.

In ten years, maybe we’ll all download Internet through wireless interfaces implanted in our brains, the only thing we can know for sure is that we’ll probably be part of it, producing cool content.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

We met around year 2000 through the early flash game success Banja (by  TEAMcHmAn)  and its community of players. 16ames was founder of kungfuyoga agency  in 2001 (2 SOTD in 2008). Ulu joined him by 2003. Fumanchu arrived in 2005, after TEAMcHmAn’s liquidation.

Wanting to focus on impressive Flash sites and games, the 3 of us left the agency end 2008  to found our creative code studio : iq12.
In 2010, Grsmto, a (young) former Banja player (he was 12 at the time), joined us as an intern focusing on HTML/JS stuff.

legend : AD = Adrien Denat/Grsmto, our intern.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

In 2010 we participate to a kind of Hackathon - The Adobe Air Challenge - http://www.adobeairchallenge.com/. There we met Axel Corjon / Jocker from Creaktif. At the end, we were happy, but not satisfied. So we decided to organize our own event with our new mate from Creaktif. Something small : 5 to 10 friends in a garage, creating something in limited time while listening to music, drinking beers and trolling the Internet.

Early may 2011, we launched a teaser creation contest for the event : The Battle Of The Bit.

On the 16th and 17th of september 2011, at Le6B, an artistic building near Paris, the first “And The Bit Goes On” fest took place.

More than 30 web workers (Artistic Directors, Motion Designers, Developers, VJs, …) created 7 interactive music videos from scratch in 24h. While they were hard at work, people could follow them on a 360° stream on andthebitgoeson.com.

More than 2000 people came to support their friends, watch the results and the 16 creations of the Battle Of The Bit on a large screen, see installations (Ponk, Tipis, live 3D mapping by The Shaders, …), listen to concerts (Austerlitz, Emilie Chick, T&K, Orbeat, Tha Trickaz, …), and party on the last night.

We’ve lost a lot of time and money. As there is no direct relation to Flash development, we did kind of 0% ROI. But we had fun, and this is sure our biggest achievement.

How many hours do you work each week?

You don’t want to know...

How do you relax or unwind?

Boardgames, drinking, and generally sitting at parisian cafe terraces

What software could you not live without?

IQ12 : Definitely FlashDevelop ( http://www.flashdevelop.org/ ). As we mostly come from a developer background, it’s nice to have a tool that is a free, open-source, uncluttered and efficient solution for all our coding needs in AS3.

Warmly recommended if you work on a PC.

AD : As html5 technologies and softwares are evolving very quickly, we need to change and try new things quite often. Actually it’s more a question of "how to know if there is a new software/plugin/framework ?". And, "Wich one should I use ?".

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

As we're a very small team, we try to not have more than 3 projects at a time. What's usually happening is that we'll have one project in pre-production and another in production, and maybe some late maintenance on a older project.

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

The past year has mostly been about the various 3d engines for Flash. We tried most of them and played quite a bit with all the new possibilities offered.

We had already been using some 3d elements in our productions for quite some time, but the GPU acceleration is a completely different beast in terms of assets production, performance tuning or even coding ( with shader languages ). So there’s been much work and experiments in learning the ropes and integrating what we learned in our production pipeline.

Now we’re trying to see what those new technologies can do regarding navigation/user interface with sites like creaktif.com.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

While working in our previous company, we won 2 SOTD FWA - http://www.thefwa.com/site/tbwa-compact and http://www.thefwa.com/site/grand-palais-virtual-tour. At the time, we were in disagreement with other people in the company over the direction the company was heading. Some wanted to follow more of an agency model with mostly projects manager and a small production team, we wanted to function more like a studio, with a team of creative people focusing on few projects and quality over quantity. We wanted to promote the talent and creativity involved in the production of interactive websites and we had trouble expressing ourselves in that company.

These were the first website we ever submitted the the FWA, and winning gave us the kind of push we needed to fly on our own wings and found our own studio.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

As iq12, our first site was the drooltoy and it’s still online.
As Kungfuyoga, we made the BadAssDuck’s site. Sounds, photos, everything was home made.

At the time, we were only a few companies working with Flash. Every one was a kind of punk in the job. Flash was not smart enough for developpers (Macromedia Director was the minimum). And we were “amateurs” for graphists and animators. Flash was sort of  the “Comic Sans” of web design. Everything you did was “exceptional” just because no one did it before.

So is the BadAssDuck's site. Stupid, annoying ducks telling every one “Yeah, we got a dumb name. So, WTF?”


Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

Sure we do. At least we try to. Grsmto is an electronic music specialist and blogger, Ulu plays board and video games, Fumanchu goes to every rock fest he can and 16ames is a dad.

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

IQ12 : We’re a studio founded on its expertise in digital solution so we tend to mostly focus on that and our clients know this and call us for it.
With mobile platforms, the web is everywhere, all the time and that gives us plenty of thinking to do in terms of what we can do with what we know.


AD : On the contrary, with this website (creaktif.com) we deal with different devices and experiences for each one. We think that the web can propose proper users experiences for each devices for the same website. Mobile devices are a new way to experiment and propose smooth navigation like we did on the mobile version of creaktif.com .

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

IQ12 : Hard to say, as traditional websites are fading out, or at least shifting in focus with the emergence of social media and mobile platforms. 10 years of technological progress can radically change the format. So in ten years, maybe we’ll all download Internet through wireless interfaces implanted in our brains, the only thing we can know for sure is that we’ll probably be part of it, producing cool content.

AD : In 10 years, websites will have to be more and more instinctive and fluid. With the multiplication of devices, the bigger part of work will be on the adaptation for each one. As devices are more and more personal, websites could adapt to the user, without being too obtrusive.

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

When we founded the company, we had few clients and even less budget. When talking about creating our website, we didn’t want to spend too much time on it because we needed to concentrate on clients projects to bankroll the studio. So we decided to develop a small interactive toy that would demonstrate some of our skills. We ended up with the DroolToy (http://iq12.com/iq12/drooltoy/), a full 3D real-time multiplayer  drawing experience where the users control our logo and make it “roll” to stamp the ground with different patterns.
It was personal, it was unique, and represented us well. That’s one of the only self-produced website we put out and we were all happy with it, which is quite rare when working on clients projects. It may not be much, but it kinda kickstarted our studio.

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

We had the occasion of tackling a unique challenge this year. We’ve done online TV game ports in the past -all real-time multiplayer- and that was already quite hard work. When our client approached us this year to launch a new version we pushed for a Stage3D version and got it.

But since we had virtually no real experience in 3D and the time budget was short, someone can imagine that wasn’t easy to do. But we did it : a virtual replica of the game stage, xbox-like avatars and all. The first version was online in around 3 months, with upgrades for the next 3 also. And we’re now polishing the iPhone port with nearly the same code, all thanks to Flash/Air!

You can check it out here: http://duel.france2.fr/ (in french w/ registration)

And many thanks to our partners Creaktif, Gerwin and the Flare3D engine

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

There’s still hope for flash, but probably not with websites. It’ll stay a very strong platform for browser games, at least until the technologies associated with HTML5/Javascript get ironed out and standardized a bit.

On top of that, Flash association with AIR makes it these days a nice and fast solution for multi-device application development.

Many years afters it’s creation, the MovieClip concept stays super useful with no real equivalent outside of flash.

So Flash will stay, but the type of content produced with it will definitely shift in the next few years.

There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?

Flash is already suffering, at least in advertisement. Budgets that could be yesterday used to create high impact conceptual websites are reduced and redirected to social marketing. We feel there's something wrong when the success of a campaign is rated on the number of Facebook "likes" it got.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

AD : As part of the last set of graduated students from Gobelins School (Multimedia school in Paris), I think that it can accelerate very much the learning of development languages and good practices. But I'm pretty sure you can learn by yourself without doing any formation. It should be particularly difficult at the beginning : you need to learn how to find informations and how to understand it.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

As an independent aiming for a FWA, the hard truth from experience is: don’t wait for agencies to throw you a great project and not killing its potential in the process. But they’re sometimes clients (not agencies) giving you carte-blanche or self produced projects. These projects should be the ones you take the most pleasure producing and this will show.

How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?

10 years ago everybody still opened Flash Pro as a curiosity to code an onrelease method or two and some were even calling themselves Flash developers. This was great: it didn’t produce great developers in the long term but gave them a great perspective on the whole range of web design. It has now shifted to the HTML/JS technologies but I hope it stays the same. People with curiosity get their hands in a bit of everything and they’re usually the ones with talent.

How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?

Twitter is great and simple tool to do the job. We subscribe to a dozen different experts, be it long time flash developers or Adobe Flash evangelists. People like @unit01, @inspirit or @nicoptere. Plus we meet and chat with our local flash producers community on a regular basis, which is easy since Paris is quite small and the studio are concentrated on a few areas.

We always keep our finger on the pulse of flash, because the latest capabilities are always what we’re interested in trying and implementing in our productions.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

A good portfolio (with FWA winners in it) showing that we could do proper SEO and dynamic content in Flash demonstrated that flash was more than what most of our clients thought of it.

Our strong focus on quality and new technologies probably closed us some doors, but opened others. We refused banners or popup ads, to concentrate on making cool innovative websites. That approach allowed us to get more clients interested in making new stuffs and trying things out.

How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

Well, the "how" is simple : practice, and more than 10 years of experience in Flash. If we had one advice to Flash beginners, it would be to not hesitate getting out of one’s comfort zone : Flash can do many things, there’s always something new to learn. You won’t progress if you keep using the same formula everytime.

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

IQ12 : Well, thefwa.com is always good for inspiration of course. These days, Twitter is a must, as long as you don’t limit yourself to “trend setters”  ( that can quickly devolve in circle-jerking ). And of course, again, having a drink with people from the flash community is always a good time to learn a new thing or two.

AD : I suggest to subscribe to the  HTML5 Weekly (http://html5weekly.com/) and Javascript Weekly (http://javascriptweekly.com/) newsletters. Also you can create a Github and StackOverflow account. Another good address I use is http://html5bookmarks.com/

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

We met because we played Banja. We’re still using our nicknames to talk to each others. Banja was a game like no others with its focus on ecology and non-violent solutions.

We began working together because we wanted to produce a huge game in the same spirit.

This game project is called “Tsaïs”, some kind of MMO Ecologic Collaborative Puzzle Game, with symbiotic entities : the "Padchok", an intelligent but inefficient blobs, and the "Tsaï" , a brainless but swift and dextrous moving tree -  in a persistent world.

We first thought of this project in 2004. We started something in 2006, while working at Kungfuyoga. But this was not the place. We hope one day we’ll be able to push it further. When we’ll have time. Or a lot of money.

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

The future is quite uncertain. With the flash platform evolving, we might try to shift the activity from advertisement to game design/production, but we're still looking for a viable business model that would suit us. Ask us again next year :)

What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?

We're really interested in game design. We made some advertgames, we even worked a few times on real video games for Ubisoft, but we never had the opportunity to really get something going on the self-produced side. That's definitely the next challenge if we decide to go that way.

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

One bottle of Santenay 1er Cru 2009

What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

We're not label people, at all. We're nerds. Cool parisians nerds sure, but nerds still.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

“Monde de merde”, as said by George Abitbol

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thanks, and keep up the good work on this fantastic website, the reference in webdesign for some years now.


hr
the office
the office

logo
logo

And the bit goes on
And the bit goes on

bitgoeson installation
bitgoeson installation

bitgoeson reunion
bitgoeson reunion

Tsais concept art
Tsais concept art

Duel : Online quizz
Duel : Online quizz

Creaktif website
Creaktif website

Titeuf Website, 3D animation
Titeuf Website, 3D animation

the DroolToy
the DroolToy

All rights reserved © 2000 - 2014 Favourite Website Awards (FWA) -  Terms & Conditions -  Privacy statement -  Cookie Policy -  Advertise -  About FWA -  Contact