CRYENGINE Staff Spotlight: Meet the Team: Arto Ruotsalainen
CRYENGINE Staff Spotlight: Meet the Team: Arto Ruotsalainen

CRYENGINE Staff Spotlight: Meet the Team: Arto Ruotsalainen

Arto, our new Head of Product for CRYENGINE, joins us to give his insights about the future of the engine and the importance of community.

Today we're joined by Arto, CRYENGINE's new Head of Product, who has recently started with us to help shape the now and the future of the engine. Find out about Arto's passion for games, journey to CRYENGINE, and his and the team's vision for the engine in our latest interview.

Hey Arto! Welcome and thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I have been involved in the real-time graphics industry for over 15 years. My career started as a hobby when my big brother brought me a Borland Delphi programming environment. I was around nine years old at the time, and naturally, as an avid gamer, I fell in love with game programming.

What started as a passion for game programming quickly became an urge to learn how the underlying technologies worked. So, I spent almost a decade building my own graphics engines and demos on top of them to showcase what I had learned. Eventually, these showcases led me to an interview at a company called Hybrid Graphics, known for various real-time 3D graphics solutions across everything from PC to mobile platforms. I was hired on the spot, kicking off my professional career in the real-time graphics industry!

Nvidia later acquired Hybrid Graphics, and I spent two years there working on GPU drivers until I craved making something more visible again. This led me to work at Futuremark, known for its 3DMark graphics benchmarks. Between Futuremark and Crytek, I spent over a decade building various real-time graphics-related companies. I love technology and bridging the gap to the market to deliver the right product that will solve the issues our customers and partners face.

What was your journey to CRYENGINE?

I guess we could say the journey started back when I was nine years old. Still, if we look at it through my professional career, I have always had massive respect for how game engine companies like Crytek have pushed the boundaries of real-time experiences across platforms. I have always loved challenges and learning, and that is what this industry is all about. You must keep learning and adapting. This industry never sleeps. It combines various technologies and talents to create and innovate. That is what makes it such an interesting and challenging but rewarding environment to work in. And that is what attracted me to Crytek.

The challenge we have as a team is to push boundaries and show the world the future of next-generation AAA experiences. This has always been in the DNA of Crytek, a company that, during the past 20 years, has consistently shown how the bar can be raised. So, what better place to be?

How do you see the engine now, and how do you see it evolving in the future?

As many of you know already, we have been quiet for some time. And there is a reason for that.

We are focused on making the next generation of CRYENGINE, which will provide a platform for creating on-demand AAA experiences across high-end platforms. What we mean by on-demand is the future of cloud and edge computation use cases. To achieve this, we had to go back to the drawing board to re-vision the architecture for future real-time interactive experiences.

The future is more versatile and more spread out in terms of how content creation and computation in general can be achieved, which means CRYENGINE needs to offer scalability beyond what we see today to provide the means to meet the demand of the market.

I am excited about the path we are on. CRYENGINE's positioning to the market is very focused and will present a unique solution for meeting the challenges that developers around the world will face in the years ahead.

What do you see as the most exciting elements on CRYENGINE's roadmap?

First of all, the roadmap is going to change again. But we aren't quite ready to share the full scope of it in public yet. While we understand that this is what you all have been waiting for, we need a bit more time to give you a comprehensive overview and timeline. Change is good, but it also takes time. And, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our business.

We appreciate that you are all here with us, still, to look forward to the future of CRYENGINE. There are plenty of exciting things to come, but without revealing too much yet, I would say the following features are what I am looking forward to most:

Flexibility of our on-demand architecture is definitely going to be one. It offers the means to solve some really complex problems that the industry faces now and issues it will face in the upcoming years. Flexibility will be also be addressed and expressed through our brand-new visual scripting language that has come very far since we shared the first Schematyc Beta.

At the same time, I am very excited about our upcoming toolchain to ease content creation and features focused on high-fidelity experiences.I can assure you that we have not forgotten the meaning of "But, can it run Crysis?"

Speaking more generally about the future of technology in this space, I am looking forward to the next generation of hardware, new ways of storytelling and content creation, plus real-time computing. There are many emerging technologies to come that will change how we create and power interactive experiences.

How important is community for the team?

I have already had the privilege to speak with many of our partners and licensees, and I am looking to engage with the community a lot more in the future, including revealing more details about our plans and the roadmap ahead. It goes without saying that community is our top priority and the plans we have set reflect that. Our roadmap already includes many requests from licensees and the community. We will continue to evolve it with your feedback in mind. Please keep your feedback coming, as it is heard and helps us shape the future of the engine.

So… when are we going to see the next generation of CRYENGINE?

Well, we have already set out our internal timelines, but due to the nature of building something new, we must wait a little longer before announcing the exact timelines for everyone externally.  Our current timeline aims to address the most important issues creating bottlenecks for the CRYENGINE Developer community. By the end of this year, we will have one more release concluding the CRYENGINE V lifecycle by adding Scaleform 4 support, the GamePlatformPlugin, and new launcher functionalities, along with numerous bug fixes and other improvements. Then we will be ready to open a new chapter in the CRYENGINE chronicles in 2022.

What are you playing at the moment?

Right now, Hunt: Showdown and Post Scriptum, as I love challenging games that require more strategic thinking and learning than your traditional "casual" games. But for my all-time favorites, I spent a lot of time playing games like Fallout II, Diablo II, Company of Heroes, Baldurs Gate, Ultima Online, and Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear.

Thanks for taking the time to share your vision and plans for CRYENGINE with us.

My pleasure, the team here is hard at work, and the future looks really bright. I look forward to sharing more updates with the community as soon as we can.

Cheers, Arto!

As Arto says, community is our top priority. Let us know your feedback and thoughts about the engine in the comments, on the forum, or via Facebook and Twitter. Pick up tips and tricks about our engine, ask questions, and more by joining our community and the CRYENGINE development team over on our official CRYENGINE Discord channel.

If you find a bug in the engine, please report it directly on GitHub, which helps us process the issue quickly and efficiently. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we host a range of content, including tutorials covering all aspects of the engine and game design. Want to show your love for CRYENGINE? Pick up merch over on the official online Crytek Store.

Are you looking for your next career move? At Crytek, we value diversity. We actively encourage people from all backgrounds and experience levels to apply to our open positions, so join us over at LinkedIn and check out our careers page.