Industry Industry Insight — Episode #4: Collin Bishop

Who are you and what do you do in the video games industry?

– My name is Collin Bishop, and I operate as a Technical Marketing Manager – this boils down to not only overhauling products to be taught easier but also analyzing strategies behind other products in the industry to better the user journey. I come from a film background and have worked in places ranging from Los Angeles to the middle east and training spec ops in Dubai. I was introduced to the simulation aspect of engines in the middle east and fell in love with the medium simply based on the real time experience latching onto the film knowledge I already possessed.

Currently I am tasked with overhauling the usability of the launcher and simplifying workflows within the editor for developers using CRYENGINE V. I also reach out to business partners that may want to work with us to spread each others brands and in the end increase revenue.

What is you favorite game, or, what game has influenced you personally the most?

– Many people hear me talk about Geometry Wars and occasionally Halo. Truth be told I have never really played many Crytek products outside of the engine. Nowadays I drift to NES games through emulators. A few of those titles I enjoy are TMNT/Punchout/Tennis. I really want to play it live on a stream so that I can see how I do under the pressure of my peers. Maybe if I beg hard enough it will come true.

What kind of project(s) are you working with at the moment?

– I produce all of the CE video training for users and handle oversight on projects ranging from VR First to the Indie Dev Fund/Marketplace. Another thing I am focusing on is the direction of templates and sample projects for users to get familiar with the CE systems. CE is powerful but in many ways the freedom delivered to devs through blank projects is far too daunting to start out.

What is the best thing about your job(s)? What is the worst?

– The job is highly rewarding in the sense of being integrated into the engine team and CRYENGINE business. After years of being in the community I can influence the engine directly and I never stop taking community opinions and adjustments to better the app experience.

The worst aspect is having to be a little bit held back on future integrations and what I would undoubtedly love to tell them. I still feel I am heavily part of the community.

What kind of projects are you going to be working with in the future? What would you like to do or work on if you could choose; do you have any dream projects?

– As time has gone on here I have slid into a business role grabbing partnerships for the company and touching much of the CRYENGINE ecosystem. So as time progresses I see myself carrying on this workload while judging what the users want and how to meet their needs.

For my own dream project I have actually been developing my own CE title for almost 5 years now and is where the drive to learn the engine came from initially. As my time carries on at Crytek I am able to really be hands on with the best practices to elevate my games quality over time. To just see what the assets looked like back in 2011 to know is night and day. Look for me to announce of even debut some of the dev in the next year. Being a simple 2 man team and handling all production makes it daunting and incredibly rewarding when you see how many hoops you have had to jump through.

What can video games offer that no other medium/art/tools can?

– Today video games are becoming in many respects real time renderers. As shown by our newest VR games you can see how much interaction plays a role in the progression of the story. For the first time you can influence a physical world and in my idealistic mind I see them being used for not only entertainment but also educational purposes. I was never a good student growing up due to being a very active and visual person. Now though through understanding game development I have been able to attach visual concepts to those in books far easier. ranging from interpolation to the viscosity of fluids. It all now just clicks from being able to see and influence it in real-time.

What would you like to tell our users/readers?

– At this point most would give advice on how to make it in the game industry or wise words. I won’t take that time to suggest these things and rather think that giving a layout of my day would be better served. Daily life for me consists of a varied morning considering Crytek has flexible hours. I can come in anywhere between 9-12pm and then I usually don’t take lunch. I work across multiple departments and have several meetings in the afternoon. Between 6-9pm I usually start capturing footage for the training and leave the studio anywhere between 10-12am. Luckily Crytek itself is very worker oriented and strives to keep a balanced life between family and work. After working the 5 days I usually travel about Frankfurt or hop on a train to a nearby country. If the week is going to be hectic I will stop in on Sunday night and hammer out some research to make my days go smoother. Game work is far better than many jobs I have had in the past but it is also a workday in the end. Selling it as it is and not more has always been important to me. Whether workflows in game development or in handling the ups and downs of life in general.

Thank you Collin for your interview!

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