When the game gets serious

I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for over 40 years. But I had never been able to experience tabletop role-playing with such a level of refinement as during this event.

The interactive story is not only supported by a DJ who chooses the musical tracks, surround sound environments and sound effects, but it is also amplified by video projections and lighting effects. All this in tune with the dramatic intensity of the scenes and scenes whose direction is dictated by the choices of the players. The immersion is total, so much so that the smart watch of one of our quest companions warned him that he was experiencing an abnormally high level of stress! And as if that wasn’t enough, an illustrator draws the adventures experienced by the players live, offering the surprise of his creation at the end of the session.


Thomas Pintal has been a game master for over 35 years.

The man behind this ambitious fun project is game master Thomas Pintal, multimedia director at Moment Factory – he is responsible for the design of numerous productions around the world, such as Vallea Lumina in Whistler, Astra Lumina in Los Angeles and the Grand Magic Hotel in Paris. For almost 30 years, he has put in between 60 and 100 hours each year to prepare for this role-playing weekend with his friends.

The event has grown into a happening over the past five years, with Thomas drawing inspiration from his work and teaming up with colleagues to add multimedia elements to the experience. He does not draw a line between his professional life and his passion for role-playing, the true engine of his creative energy.

At Moment Factory, I work with a composer, a scenographer, and motion designers. Often, when we have creative meetings, I am like in a role-playing game, I am the game master, in the sense that we manage to establish a direction where I direct the team as I guides a game table.

Thomas Pintal

“Everyone brings their energy to this kind of collective excitement,” he adds. This is what I call the convergence of imaginations. »


Thibault Libert is responsible for the musical scores and sound environments.

He describes in the same way the way in which the players experience the adventure he presents to them, an exercise that he describes as a “perpetual collective brainstorm”. “Everyone starts to imagine the scene in their own way,” says the game master who led his first game in 1988. “It’s the power of imagination; we are seated, we have dice, yet we all imagine the same scene, in our own way. When everyone reaches a certain state of excitement, everyone takes off from reality. »

Essential sound ambiance

There is no need to limit the contribution of sound environments, however, when they are used judiciously. In fact, they are essential. The universe of science fantasy in which we were immersed would not have been as immersive without the astonishing musical score and without the sound effects skillfully synchronized to our actions. Attentive behind his screen, Thibault Libert chooses the most appropriate sound tracks and launches the effects which add to the dramatic intensity. Thomas Pintal also has access to his own sound bank which he can use to amplify the players’ emotions, particularly during certain key scenes.

For me, the most important use is the sound. If in the story we enter a dark, gloomy forest, in the evening, there is rain, we must hear it, we must hear the thunder in the distance. Everyone feels it, lives it, but imagines it in their own way.

Thomas Pintal


The game system used by Thomas Pintal uses dice, but the progress of the game is mainly narrative.

The game master will also control certain passages so that the music brings the right state of mind at the right time. You had to experience the breathtaking finale when the musical crescendo suddenly stopped, accentuating the dramatic nature of the death of an important protagonist. Like in a film, but more intense because you live the moment yourself.

Thomas and Thibault spend dozens of hours preparing their sound elements. “I have a very cinematic profile in my approach to music,” explains Thibault Libert, who was working as a content producer at Moment Factory when he met Thomas Pintal. “Thomas gives me environments with a sequence in general and a tree of possibilities that tries to cover all the potential places in the game. At the beginning, my contribution was intended to be exploratory, but from the second year, I really understood how I could work. » As proof, this year he bought light projectors which activate and change color depending on the rhythm of the music and the sound environment.


Jean-Loïc Fontaine is made aware of the general arc of the quest experienced by the players, but he does not know any more before embarking.

Adventure in pictures

Jean-Loïc Fontaine is another former colleague of Thomas Pintal at Moment Factory. It was during a random discussion that the game master wondered about the possibility of bringing the young illustrator with him to try to represent on paper or on screen the ephemeral universe created during the annual weekend of Roleplay. Present this year only for the Saturday final, he chose watercolor as a medium to illustrate our adventures.

“Often what I try to do is capture the key moments,” he explains. It’s a bit like when you make a live model which takes short breaks for an hour or two. With role-playing games, it’s the same mental process, but in imagination. You have to take as much energy as possible and when a visual flash occurs, you have to find a way to illustrate it, to capture it. It’s more like photography, a bit like improvisation, and it’s super nourishing for the imagination. »


Jean-Loïc Fontaine illustrated the adventures live in watercolor.

Thomas Pintal wants to further improve the environment of his annual role-playing event, with the plan to do something new to mark the tenth anniversary of the event, in five years. “I want the role play, our role play in our own way, our trip, to grow, and then we treat ourselves to a delirium,” he promises. Sometimes we talk about it and say: “What more can we do?” »

We intend to witness it.

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