Michel Koch is a Game and Art Director working on the Life is Strange franchise at DONTNOD Entertainment. He is one of the two Creative/Game Directors responsible for DONTNOD-developed Life is Strange related installments, the original Life is Strange (2015), The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (2018) and Life is Strange 2 (2018). He worked on Remember Me, was significantly involved in the development of Life is Strange as Co-Game Director, Artistic Director, Concept Artist and additional Writer. He previously was a freelance illustrator and concept artist. Since May 2020, he is Executive Director / Creative Director of the Montréal-based subsidiary Dontnod studio.
Life is Strange
- Michel Koch lived in Paris throughout his work on Remember Me and Life is Strange. He moved to Canada to work on a new IP as the Executive Director / Creative Director at the newly founded Dontnot Entertainment subsidiary in Montréal, Canada.
- He went to Supcréa, Grenoble, and studied at Ecole Emile Cohl, Lyon, in France.
- The French name "Michel" is pronounced how the female name "Michelle" is pronounced in the UK and USA.
- His last name "Koch" is the German word for "cook".
- Michel Koch's favorite television show is X-Files.
- He is a big fan of the Twin Peaks series, which he refers to in a 2015 Gamespot interview as his favorite series of all time, hence the great influence on Life is Strange[note 1], and he is looking forward to the 2017 reboot of the original series directed by Lynch.
- In the same 2015 Gamespot interview, Michel Koch states that his second-favorite TV show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is also a big fan of Stephen King's works. There are several references to Stephen King throughout Life Is Strange.
- He is also a fan of the True Detective TV series. There is a reference to it on David Madsen's car license plate.
- On July 27, 2015, Michel Koch put a rainbow filter on his profile picture to celebrate the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
- Michel Koch played and praised the choice-based game Until Dawn saying, "it was a great ride from the beginning to the end, can't wait to replay it!"
- He also played Firewatch, praising it with the words "such a great job on the writing, voices and art."
- After the revelation of Tracer from the game Overwatch being in a relationship with another woman in December 2016, Michel Koch asked for Tracer and Max Caulfield fanart and OverwatchxLifeIsStrange crossovers on Twitter.
- After the release of Episode 4: Dark Room, Michel Koch posted on Twitter, "Today I have a small glimpse of how good GRR Martin must feel everyday!", sarcastically referring to the importance of death in this episode.
- Michel Koch revealed in an interview that they wrote Episode 1: Chrysalis, with the intention of introducing the typical high school stereotypes, before building upon them with every episode. "When we started to create every character, not only Warren, we really wanted to use known archetypes that people see in teenage drama and in movies."
- He also revealed the intention behind the scene of Warren Graham beating up Nathan Prescott. "If you choose not to step in on the fight with Nathan, we start to see something a little different, a darker side of Warren. It's very violent and gets a bit out of control. It shows us that, even if we're good characters, we all have a side of us that can go out of control. Everyone has shades of grey, bits of darkness."
- Michel Koch stated that Max and Chloe is the ultimate pairing during a twitch livestream with Luc Baghadoust. When interviewers asked about romance (i.e. Max and Chloe's relationship), he replied: "Chloe et Max ne marchent qu'ensemble", which means they "only walked together" (as also in romantically attached to each other) as in they are a great pair and can only function with each other. He also called Chloe an antagonist and her being the opposite of Max and how it's the reason their pairing worked.
- Michel posted some really early character concept art on Facebook. Translation: "Sweatshirt with hood carelessly open", "Sideways Rock T-shirt"
- Michel is a member of the biggest Life is Strange fan group on Facebook.
- Remember Me creator's next game looks like Gone Home with time travel (August 14, 2014)
- Rewind power in Life is Strange is "a great story telling tool" (August 21, 2014)
- Life is Strange - Michel Koch Gamescom 2014 Interview (August 21, 2014)
- First Love and Awkwardness: Inside the Mind of ‘Life Is Strange’ Co-Director Michel Koch (August 4, 2015)
- Life is strange - BiTS - ARTE (August 27, 2015)
- A Completely Spoilers-Filled Interview with the Makers of ‘Life Is Strange’ (January 22, 2016)
- "Max and Chloe's story is done": Life is Strange devs talk the future, success, and the importance of diversity (January 22, 2016)
- Life Is Strange Spoilercast - Kinda Funny Gamescast Special (January 22, 2016)
- Life is Strange co-director discusses the game's endings, production, and answers Chatty questions (January 22, 2016)
- Directors Commentary - revisiting Life is Strange with its creators (January 24, 2016)
- Life is Strange- Michel Koch & Luc Baghadoust (February 1, 2016)
- INTERVIEW: MICHEL KOCH & LUC BAGHADOUST OF LIFE IS STRANGE (April 4, 2016)
- Gamecreator TV: Life is Strange - Michel Koch and Jean-Luc Cano Interview (April 28, 2016)
- Masterclass de Michel Koch (December 13, 2016)
- Captain Spirit - Angry Interview E3 2018! (June 15, 2018)
- gamescom 2018 | Life is Strange 2 - Interview mit Michel Koch (Concept Artist) (August 21, 2018)
- The Journey So Far... Life is Strange 2 (February 28, 2019)
- Life is Strange 2’s creators talk choice, and why there isn’t a ‘right’ way to play (March 13, 2019)
- See here to look at the numerous works that influenced Life is Strange, including the Twin Peaks series.
- Article on Twin Peaks Reboot: http://deadline.com/2016/01/twin-peaks-update-premiere-date-early-2017-david-lynch-1201681533/
- See here to view the post on Twitter.
- See here to view the post on Twitter.
- See here to view Michel Koch's post on Twitter.
- Interview with VICE.
- Reddit post by /u/ThisBeing
- Shared by Dontnod on Twitter on June 15, 2018.
- Shared by Dontnod on Twitter on August 21, 2018.
- DÉCOUVREZ NOTRE INTERVIEW DES DÉVELOPPEURS DE LIFE IS STRANGE 2 (August 26, 2018)