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Inside Crytek - Sean Tracy

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User avatar Ruan
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Inside Crytek - Sean Tracy

Postby Ruan » 06.04.2011, 19:00


Welcome to Inside Crytek! In this revamp of the series, we'll be talking to several Crytek developers about their work, life at Crytek and the industry at large. All of the developers in this series were recruited straight from this website, and we hope you find the insight they provide into game development as both a hobby and career useful. For this feature in the series, we'll be talking to Sean Tracy, otherwise known on the forums as Cry-Criminal, who is now a Senior Field Applications Engineer at Crytek.


   Name: Sean Patrick Tracy
   Crymod Username: Cry-Criminal
   Age: 28
   Nationality: Canadian
   Position: Senior Field Applications Engineer
   Studio: Frankfurt
   Time at Crytek: 3 years
   Previous Mod Teams / Work: MechWarrior: Living Legends team lead, Canadian Military.

Apart from the professionalism, what is the biggest difference for you going from modder to Crytek employee?
The largest difference going from modder to developer that I found was really the type of people that you find yourself surrounded by! In the modding scene, if you spend more than a few months, you tend to meet an enormous amount of people that talk a lot of talk but might not produce. Being part of Crytek has shown me that a company culture can indeed succeed when there are tons of like minded people who don't simply wait on an established structure to back and fund their visions but rather, dig in and work towards those goals they believe in. Crytek supports this through enabling and encouraging these kinds of activities and I am grateful for it.

As a Senior Field Applications Engineer what is your main role and responsibility?
I work in Engine Licensing as a Senior Field Applications Engineer which can be a mouthful! Basically the purpose of my job is to help developers and licensee's of the engine compare, contrast and understand the cutting edge technology we develop. It is also typical for me to compare it up against other technology available to these developers as there are other middleware engines available on the market. A typical day of mine is spent troubleshooting problems and designing new workflows for developers on the CryENGINE and finding creative solutions to some very difficult problems. One of the most exciting parts of my job, however, is in traveling to the various tradeshows that Crytek attends to present and demonstrate our technology to the public!

How was your first week, month and year at Crytek?
My first week a Crytek was a breeze! Luckily I had a lot of experience with the technology already and diving right into the team was quite easy. My director accepted my talents and skills as an important part of the team which made starting quite easy.

What skills do you think attributed most to your employment at Crytek?
I was quite fortunate to have received some technical schooling before leaving the military. I received an important Technician's certification that taught me some extremely important skills and systems that I use every day now. Beyond that what makes me really good at my job is the countless hours spent trying to accomplish whatever crazy idea I had come up with for that day in the CryENGINE Sandbox. I even found myself lying awake at night with ideas flowing through my brain and it even got so bad as spending those nights working directly with Sandbox and just making things work!

Did you always want to get into the games industry?
I had always had a deep interest and passion for games. Never did I realize how deep this passion ran though until my brother and I started the MechWarrior: Living Legends mod. I knew this was my calling when I would spend hours upon hours solving a seemingly complex problem only to find out that it would have been easier had a I broader understanding. That motivation drove me to soak up every article, every presentation and any information I could find about game development and before long it felt as though my job was interfering with my hobby, so I decided it was best to just turn the hobby into a job.

Do you think that modding is the best way into the industry? If so, why? If no, why not?
YES! This is the fast track ticket into a development studio. I have seen tons of resumes come in and be discussed but in the end it's the modders that stand apart. It is well known throughout the industry that modders are quite adept at creatively solving problems. Not only that but they save the companies they work for enormous amounts of money as they are recyclers
Last edited by Ruan on 06.04.2011, 18:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Arminator » 06.04.2011, 19:27

awesome. but i think cry_minal would be better :P
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Postby -Sannyasi- » 06.04.2011, 19:45

nifty to see you on here crim :P- MWLL is awsome!
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Postby Lavizh » 06.04.2011, 19:55

Looks like he has a good job at Crytek. The dude who said we are getting a free sandbox later this summer =P In some GDC video or something.
Last edited by Lavizh on 06.04.2011, 19:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cry-JR » 06.04.2011, 20:19


Hail to the King, baby! I love to work with you ;)
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Postby Criminal » 06.04.2011, 22:20

OH JR! Don't flirt with me in front of the public...they'll think we have a thing ;)

Its a bit trollin to comment on an interview of myself but hey here i am! :D

Thanks for the feature and look forward to being able to share some REALLY cool stuff with everyone in the summer.
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Postby Shinanigans » 06.04.2011, 22:29

Oh hey, so you weren't kidding about the interview! ;)

Some great advice! Thanks for sharing :happy:
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Postby Fortran » 07.04.2011, 02:10

Nice interview :) Also the job role sounds fascinating.
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Postby DICY » 07.04.2011, 04:26

Definitely an interesting read. What was your role in the military, and was it generally a positive experience? I've put a lot of thought into joining the CAF but can never seem to talk myself into it.
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Postby Boombear » 07.04.2011, 04:30

Nice, I love these. When do we get the Crymod C2 game going?

EDIT: The goal being to talk/play with the devs :P
Last edited by Boombear on 07.04.2011, 04:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Criminal » 07.04.2011, 12:28

The military is not a bad call to do for a few years! It really is not so difficult if you are able to learn quick and follow directions (usually yelled at you in some french accent).

I started as infantry in the Army. After a few years of that i knew i needed some technical training if i were to ever leave the army so i transfered over to the Navy where i got my technical trade training as a Naval Electronics Technician fixing communications gear.
Not the most interesting job for sure, but the schooling was free and thats what matters :)
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Postby Talvipakkanen » 07.04.2011, 13:51

Originally posted by Cry-Criminal
Not the most interesting job for sure, but the schooling was free and thats what matters :)

I read that as "...shooting was free..." at first glance, which is also a good thing i guess :P

Good story nevertheless.
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Postby otreum » 09.04.2011, 00:05

Great interview! I found this to be one of the more interesting interviews, especially because you were a modder, now games developer for one of the best games development companies in the industry. Reading of this type of success always inspires me.
Sounds like a really awesome job you've got, one which i'm sure many modders aspire to achieving.
I know a congratulations is only a couple of years delayed, but I have to say Congratulations again on achieving your dream career! :)

Originally posted by Cry-Criminal
...before long it felt as though my job was interfering with my hobby, so I decided it was best to just turn the hobby into a job.

This is exactly the state that i'm in.

I spend 3 months working flat chap on my Colosseum model and other aspects of my project, and now i'm getting and insane amount of hours at work (from an easy 16 hours a week to 30+, with the addition of 2 ferrets to the household, and increased gym activities, suddenly, I'm struggling just to start Maya and Photoshop to get texturing work done, so that I can get this Colosseum model DONE :P

Good thing I have annual leave in May which will allow me the time to hook in.

Once again, awesome interview :cheesy:
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Re: Inside Crytek - Sean Tracy

Postby da3dsoul » 08.05.2011, 00:09

This is awesome, I'm only sixteen and don't feel like I know enough to actually succeed yet, but working for Crytek is my dream job, and I'm glad to hear you made it.