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Today we’re speaking with Alin Alexa, who was recruited from our community to join the CRYENGINE team!
You may recognize Alin as one of our tutorial hosts. In today’s interview, we learn about his journey from being a community member to joining our team and how that experience helps him in his role as a Technical Support Engineer.
Hey, Alin! So, how did you get into CRYENGINE?
I come from a small town named Lugoj, in the depths of western Romania. I became interested in working with games by playing with various modding tools and seeing how fun and instant the feedback is when you put your imagination into pixels. But I wanted more! I wanted to experiment with making my own little worlds and seeing how I could create a game from scratch. So, I started looking into game engines, came across CRYENGINE, and I have used it for over eight years now!
Excluding my whole graveyard of abandoned projects, I was initially focused on a story-driven game called Desecrated. Sadly, it never got to see the light of day. However, I would say the experience of developing it was more about the journey than the destination. I wanted to gain as much experience as I possibly could to better myself in the arts and crafts of level design, 3D modeling, programming, and audio design.
How did you join Crytek?
I arrived at Crytek thanks to my buddy Roman Perezogin, who I knew for a couple of years before joining. We were both active in the CRYENGINE community, and we both had our ambitions and plans in regards to our careers. He was the first to join Crytek and invited me to work alongside him after only a few months. I gladly took that opportunity!
What's it like moving from being part of our community to working at CRYENGINE for our community?
I probably wouldn't be here if it hadn’t been for my decision to choose CRYENGINE as my go-to engine. It helped me see both the positives and negatives of working as a solo indie game developer. It was easy when it needed to be easy, and it was hard when I needed the motivation to investigate some of the more challenging concepts to grasp in the industry. But in a way, I don't feel that different compared to how I felt before I joined Crytek. I get the chance to work on the engine directly, which is great. But I still feel the same way towards CRYENGINE and its community! Whenever I help someone achieve a particular task, I'm just glad that I get to be the person that I was looking for in the community a few years back when I was learning about the Sandbox Editor.
What has been your most satisfying moment working with CRYENGINE at Crytek?
I think that being able to see some of the internally developed games running directly in the Sandbox Editor is a really powerful motivation. It shows you what you can achieve with CRYENGINE when you have the right mindset and dedication. It’s inspiring!
What does a regular day at work look like for you?
Well, I come in, and I grab a coffee along with some workmates. Then I carry on with daily tasks such as 3D modeling, lighting, recording voiceovers, editing, and other creative undertakings.
What is your main focus at the moment?
Learning. I want to master everything there is to know about the subjects I mentioned earlier. I love helping people and being the one who knows the answers to most of the questions, so I guess my main focus is to learn as much as possible and put it into practice when the time is right.
What does it take to do your job well?
I’d say a little bit of everything. Even the tiniest skill set can come in handy, often when you expect it the least. Also, I think patience is probably the key element in achieving the result you're hoping for. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your projects won't ever be completed as quickly as you estimate. As long as you keep that in mind and don't set any false expectations of yourself and your work, you'll do pretty well!
Have you got any tips for anyone aspiring to work in your field?
I'm not going to go for the typical "never give up" kind of inspiration. I think that's common sense at this point. Just work on yourself and try to step outside of your comfort zone as often as you can to learn new skills that can contribute to your career.
Which feature are you looking forward to seeing come to the engine most?
Ray tracing has got to be one of the coolest features. I'm massively looking forward to seeing what people will create with this new technology when it comes to CRYENGINE. It's a real game-changer, no pun intended!
Are you still developing games in your spare time?
Right now, I've taken a break from my game development projects for a while. I'm definitely going to return to them at some point, but I have different skill sets that I'm currently working on improving.
What are you playing at the moment?
Lately, I've mostly been into VR games such as Pavlov VR and Boneworks, as well as non-VR games such as Path of Exile, which I really enjoy. Despite its many flaws, I think that Gothic 3 has a special place in my heart for its atmosphere, vast world, and incredible soundtrack. I think that game aged really well and is still playable to this day.
Join Alin over on our official CRYENGINE Discord channel. The CRYENGINE team is always collating your feedback on our channels, so if you have suggestions about the engine or future tutorials, do let us know on the forum, or via Facebook and Twitter. If you find a bug in the engine, please report it directly on GitHub, which helps us to process the issue quickly and efficiently.
Would you like to follow Alin’s journey from the community to working on our team? We actively encourage people from all kinds of backgrounds and experience levels to apply to our open positions, so join us over at LinkedIn and check out our careers page.