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Media Consumption: Ubisoft Montreal's Maxime Beland (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas)

For this week’s column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to Creative Director on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas for Ubisoft Montreal, Maxime Béland about Pink Floyd, Snakes On A Plane and De
For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to Creative Director on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas for Ubisoft Montreal, Maxime Béland. The game launched on the Xbox 360 last week in North America, and is due for a European release later this week, with PS3, PC and PSP versions of the game slated for early 2007. “Launch is a really challenging time,” says Béland. “We need to ship the game and we are making very hard decisions every day. There are so many elements of the game that I would like to have more time to tweak and improve. I just want the game to be perfect - but that would probably require another 2 months to 1000 years...” The launch period has its advantages, though, he notes. “I'm also very lucky because Ubisoft is sending me to lots of great places these days to talk about the game to the press. Four weeks ago I was in San Francisco, and now I'm writing this in the plane from Hamburg. It's just fantastic to be able to not only create a game, but also be able to present it and talk about it with the journalists.” “Next, I'm taking at least a month off,” Béland adds. “I need to see what my son looks like, and I need to finish all these games I started playing and never got a chance to finish. After that, I'm jumping on to our next project, which of course, I'm not at the liberty to talk about.” We caught up with Béland to quiz him about the contents of his media diet at this point in time. Sounds: "I currently listen to three different types of music these days. First of all, I mainly listen to Nine Inch Nails when I need to blow off some steam. After a long day at work, nothing beats driving home with NIN playing a couple of DBs higher than recommended by the doctors. The second type of music I recently started listening to is French music like Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. That's my current "I need to relax" music. Finally, when I'm home, I get to listen to Baby Einstein CDs a lot, since my wife and I recently had a baby boy. Recently, nothing new coming out of the music industry has really touched me. Maybe stuff is getting too commercial for me, or maybe I just don't search hard enough. I've found musical happiness in listening to Pink Floyd and AC/DC. I blame Guitar Hero for waking up the rocker in me." Moving Pictures: "I love most Tarantino movies. He is always able to make me feel emotions that I rarely experience in other movies. I also really enjoy his dialogue, and of course his dark humor works very well on me. Speaking of humor, the last movie I saw was Snakes on a Plane. Too bad I was the only one in the theater who found it extremely funny. In the last couple of years, I have to say I've been more attracted to what was done on TV than on the movie screen. I've been very captivated by 24, Lost and The Sopranos, mainly because they broke the mold of typical TV series. The Unit is also a really interesting series for me since it's probably the closest thing to Rainbow Six on TV right now. And finally there is CSI, which is making more episodes that I have time to watch. I find the artistic direction on CSI Miami just amazing...they control colors and especially lighting in a way that I have rarely seen. I think for most artists out there, they will find that it is way too saturated for them... but I really think it works for the mass market." Words: "I try to get my hands on anything game design related. But recently, with a baby on the way, I was reading lots of pregnancy books. And now that he is with us, I read lots of baby related books. On my nightstand I currently have The Religion War by Scott Adams, The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year by Armin A. Brott, The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy and The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. Like most of my interests, it's a pretty diverse list that's pretty self-explanatory. The Design of Everyday Things I'm reading for the second time, since it's probably the bible in User Centered Design and really opened my eyes the first time I read it." Games: "I try to play as many different game types as possible, but I tend to always go back to shooters. It's not only the type of game I love, but also the kind I'm working on. My favorite games are probably the Half-Life series. I have lots of respect for the guys at Valve, as they really seem to have mastered multiple elements of game creation: Production, Design, Technology and Story Telling. These days I'm not playing much since we have been putting the finishes touches on Rainbow Six: Vegas, but the following is the list of games that I'll be playing as soon as RSV is on the shelves: Dead Rising, Gears of War, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, God of War and Need for Speed Most Wanted - I need to get the BMW M3!"

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