Insider's Guide - Bellecour École

Insider's Guide - Bellecour École

Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves! We speak to Cosmo Remy about the ins and outs of studying at Bellecour École in Lyon, France.

Image Courtesy of Space Kitchens: The Movie

Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves! We speak to Cosmo Remy about the ins and outs of studying at Bellecour École in Lyon, France.

Bellecour Ecole
Bellecour Ecole is a specialized art school.

The Specifics ​

What’s the name of your school? ​

The name of my school is Bellecour École.

What’s the name of the neighbourhood?

​The school is in the “Bellecour” neighbourhood in the city of Lyon, France.

Closest train station or public transport option? ​

The closest métro (subway) is the Bellecour station, which serves the A and D lines. It’s a 3-minute walk from the school. 10 minutes away from school you also have a train station. Around the school you can find a lot of different bus stops.

Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

How long have you been there? ​

I just finished the first year of my bachelor’s degree, so 1 year at Bellecour École.

Why did you choose to study here? ​

I love understanding computers, and I really like video games too. I started learning programming by myself and got addicted to it. I tried to find a school where I could learn how to program for video games. I did some research and found Bellecour École.

At the time, they had just created the Game Programming Bachelor and with the school’s reputation, I thought that it could be a good experience.

When passing the admissions interview at Bellecour, I was convinced about the school's motivation for its students to thrive and succeed.

I chose Bellecour École for its good reputation, the recommendations I got from alumni, and what I knew I could learn from the instructors. It was all I was looking for in a Game programming Bachelor.

Why did you choose to work in video games:

In my opinion, video games are the apogee of a mix between all forms of art and technologies. In video games you may find yourself working with dancers, voice actors, narrators,  designers, musicians and a lot more. It’s really impressive! And I truly love to put all this knowledge, skill and culture together and try to create something unique, something that can change how someone feels about something, or to challenge players against others and create something like a sport (exemple: e-sport). With new technologies like VR, or motion capture, the possibilities are even greater! I feel like video games are the closest thing to the accomplishment of human culture and knowledge. And I want to be a part of it.

You’re learning a wide range of skills and software in program - What subjects or tools are you enjoying the most so far:

I’m actually really happy to answer this question. In video game programming, you can find a lot of different domains of skills. Generally, and to make it simple, you have two big skills categories: Gameplay programming which is more about implementing new mechanics in a game. The second category, is engine programming. This entails interacting and improving the technical core of the game, graphic rendering, physics, etc. I mostly want to learn more about engine programming.

This year, we mostly learned the C programming language. This is the part I loved the most because I really like solving problems and designing algorithms to reach a goal or to complete a task.

For example, we did a big project during the year and us programmers needed to work with a team of game designers to build an adventure game with the C language. I really enjoyed creating tools for my team and managing all the technical parts of the project. I love to create the roots of a project and see everyone in the team add its own skills and creativity within it.

The Scene ​

The first thing you see when you walk outside your school? ​

You have a lot of clothing shops in the neighbourhood but the first you see is a floor tile shop.

The closest shop outside your school is:

The floor tile shop is the nearest but you have some bars, a bank, a florist, and a pharmacy.

Your school is great, but you wouldn't mind a bit less:​

Because of COVID 19, I didn’t spend much time at the school. But I remember that when it was lunch time, it was hard to find a seat to eat inside the school.

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

We don’t really have one, but at the start of the year, they gave me a tote bag with the school’s logo on it. In some programs you get an art bag.

A mandatory stop for anyone new to your city: ​

Lyon is a very big city so you have a lot of things to see, among them: a lot of bars, restaurants, historical and cultural places, etc. The school is located in the city centre, you have a lot of activity nearby, it’s not hard to find something to do (without a pandemic).

A common myth about your school is: ​

The school is mostly famous for its arts curriculum due to its history. But now, the school also has a good reputation in 3D animation, Game design, Fashion & Accessories Design and a lot more. You have a lot of different programs and domains of expertise on offer.

A massive night out for students at your school is likely to be: ​

This question is hard to answer, with the pandemic everything has been cancelled. I know that the school has a student association, which normally organises events or integration weekends.

The Superlatives ​

You won’t find a better place to eat than at: ​

There is a place not far from the school, an Italian caterer named Assaggi, it’s really affordable for the quality and it’s very very good.

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen at your school is:

Some students at the school come with cosplay on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually amazing! At first I was wondering if it was part of an event but no, it was just people dressing like they wanted. And I realised how much this ambiance is appreciable to work in.

How would you describe the school community:

You have a lot of different people in the school. If I needed to describe how I felt at the beginning of the year, I would qualify the community as welcoming, diversified, friendly and inclusive.

One thing you’d never change about your school is: ​

The quality of the teachers. They have an impressive background in the video game industry, which is really helpful when it comes to putting theory back into practice, they can talk about their experience and knowledge. They give meaningful answers as to why we learn this instead of that, or why we absolutely need to master a skill for example.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing changed is: ​

The coordination and organisation between teachers themselves and teachers to students. Especially during the pandemic, communication was hard to manage on some projects.

Teachers are generally aware and they listen to what students have to say, so when we gave feedback about having trouble with the strain of project timelines, they were happy to take the feedback and are aware of it for the next cohort.

A mod on Red Dead Redemption 2, school project, Cosmo Remy

Someone gives you $1M to pimp out your school. You use it to: ​

As a student, the answer is obvious. Better hardware, better and new chairs, new equipment, etc. With this amount, the school could also provide financial support to students projects at the end of their curriculum. For example, to help a student video game to be released on the market would be amazing!

What advice do you have for students thinking of studying for your degree: ​

This question is very interesting since I’m part of the 1st promotion of this degree, we didn’t have older students to ask questions or to ask for advice.

Talking to someone that would like to start the degree, I would say: keep learning everything you want to learn, try to be curious as much as you can, explore and try, try, and try again when you are blocked on something, never hesitate to ask questions or to search on the internet. And most important advice: what you did previously doesn't define what you will be able to do in the future, you are capable of anything with motivation and curiosity.

What personal projects are you working on at the moment? How do you stay motivated: ​

Some friends that I’ve met at Bellecour and I, are currently working on a huge project that we really are motivated about. I’m on all the programming parts and it’s really stimulating. I’m so thrilled to improve and add more functionalities to the game. Most of my work on the project is to create tools for game designers for them to add items, characters, maps, etc.

After a summer break, it’s not hard to stay motivated, breaks are important, but the project never left my mind and now that I can really work on it again I’m at 100%. Some teachers are still really available to answer my questions and give me advice to make the project more professional. I’m really glad about how dedicated my teachers are.

Where do you see yourself after graduation:

After graduation I want to work on some projects that I like and where I feel comfortable. It can be in a huge already existing studio, or it can be with two friends in a basement. If I need to be realistic, I would prefer to work in a big studio for a period of time. I feel like it could really be an enriching experience. I could learn to work and evolve in a framed and professional environment. But in the end, my goal is to be skilled and to be able to accomplish anything.

Cosmo Remy is a 1st year Game Programming student. He loves learning and understanding. Cosmo is passionate and ambitious - becoming qualified and skilled is his main objective. You can find Cosmo on Twitter, LinkedIn and via his Website.

Since our interview with Cosmo a couple of months ago, there have been exciting new advancements at Bellecour, not to mention a brand new campus!

Four traditional rooms in the main campus have been turned into computer labs with new chairs, more PCs, and a crazy amount of Cintiq! Students will also be impressed with the new sound system in the lecture hall.

Learn more about Certified school Bellecour École, here.