Ahead of the release of Crysis 2 next month we had the chance to chat to Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli about the studio's first console title and the new engine behind it.
In part one of our interview, we focus on CryEngine3, the challenges facing the PC and console markets, and on Crytek's desire to move beyond its FPS origins...
Crysis 2 is your first console game and also the showcase for CryEngine3, and you've made bold claims about the game's graphics and AI system. How important is it for you to establish CryEngine3 as the dominant engine for PC and the next hardware generation?
Our primary goal is to make a game as perfect as we can make it. Perfection is never achieved, but as far as we're concerned, I think when we say "we'll have the best" - I think that's for gamers and journalists to judge - what I'm talking about is that it will be Crytek's best so far, within our own benchmarks.
For us it's important that Crysis 2 becomes a landmark product for Crytek, and for being the game that pushes the boundaries of PC and console on the graphics side, not for the sake of graphics but for the sake of providing the gamer with an immersive experience unlike they've ever seen.
Our goal is to make it the most immersive of any of our games, make it so beautiful that people can forget it's a game world, but also from an AI perspective, we must go beyond and above what we have done on Far Cry and Crysis to support a wider range of gamers and also to create a richer, more 3D and more magical world, and one that's more densely populated from a props and geometric population point of view, because the world is very busy, especially in urban environments.
So making an AI that is still realistic, believable, challenging and fun as well as being better than what we've done before is our benchmark.
Back in May, Epic's Mike Capps said he was surprised that people could take Crytek seriously as a cross platform engine company considering you'd yet to ship a console game. Do you believe there's room for two major third-party engines and what gives you the confidence that CryEngine3 can take on the likes of upcoming engines like Unreal Engine 4?
Without going too much into competition, I think we've never cared about what competitors do. That might sound arrogant and ignorant but that's not the point. I'm trying to do what we think is the right thing to do. We're trying to build an engine that's the most productive from a flow perspective, one that allows designers, directors, artists, programmers and everyone else in the whole development chain to be as efficient as possible.
We've proven for ten years now that one of the reasons we are as efficient as we are right now, and why we could do Far Cry and Crysis with our quite inexperienced team, was because we had pipelines and workflows that were apparently superior to our competitors' because we made our first titles much faster than our competitors did. Most importantly, right now we're looking at multiplatform development and I just think that our competitors' engines couldn't deliver Crysis 2, and that's the most important statement for me.
Crysis 2, from a gameplay and entertainment perspective, just demands so much more, and we as a company ultimately are making games and an engine, but our primary goal is still entertainment. I really am not saying we're going to have the best engine in the world and there's no room for more engines, for that matter I think there's room for even five engines. With more engines people will have to be more innovative.