Develop examines Crytek's next-gen ready engine powering triple-A development

The top 14 game engines: CryEngine 3

Company: Crytek
Platforms: Next-gen consoles, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Used in: Crysis, Aion, MechWarrior Online, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, Cabal Online 2

Crytek’s in-house engine has been appearing in a bevy of games lately, not least the developer’s own Crysis 3, Warface and Ryse.

Suitable for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, CryEngine 3 is capable of generating state-of-the-art graphics, lighting, physics and AI, as well as having a custom-made sandbox editor. A free version is also available for noncommercial use via its website.

“Essentially, it provides all the tools you need to make your game in real-time, out of the box, which is a huge boost for large and small developers,” says CryEngine director Carl Jones.

The biggest challenge as an engine provider, Jones says, is delivering total flexibility for a varied development market.

“As players demand triple-A quality from low-price or free games, developers need technology that can enable them to respond near real-time to such demands in a commercially viable way," he says.

"So, although it’s difficult, this burden to create an engine that is 100 per cent flexible is absolutely necessary. Maintaining this will be the biggest challenge for engine makers, as the number of platforms and game types increases."

CryEngine 3’s latest features include improved displacement mapping, particle effects and volumetric fog shadows to name but a few.

Crytek has been developing its engine in a scalable manner in preparation for the next generation, and Jones believes its ready to meet developers’ future needs as a result.

“The ultimate goal is really to provide developers with a single interface where they only need to build their game once and not multiple times for each platform,” says Jones.

“As such, we do not necessarily need to make huge changes to the way we handle new platforms, and we’ll be announcing new platform support from CryEngine in the near future.”

You can view all of the top 14 game engine profiles as they are published here.

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