Cevat Yerli said Crysis 2 had the most advanced AI system in a game, but there were definitely some issues at times, such as aliens running on the spot facing a wall and not engaging the player.
He didn't promise that it wouldn't be buggy then, just that it'd be the best [laughs]. It's difficult, especially when originally all the AI was developed to very open spaces in Far Cry and Crysis 1. In Crysis 2 you had a new setting and this verticality that wasn't in the older games, so suddenly your AI has to adjust to these differences, and you also need to make sure it's not too heavy so that it can run on consoles, so I would say generally the whole developing for consoles in parallel with the game with Crysis 2 just presented a lot of challenges.
Crysis games are not the easiest games to port to consoles - the more ambitious your games are visually and technically the more of a challenge you're posed with in order to have less powerful hardware execute to the same level of quality. That means you need to pull on both ends in order to meet that goal, but now it's kind of the opposite because we have that reference and we can push from both ends instead, which is a completely different position to be in.
Did you consider a Wii U release for Crysis 3 and could the console handle the game?
We're not really talking about that now. The only confirmed platforms are PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Crysis 2 was named the most pirated game of 2011, with the PC version alone downloaded in the region of four million times. A near complete build also leaked shortly before launch. How does that make a studio that's put years into a game feel and how does it impact how you approach working on PC?
It's very flattering and upsetting at the same time. Obviously you miss so much revenue. It's so clear that a lot of people want to play your game but they don't really want to pay for it, which is unfortunately really disappointing. It's also a little flattering because people are willing to bother to download these 10GB files or whatever the game takes because they think it looks great. We obviously want to avoid that this time, but even if we can convert 25 percent of those gamers into paying customers [we'll have an extra million sales].
And how do you go about doing that?
You'd have to ask someone who knows something about that, because it's not me.
Do you think there's still plenty of room for innovation in shooters on PS3 and Xbox 360 and how do you intend to show that's the case with Crysis?
This is just my personal opinion, but I guess it comes down to what other kinds of concepts people marry into the shooter genre. Right now, for example, we're pushing narrative quite a lot in this shooter, and I guess you can push that even further. For me it's always about, you know, when you fire a gun in a game, whether that's going to be interesting or not is to do with the context that exists on top of that action, at least in single player.
Also making character development play a bigger role, and how that reflects through in the gameplay, I think there's a lot of potential there. There are a lot of great looking shooters that just don't have a lot of character, so if you're not a fan of obsessively shooting a gun, often there's not much more in games to look for.
Obviously for multiplayer it's a difficult one. Changing people's habits and what they're used to in multiplayer, that's a totally different beast to wrestle. If things are not World of Warcraft or Battlefield then they are crap is kind of a general conception.
A lot of people are exploring this though. Games like Mass Effect are exploring the marriage of shooter, action and RPG elements. The trick is not to compromise anything so that you end up with a really crappy RPG or crappy shooter, so if you want to do that, you at least have to make sure they play an equal role and support each other. For me the important thing is context, always. Whenever you get a great idea and you want to do something, you have to make sure that it resonates through all of the game and isn't just some appendix you dump on top.