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Crytek expects 'pushing the high-end PC' will pay off
Crytek expects 'pushing the high-end PC' will pay off Exclusive
March 16, 2012 | By Kris Graft

The high-end PC gaming market isn't what it used to be, but Crysis developer Crytek told Gamasutra at GDC last week that its bleeding edge tech will trickle down to emerging mobile and browser platforms.

Carl Jones, director of global business development at the Frankfurt, Germany-based studio, said the company's CryEngine game development middleware will be the foundation for diversifying Crytek's business -- and PC is at the center of that strategy.

"Right now [CryEngine's evolution] is about DirectX 11 and high-end PC, because the new PC architecture that's out there right now gives us a whole lot more to play with. And we think the benefits of building that stuff will apply to future platforms, even as we move into the tablet and mobile space."

"The high-end GPU with a really powerful processor is going to become more ubiquitous as an architecture, and that's something we want to push with the PC market that's out there. And we hope that filters through other platforms in the future. So that's one strategy -- keep pushing the high-end."

Since its founding in 1999, the studio has been an ardent supporter of the PC as a gaming platform. But in the last several years, the console market became too big too ignore. Crytek had to diversify.

Now Crytek's first-person shooters Crysis and Crysis 2 are on PC and console, and the studio readying to release its first tablet game -- the colorful and non-face-shooting puzzler Fibble. The company also has the online free-to-play client server game Warface in the works, and is developing CryEngine for browsers.

"It's always difficult to say when it'll be done," said Jones about the commercial release of CryEngine for web browsers, "because we like to finish things when they're quality-finished, not time-finished. So I don't know [when it will come out]. I would hope towards the end of this year, people can start seeing browser-based CryEngine games, but we'll see. There are other things that will have to happen first."

Gamasutra will have more from Jones on Monday.

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Roger Klado
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Pushing the PC high-end because it makes good trickle down economic sense is not the message I was expecting with such a title.
If expected to believe that: quote ""Right now [CryEngine's evolution] is about DirectX 11 and high-end PC, because the new PC architecture that's out there right now gives us a whole lot more to play with." endQuoteCrytek is Right Now, all about DirectX 11 love?
After a 6 month wait crytek's freeSDK has released last week with no DX11 support!

The GDC tech demo once agin looked very sexy, hopefully some of that dx11 pc love will trickle down to the freeSDK proving grounds?

Roger Klado
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I suppose one should give crytek the benefit of the doubt, I am having unacceptable tessellation problems in other packages. ( perhaps Crytek is working on the uber dx11 solution not only with some proprietary stable solution synched to a Maya workflow realized from Maya at runtime rendered in freeSDK with micropolygon levels of tessellation? )It could happen. ( although the gdc tech demo only showed Max leveraging what looked like some front end runtime dcc empowerment. )They certainly deserve much praise as developers that pushed the boundries of what is technically possible?Considering the bugs introduced with the latest release, the general lack of documentation and the obvious absence of DX11 ( unless u r working on a mod ).One would have to assume that their resources are being stretched too thin. Since Cryengine is so promising, these faults are excruciatingly painful. ( for someone who will not waste their time in the free SDK with their next generation aspirations when no DX 11 support has been added yet. )

On the bright side, they seem to give the spot light to community solutions for which there are many notable examples.

Iain Miller
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It seems to me that developers should be pushing optimization for midrange PC's. For that matter, they should be working on getting their games to run smoothly on PC's in the first place before going for the highest end GPUs and all that.

Bisse Mayrakoira
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"Going for the highest end GPUs and all that" hardly makes business sense, but I applaud anyone who does because they are doing a service to the industry as a whole. Crysis was an example of that. Crysis 2 was optimized for midrange.

Terry Matthes
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Regarding optimization for midrange PCs... I found that Capcom has been doing a good job of this with their PC releases as of late.

Maurício Gomes
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My PC I think is mid-range in Brazil and does not ran Crysis (or Crysis 2) at all.

Luis Guimaraes
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I have an 8600GT and ran Crysis.Edit: now a 9600GT, Crysis 2 also with no problems.

Chris Melby
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It sounds like your PC is a mid-range from 2004-ish. It's probably time to upgrade. ;)

The GPU I had in 2007, which was a 9600 GT, had no problems with the Crysis and that GPU is by no means considered mid-range by today's standards, where as it was back then; and in general, mid range gaming PCs now are about 5 to 10x more powerful than consoles.

David Sattar
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Reponding to Iain Miller's post. One thing that Crytek did brilliantly with their original Far Cry was exactly what you want - tuning for mid range PCs. When Far Cry came out my PC at the time was frankly underpowered for it. Nevertheless, the game's own automatic adjustment backed up by the ability for the player to further tweak if they wanted ,meant that it ran super smoothly and looked fantastic, even on my low end PC. Fast forward a couple of years, running Far Cry on my current machie with all setting pushed to the maximum , yes it looks even more sumptuous. But my original game experience on that old PC was just as good as playing it today because of the optimisations built into the game engine.

Much kudos to Crytek for simultaneously pushing the very edge of the graphics envelope while still remembering that the game has to be playable on more or less whatever hardware the customer happens to have. And best of all - giving even the player with low end hardware a jaw droppingly beautiful graphics experience !

Darcy Nelson
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It's interesting to hear your experience with Far Cry, since when the game came out I just automatically *assumed* my computer wouldn't run it (or any of the Crysis titles). The entire catalog of Crytek games has literally never entered my game-consumer radar because of the suspected inadequacy of my hardware; I see this as missed opportunity for both parties.

I know I'm not the only one who didn't even bother to look at the specs for the game before deciding these games were targeted at someone with a lot more money.

Joe McGinn
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High-end PC game company pushing high-end PC gaming shocker!