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Meet our new CRYENGINE Technical Community Specialist, James Eaton, who reveals his passion for coding, sharing knowledge, and all things medieval!
The latest addition to our growing Community Team is James Eaton, who you may have recently seen on Discord and our other channels under the moniker Cry-Drake. Previously an active member of our community, we're proud to welcome James to our team. In today's interview, you can learn about his love of programming, goals for supporting the CRYENGINE community, and appreciation for the medieval world!
Hey James! Welcome and thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I live in the beautiful Evergreen State, Washington, USA. I've lived here all my life, and although it has its charm, I hope to one day move to Germany. Medieval stuff is a big win for me, and Germany has a long history with it. From HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) to castles and huge LARPing events, Germany is the place to be!
If I'm not busy fantasizing about fantasy medieval worlds, then I'm busying myself with game development. I love to learn things, implement things, create things and help others do the same. I also occasionally like to explore the outside world and do sports like BMXing or tennis.
What was your journey to CRYENGINE?
My journey began with other game engines and programming languages. I had become very good at C# and was using Unity Engine for a few years, as well as dabbling in Unreal Engine and C++. While researching gaming companies in Germany, I came across Crytek. Of course, I knew of Crytek because of the Crysis series, but I didn't realize they were based out of Germany. I then downloaded CRYENGINE and tinkered around with it for a couple of weeks.
It is an engine with a learning curve, but I felt motivated and kept working in it, off and on, for the next couple of years. Since then, I've really improved my understanding of C++ and the engine overall. It became my favorite engine, and I'm determined to continue to learn everything I can about it and share what I've learned with those who are also trying to learn the engine.
You've been an active member of the CRYENGINE community for some time. What drew you towards it?
I have always been interested in sharing my knowledge and helping others. I used to answer questions and help others with Java and C# on programming forums years ago. I then moved to assisting others on various courses on Udemy until I stumbled across a C#/Unity Discord community that I helped out on for several years. I was a moderator for a time and then just a helpful veteran.
Discord became my choice of place to hang out, answering questions and helping people get the most out of their projects. I eventually moved to the CRYENGINE Discord and continued as I had with the others.
I had a desire to work for Crytek for a while but wasn't sure what role would suit me best, so I held off on applying. The position for Technical Community Specialist came up, and I felt it fit me perfectly. I was already actively involved in the community and had technical expertise that I enjoyed sharing. I applied immediately, and now here I am!
What's your main focus at the moment?
I am currently focused on learning all the workflows. There's a lot going on here, and I aim to familiarize myself with all of it! While learning all the things, I'm also keeping an eye on Discord and the forums, answering support requests, and continuing to learn and use the engine.
Overall, my goal is to help grow a community of experienced and knowledgeable individuals that can come together and assist one another with their projects. Questions are answered, problems solved, knowledge easily acquired, and projects completed and showcased. Finding ways to better help the community learn the engine and make their projects is important to me, and I'll do everything I can to improve the user experience with CRYENGINE.
One of my favorite pastimes is building small projects or tools for others to use or learn from. I hope to contribute to the CRYENGINE development and learning teams, grow and improve skills in the community and help build and improve CRYENGINE itself.
Have you got any tips for people aspiring to work in a community role?
Be active in the community, and always be willing to help. If you don't know something, go learn it or ask. Be nice and respectful, and don't forget to show a little patience and understanding. Make projects and share with the community or help others with their projects. Lastly, share cute cat pics.
What are you playing at the moment?
I am currently playing Neverwinter Nights. It is my all-time favorite and an influential game in my game development journey. I've been playing it since the Platinum release back in 2004. It's inspired a lot of RPG projects that I've made throughout the years, and the Aurora Toolset inspired me to learn some tools development.
You can reach out to Cry-Drake and 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. And as ever, if you have feedback and thoughts about the engine, you can also let us know in the comments, 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 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.