Crytek: There May Not Be Next Gen

Crytek co-founder Cevat Yerli yesterday spoke in a keynote address at GDC Europe, discussing the "future of gaming graphics" from a developer's perspective. He provided the company's timeline up until now, covering Crytek's desire to create an FPS that didn't contain corridor after corridor back in 2001, to the present development of Crysis 2 and the CryEngine 3 engine.

Despite the criticisms the company has received over the years, Yerli said that Crytek will still focus on making its engines highly scalable--meaning that games of today will look even better two or three years from now while allowing older PCs to run the game admirably as well. He said this is partly due to the uncertainty of when next-gen consoles will be available. Although Crytek estimates 2012 or 2013, he also said that there's a big debate on whether there will be a next generation at all thanks to the "relatively horsepower-light" Nintendo Wii.

It's no secret that Crytek has a huge focus on consoles: the company blames its loss of revenue on piracy relating to PC versions. However, his keynote speech also recognized that GPUs and CPUs are on a "collision course," with CPUs becoming more parallel and GPUs taking on general-purpose computing. According to Gamesatura, he recommended OpenCL as a good base for addressing the eventual merger.

Additionally, his speech focused on techniques that could provide even faster graphics rendering such as using point-based rendering rather than triangle-based, moving towards ray-tracing, and more. He concluded by saying that there will be opportunities with new APIs and hardware platforms after 2013.

  • chaohsiangchen
    Ray tracing can not replace the good ole polygon-based rasterization rendering. Both have their advantage and limitations.

    However, after ray tracing, which is mostly based on ray optics, the next challenge will be real time rendering based on Fourier optics.
    Crytek will still focus on making its engines highly scalable--meaning that games of today will look even better two or three years from now while allowing older PCs to run the game admirably as well.

    That is nice and all... but the thing is, people want to play games now that look nice with options turned up , not three years from now when the game is stale and old. By then people will move on to other games that are newer and fresher. New games three years from now might be light years ahead of what can be offered today... who knows.

    I don't know about you, but I want games I play to be optimized for hardware that is out now, not hardware that might, possibly, be able to handle it two-three years out.

    You can have a game that will look beautiful on today's hardware or you can get a game that looks sorta ok now, and might look great later. I know what game I'm going to pick out of those two.
  • Enterfrize
    I don't know how this was missed, but CryENGINE 3 deserves to get attention for more than just lighting and console compatibility.

    At SIGGRAPH last week, they did a special demo of CryENGINE 3 running native stereoscopic 3D support. Native means no stereo driver by iZ3D, DDD, or NVIDIA was necessary to make the true 3D effects possible.

    Here is the Crytek excerpt:

  • jgoette
    Of course, even though your product is unplayable on 90% of computers in consumers possesion as of now, blame piracy as the reason people don't fork out 50 dollars for a game they can't play above 3 fps. I like it.
  • cptnjarhead
    Pirating was the problem?.... oh.. i guess I was the only one who thought that crysis wasn't very good. Seriously.... who would make a game that no one could play with all the graphics its release? I bought the game... but honestly ... i thought is was boring after a while....not to mention having to run in the low to medium settings.... now i have a 4870 1gig... but i have already finished the game.. so why would i reinstall just to play the same game over.. with better visuals?
  • invisik
    The game ran quite fine with a mid-range graphic card at mid settings. It still looked better then most games maxed out. Don't know why people complain so much. They gave options to pc gamers with high-end rigs. If you cant afford one then dont whine and play at mid-settings. As far as the gameplay it was "okay". My 3850 at the time played it fine and that was no way near a high-end card lol. =]
  • crom
    Crysis was overrated. Not to mention when it came out it had a ton of competition from far better shooters like Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, and the Orange Box. I agree with other people here too, why would I go back to play an older game that I've already beaten just to see better graphics?
  • zak_mckraken
    Saying a game needs to run smoothly at "medium" or "high" settings is very relative. Medium compared to what? The "medium" of today will always look better than the "high" from yesterday.

    Actually, I'm glad some games are unplayable at "maximum" settings. It means that, in a couple of years, I'll be able to fire the game on my new hardware and still enjoy it on the time's graphics standarts.

    What game developpers need to do now is making game that will be optimized on whatever hardware you're using and look accordingly. I can't expect a game to look awesome on a Radeon 4300 but I expect it to run smoothly at a reasonable detail level for the Radeon 4300. If I have a Geforce 260 then great, it will just look better while still being smooth.
  • Pei-chen
    This Turk can't run his company.
  • Um, pretty much every game plays medium to low when it's released.