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Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

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Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby Cry-Adam » 26.06.2012, 13:03

We’re back for another round of Inside Crytek: our very own interview series which features different members of the Crytek team. First you can get up close and personal with them, and afterwards you get to ask the questions!

To submit your own questions to today’s interviewee, simply post them under the link to the article on our Facebook page, GFACE, or MyCrysis. We will then forward the best and most original questions to Michiel, and next week the answers will be posted online.

Part 2 features Michiel Meesters. Michiel is from the Netherlands and has been at Crytek since April 2012. He has previously worked for Lionshead (UK) and Gamehouse (NL) and currently works as a Junior Programmer on the CryENGINE 3.

1. Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started?

I love working in a dynamic and creative environment. Creating things and pushing the boundaries of game technology. It’s great to entertain people, see their amazement when new features for the engine are out or when new groundbreaking games hit the market. I started as an intern at a casual game studio where I came in very inexperienced, barely knowing enough C++. Afterwards I got an internship at Lionhead studios in the UK, which was really my entry to the games industry.

2. Why Crytek?

Because I wanted to learn more about what is going on “under the hood”. So more about game engine and core technology, and what way is better than working on the CryENGINE?

3. What are the best and worst parts of your job?

The best part is working on technology that is used by many people and studios worldwide. The worst part is probably not having a hand in the games that are produced. You create the tools and the studios create the games.

4. What are you working on at the moment?

Big things on my schedule are multiplayer and HUD functionality for the CryENGINE. Currently I’m mostly dealing with a lot of small bugs and tasks.

5. What music do you listen to at work?

Anything between ‘80s, pop, rock and drum ‘n’ bass. It really depends on what I’m working on and how my mood is. Sometimes I need some cheering up music, and sometimes I need some relaxing music to think.

6. What inspires you in your work or in life?

I love to learn and gain knowledge. I like to be an all-rounder so I want to learn everything – which I know is impossible, but it is still a perfect drive for work. As for life, it’s inspiring on its own, enjoy all the small and simple moments, meet people and visit places. Today is better than yesterday, every day again.

7. What types of games do you like, and what is your favorite game of all time?

I love playing real time strategies and party games. I’m not too much of a hardcore gamer, I like to play with friends on the couch for example. I like RPG games as well, but they take too much time for me, and I often get lost in them haha. Best game ever? That is a tough one; I loved Dues Ex, Red alert 2, Unreal tournament 2004 and Grand theft auto.

8. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy reading books, playing games, fixing up cars, hanging out with friends, cooking and eating, visiting festivals and playing sports. Sometimes days are just too short to do everything you want.

9. Do you have any tips for people wanting to get started in the industry?

Of course, make a lot of projects, boost your portfolio and throw yourself out there. Grab opportunities like Gamejams, conferences and parties to meet people and make cool games. I’ve started really small and without experience as well, and every year I moved up a little. The hardest part is getting that first job, but internship programs are great for that.

Don’t forget to send Michiel your fan questions!
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby Lavizh » 26.06.2012, 13:29

Nice, another engine coder at work ;-)
Good luck with your work at Crytek, Michiel Meesters.
 
 
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby iSqueezee » 26.06.2012, 14:40

It´s allways good to hear about people from Crytek. As well you know that company have a heard and not just making games like a machine and not knowing whats going on “under the hood”. :happy:
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby NeoLegends » 26.06.2012, 15:40

Some questions of mine...
  • What's your workflow? Does s1 tell you there's a bug, and you fix it directly? How do you generally work?
  • Do you use VCSs and if yes, which one?
  • Are there guidances for the code? And if yes, which ones?
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby hendrik » 26.06.2012, 18:10

How does the salary compare to the rest of the software development industry in germany?

What is the main difference between Junior/Normal/Senior Programmers? (maybe also what is your educational background, how important is game industry exp compared to normal software development exp)

What are the usual working hours?

Do you know colleagues studying part time? Does Crytek support it?
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby USSR_GRAND » 26.06.2012, 20:05

I thought the people at Crytek where old guys ?(

Thats really cool. IDK that you could be in your twenties and make games. What about teenagers? :happy:
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby chicken » 26.06.2012, 20:40

USSR_GRAND wrote:I thought the people at Crytek where old guys ?(


how old is he ?
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby The Vulture » 26.06.2012, 22:06

USSR_GRAND wrote:I thought the people at Crytek where old guys ?(

Thats really cool. IDK that you could be in your twenties and make games. What about teenagers? :happy:

I guess Crytek goes for 18 and up. From there age doesn't really matter, as long as you have the skills that they need they will probably hire you. If you don't have the required skills, they won't hire you. That's usually how it works, I suppose. Age doesn't matter all that much.
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby iSqueezee » 26.06.2012, 22:29

The Vulture wrote:
USSR_GRAND wrote:I thought the people at Crytek where old guys ?(

Thats really cool. IDK that you could be in your twenties and make games. What about teenagers? :happy:

I guess Crytek goes for 18 and up. From there age doesn't really matter, as long as you have the skills that they need they will probably hire you. If you don't have the required skills, they won't hire you. That's usually how it works, I suppose. Age doesn't matter all that much.

For a serious job etc, I guess you need to be 18 atleast :P
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby rocknroll237 » 27.06.2012, 20:34

Cool interview. May I ask, what was all this talk of a 6 month crunch-time period and programmers being put under extreme stress during Crysis 2 development?
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby ceylonfarmer » 28.06.2012, 08:43

The Vulture wrote:
USSR_GRAND wrote:I thought the people at Crytek where old guys ?(

Thats really cool. IDK that you could be in your twenties and make games. What about teenagers? :happy:

I guess Crytek goes for 18 and up. From there age doesn't really matter, as long as you have the skills that they need they will probably hire you. If you don't have the required skills, they won't hire you. That's usually how it works, I suppose. Age doesn't matter all that much.

Yeah i agree with you lavizh age doesn't matter PS: i am not even 15.If i want to i can do a BSC after my diploma in I.T in I.D.M(I am telling the truth :) )
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby Floady » 24.01.2014, 15:33

Sorry for the late reply lol, I never really checked if there were any additional questions on the CryDev thread, my bad! Anyways, in case anyone is still interested, below the answers:

Nice, another engine coder at work ;-)
Good luck with your work at Crytek, Michiel Meesters.

Thanks bud :)

What's your workflow? Does s1 tell you there's a bug, and you fix it directly? How do you generally work?

Depending on the scope of the bug, we use a bug report system. QA/Designers queue up bugs/feature requests in there and I post my own things in there to keep track of my own work. and then depending on priorities work down the list :) Occasionally someone can have an urgent or really small issue that gets solved on the spot.

Do you use VCSs and if yes, which one?

Yes, you can't work without. Currently we use Perforce.

Are there guidances for the code? And if yes, which ones?

Every company/Large project will have code style guides that give guidelines about how the code is structured, which idioms to use, formatting of code etc.

How does the salary compare to the rest of the software development industry in germany?

I can't really comment on this. I always say to people: "if you work for the money, don't work in games :) "

What is the main difference between Junior/Normal/Senior Programmers? (maybe also what is your educational background, how important is game industry exp compared to normal software development exp)

Junior is the entry level, generally this means you know the languages and general practices that are used and fit the philosophy of a team. after this you grow into Normal and eventually Senior. I would say the big difference for a Senior is that you have to be able to help any regular/junior and be able to bring things to the table during discussions about changes, decisions on new tech etcetera. My educational background is software engineer(Java/C) and Game programming(c++), both Bachelor degrees. then I did a variety of internship during my studies, all at game companies. Experience is a vital part, also because I believe I learned more in a 6 months internship at a company then I did in 3 years of university. I always advice people to see internships as an opportunity and use them to get experience and finding jobs. a lot of companies promote interns to juniors.

What are the usual working hours?

It depends on the team, but usually there are core hours, which is the time you need to be in the office, and you then have to add some time before or after (this is the flex part). so for example core can be 9:00-17:00, and then you choose to work from 9:00 to 18:00, or 8:00 to 17:00 until you meet your hours :)

Do you know colleagues studying part time? Does Crytek support it?

Nope I don't, you could contact HR to ask if this is supported, as far as I know it is not. and from previous experiences when I was in university, its also hard to juggle both.

I thought the people at Crytek where old guys

not all ;)

how old is he ?

25.
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Re: Inside Crytek: Michiel Meesters

Postby Cry-Adam » 24.01.2014, 15:36

Best necro I've seen in a while, gg Michiel! :evil:

p.s, this guy ^ he's awesome ;)

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