Kotaku

Video Game Plants Never Looked So PrettyWhiteSilentTiger has a simple goal: create a good-lookin' little video game forest. I'd say it's mission accomplished!



What's most impressive about this scene isn't that it was made by a modder, it's that it was made using the "old" CryEngine 2, which powered Crysis all the way back in 2007, and not the more recent version that will be running the upcoming Crysis 2.



I don't know about you, but all I can think about watching this is playing Elder Scrolls V on my PC...




Kotaku

Crysis Developers: Consoles Are Holding PC Games BackThe fact so many games now appear on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC is a blessing for PC gamers who used to miss out on a lot of console games, but according to Crysis developers Crytek, it's a mixed blessing.



"As long as the current console generation exists and as long as we keep pushing the PC as well, the more difficult it will be to really get the benefit of both", Crytek boss Cervat Yerli tells Edge magazine.



"[The] PC is easily a generation ahead right now. With 360 and PS3, we believe the quality of the games beyond Crysis 2 and other CryEngine developments will be pretty much limited to what their creative expressions is, what the content is. You won't be able to squeeze more juice from these rocks."



Interesting comments coming from a man who now has an interest in PS3 and 360 game development, what with Crysis 2 appearing on all three platforms (whereas the original game was a PC-only affair). He's going to hurt someone's feelings with talk like that!



Really, though, is it that hard to scale a game's engine to such an extent that a PC version looks the generation ahead he claims it is? Half-Life 2 looked amazing on PC back in 2004, but still somehow found its way onto the original Xbox.



Crytek say "PC is easily a generation ahead", being held back by consoles [PC Gamer]


Kotaku

The Future of PC Gaming, According To The Creator Of CrysisFor PC Gaming Week, Kotaku has invited top creators to predict the future of computer gaming. Today, Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek, makers of legendary PC-only first-person shooter Crysis and 2011's PC and console Crysis 2.



PC Gaming in the Future.


The Future of PC Gaming, According To The Creator Of Crysis

When I started developing games for the PC nearly 20 years ago, both the Commodore 64 and the Schneider CPC 6128 were incredibly popular. Since then, the PC platform and its market have totally changed and I saw several trends coming and going.



Within the next five years, the PC market is in my opinion growing and declining at the same time. While the market for Online PC Games (I mean Free-2-Play Games, Social Games and Casual Games) is continuously growing, the retail PC Games market is declining. Over the past two years it became apparent that more and more people play all kinds of online games and lots of the former retail PC Gamers switched to console games. By changing their consumption attitudes, the consumers "force" developers to rethink their strategies, thus, to some degree.



What does that mean?


For me, the business model of the future is "free-2-play" since consumers in the future won't be willing any longer to spend $50 or more for a AAA PC Game. So developers will start offering more and more free to play online PC games that at the same time allow for premium content.




All leading PC game developers will serve the free-to-play market and turn their backs on the retail market.



The current online games are characterized by low development costs (only about one tenth of the costs for a AAA title) and comparatively low quality. But, at the same time, they have fun gameplay. In contrast to the traditional retail PC Games, the pressure for initial quality is much lower with an online PC game. This means, that developers release an online game with a certain quality and then improve it over the time, bit by bit, together with the community. This is incredibly customer-friendly and so it is what the whole market become.



The user is king. Over the next years a significant number of online PC Games will enter the market and due to that big amount of games, the quality pressure is going to rise in these markets, as it is now in the PC retail Market. The current price competition between retail and F2P Market will evolve into a content/ quality competition within the F2P Market only – similar to today's retail market. Consequently both, the costs and the quality will reach a AAA level. Since gamers thus basically get AAA games for free, the complete traditional retail PC Game market breaks down. After a while gamers will then see a major progress in gaming quality overall again in the PC Gaming Market.



But how do developers then earn money?


The community is key to the success, specifically the amount of free-to-play users that a developer is able to transform into buyers. An average 5-10% of all online PC game users buy premium content in the form of special items, boosters, etc. via micro transactions. "Non-monetized" consumers, on the other hand, will be turned into revenue contributors through community-driven advertisement that is experienced through social media networks supporting these games.



To sum it all up: I am convinced that in the medium term, all leading PC game developers will serve the free-to-play market and turn their backs on the retail market.



Cevat Yerli is president and CEO of Germany-based game development studio Crytek. His first games and development experiences go back to the 1980s with the Commodore 64 and the Schneider CPC 6128, where he worked on simulation games. His passion has always been creating and playing games. While studying economics, he began working towards his dream of founding a game development company. The dream became reality in 1999 when he founded Crytek with his two brothers. Cevat gives creative direction for all Crytek products.


Kotaku

The Man Who Thought He Was In CrysisNormally, cosplay photos tend to focus on Japanese titles, or the really big games. Crysis is neither of those, so it's nice to see the PC gaming crowd represented in the adult dress-ups scene.



This is Anthony Le, doing a fine job of impersonating the star of the first Crysis, Nomad. He built the suit in around a month, which is impressive. We'd imagine it only took a few minutes, however, for everyone looking down on him from those apartments to consider calling the cops.



[via Rock, Paper, Shotgun]



The Man Who Thought He Was In Crysis


Kotaku

Miniguns In The Desert: How Video Game Guns Are MadeIn many genres, the gun is the point where the gamer meets the game, making it the single most important element in a given title. That makes the guys who make the guns important, too.



So many titles, especially (and obviously) shooters, give you such limited interaction with the game world that what you do with your gun is often the extent of what you can do with the game.



You shoot at people. You shoot at things. Most of the things you pick up are things for your gun, which you got off people you shot with your gun. In most shooters you're even spending the entirety of your time in the game looking at its world not through a pair of eyes, but down the barrel of a gun.



Miniguns In The Desert: How Video Game Guns Are Made



Being such an important part of so many of today's (and yesterday's, and tomorrow's) games, we thought we'd have a talk with a man who builds video game guns for a living: artist Gregor Kopka, from Crysis developers Crytek.



"When you're living and working in Germany it's nearly impossible to get your hands on weapons", he tells us, explaining the process that goes into building a gun inside a video game. "Since my childhood I've been kind of addicted to the design of weapons, but I don't know much of the technical side of things".



To get around this, Kopka is assisted by several Crytek staffers who do know the mechanical side of weapon operation, guys who "know almost every detail of almost all modern firearms". The team also spend a lot of time in various countries visiting shooting ranges, so that for reference's sake they can have first-hand experience of what it's like to discharge a variety of weapons.



During early development of Crysis 2, for example, the team took a trip to the California desert for a recording session and let loose on almost every kind of gun imaginable, from handguns to submachine guns to assault rifles sniper rifles to a minigun. Those sounds then formed the basis for Crysis 2's projectile weapons.



"Once that is done we always start with some quick sketches. After this I prefer to work with animators and designers with simple whitebox models (basic, unpainted 3D models), to find out the best position for the gun's animation and silhouette. I think it's important to start with a whitebox as you can quickly proof and test if your idea works when using a first-person camera position. I can see immediately what problems there may be."



Miniguns In The Desert: How Video Game Guns Are Made



The next step Kopka takes is to work with concept artists on painting the weapon, and if that all looks good, then it's on to the toughest part of the job: coming up with something he's happy with.



"The first person camera position can be tricky depending on the field of view and size. I sometimes wish to go back to alien characters or any other assets which are not viewed through the fixed camera position, but on the other hand I remember I have my own screen space and that's enough to forget all problems which comes with these kind of tasks."



The final stage of Kopka's design work comes with turning these whitebox models – which are essentially 3D sketches – into both high and low-polygon models for use in a game, and then compiling and applying textures to paint over those models.



Miniguns In The Desert: How Video Game Guns Are Made



That's all well and good for a simple weapon. One that's an actual real-world gun, or at least closely linked to the design and technology of today. But Kopka is working on Crysis 2, a game set in 2020 and featuring alien technology, so what happens then? Is there a line, I wonder, between making a gun look and sound "real" and making one that's fun for use in a video game?



"I prefer a mix of both", he says. "It's great to have the freedom to go nuts but at the same time to use details of real guns to achieve the feeling of a weapon could really exist 10-20 years from now."



"If you plan for example to create some realistic sci-fi weapons, which feel believable, you have to give the player an art design that he can understand and which is based on existing weapons."



"People see guns in movies all the time and they know what a gun looks like. When you're going completely crazy as a weapon designer and add only details that haven't got anything in common with real weapons, you will quickly realize that it doesn't feel real."



"Of course I could take some photos of real weapons and paste them together but then it wouldn't be a challenge and would not have its own style. You also have to use the right materials. Modern weapons have a lot of hard plastic which I personally like. It gives a beautiful contrast on the asset."



Miniguns In The Desert: How Video Game Guns Are Made



Moving on from Crysis, I wonder as someone who spends their working life putting guns into video games, what are his favourite weapons?



In real-life, it's an easy, quick response: the "good old M14 rifle", mainstay of the US armed forces between 1959 and 1970. For his own work, he's proudest of one of Crysis 2's weapons, the newly-redesigned Scar assault rifle, which you can see above. And the in-game work of others? "I've seen some really good ones in Bad Company. These guys did a great job on how the guns feel, and the sound especially supports this very strongly."



Before we finish up, I ask one last question: guns may be a focal point in games, and games may be fantasy, but they're still guns, something that in real life are designed to kill people, and which in many countries outside the US are seen as dangerous and undesirable weapons. So does he think there's anything particularly wrong with video games for making guns such an integral part of so many experiences?



"There is nothing wrong with adults that are playing first person shooters, or let's say watching action movies. I believe people who play games can tell the difference between virtual and real guns."


Kotaku

Crysis 2 Coming March 2011Crysis 2 is no longer due in the vague window of Jan-Mar 2011, publishers EA having narrowed that down to two days in March.



For North American customers, it'll be available on March 22, while those in Europe will be able to get their hands on the New York City-based shooter on March 25.



Like the first game, Crysis 2 will be available on PC, and for the first time in the series you'll also be able to buy it on PS3 and Xbox 360.


Kotaku

Rickroll? So 2009. 2010 is all about the Crysisroll.



Garry's Mod may be the most common source of these kind of custom user-made videos, but Crytek's Crysis editor, Sandbox, can certainly hold its own.



[thanks Leon!]


Kotaku

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video GamesPascal Eggert, gun nut and currently artist at Crysis developers Crytek, got his job doing what he loves: designing firearms for video games.



Some of you may think he's crazy, but I think having someone onboard who is so into his shit that he designs not only a weapon's appearance but its inner mechanics as well is an asset to any developer.



These shots showcase some of his concept work - which he says "were basically an application for the job" - with guns that transform, fire futuristic ammunition and just generally look like things that you would want to pick up and shoot stuff with in a video game.



They weren't designed for Crysis 2, so don't go expecting them to show up in that game (though who knows, they might!), but future Crytek games should benefit from his obsessive touch.



You can see more pics and technical diagrams of his work at Pascal's site below.



iPeg [Pascal Eggert, via Fidgit]



Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games

Designing Beautiful Guns For Video Games


Kotaku

If you discount the static and deliberately skipping video what you have here is a blend of Crysis 2's trailer and its closed-doors demo, shown at E3. Spoiler alert: The MetLife building goes down, and it goes down hard.


This should give you a better idea of what I was trying to get across - the level of destruction in the environment, the grand entrance of your new BFF, the Pinger, and the tactical switching from active camouflage and stealth to toe-to-toe badass in the Nano Suit.


Kotaku

Crysis 2 Writer on Modern Warfare 2 Story: 'Jesus, What Have You Been Doing?'In November, British sci-fi author Richard Morgan said he was hired by Electronic Arts to write stories for three upcoming titles. Today, EA revealed one of them to be Crysis 2. Morgan took the occasion to rip Modern Warfare 2.


"I thought Modern Warfare 2 was an immense disappointment," Morgan told CVG. "It was a massive stepdown from CoD4. What I thought when I played it was, 'Jesus guys, what have you been doing? You've not ramped anything up. The story is worse and the game doesn't really hang together, it's just a bunch of mission levels.'"



"It made no sense. It was totally implausible," Morgan added. "It doesn't resolve. Basically, all the things that bad storytelling does. I just think they were way too impressed with themselves and that's always a danger. It's just unfortunate."



That doesn't mean Morgan dislikes sequels implicitly (he's writing one, of course). He praised Uncharted 2's creators for revisiting the first game and using its lessons to fix or enhance the sequel's story.



"They really took it to a new place and you can honestly say to people if you played the first game, the second one is the same but better," he said. "Modern Warfare 2 is the same but ... way worse. And it cost more money."



Crysis 2 Writer: Modern Warfare 2 'an Immense Disappointment' [CVG]


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