Codex Gamicus

CryENGINE2 is a game engine. It is an extended version of the CryENGINE, the game engine behind Far Cry. CryENGINE2 is currently being used for Crytek's newly released game, Crysis, and a deal has been signed for the Swedish Developer Mindark for use in their MMORPG, Entropia Universe.

CryENGINE2 was first licensed out to French company IMAGTP who specializes in architectural and urban-planning communication. The purpose of licensing the engine was to create a program to allow clients to see exactly what a building or other structure would look like before any actual building was undertaken.

As of March 7, Avatar Reality, Inc., a new development studio, has licensed the CryENGINE2 out to use on a Massively Multiplayer Virtual World (MMVW) that takes place on a terraformed Mars.

On May 11, 2007 Crytek announced that they would be using the engine to create a game based on their new Intellectual Property. The new game, Crysis, was rumored to be a multiplatform game, although it is at the moment PC exclusive and will not be coming to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 due to lack of processing power on the consoles. Crysis will be produced by Crytek's second development studio located in Kiev.

On the 17th of September, 2007, Ringling College of Art & Design became the first higher education institution in the world to license CryENGINE2 for educational purposes.

Technical details[]

The engine features many graphical, physical and animation technologies as well as many gameplay enhancements, some of which include:

  • Volumetric 3D Clouds
  • Real time Ambient Maps with dynamic lighting and no premade shadows
  • 3D Ocean Technology dynamically modifies the ocean surface based on wind and wave direction and creates moving shadows and highlights underwater
  • Depth of field to focus on certain objects while blurring out the edges and far away places
  • Vector Motion blur on both camera movement and individual objects
  • Dynamic Soft shadows with objects casting realistic shadows in real time
  • Realistic Facial Animation that can be captured from an actor's face
  • Subsurface scattering
  • Breakable Buildings allowing more tactical preplanning on the player's side
  • Breakable Vegetation (with possibly heavy foliage) enabling players and enemy AI to level entire forests as a tactical maneuver or other purposes
  • Advanced Rope Physics showcasing bendable vegetation responding to wind, rain or character movement and realistically interactive rope bridges
  • Component Vehicle Damage giving vehicles different destroyable parts, such as tires on jeeps or helicopter blades
  • HDR lighting
  • Fully interactive and destructible environments
  • Advanced particle system with fire or rain being affected by forces such as wind
  • Time of Day Lighting, with sunrise, and sunset effects ensuring realistic transition between daytime and nighttime
  • Lightbeams and Shafts when light intersects with solid or highly detailed geometry, and can generate "Godray" effects underwater
  • Parallax Occlusion Mapping giving a greater sense of depth to a surface texture, realistically emphasizing the relief surface structure of objects
  • Long Range View Distance of up to 16km from ingame measurements
  • Parametric Skeletal Animation System
  • Procedural Motion Warping

Graphical and physics[]

As well as supporting Shader Model 2.0, 3.0 (DirectX 9) and 4.0 (DirectX 10), the engine will be multi-threaded to take advantage of SMP or hyper-threading capable systems. The game will also come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Crytek claims that running the 64-bit version will give a performance increase of up to 10-15% per thread. Crytek does not intend to support any sort of Physics Processor such as the AGEIA PhysX.

  1. Integrated CryENGINE Sandbox2 Editor: Run time engine is fully integrated into the CryENGINE Sandbox2 editor to give designers “What you see is what you play” functionality.
  2. Renderer: integrates indoor and outdoor technology seamlessly. Offers rendering support for DirectX 9/10, Xbox 360, PS3.
  3. Physics System: supports vehicles, rigid bodies, liquid, rag doll, cloth and soft body effects. The system is integrated with the game and tools.
  4. Animation System: Playback and blending between motion data (captured or key framed) combined with inverse kinematics (using biomechanical hints) and physical simulations. Special attention was applied to realistic human animation (e.g. adapting to uneven terrain, eye tracking, facial animation, leaning when running around corners, natural motion transitions).
  5. AI System: Enables team based AI and AI behaviors defined by scripts. Ability to create custom enemies and behaviors without touching the C++ code.
  6. Data-driven Sound System: Complex sounds can be easily created and offer innovative use and impression in studio quality in any available surround configuration. Multi-platform compatibility is guaranteed by FMOD’s sound library.
  7. Interactive Dynamic Music System: Improved playback of music tracks by an arbitrary logic that can react on any game events and support the player to experience a film-like sound track (possibly encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1).
  8. Environmental Audio: Achieve a dense sound impression by accurately reproduced sounds from nature with seamless blending between environments and their effects from interior/exterior locations.
  9. Network Client and Server System: Manages all network connections for the multiplayer mode. It is a low-latency network system based on client/server architecture. The module was completely rewritten to accomplish the demands of next-generation multiplayer games.
  10. Shaders: A script system used to combine textures in different ways to produce visual effects. Supports real time per-pixel lighting, bumpy reflections, refractions, volumetric glow effects, animated textures, transparent computer displays, windows, bullet holes, and shiny surfaces.
  11. Terrain: Uses an advanced heightmap system and polygon reduction to create massive, realistic environments. The view distance can be up to 16km when converted from game units.
  12. Voxel Object: Allows creating geometry a heightmap system wouldn’t support to create cliffs, caves, canyons and alien shapes. Voxel editing is as easy as heightmap editing and fast in rendering.
  13. Lighting and Shadows: A combination of precalculated properties with high quality real time shadows to produce a dynamic environment. Includes high-resolution, correct perspective, and volumetric smooth-shadow implementations for dramatic and realistic indoor shadowing. Supports advanced particles technology and any kind of volumetric lighting effects on particles.
  14. Fog: Includes volumetric, layer and view distance fogging even with non homogeneous media to enhance atmosphere and tension.
  15. Resource Compiler: Assets become compiled in the platform dependent format by the resource compiler. This allows to do global changes (e.g. mipmap computation, mesh stripification) depending on presets and platforms without scarifying loading time.
  16. Polybump™ 2: Standalone or fully integrated with other tools including 3ds max™. Creates a high quality surface description that allows very quick extraction of surface features normal maps in tangent-space or object-space,displacement maps, unoccluded area direction, accessibility and other properties.
  17. Scripting system: Based on the popular Lua language. This easy to use system allows the setup and tweaking of weapons/game parameters, playing of sounds and loading of graphics without touching the C++ code.
  18. Flow graph: The flow graph system allows the designers to code game logic without touching a line of code. Coding basically becomes connecting boxes and defining properties.
  19. Modularity: Entirely written in modular C++, with comments, documentation and subdivisions into multiple DLLs
  20. Multi-threading: Support for multithreaded, multicored, or multiprocessor CPU(s), which improves many aspects of the game such as AI and physics by speeding up CPU computations. One huge advantage to the CryEngine2 is that it will detect the number of threads the CPU(s) have and will then equally distribute code out across all of the threads.
  21. 64-bit: Support 32-bit and 64-bit OS to allow more memory being utilized.