Ludovic Bodin has always been a long way from home. A native of Saint Loup, France, Bodin worked in Canada, Mexico,Honduras, Ecuador, and El Salvador before coming to China. Bodin is the CEO and a co-founder of Cmune, the Beijing-based game company behind ultra-popular game UberStrike. UberStrike is a 3D first person shooter on Facebook that has more than two million users worldwide. Bodin recently went to Yew Chung International School Beijing
to introduce Year 5 students to the reality behind the virtual world.
Maja Geroska, 9, Poland
What kind of training do you need to get into this business?
If you want to be an artist, to design characters [and]do all the animation and pictures, you need to go to school for that or learn yourself. There’s a lot of software to learn. If you want to develop, you also usually need to go to school.
Lykke Gowran, 9, Ireland/Sweden
When did you become interested in this?
I’ve always been interested in starting companies. When I was in business school, I had my own company with [approximately]15 people. When I arrived in Beijing, I met [Cmune Co-Founder Shaun LeLacheur]. He was writing a book about game development, so we started this company together.
Emily Jernejcic, 9, US
How did you get into designing games?
Through Shaun. We wanted to start a company together, and he was really into technology, games, and 3D. As for our game director, he was good at school, but wanted to play video games. [He] ended up playing so much that it became his profession. His job was getting paid to play video games.
Warren Li, 9, US
What kind of games do you like to develop?
Games that are multiplayer, where people play together. One of the things I like the most is when players can create stuff in the game.
Emma Lee, 9, Singapore
Do you enjoy your job? Why or why not?
I very much enjoy the job. One of the things I probably enjoy the most is [that]millions of people all over the world are playing our games. Pretty much anywhere you go in the world, you will have friends, though they’re friends you [might not]have met offline.
Anna Gao, 9, US
What’s the hardest part of your job?
We have a lot of things we can do, and we have a lot of ideas. In this industry, a lot of things are changing, so a lot of people want to work with us and we have to say no 99 percent of the time. So one of the difficult parts is how to decide which idea you should do.
Damia Hisham, 9, Malaysia
What’s the best game that you developed?
We developed three or four games before; [UberStrike] is the most-played. We talk a lot with our players [to]hear what they say and what the people within the company say – and every week or so, we add new things to it.
Abi Brooke, 9, UK
Why did you decide to develop social network games?
Originally, we put the game in the Apple app store for free to see what [would happen]. From there, we thought that even though we had a lot of people playing, most people are on social networks. So that’s how we developed a game that is free and accessible.
Steven Zheng, 9, China
Do you develop games other than social network games?
Yes. You can also play the game on an iPod or iPad. There are a lot of people, especially in Korea and Malaysia, who like to go to Internet cafes [and]download the game.
Cheryl Choi, 9, Hong Kong
What did you want to be when you were little?
From [a young age], I wanted to see the world. The other thing was doing business. I like to build companies, have people coming together, working together, and doing something that more and more people know about.
Andy Wang, 9, US (left), Jason Lee, 9, Malaysia
How do you balance playing games and doing homework?
What you can do is say [to yourself], “I’ll do my homework first, [and]once I’m done with it, I can play a video game.”
This article is excerpted from beijingkids October 2012 issue. View it in PDF form here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where you can pick up your free copy.