s like, if you get to work in the morning, you are welcomed by smiling people. And that inspires me to work even harder, to give my best effort, because I didn’t want to let my team down. We are a solid team, we look out for each other.

NA: Any message for aspiring UI designers?

BS: Just love your craft, man. If you truly love what you’re doing, it won’t feel like work at all.