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Sean Braganza, Lead Technical Writer, reveals plans for revamping documentation for the next major engine release.
Computer Engineer. Model. Mixologist. Party organizer. Technical Writer. Meet Sean Braganza, a man of many talents, to learn about the future of CRYENGINE documentation, get some tips on how to break into the industry, and find out plans to integrate tutorial courses into CRYENGINE.
Hey Sean! Can you tell us about your background and your journey to Crytek?
Okay, this is a bit of a ride. I'm of Portuguese descent, born in India, raised in Doha, Qatar. I've been living in Frankfurt, Germany, for four years now, thanks to Crytek, and Frankfurt is certainly the first place that's felt like home for one reason or the other. I graduated as a Computer Engineer in 2015. However, halfway through my studies, I learned that neither software nor hardware programming interested me. I was interested in games back then but wasn't necessarily concerned about the technicalities.
I started writing about games and freelanced as a journalist for a website called Throwing Digital Sheep (now disbanded), where I quickly worked my way up to Editor-in-Chief. Then I took my writing in a different direction, providing PR/Marketing and Content Writing services to indie game developers under the banner of Higher Eclectic Ground, helping indie teams with content writing (steam store descriptions, press kits, etc.), social media, PR and outreach.
By the end of 2017, it felt like it was time for a more stable career. That's when Crytek happened, and I came on board as a Technical Writer for CRYENGINE.
My interests outside work include mixology and fashion. Very few things excite me, like a well-crafted cocktail, and I love traveling to new spots, tasting and making new drinks. When I travel outside Frankfurt, it's mostly to try out bars and restaurants unique to that region.
Over the past couple of years, I've channeled this love into organizing cocktail parties at Crytek on the regular, working in an actual cocktail bar over the weekends, and even building private events around my passion for cocktails in and around Frankfurt.
I find fascination in periodically reinventing my sense of style, drawing inspiration and color from people and things around me. I also am a model and enjoy being in front of the camera, and above all else, I prioritize the health/fitness of my mind and body.
What are your main responsibilities and goals as Lead Technical Writer?
I grew into the Lead position of the Technical Writing Team around 2020. My goal since then has been to drive the overhaul of the CRYENGINE public documentation for the next major CRYENGINE release.
We're fully aware that for all the power of our engine, one of CRYENGINE’s weakest links has been its documentation for multiple reasons. We've been building a new team of passionate writers to bring you content that's visually and informationally well structured, complete, and helpful.
This team has included Umut Uyurkulak (one of our first influential contributors who has since become a Narrative Designer), and now the very eclectic bunch that is Joana Luis, Erdil Kapucu, and the latest member of the team, Charlotte Herbert.
We ripped apart the structure of the old (currently public) documentation and are devising one that's much more intuitive, clean, and easy to navigate for the future. Our efforts for the last couple of years have been targeted at combing through each module of the documentation to detect problem points and plan courses of resolution accordingly.
We also indirectly contribute to the technical development of CRYENGINE– reporting technical issues to QA, making suggestions for the Learning team regarding tutorials, and escalating priority subjects to the Product team. And we address immediate issues raised by the community/partners/licenses that relate to or can be resolved by updates and fixes to the documentation.
There are many moving parts to keep track of, but all of this would fall apart if it weren't for the diligence and passion of my team. Down the road, we also intend to involve you – the community – in our progress as we work towards the next CE release.
What is your main focus at the moment?
Everything the team does is currently oriented towards ensuring you have a more robust knowledge base to accompany the next CRYENGINE release.
We're also focused on better integrating learning programs in the form of tutorials and courses created by the CRYENGINE Learning team so that you have a complete learning experience.
At the moment, I'm in the middle of a transition to the role of a Product Owner for an as-of-yet undisclosed project directed at CRYENGINE developers. Documentation and all associated learning material (tutorials et al.) play a pivotal role in the project. It will involve an even closer collaboration with the Web, Learning, and Data Analytics teams here at Crytek. I can't wait to share more when I can!
What does a regular day at Crytek look like for you?
Generally, I'm out the door by nine after a workout, and during my commute, I'll check e-mails and messages – responding to ones that don't require me to be at my desk or involve a lot of work.
Once I'm in, it all varies depending on the day of the week. I'll check my calendar. Then I'll go through my list of tasks for the week and choose what to prioritize. With multiple projects, I build weekly plans so that I know where to focus my energy. Around lunchtime, it's a ritual of mine to break away from the office and walk through the neighborhood by myself.
After lunch, it's back to the same hustle and bustle. I'll move all tasks that require 100% of my focus and creativity (planning, designing, investigating) to after 5 PM – this is when everyone's either dialing down for the day or leaving. So the chances of being pulled into things unrelated to my current focus are low.
By 6.30 PM, I'm usually wrapped up, and the hour after that is devoted to extracurricular stuff. This is generally related to planning the week's cocktail party but also involves the coordination of the various social clubs I've been helping kickstart for our employees here at Crytek.
So far this year, it's been Board Games, Movies, Music Jam Sessions – with special themed events for each club – and many more that I have in mind and would like to kickstart in due time. It's great to bring people back together for social events after the challenges of the pandemic.
So, on Fridays, I wrap up by 4.30 PM as I begin preparations for the cocktail party that evening/night. By 5 PM, you'll hear the music lulling you over. By 6.30 PM, the crowd's in, and then it's on till past midnight – letting everyone reset, mix, and usher in the weekend!
What advice would you give people wanting to break into the industry?
It just comes down to picking what you thoroughly enjoy and are good at – if you see yourself genuinely waking up every morning and feeling good about doing that as a job day in and day out, go for it.
Whether it's art, writing, social media management, or programming – build a portfolio of gaming-related projects for yourself, and share them with the world. Eventually, someone at the right place will take notice and help you get to where you want to be.
In the games industry, what matters more than anything is what you can do and how passionate you are about it. Yes, competition is always rife, and that's why it's important that you think outside the box and always attempt to bring something new to the table in whatever field you're in.
Stay open to change and keep learning. It’s important to keep moving forward so that you're your own creative individual. All this applies to anyone who's already in the field as well.
What are you playing at the moment?
Just the game of life, my friend. I spend the majority of my waking day/week around games and game-related tech, so the rest of the time, I save for living every day like it's my last!
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.