Unity’s newly appointed Chief Technology Officer, Luc Barthelet, has had a long career in games. From software development startups in gaming and robotics to more than 20 years with Electronic Arts, Luc knows a thing or two about shaping strong teams and driving for innovation.
As he takes on this new role, Luc is excited about the future, sharing that he’s honored to have the opportunity to help build a stronger Unity. “After spending so many years building game engines, Unity is the realized dream of being able to continue democratizing gamemaking, and pushing the limits of what a game engine can do,” he says.
“Unity is the realized dream of being able to continue democratizing gamemaking, and pushing the limits of what a game engine can do.”
Keep reading for insight from Luc on his approach to fueling the future of technology at Unity.
One of the teams Luc manages is focused on innovation and research. Historically, this group has been the genesis of our work on things like mixed reality (XR) and some of the research on the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). More recently, the group won an award at SIGGRAPH 2022 on the use of machine learning for human animations.
While innovation is never perfectly planned, this team gets to choose the domains that they believe are most worthwhile to learn about, test boundaries in, and acquire key talent from. They work hard and experiment … a lot. And, they stay close to Unity developers to make sure we’re building things people want – always putting Users First.
When asked about the best part of his day-to-day work, Luc exclaims, “We get to play games!”
On a serious note, though, it’s passion that is most critical to leading a team with a heavy weight on its shoulders. The mission of helping to nurture the incredible work of internal creators at Unity and deliver their creativity to our customers as quickly as possible makes the daily grind worthwhile.
After all, leadership is about building great teams. To do this, it’s important to focus on helping your colleagues maximize their impact by clarifying goals and objectives, setting measurable milestones, and driving for understanding and alignment amongst everyone in every role, large or small.
Thanks to recent achievements by his team, Luc is excited that Unity will be able to add more features at a quicker pace to benefit our developers. Key goals for 2023 include improving the productivity of our developers – internal and external – and simplifying the solutions we’re bringing to the community.
Internally, as we have grown to have several hundred developers working on the Editor, the developer velocity has been impacted. It had become more and more difficult for our developers to get their code into the shipping version of the Editor. Last year, we specifically focused on that issue and were able to have a major impact. While it’s not perfect, we continue to aim to make it easier for our internal development teams to bring new functionality into the Tech Streams and LTS versions.
I live on a boat. In 2014, I moved out of the city, sold everything, and started to sail around the world – both as a means to spend more time with my family and to reconnect with nature. I kept using Unity, though, to build games for my kids. After four and a half years of exploring the seas and circumnavigating one and a half time, I came back to civilization and joined the team at Unity.
“Things well understood are explained well.”
I love to teach math, and I found this quote in a Richard Feynman book a while back. It stuck with me.
Recently we’ve worked to improve internal developer velocity at Unity. This means that our developers can bring their code in-trunk 10 times faster. That has been very exciting, because it also means we can ship new features faster to game developers.
Mathematica. I use Mathematica every day. I had the chance to learn the language early on. Ever since, I’ve continued to use it to solve all kinds of problems and improve my productivity.
Stay tuned for future Unity leader profiles, and subscribe to the Unity Blog newsletter to keep up with Luc’s (and Unity’s) journey toward shaping the future of real-time 3D technology.
Editor’s note (March 14, 2023): This article was updated for clarity.