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We chat with Jose about his work on the CRYENGINE Launcher, how to get into web programming, and more!
Today we're speaking to Jose de Gouveia, Senior Full Stack Web Developer, about his journey to Crytek, his crucial role in the development of the CRYENGINE Launcher, and his passion for simulator games. Read on for career advice about getting into programming, and check out a cameo from an adorable rabbit!
Hey Jose! Can you tell us about your background and your journey to Crytek?
I'm from Venezuela originally. I've always been interested in computers, mostly tinkering about with them and eventually programming, but I'm also interested in music and robotics. Around 2010 I moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I studied Game Development. While I was studying, I was working as a web developer.
I worked in a very different industry during that time, things like booking systems for hotels. But I have always wanted to be in the game industry. I knew Crytek very well since I was a big fan of the Crysis series, and I got to know CRYENGINE through my attempts at modding Crysis 1. I didn't do anything serious. For fun, I just added new props to the game, like billboards. One day I saw a job posting for a Full Stack Developer, I applied, and the rest is history! It was very straightforward, to be honest.
When I started at Crytek, I was on a prototyping team, making a lot of stuff that wasn't related to CRYENGINE at all. But during that period, CRYENGINE was making a big jump from 3.6 to 5.0, and it was interesting to see the evolution of the engine firsthand. Eventually, I became part of the CRYENGINE team!
What is your main focus at the moment, and what are your plans for the Launcher?
My responsibility is to integrate our services and CRYENGINE together by making interactions easier for the user. In particular, that's with the CRYENGINE Launcher. If we need new functionality, I will take care of the backend and frontend integrations, and if the functionality doesn't exist yet, I will create it covering both fronts.
My goal is to reduce the complexity of getting started with CRYENGINE, from the download until you open it. I am always looking for ways to improve the interaction between CRYENGINE and the user, including my own experience interacting with the engine. This gives me some idea of what things would be good to add or improve to benefit all.
Recently we released a significant milestone that included upgrading our backend and the CRYENGINE Launcher backend technology. CRYENGINE users won't see much of a change, but it allows us to add more advanced functionality in the future that wasn't possible before. For the moment, we are focused on ensuring this is as stable as possible. We also listen to the community via our Discord channel and try to include their feedback in our dev cycles. For the long term, we are looking at different ways to interact with the user and the engine more efficiently.
What does a regular day at CRYTEK look like for you?
Probably very cliché! I work from home now. The first thing I do is power on my PC, make coffee, browse a bit, read tech stuff, watch some videos, then review my daily tasks. We do a stand-up meeting, and then I get lost in the world of programming until the day is over! That said, I do take some breaks between the work. I might play the guitar for a minute or two or drink tea. And of course, I also have to look after Marshmallow, my rabbit!
What does it take to do your job well?
This probably applies to any job, but you must educate yourself daily if possible. My role is in the web ecosystem that changes almost every minute. A framework you used today dies tomorrow, so you must keep up to date and follow this constant evolution. You can't allow yourself to learn something once and forget about it. Youtube is an excellent resource for learning.
What advice would you give people who want to enter your field?
First, you must like it! If you are passionate and dedicated, you already have a huge advantage! I spent a lot of time programming outside my work time, experimenting with new things. A hunger to learn, as I mentioned before, is crucial. The web is constantly evolving, so you need to learn continuously.
Portfolio and experience are important. If you are starting out, try to find an entry-level job as a web dev and go from there. Or you could try to join an open-source project or create one yourself and finish it. Don't fill your Github page with repositories from tutorials and fork!
What are you playing at the moment?
Currently, I am playing 'Tales of Symphonia' on my Steam Deck. It's a Japanese action RPG with a unique combat system from the GameCube era. I never finished it, so now is my chance! I also play simulation games, like Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Microsoft Flight Simulator. One of my most beloved and influential games is Neverwinter Nights, and I have great memories of playing it with friends online.
If you have questions or feedback about CRYENGINE, let us know in the comments, on the forum, or via Facebook and Twitter. You can pick up tips and tricks about our game development, 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. You can find out how to submit feedback on GitHub, and access CRYENGINE source code, here. 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.