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AusGamers GamesCom 2012 Crysis 3 Developer Interview with Cevat Yerli
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:22pm 27/08/12 | Comments
AusGamers had a chance to catch up with Crytek's Cevat Yerli and Crysis 3 creative director, Rasmus Hojengaard, to talk to them about the end of their Crysis trilogy, CryEngine 3 and next-gen gaming. Read on or watch for what they had to say...

Watch the full video interview embedded above, or click here for a direct link.

AusGamers: Ladies and gents, welcome back to AusGamers. You are here once again with Stephen Farrelly, coming to you from the GamesCom show floor, out at EA’s booth.

I’ve got two very special guests here with me today, Cevat, and Rasmus --you guys know them from the Crytek team; you know that they’re working on this fantastic game --this fantastic series-- Crysis 3.

I want to start with what have you guys learnt, coming off Crysis 2? You took the series to console, you’re pushing CryEngine 3. What’s been the process moving forward with Crysis 3?

Cevat Yerli: One of the first learnings was that the sandbox component that we had depicted in Crysis 2, wasn’t really as free as it could be or should be. So gamers wanted more freedom, and more open spaces -- that’s one thing. The second was that the story was a bit too complicated, in a sense. It was too implicative, it was too much like you have to assume things and guess things; it should have been more direct and in your face a little bit.

Also, the characters were a little too flat and they could be richer. So we took a lot of this feedback to heart, and also had our own idea on what to do with Crysis 3, and try and meld the gamer feedback, as well as our vision, and make Crysis 3 with that.

AusGamers: In terms of the tech side of things, what has changed with the engine for you guys? More optimised? You’re getting more power out of it obviously, because it looks fantastic.

Cevat: Yeah, so CryEngine 3 has been really pushed forward now as being next-gen technology. We launched CryEngine 3 two years ago as a next-gen technology for upcoming generations of gaming, and we wanted to pick Crysis 3 as the first game of current and next-gen PC gaming.

So as current-gen consoles and next-gen PC specifications, you’re going to get a glimpse of what the future will entail already, now with CryEngine 3’s future in Crysis 3.

AusGamers: Is there any reason you guys are sticking with New York for the foundation for the game?

Rasmus Hojengaard: It’s kind of interesting, because on one hand you could say that it makes things easier for us: people immediately go “oh, that’s because it’s a lot easier”, but it’s actually the exact opposite of easier. Because first of all, obviously we don’t want to cut corners, and second, the thing that we’re doing is we’re creating this urban rainforest, which is this artificially-grown rainforest on top of New York. It actually creates a lot of drama, to take a very well-known environment, and then completely screw it up, literally.

You feel like you’re in a rainforest, but you always get these reminders at certain points, where “holy, this is...!”, and then you realise that you’re actually in New York, which is emotionally powerful, even if you don’t live there. And if you are an American especially, American’s take New York... and especially people living in New York, take it very close to their hearts.

It’s going to be a very, very rich experience, and also it creates some consistency in the storytelling. You experience New York and saw the transformation it had [in Crysis 2], and that’s already a crazy transformation, and now we just take that and amp it up incredibly, in a completely different way than the kind of alien takeover it had in Crysis 2.

Cevat: We’re finishing the story too.

Rasmus: Yeah, it wraps up the trilogy also. So it’s actually very empowering from a storytelling point of view, and it’s emotionally very rich too like that. On top of that, we have this seven wonders concept, which is seven very diverse mood and layout takes on New York City, which also creates a richness and a diversity that we haven’t had in any previous Crysis games, which is really cool as well.

Not only from a mood and art-direction point of view, but also from a gameplay point of view, because we can create everything from a very, very condensed thing if we want that, to very, very open things if that’s what the experience asks for at that point.

AusGamers: In the second game, it seemed like you had this very bright intro to the game, then all of a sudden, half way through it gets very dark. When you’re going from dealing with Cell, to actually dealing with the alien threat. What’s the pacing been like for Crysis 3? Are we going to have that immediate switch, or has it kind of converged a little more now?

Cevat: I think Crysis 3 is a little more consistent in that regard, but there is a big revelation right at the beginning, and you are put in this scenario of “what’s going on here?”, so there’s more question marks being imposed on you, implicitly through the world and how the world is depicted. And you find the answers as you go through the journey, and you are more explorative to the world.

So the world this time is much more a part of the storytelling than it was in Crysis 2. I would say that... you have this kind of revelation at the beginning, this change, and the game is taking the pacing forward for sure, it doesn’t actually stop there, but it’s not as black and white. It’s more on a ramp, as opposed to a sharp contrast.

Rasmus: I would also say that we probably made a... obviously we haven’t talked about what that is yet, but we have a very strong hook in the game, and it’s probably a little more instantly in the campaign and the whole setup as Crysis 2 is, which ramps up much more gradually until the alien invasion, where there is this big spike in the story and action intensity all of a sudden, which paces out the storytelling and the whole thing a bit differently.

I’m not saying that one is necessarily better than the other, it’s just very different to Crysis 2 in that regard.

AusGamers: You guys also have pretty unique level design in the second game, with a lot more verticality than most other shooters. A lot of shooters, even ones that profess to being open-world, tend to have this flat surface for players to play through, with a lot of corridors.

You actually have a really rich vertical world. Has that been ramped up again? Or are you just going through that level-design process that was similar to Crysis 2?

Cevat: Yeah. In Crysis 3, we’re going to have a much more Crysis 1-like open-world approach, which gives you a more non-linear experience, but a wider range. So the world feels more open. But there will also be a verticality aspect to it as well.

Verticality wasn’t absent in Crysis 1, and verticality was our key element of Crysis 2, and with Crysis 3, you’re going to get to get some of the best of both worlds. The sandbox that we’ll see in Crysis 3 is going to take verticality wider and hence be a whole new kind of sandbox.

Rasmus: As mentioned before, the fact that you have this overgrown city now, adds some building blocks that you didn’t have before. Before you had to rely on collapsed buildings and stuff, and now you could, in theory, you can connect a skyscraper with a skyscraper with a huge tree and vines growing over it -- something you couldn’t do before.

So it actually supports verticality on a whole different level in Crysis 3, because we don’t have to stick to the natural confines of the city, and how a city would collapse in a war scenario.

AusGamers: On the PC -- because that’s where your heritage actually comes from, and you’ve got this great tool in CryEngine 3 -- what are you guys doing to support the PC community with Crysis 3? Is there anything specific, or are you going for platform parity (which is a bit of an ugly term these days)?

Cevat: You know the joke right? The “Can it run Crysis?” question. So we will definitely make sure that Crysis 3 will resurrect the question again “Can it run Crysis 3?” and we will melt the PCs down [laughs].

Honestly, we will push the PCs to its limit... to its boundaries. The idea is that PCs will be next-gen gaming, consoles will be current-gen maximising it. We can’t deliver next-gen perse on current-gen; we already did that with Crysis 2, you know. So it’s going to be maximising the current generation on consoles, and giving you a glimpse of next-gen -- or what it means in a visual, and a simulation, and a richness of a world -- on a PC.

Also on a PC, if you have a PC upgrade in the next two years, after you’ve played Crysis 3, Crysis 3 will adapt and be looking better and better as we go as well. So it will be like a future-looking-forward kind of game, as opposed to being a game that is shipped now and will outdate itself in six months. It will not be like that, it will be an ever-evolving, and upgrading, and adapting game.

AusGamers With multiplayer, you’ve got 16 players for PC. Are you guys going to support dedicated servers globally? It’s a big question for us in Australia; latency is a huge issue. 16 doesn’t sound like a huge amount of players; it’s a nice intimate game number. But it would still be nice for us to have some Oceanic servers.

Cevat: We haven’t really decided about how we’re going to present and talk about this yet. But we do have... again, our ambitions for multiplayer are huge -- we do have big plans for it -- but the details about dedicated server programs and what not, and what that entails: we’re not ready to talk about that yet. But rest assured, the team has been doing a lot of work on making sure that Crysis 3 multiplayer is the biggest offering that we have done so far in the Crysis franchise.

AusGamers: Ok. Well, I played it in there before. The hunter mode is fantastic; it’s really intense, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it a little bit more, so thanks for your time today guys. Enjoy the rest of the show.

Cevat: Thank you.

Rasmus: Thanks.
Read more about Crysis 3 on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!

Latest Comments
Posted 05:02pm 27/8/12
my pc will eat crysis 3 and s*** rainbows.
Posted 05:31pm 27/8/12
Great interview Steve, some nice questions in there.

Really appreciate Cervat & Rasmus' responses - they seem to explain everything properly and genuinely seem to be happy to answer them rather than just try to get it out of the way.
Posted 05:39pm 27/8/12
for a game to use ALL the system resources that are available these days is a pretty big call.

You can get what? 16gb of ram, a 2gb gpu and a 4gb quad core something for next to nothing

Crysis would have to be f***** special to max that s*** out
Posted 05:42pm 27/8/12
I am not totally convinced with what he is saying. Just because something takes a lot of power to run on a PC doesn't mean it is better. It can just mean poor code or just brute force throwing polys at the screen. I would argue that while the engine does look pretty, the quality of light in the Unreal 4 engine seems better, and the engine seems more refined and usable. The MechWarrior online game uses the Crytek 3 engine, and it is not really pretty at all. Some of the way shadows are handled is laughable.
I suppose it all depends on what you are looking for when you judge quality. There is a LOT of foliage and stuff going on, but pure quality of light, global illumination, reflections and refractions is a different matter. I am a 3D artist in arch vis, so light quality and realism is a focus in my industry. I would say the Crysis engine isn't winning when compared to Unreal 4, or the amazing Square Enix luminous engine.
Posted 05:47pm 27/8/12
i spent 2000 upgrading my pc to play this and it f*****g sucks - future everyone who buys this
Steve Farrelly
Posted 06:11pm 27/8/12
ChaosDreamer, the Mech Warrior example can hardly be the fault of CryEngine 3. At the end of the day, the tools, power and tech are there, but it's up to the developer using the engine to fully utilise them. A lot of Unreal Engine 3 (and soon to be 4) games barely make use of Epic's tools to artistic value. Having seen Crysis 3 up close and personal, I think they'll deliver a visual benchmark and then some, but no other devs might be able to reach the same plateau - Crytek just know their own tech. Same with a lot of the EA teams playing with Frostbite 2.0, they're not even close to tapping into its power in the same way DICE can...
Posted 07:50pm 27/8/12
the problem for me with Crysis 2 and maybe Crysis 3 is not that it didn't 'melt my pc' but that it strayed away from its origins. The SP was consolized in that the levels were not as open ended and the suit mechanics were changed to work with a gamepad. The MP was made to play like COD, whereas I was probably one of few that really enjoyed the MP in the orignial. It tried to take on different games rather then forge its own path forward, which is disappointing as I really enjoyed the original.
Posted 07:59pm 27/8/12
I too will laugh at crysis, and my PC will mealy have slightly louder fans as they turn on, or spin a little faster
Posted 08:42pm 27/8/12
@ kettels


I just finished playing through Crysis 2 on my PC and f*** my tits it was awful. The story and gameplay were absolutely tedious. F*** all this BS that Cevat is spinning, unless Crysis 3 is at least as ENJOYABLE as Crysis 1 then who really gives a s*** if it melts my PC.

The engine with Crysis 2 did look quite good though, and UE4 is looking really truly AMAZING with its voxel based GI lighting that is visually so close to ray-tracing, just forget about it. Here's me hoping they can do something with Crysis 3 to make to be worth all this hype and not just another tired sequel.
Posted 10:07pm 27/8/12
As long as it melts my PC because it's skull-f*****gly amazing and not because of it being poorly coded, like Crysis 1...
Posted 11:36pm 27/8/12
Meh, all these game devs talking about how their game will redefine the genre and blow our minds. I swear we hear a similar thing from COD developers each year yet they have been same same for years now.

I think many of us would rather have had s***tier crysis 2 graphics if the actual game was much better. I dont even try to max the graphics when i boot up new release games. I guess what my system can handle, play for a while and ensure im getting a smooth framerate and then im happy. I honestly CBF taking the time needed to carefully tweak graphic settings and maximise the game's performance cause i find many games get boring quick. I happily played thru rage despite its numerous graphical glitches because i enjoyed the shooter gameplay and happily overlooked the flawed visuals. And then there's minecraft, terraria and many other indie games where visuals dont even matter to me.
Posted 04:56am 28/8/12
for a game to use ALL the system resources that are available these days is a pretty big call. You can get what? 16gb of ram, a 2gb gpu and a 4gb quad core something for next to nothing Crysis would have to be f***** special to max that s*** out

Posted 11:34am 28/8/12
Lets hope it doesnt melt PCs quite as much as the original Crysis
Posted 12:37pm 28/8/12
I generally like the fact that the Crytek people are fairly open and honest. I hate the fact developers like DICE are so secretive and can never admit fault, basically displaying a contempt for the consumer.

Personally I loved the first Crysis and I was ready to hate Crysis 2 but ended up liking it. It's compacted, but it's still so far beyond COD and BF3 in SP level design. Although speaking to friends who played it, I think there's an issue of. If you want, you can just play it straight through like a COD, guns blazing ect. How much more you get out of it, depends purely on your play style.

I don't get the complaints with the story. It's not hard to follow at all, personally I think the game was lots of fun, very polished and one of the better FPS SP games of recent years. I do kind of thing people unfairly hate on it. I've played it through three times, never got bored. I did get a Crysis experience playing it. But then as I said, it's basically if you want to or not. Game doesn't force it. I personally like running around, exploring, on the harder skill levels ect. I was a big Crysis fan. Probably played it through at least once a year since release.

On PC. Aren't PC's already next gen? What's this hint of next gen? Isn't everything we've seen basically suggested high end PCs are currently more powerful than next gen consoles? I know other things go into consoles so there isn't a direct comparison.. Why isn't this truly next gen? Unless it's being limited by console?

Anyway I look forward to this. Hopefully MP is better than C2 and isn't a soft blurred version of SP graphics this time. I like the fact it was asked about dedicated servers in Aus.
Posted 12:44pm 28/8/12
I agree with you DeadlyDav0. When I play a 3D twitch shooter I am looking for smooth frame-rates and response. And it is pretty clear Carmack is pushing that also. Hopefully id can get some prettier graphics in their too though :)
@Steve Farrelly yeah it does come down to the team and artists producing the game. But if their business is creating an engine (lets face it Crysis is just their marketing tool for their engine) then it should be created in such a way that it is relatively easy to get great visuals and smooth game-play from a team. Basically, what he is saying is that they can't even get smooth framerates on the current gen of tech. If the creators of the engine can't implement that, how can any outside developer using their engine hope to get smooth gameplay and decent graphics. That is why I am using MechWarrior as an example, because they seem to struggling as outsiders using Crytek's engine.
Posted 02:09pm 28/8/12
Crysis 2 ran incredibly smooth and looked great on fairly low end hardware.

ChaosDreamer, you're missing the point that not every developer wants to or aims to deliver the best graphics the engine can deliver. The more detailed the meshes, the better the textures, the more effects, shaders and filters used. The more time and the more money it takes.
Posted 09:50pm 31/8/12
Yep, that sounds about right. The Crysis games have always been the bench mark for upgrading my PC.
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