Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Q&A: Crysis 2 pushes the extreme edge of graphics in video games

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| Dean Takahashi

Somebody has to push the leading edge of graphics technology in video games. And on a regular cadence, the game developers at CryTek in Frankfurt, Germany, are the ones who do it. Crysis 2, one of the most ambitious and expensive video games ever made is debuting today on the PC, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3.

Games like Crysis 2 are important because they inspire hardcore gamers to buy the biggest and baddest computers they can get. That in turn inspires the hardware makers to create better and better hardware, keeping the engine of innovation humming in a kind of virtuous circle. Crysis 2’s innovations are all in the details, from shattered glass to translucent water or flickering flames for the environment of the first-person shooter game.

Electronic Arts is distributing the game far and wide, and the game will be an example of just how good game developers have become at exploiting the graphics hardware in the fastest game machines on earth. More than 200 people worked on the game, not counting testers and outsourced talent, across several locations for 2.5 years. The original Crysis sold more than 3 million units, but its sales were limited because it wasn’t made for the consoles and wouldn’t run on a lot of PCs. The new sci-fi game takes place in the city of New York in the future and features some eye-popping special effects. I’ve played a few of its levels, and it’s clear that the graphics make it one of the most visually arresting games ever made. We’ll see if the game turns out to be a bigger commercial success than the original.

Nathan Camarillo is the executive producer of Crysis 2. We talked to him about the state of computer graphics, the details that they enable players to experience in games, and the company’s decision to make the game viewable in stereoscopic 3D. Check out an edited transcript of our conversation below.

VB: How long have you been working on this game?

NC: The game has been in the works since Crysis One finished in 2007. I joined CryTek two and a half years ago.

VB: And how does it feel at this point?

NC: It’s nice to play with the game, finally get it in the hands of all gamers who have been eagerly awaiting it and see people’s reactions. I’ve been able to play online multiplayer with my friends. That has been a lot of fun.

VB: So what were the goals this time?

NC: There were a few goals on this project. One of the main ones was to re-architect the CryEngine and build the CryEngine 2 so that we could simultaneously make the same game on the PC and have it scale across all of the available hardware on the PC and also run on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We are still taking advantage of the PC as much as possible. We had to re-architect the engine so it could run on consoles. We reused some code. But we reworked a lot of it so that it could scale appropriately. We really wanted to push the visuals of PC gaming as we did with [the original] Crysis.

View more: http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/22/qa-crysis-2-pushes-the-extreme-edge-of-graphics-in-video-games/

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