Cevat Yerli Interview @ Gameinformer

The guys from Gameinformer posted a really informative interview with Cevat Yerli.

While Crysis should have been released many moons ago, Crytek’s DX10 FPS powerhouse is finally finished and in its last stages of bug testing and polishing. We had the opportunity recently to catch up with Crytek bossman Cevat Yerli on a number of topics. Being one of the champions of DX10, we find out how much of a non-issue the DX10.1 update really is. If you already dropped the fat cash on a DX10 card months ago – relax. Find out why.

But with Crysis finished, what’s in store for this ever expanding company? Looks like EA and Crytek are going to partner again for a new IP release that should be announced soon. What’s the situation with a console version of FarCry, and why does Yerli not think console FPS games are up to par with PC FPS titles? Is Yerli going to “Finish the Fight” with Halo 3? Not likely considering he wasn’t grabbed by the experience. However, you may see him getting his fill on BioShock. All this and more can be found in our expansive interview with Crytek’s Cevat Yerli.

Read the complete article by clicking on the "Reade more..." link or at Gameinformer.com.

Beside the interview there're two new Ingame-Screenshots available.

01armada1.jpg 02mp_refinery2.jpg

Related Links:
- "Gallery" @ Crysis-HQ.com
- "Forum-Thread" @ Crysis-HQ.com
- Gameinformer.com GI: Will the DX10 version of the game be shipping with the game in the box?

Yerli: Yes.

GI: You were one of the big cheerleaders for DX10 from the outset, and there are all these discussions on the Internet now saying there’s this new version of DX10 that’s going to make existing DX10 hardware obsolete.

Yerli: It’s bulls***. It’s a misunderstanding and miscommunication. DX10.1 does not make DX10 obsolete, and it doesn’t make the hardware obsolete. 10.1 is the improvement on the API. Because DX10 was a little loose with the guidelines, 10.1 makes absolutely no compromises anymore. Microsoft made the spec to support the hardware manufacturers back then because of development times and SDK, so people could start developing for Vista. If a game absolutely requires 10.1, which no game will do because it would be economically a ridiculous call - if you were to make a DX10 only game, it would be 10 only, not 10.1. Otherwise, you’d rule out a whole generation of DX10 hardware.

GI: Does Crysis have any 10.1 features in it?

Yerli: No.

GI: The way I look at it as, if I bought a DX10 card already for $500, I’ve got a card that isn’t going to support the DX10.1 features.

Yerli: The features that it supports are not critical. The difference is so minimal. You would have to have two more generations of graphics hardware to really consider making a DX10.1 only game where the [DX10.1] features then would become significant if actually used right. I didn’t look at 10.1 because for me, I just looked at our engineers and said, “No, don’t need it in the next 12 months.” (laughs) That’s all I need to know right now.

From what I understand, even if you had the next generation of 10.1 hardware, it would be too slow to use the features. You would have to wait two more generations in order to get a real benefit from it. Remember, Matrix introduced environmental bump mapping almost 6-7 years ago? Normal Mapping and bump mapping just made it in the four years since then. In fact, Far Cry was the first normal mapped game to ship. When you look at it this way, it’s the same as 10.1. 10.1 will become actual or three years from now. But not now.

GI: So you don’t think developers are going to be using the feature set in the next year or so?

Yerli: Well if they do it’s their own choice. We wont. I mean we as a technical pushing – leading company wouldn’t do that. And I wonder why anyone else would do that either. I would say to all gamers, don’t worry about 10.1 what-so-ever. We are a DX10 game, not 10.1, and your investment in DX10 hardware if you did it already, is fine.

GI: Now with Crysis in the can – you’re pretty much done with it outside of debugging process and everything – I asked you this last year – are you thinking about bringing this to consoles – and there seems to be a lot of confusion about this as of late…

Yerli: What I said was that Crysis could run on consoles. I ruled out any development whatsoever because there is no development on consoles. But what’s happening is, is people are asking me if it’s possible. Of course. You can get Crysis even on the Nintendo DS. But not that Crysis - you cannot get Crysis as it is on PC on any console. What you would have to do is compromise the design and the level design – in order of the PS3 and Xbox 360 regards you have to fulfill the memory constraints. Even if you stream you would have to consider the constraints. You could stream, you could do that, we know that. I tell them, “we’re already streaming on PC.” If you sum up all the memory we need with all the streaming in the background you’re talking about 10 gigs or something. You’d load everything up front. So from that angle, the consoles just offer a memory difference which is the most important statement here – the memory difference in the PS3 and Xbox 360 doesn’t allow Crysis – the same on console as it is on PC. In order to make Crysis’s gameplay [on console] you would have to make a derivative Crysis and optimize it for the Xbox 360 and PS3. In fact, if we do it, we’ll optimize it for each platform. What happens next we haven’t decided yet, because first we want to see how the game is received, publicly and critically, ratings wise, et cetera. We believe it will be received at least as strong as Far Cry. I hope personally a 5% average increase. I hope so. That would make me the most happy man on the planet, right now. Apart from my girlfriend. (laughs) But that would do. That would give us an argument to, “OK, let’s see how we can bring Crysis to consoles.” The engine right now is running on consoles so there’s no reason why we couldn’t.

GI: Have you been licensing out the Cry Engine 2?

Yerli: Yes. We’ve licensed it out five times already since March of this year. I think we’ll get a heavy increase on it starting next year. We’ll be focusing extensively on the licensing business. Right now the licensing business is on the backburner. We say we support one license a month, essentially. We have more requests right now than we can handle. We need to debug the game, finalize the thing. We’re building the support and service structure, and getting it in place right now which is a new three-tiered system. We have to make sure nobody gets angry or offended. And apart from that everything is on track for a pretty huge storm on the licensing business next year.

GI: There’s been a lot of announcements from you guys on opening new studios in a number of cities, are you planning…

Yerli: World domination. (laughs) No, I’m just kidding. EA has done that sort of thing already. (laughs)

GI: Are you thinking of having different projects in development at each of your offices or one office take over the licensing business…

Yerli: We are thinking new IPs there. Actually, we are all about new IPs at this moment. Our mindset is, “Let’s create something cool.” We’re all about it. Budapest will have its IP, Kiev has an IP, Frankfurt has another IP, which we will be able to announce soon together with EA. But it’s in the gates too. There’s nothing we can show off with it at this stage. We are actually going to go a bit wider from what we did with FarCry to Crysis with multiple projects. At the same time, we are still playing our options. In one interview I was saying the success the one release may completely change the entire structure of what we have today. We may say, Crysis was received so well, we would say we do all Crysis everywhere. It could go that wide. Or at the same time it could go, nothings changed, lets stay where we are, et cetera. We as a company have one thing established, a company structure and processes, and development sets that is flexible. Despite the fact that we have 200 employees right now –150 in Frankfurt, 25 and 25 in Budapest and Kiev. We’re still extremely flexible by the way we operate. I would say we’re even more flexible than when we started Crytek with its few people, we are more mature about it. At the same time, I want to explore new genres, so right now those studios are dealing with new genres.

GI: What do you think of Ubisoft doing FarCry 2?

Yerli: It’s great. I’m really looking forward to it because it’s going to be really cool to play the sequel to your own creation. So it’s going to be really good. I’m happy that the differences from FarCry are pretty strong. At first I was a bit disappointed at a melancholic personal level, but it’s a good idea because it allows it and Crysis to co-exist. It allows FarCry 2 to exist without competing too much. Time wise, the release dates are not competitive to us, which is good. At this stage it makes me very happy, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s strong on the concept, the demos that they’ve talked about so far, it sounds very promising. In fact it reminds me of the initial concepts we were talking about FarCry 2 back then. Even some initial concepts we had for Crysis in some regards, but we decided not to do them for some other reasons. Anyway, overall, I’m happy they are working on it. For me, games like Bioshock and hopefully FarCry 2, the results will be exceptional games I hope where as a developer I can have enjoyment with them. As a developer, you look at a first-person shooter completely analytical. Unlike if I play a racing game, I just enjoy the racing game, for example. So I don’t play shooters that much in my private time because I don’t want to make shooters from the sense of learning from other games that might have influence. But for me if I play BioShock, I was a bit upset at first with myself because I started analyzing the game. But then I started to have a good time with BioShock. I’ve only played the demo so far. I said, “they could have done this and this and this.” But you know what? They pulled it off well. It’s an indoor game. It sounds like I’m downplaying it. It’s an oppressive, strong narrative game, very cerebral literary, very Dostoyevsky - that’s about the ambience that is created through the VO which is great for Bioshock. I hope that with FarCry 2 it will be more outdoors and have freedom, and AI tactics like we started with it, and wider. And great, I have a game to play again! I’m sincerely looking forward to it. Unlike, for example console shooters where they’re dumbed down, they don’t challenge and excite me.

GI: So you’re not excited for Halo 3?

Yerli: No. I don’t want to talk bad about it. The trailer looked great. I know there are millions of people who love it. I tried to play Halo 1, I tried to play Halo 2. (laughs) I really didn’t get it. It didn’t get me, well I bought copies though Again, conversely the Bioshock demo got me. It’s not that it’s not possible, but console shooters are at the level of PC shooters 5-6 years ago. The gameplay has to be more sophisticated – more thinking then shooting. If the game is a bit more mature in shooters on consoles, a good example is BioShock on 360 may interest me because it’s the same as on PC. It’s a strong title. Call of Duty 4 may interest me on console, certainly it looks sophisticated. It may interest me on PC, as well. Enough competition talk. (laughs)

GI: But then what if you bring Crysis to the console, you’d change all that then, right?

Yerli: No, trust me. If we would bring it to console we would keep the sophistication. We would just make it so people could play it with the joypad and that it would be a great time. We would not dumb down the experience. We would make sure people stay completely immersed. The AI and our gameplay dynamic is our heart. We can’t change that. If you change that, you lose Crysis. It’s the same way with the difference between FarCry and FarCry: Instincts. You’re not supposed to touch the heart. If you operate on the heart, you may kill it. So you have to work it on the UI level, on the level design level, but do not change the heart. If the game is too difficult, make sure the UI can compensate for it. Or if the AI is too difficult make sure the level design offers more leeway and covers for the player. But the core gameplay is intensive, smart and still challenging.

GI: Last year when we talked you said your goal for Crysis was to make it the best first person shooter of all time. Now that the game is almost finished…

Yerli: You will judge yourself. (laughs)

GI: Do you think you’ve accomplished that?

Yerli: You will judge yourself. I believe you will have an experience you’ve never had before. If it’s the best or not – I know that the experience you get is unique. Completely unique. That was my goal. Qualitative judgment? I will not judge for you. Let’s put it this way. If I play the game, and I like it, and I see everything, and I like it? It might mean that it was indeed achieved. (laughs)