Crysis Q&A - Graphics, DirectX, and Windows Vista

Crytek's Cevat Yerli discusses what's going under the hood in this graphically impressive PC shooter as well as how the game is shaping up for Direct3D 10 and Windows Vista.

While first-person shooters of yore were arcade-style games that put big guns in your hand and tasked you with dashing around various corridors from a first-person perspective, blasting everything that wasn't you, times have changed. The kind of gameplay players have come to expect from these games has grown and developed, and technology has definitely advanced. For instance, consider Crysis, the impressive-looking shooter from Crytek and EA Games. This shooter will pack a powerful punch in terms of advanced graphical effects, especially since it's being developed with Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Direct3D 10 graphics environment (also known as DirectX 10) and the upcoming Windows Vista operating system in mind. Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli sat down with us to discuss the kind of technology we can expect to see in the game and how Crysis is being geared up for Vista.

GameSpot: Could you give us an update on the game's development? What parts of the game is the team working on now?

Crysis will make use of advanced graphics technology to create dense and highly detailed outdoor environments like this one.

Cevat Yerli: We are nearing alpha status, which means full feature and content completion on the entire project, with a solid pass on balancing. That is valid for the single-player and multiplayer experience. We are very excited. Crysis is shaping up as we imagined it. Stay tuned, it's almost there.

GS: Tell us about the special features in Direct3D 10 that Crysis will make use of. For instance, how, if at all, will the game make use of Shader Model 4.0? Where will we see instances of this new technology in the game--enhanced animated reflections on shiny surfaces, more-detailed textures, and so on?

CY: In general, we utilize the new interface of D3D10 to get better performance. We also use geometry shaders with texture arrays to accelerate shadow map and particle generation. We now can develop render algorithms easier because of the big guaranteed feature set of D3D10. For example, with DX9, the limited number of interpolators often prevented shader optimizations. There are many more useful features we want to utilize as well, such as texture lookups in vertex and geometry shader, stream out, and integer math. D3D10 hardware is now required to do high-quality texture filtering, which can result in better shading quality (such as specular effects or reflections).

GS: We understand that as part of Direct3D 10's development, Microsoft has apparently made compliance requirements stiffer for graphics hardware manufacturers to have their new GPUs Direct3D 10-certified. How, if at all, have these increased requirements helped Crytek optimize the game for first-generation Direct3D 10 GPUs?

CY: It did not make a tangible difference for our development, really. We are used to working through these types of issues, but at the same time, certain simplifications for developers did not impact us too much.

GS: Tell us about how Crysis will continue to make the most of existing DirectX 9 hardware for users who can't upgrade their computers in time for the game.

CY: If you have a high-end DX9 card with an equal level of CPU and memory--basically today's "gamer rig"--you will enjoy Crysis with close-to-D3D10 fidelity. Don't forget that for a long time, we ran the game only on DX9 hardware, even though people thought it was D3D10. You can be sure your high-end gamer rig will satisfy your expectations--but with D3D10, you will surpass them.

GS: Due to various scheduling and ship-date changes, Crysis is in a rather challenging position of being one of the first next-generation PC games to have to straddle the gulf between DirectX 9 and Direct3D 10 (and implicitly, the gap between Windows XP and Windows Vista). Aside from DirectX compliance, what are some of the other hurdles the team has faced, and how are they being addressed?

CY: That indeed is an annoying burden, but a necessary evil. It's our job to satisfy our gamers. We had similar challenges in the past with DX8, 9, and with 32/64 bit, but this is a much larger step that we have to help bridge. But I am happy to say that we manage to push both to maximum capacity usage; we're pushing quality in both [DirectX platform] directions.

GS: Since Crysis, Vista, and Direct3D 10 will all be launching in 2007, is Crytek banking on consumers having high-end PC hardware? Any plans, for instance, for Crysis to make specific use of other advanced consumer hardware features, such as dual-core processors or even physics processors?

CY: We have already implemented within CryEngine 2 our multicore technology, so out of the box Crysis does configure itself toward single-core, dual-core, quad-core, or multicore configurations alongside DX9, 10, XP, Vista, 32 bit, and 64 bit. We do not plan to use physics processors at this stage, though, since we did not see the direct beneficial impact in our software. Our in-house physics engine runs fast enough and spreads over multicore CPUs if needed to make Crysis a next-gen experience on that front.

GS: Is Crytek taking advantage of Microsoft's XNA framework in developing the game? Since one of XNA's most highly touted features is cross-platform compatibility, could working with the software open the door to console versions of the game?

The game is being optimized for both DirectX 9/XP and Direct3D 10/Vista setups.

CY: One particularly cool aspect we have been using recently is the unified input system, so you will be able to experience Crysis with the Xbox 360 controller on your living room TV attached to a high-end PC rig with D3D10. No console game will be able to stand in comparison against that.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about the technology that's going into Crysis to prepare it for use with both DirectX 9 and Direct3D 10, as well as for Windows Vista?

CY: Yes. Our high-end DX9 and XP experience was meant to offer you all our goals in terms of a cinematic and realistic experience, with gameplay mechanics pushing choices and freedom to the maximum. I want to reemphasize this is still true. D3D10 is going to take that whole experience and help us exceed those initial goals.

GS: Thanks, Cevat.

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Discussion

291 comments
MaxPayneJr
MaxPayneJr

I am currently on a dx 9 machine. Running all settings on Very High with no lag and a 30ish fps. YES! very high. its an extremely easy edit that can be done on the Cvar files located in your Crysis folder. if you hhave a high end machine that could handle very high but you have dx 9. search google for the edit. Many of which walk you through it.

Cyph1334
Cyph1334

Word Champmanfan.... I got that exact rig Intel core 2 duo 2.4 ghz 1400 fsb and 4mb cache... PNY 8800GTS 320Mb 2gb ddr2 800mhz ram Vista and xp on a dual boot system with 2 400 gb hard drives raided with parallel storage... all being viewed on a 23 inch dvi lcd widescreen ITS A BEAST But here is the kicker... cost me 1100 to build it... got a sweet ass custom case and accesories to boot... Gotta love NEWegg... and sometimes tigerdirect... oh and slickdeals.net WORD!

champmanfan
champmanfan

For those wanting to know what kind of system you need to run the recommended gfx settings - heres the PC you need to play it correctly: Not that demanding apart from the RAM side of things so that should come to a reasonable price closer to release, but put off buying anything until late as possible because even the QX6600 (Quad Core) is coming down half price soon. God this game looks good :)

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

The Direct X 10 trailer is amazing.. can't believe they made it look even better. Oh and generaljw had to break it to you but Halo is not all that great compared ot many PC FPS games... Many console fanboys think it's amazing because they haven't played any really good first person shooters.

Swift18
Swift18

Whered you get those Min Sys requirments? They said they did bridge work between 32bits and 64bits no company would have that. Its the Suggested. You ever look on some of the websites? they have minimum and then they have SUGGESTED and if any one said that it was a typo. They are gonna try to reach the widest market they can they dont expect every gammer to have $300 and 500 cards that are brand new. So its probbably more along the lines of a 5700 to x1300 and probbaly get away with a 2800 Xp to 3000Xp to Intel Pentium D 2.8 or up. It's all about the market it'd be stupid to think all gammers have High End systems. And Any of the New consoles except for maybe the Wii because it's weaker could play this game at a pretty decent level of Detail.

_Sam_
_Sam_

I REALLY need a better PC now....

funhabbit
funhabbit

Why do people think this game will get ported to 360?There's no way in hell a console could handle this!!!

Fable_Lord
Fable_Lord

@generaljw ... YEP, its mos def that this game is serious. And I'm considering getting a nice computer to play it on. as wel as C&C3 and Supreme commander. me 2 :p need new VGA card ... its gonna be necesary

generaljw
generaljw

YEP, its mos def that this game is serious. And I'm considering getting a nice computer to play it on. as wel as C&C3 and Supreme commander. However, for those of you who are saying no game can touch this, then you guys must all be ignorant of Halo 3 and MGS4 that are in route this year.

GuMMie_101
GuMMie_101

Iv read a article saying Dx10 can improve performance 6X, does any1 know if thats true? Iv also seen a video where a guy is playing crysis on a 21" wide screen(very high Res) at full graphics(Single 8800GTX and unknown C2D processor) with ease! It seems like crytek has really out done them selves.

DarkDisciple90
DarkDisciple90

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Minimum Requirements CPU: Athlon 64 3000+/Intel 2.8GHz Graphics: Nvidia 6600/X800GTO (SM 2.0) RAM: 768MB/1GB on Windows Vista HDD: 6GB Internet: 256k+ Optical Drive: DVD Software: DirectX9.0c with Windows XP Recommended Requirements: CPU: Dual-core CPU (Athlon X2/Pentium D) Graphics: Nvidia 7800GTX/ATI X1800XT (SM 3.0) or DirectX10 equivalent RAM: 1.5GB HDD: 6GB Internet: 512k+ (128k+ upstream) Optical Drive: DVD Software: DirectX10 with Windows Vista ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ good god my computer can actually play this game (unless you're wrong) but at any rate I was looking for system requirements....Much appreciated man :P

shade1978x
shade1978x

I don't think they're forcing anyone to upgrade. The game will play on lower-end PCs. That's already been said by the devs. The people who can afford the most powerful computers will be able to enjoy the game at optimum settings, though. Also, I don't get this console versus PC nonsense. Consoles ARE computers, albeit optimized for a singular purpose: to play games. PCs are used to create consoles, develop the software used to play on the consoles, and so on. PCs are always going to be able to play games at settings unachievable for consoles. Reason is even if a console is developed with the highest end processor, by the time they're released on the market, the tech available for PCs is already several generations ahead. There's pros and cons for both: consoles are more game-friendly and economical, PCs can deliver an unparalleled gaming experience, but at a considerably higher price than consoles. Personally, I'm a PC gamer and wouldn't ever get a console. Doesn't mean consoles suck. They don't. They serve their purpose for a piece of the market that desires it. Having said that, Crysis looks INSANE...

magusat999
magusat999

You guys sure use the words "high-end" a lot. So instead of putting in the effort it takes to make this game available to the masses of people, they took the lazy way out and used this "high end" jargon to excuse themselves. What a bunch of hot baloney - when will they learn that you can't force people to upgrade with fake paramaters that don't need to exist???

recalcitrant1
recalcitrant1

"Accoring to PC Mag...DX10-no worry for about 1 year or more before games using DX10 are commonplace. Also, high-performace DX9 video cards are capable of runing the Full Vista Aero Glass experience plus all games ship within the next year. PC Mag Jan 07. " This is true. It is also missing the point somewhat. Direct3d 10 compatability cards will out perform direct 9 cards even in directx 9 applications. When the reasonably priced d3d10 cards come out, there is next to no reason not to get one if you can afford it.

Nate2583
Nate2583

@Hilary I am a big console gamer and couldnt agree more with you... The PC gaming evolution is just beginning...and yes i really dont think Xbox 360 or PS3 could handle this game at all... definitly worth upgrading my rig for this game. No questions asked.

Hiliary
Hiliary

The bottom line is Crysis is a game that NO CONSOLE GAME can touch, including Gears Of War. Crysis is by far ahead of the pack in terms of technology, story, graphics, sound and action. If anyone debates that Gears Of War has all that is saddly mistaken. Crysis has surpassed my expectations to the point of upgrading my 3 year old rig to a top of the line rig that can handle Crysis on full graphical setting. Why do I want to do this? well, WHY NOT!!! Crysis is worth it. The replayability alone will give me my satisfaction of spending an obscene amount on upgrading my system. For those people who are saying that PC gaming is dying and consoles are taking over are FOOLS!!!!! Your assumptions are that of jealousy, envy and or lack of knowledge. You have no clear indication and cannot back any of your false claims with anything solid which indicates that PC gaming is dying. I can prove to you that PC gaming is only getting better. How? Would Microsoft be foolish enough to invest in a OS that is specifically aimed for gamers and spend MILLIONS if they knew that PC gaming is dying? Would Crytek be foolish enough to waste money on research and development with Crysis knowing that PC gaming is dying? Would Nvidia and ATI waste money on research and development with new next gen video cards knowing that PC gaming is dying? Need I go on? I don't think so. Please people, think for a second, god gave you brains to use so please REALLY think about this. Don't think for a second that PC gaming is dying, if anything it's going to become stronger then it has ever been. Billions are being invested and believe me, they want their return. At the end, EVERYONE WINS!!!! How great is that! Now shut up and stop saying console is better then PC and vise versa. Everyone wins so lets just keep it at that.

Ahson_Khan
Ahson_Khan

OK.... I'm interested... but holy-bite-my-ear-off! This thing wont even start up on my system :( I wish there was some company like dell or alienware in my country so that i could get a new GOD PC on installments... :( I guess i'll just have to kiss my own ass and watch this one fly by :( :( :( :( Hey but HL2 Ep2 will run on my PC :) As for the ai... i think it needs a few tweaks here and there and it reminds me of Farcry alot in terms of i'll-frag-the-sh*t-out-of-you.

Thewtfpwner
Thewtfpwner

I like the idea of playing with your PC on the TV using a xbox 360 controller... I'm not exactly sure how much that would happen, but it sounds cool all the same.

mackjohnson
mackjohnson

when are they going to make a demo for download?soon i hope.

Ondoval
Ondoval

jaefrmbk2k: probably the difficult settings are turned to minimun in this clip to let the player show us the gameplay posibilities that the game will give us. Also, the nanosuit has limitations: the bigest jumps cost 1/3 of our lifebarr at landing. I'm sure that when we play Cyisis at maximun difficult the bots will be as lethal as in the Far Cry realistic mode, one bad shot and bye by Dunn.

onlineterrorism
onlineterrorism

[[ petermavreas said: The video satisfied my worrysome mind..I have an x1900xtx crossfire an amd fx60 core and 2gb ocz plat rev 2 ram...I am glad to be out of the computer world now and in the xbox 360 world..the graphics i saw seemed comparable to farcry...a little better, but farcry is 6 years old..my xbox 360 looks better and feels better than my hardcore pc i have spent thousands on computer upgrades and a cool ass 19 sharp lcd monitor...i use to love pc could not part with it, until i recieved my xbox360, and now i see the light...pc's are soon dead for vids, get ready for the consol revolution ]] I had to laugh at this post. Farcry does not look identical to this game. Just because it's in a jungle doesn't mean anything. The Xbox 360's line up games this year isn't as strong as the PCs.

pidow
pidow

Accoring to PC Mag...DX10-no worry for about 1 year or more before games using DX10 are commonplace. Also, high-performace DX9 video cards are capable of runing the Full Vista Aero Glass experience plus all games ship within the next year. PC Mag Jan 07.

petermavreas
petermavreas

The video satisfied my worrysome mind..I have an x1900xtx crossfire an amd fx60 core and 2gb ocz plat rev 2 ram...I am glad to be out of the computer world now and in the xbox 360 world..the graphics i saw seemed comparable to farcry...a little better, but farcry is 6 years old..my xbox 360 looks better and feels better than my hardcore pc i have spent thousands on computer upgrades and a cool ass 19 sharp lcd monitor...i use to love pc could not part with it, until i recieved my xbox360, and now i see the light...pc's are soon dead for vids, get ready for the consol revolution PS one year ago i would have told my self to go screw my self for ever thinking like this....get an xbox360 and you will turn to the light side too...save your money!!!

Eagles5
Eagles5

I wonder if it iwll run on my Macbook Pro core 2 duo wih windows installed thru bootcamp? any one know the anwser? I hope so tho cause this game looks nice

Gurnadar
Gurnadar

These are requirements---------- These are unconfirmed specifications: Minimum Requirements CPU: Athlon 64 3000+/Intel 2.8GHz Graphics: Nvidia 6600/X800GTO (SM 2.0) RAM: 768MB/1GB on Windows Vista HDD: 6GB Internet: 256k+ Optical Drive: DVD Software: DirectX9.0c with Windows XP Recommended Requirements: CPU: Dual-core CPU (Athlon X2/Pentium D) Graphics: Nvidia 7800GTX/ATI X1800XT (SM 3.0) or DirectX10 equivalent RAM: 1.5GB HDD: 6GB Internet: 512k+ (128k+ upstream) Optical Drive: DVD Software: DirectX10 with Windows Vista

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

i got my dx 10 card. i'm ready for crysis!!!

Gurnadar
Gurnadar

what are its minimum requirements

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

the graphics lookd pretty delicious but the A.I. lookd DOA. i kno in the xbox version of Far Cry the A.I. was dumbd daown ridiculously, and i kno this is a different game but in the pc version of Far Cry on the Realistic setting just two soldiers would put a BEAUTIFUL & swift hurtin' on you if you tried to jump or run & gun your way thru them like they're doin' in the Crysis trailer, unrealistically hoppin' from rooftop 2 rooftop-gimme a break. makes the game look easy & a lil lame. i'm a skilled virtual killer & Far Cry was my favorite shooter for the challenge it poses (alongside SWAT3 & 4, FEAR is third in difficulty IMO) so i expect more from Crytek. you better have the goods on launch day..

True_Blu3
True_Blu3

Okay, I've seen the latest video right now and my God, IT DOES LOOK AMAZING O_O!! But the gameplay kind of looks like a Far Cry clone though. I mean, the whole binocular thing made it kind of familiar.

True_Blu3
True_Blu3

What's the difference between stimulated and SM3.0 special effects?

sahoman
sahoman

I just want to say that i love this guy (cevat yerli). As a real turkish gamer i proud of this man. Keep the good work.

Ibitmyeyeoff
Ibitmyeyeoff

This game looks great. Just to add this in...I'm sorry but I was a bit lazy to go back and look to see if anyone has said this. In my opinion, the trailers for the game and the gameplay video looked like the game will show off more on home computers rather than a video with some distortion. Just my thoughts...please don't go berzerk on me and call me stupid. Also...this game will look good for Vista users with the program I believe is called Aero. Aero (if that's right) is just graphic enhancements for slighty higher-end machines than that of standard issue. Once again, just my thoughts on the subject.

penuin3
penuin3

Wonder when we'll get actual photorealism. We're getting pretty darn close. I'm thinking best games on DirectX11 will be photorealistic.

Grechin
Grechin

OH Momma! If there is anything that makes me want to upgrade my PC, it's this! I don't care if I have to work in a mine with no mechanical assistance or food for a month or two, but I will find money to run this game at full power with! If it is the last thing I do! Also, why did that guy down at the bottom of this page say that PC gamers have more money than Brains? I bet he doesn't even know what "resolution" means! That was the mose baseless and jealouse coment I have ever heard on a forum!

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I play old game sometimes, but recently I jsut don't care as much about the old games, and most new games seems to be all the same as the old ones iwth updated graphics. I hope the gameplay is more indulging than jus tpoint and shoot tactics.

GuMMie_101
GuMMie_101

Sure there are few games that are worth playinf from the past, but a dos game? Why? I would never have the time to go back to those oldies! What type of pc u have 486? Even if i had a older pc i still would play games such as WC3 and Red Alert, even Q2! Anyway, Crysis surely looks to be the next best thing in gaming. If you take a look at the HD DX10 Flyby there is no way anygame comes close to the visual quality. I love what they did with the plant interaction! just opening a mag into the jungle will just bloom in movement and particles flying everywhere! The soft shadows look super if u ask me, its just a great developing game!

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Whatever is said about this game as a game, it will be the success of Vista and the hardware requirements that will decide if this game is successful. Far Cry was more successful on budget 2 years after the release of the game than it was in terms of sales on release, just because it took 2 years for PC gamers to catch up! I think most gamers will not upgrade to vista, never mind a DX10 card until 2008 at the earliest, so I will watch this game with interest. I would certainly have to upgrade my PC to play it, and maybe that's why I and many other PC gamers are spending more time playing retro games?! After all, to me, one of the best utilities of the last 3 years has been DOSBox. It opened up all those great DOS games that I could not have played on my XP rig! Many others are finding that too! So Crytek - good luck!

KillerOfGiant
KillerOfGiant

Yes, I'd like to see the minimum and recommend requirements in system requirements lab... What do you think about AMD Athlon 64 3200 + (2,3 Ghz, overclocked), 2 gt RAM and NVidia GeForce 7950 Gt 512(overclocked too:D)? Can my computer run Crysis on DX9.c???

psycotix
psycotix

Lets see.....to me it seems the argument that the console owners are bringing up time and time again is that to play top quality games at the highest setting we need a pc that cost a lot of money....which in theory is true. But what these console owners dont realise is that a pc will do everything a xbox 360 or a ps3 can do and about 100 x more. We dont just pay high prices to play the best games thre is but also to watch blu ray films on monitors that support xhdtv resolution which is twice the resolution of a normal hdtv http://www.nvidia.com/page/technology_extreme_hd_home.html We also have the advantage of the actual sound cards like the high end creative models which totaly batter the console sound chips. The advantages go on and on...... Crysis is a next generation game for the pc that out does everything there is on the market in terms of graphical display. so why do all these console fanboys keep posting on here and try to knock it....................JEALOUSY tbh because they havent got what most PC gamers have and thats a very expensive gaming machine......like comparing a Ford to a Porche tbh

especensor
especensor

what amazing graphics. although i am not a PC gamer, those graphics are pretty terrific.

onlineterrorism
onlineterrorism

[True_Blu3 said: We have those things in normal games already. blur effects, water reflections, and soft shadows (which looks very ugly and jaggied). The only thing that I see that looks kind of good are the destructable enviroments which will be a complete hog to handel. ] Soft shadows eliminates jaggies. However they are using real-time Soft shadowing, blur effects and water reflections. Not the simulated ones you see in SM3.0.

True_Blu3
True_Blu3

We have those things in normal games already. blur effects, water reflections, and soft shadows (which looks very ugly and jaggied). The only thing that I see that looks kind of good are the destructable enviroments which will be a complete hog to handel.

onlineterrorism
onlineterrorism

Watch videos instead of screenshots. What you are missing is the shadows, lighting, physics, special effects etc.

True_Blu3
True_Blu3

I don't know guys. I look at these screen shots and the game doesn't even look beautiful to me. After seeing Gears of War and UT07, I just realize how bland the game looks. Sure, the gameplay is amazingly well done. but there is something about the visuals that don't wow me. I think I'm nuts. What am i missing in those screens??

onlineterrorism
onlineterrorism

---- gtrplayermsnc said: "PC gamers = more time on your hands and $ in your pockets than brains in your head. " ---------------- Coming from a console boy who only knows how to turn on a tv and press the power button on his console. Crysis could only be played in the major leagues(PC). You are still stuck in the peewee division(consoles), son.

gtrplayermsnc
gtrplayermsnc

PC gamers = more time on your hands and $ in your pockets than brains in your head.

u2i_l0ver
u2i_l0ver

"not everyone has a High End PC but everyone dose have an Xbox 360... or at least everyone who is cool." Ok, you win the prize for most dim-witted comment so far.

Colonel_Cool
Colonel_Cool

Just so you know, ObiKKa, Crytek is hard at work optimizing Crysis so it will run on a wide range of computers, not strictly uber high-end. If you can play Far Cry on high settings, then you can play Crysis fine on at least minninum settings. And Cevat isn't lying when he says that no console can compare to a high end computer, because it is undeniably true.