Based in Lyon – France, Gloomywood
is a new video game band created in 2014 by four friends and industry veterans: Frederick Raynal and Yael Barroz (Alone in the Dark, Little Big Adventure, etc.), Thierry Platon and Sophie-Anne Bled (Ranx, Tiny Token Empires, etc.). Together they share about 100 years of experience in the video game industry…
shiftWhen he was a kid, Frederick (with a K if you don’t want him to turn up one evening like some kind of masked avenger!) was already taking CB radios apart (CB for Citizens’ Band) and re-designing them into mini-computers. And then one morning, while she was performing her daily ablutions, he caught the eye of the C Fairy… this young autistic boy, an electronic explorer, extremely good with his hands, would be given a gift! An Extraordinary gift: being able to grin foolishly when, many years later, he received the Chevalier medal for Art and Literature (he’s gone up in the world since then! He’s now an Officer, can you believe!!!), for having designed… video games!
And yes even in the country of the Académie Française and the Littré dictionary, this kid, who coded Alone in the
Dark and Little Big Adventure, managed to make his name creating video games… He even raised a smile for the Minister’s photographer: http://tinyurl.com/qdndpht !
Apart from that, Frederick is an easy-going guy, with a soft spot for salted foie gras, who still spends his time messing around with bytes ensconced in his cave!
prntscrShe doodles everywhere – ever since she was a little girl! Everywhere… even on the walls of her nana’s bedroom! What a spanking she got herself that day! So much so that she soon found herself sitting in a school for professional doodlers. At first she dreamed of a serious career, as a « Publicist » or « Advert Designer » or « Sign Painter »… but one day, as she was leaving La Bascule, a bar opposite Emile’s place, Yael also saw a fairy… and the Amiga fairy foretold her future: « From now on you shall doodle only with pixels! And one day, you’ll work with something that doesn’t exist yet, or barely… They will be called video games, and at first they’ll look pretty bad! But you’ll see, they’ll get better…
And the good fairy told the truth… Watercolors, out you go, paintbrushes, back in the pot! Alone in the Dark introduced Yael to 3D… Little Big Adventure brought unlimited isometrics! And with bOxOn, she discovered candy games before their time…
altgrBack in 1990 he was yelling « No Future! » in the Ubisoft offices! RanX came out, but the teenager was silenced… in the years that followed were spent wandering, hopelessly lost… a journey through the wilderness during which time he worked for Infogrames, Ere Informatique, Loriciels, etc. He travelled and changed identity several times: from an alcohol trafficker in Nicaragua, to DS cartridge dealer in North Korea, buddy to Indiana Jones and Henry de Monfreid, handyman at BiP media, sardine fisherman in the North Atlantic, script writer, game designer, Dharma bum, and general flounderer in the dark before the Eternal Spirit!
escKidnapped by aliens as a child, at Plambuit sur Ollon in Switzerland, it took her years to teach them about good manners, how to speak French, 19th century fantasy literature, the fundamentals of Trip Hop, the finer points of management theory, all the Abba classics and even yoga… When she was done, the aliens were older and wiser, and happily returned to their planet. Finally leaving Sophie-Anne with us…!
Some would compare her to Cassandra, or for a more modern take, to the old man Glory Hallelujah in Boris Vian’s novel Arrache-Cœur… Put simply, you could say that Sophie-Anne plays an indispensable role, doing everything that other people would rather not even think about. She’s our martyr, all hail Sophie-Anne!
And for centuries to come, light-years away from our galaxy, a faithful group of Ferenguis dissidents will continue to celebrate the economic wisdom of SoOphiAnn!