What I like above all is to design and create spaces

The Chinh Ngo

Senior VFX Artist

Hello Chinh,

How did you start in the industry?

I started in the game industry in 1998 with Ubisoft Montreal. It was really on a whim and with determination that I left behind four years of university and three years of training in architecture, for something very abstract, video games. Since then architecture has always followed me but in a different way!

What do you like about this job?

What I like above all is to design and create spaces. I found this aspect with the Splinter Cell series. I have also found the team spirit that I had when I was in university. A game project is a bit like the architecture workshops during a competition. The minds meet and synergy greatly improves the product! This is exactly what we find at Panache Digital Games.

What are your 3 favorite games?

  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Call Of Duty, Modern Warfare 4
  • Journey

Old games you say? Hmmm … I’m not playing a lot these days as a choice and as a family reality. I spend time playing Mario, Zelda and Little Big Planet with my children.

What was the turning point of your career?

I spent a lot of time on the Splinter Cell brand (1-3-5). This is what developed me professionally. The baggage accumulated in architecture finally allowed me to shine. Chaos Theory, the third installment of the brand, is by far my favorite. We had a great team. I then migrated to the project Assassin’s Creed 3. Despite the size of the teams that exploded at that time I also enjoyed my time on AC. After I got a calling for smaller teams which led me to Panache after a small passage in the mobile world.

I decided to join Patrice because I have great respect for the man and the creator. I like his ideas, the daring and assumed side of its projects.

Outside of gaming what do you like?

Architecture of course! There are plenty of nice little projects in Montreal. I love the details, twinning of materials and the shape it creates. The size does not matter, we can find it in a simple object for everyday use. It’s a way for me to leave virtuality, occasionally. This is part of my balance.

Do you have good addresses in Montreal to share with us?

  • Fous Desserts on Laurier, crazy how good it is! Try their chocolate croissant with almonds.
  • Kem Co Ba in the Mile End, ice cream, simply sublime and super friendly owners.
  • Ong Ca Can alongside the “Foufounnes Électriques”. One of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Montreal.

And to conclude:

Tea or coffee?

My body tells me tea but my heart tells me coffee.

First thing you do in the morning?

Religiously grind my coffee by hand, it wakes me, it smells good and it does not wake my wife and children.

Your wallpaper?

A big mess! Shortcuts all over my two screens, I believe it is time to do some cleaning.

What do you own that has the most value to you?

Not much really. This is probably my Buddhist side. The notion of detachment. Yet I have a fine collection of furniture and objects that are exposed at the MOMA, but these objects are durable and are made to be used. Look at the works of Arne Jacobsen, Fritz Hansen and Charles and Ray Eames and it will give you an idea.

Who has had the most influence on you professionally?

Everyone with whom I have had the chance to work, no matter the level or profession.

The best advice we gave you?

Or the best lesson: Less is More (Mies van der Rohe)

Thanks Chinh!