July Update - CryENGINE3
1983. The height of the Cold War.
There have been growing intelligence reports that suggest a new threat is rising. Throughout the closing months of the year, there has been a startling, and well organised increase of terrorist attacks on key NATO countries, nothing like what has come before. In this climate of fear, the rumblings from across the Iron Curtain from the Warsaw pact members may not be total coincidence…
Experience the shadowy world of the Increment through SAS Sergeant John “Paddy” Casey and his 8 man team. Your decisions will prove vital in the coming days as the world slides towards a new conflict. How will you deal with the threat, and the difficult decisions that have to be made in the coming storm?
- In depth story:
Some of the operations featured in the game are based on real operations from past and present conflicts, adapted to the time period. The storyline is based upon some real events, and a chilling whatif scenario. In our opinion, a film’s or book’s plot is meant to drag the player in, and immerse them; games should be no different. The player is also able to choose how to deal with targets, in a similar way to how Deus Ex allows freedom of choice.
- RPG Elements:
The game has been described as being a cross over between an FPS and RPG with the features we’re wanting to implement. The player’s actions effect how the story develops, how their teammates deal with them, and what skills they develop - We are also implementing a skilltree system, reflecting the way specialisation with certain equipment occurs, along with giving certain bonuses to the player which complement their playstyle.
- Firearms Combat & Weapons Advantages/Disadvantages:
One of the key things that we want to get is hardhitting, realistic combat. All weapons have their advantages, and disadvantages to other weapons – some are lighter but aren’t as hardhitting, some may have more modification/improvement options, others may have greater range than others, but are slower firing.. the list goes on, which we’ll cover in a news article at a later date.
- Fluid Unarmed Combat:
This is perhaps one of the most important features that is generally missing in many titles featuring modern conflict, the ability for the player to use close combat as a plausible option – and with that comes the realistic close combat mechanics we want to implement.
The ability to customise equipment, and the player themselves, is nothing new - but when used in conjunction with the players stats and abilities, this becomes incredibly important. Both the players equipment, skillset/weapon specialisations, and look can be developed and customised in game, so that the player’s character is suited to their playstyle.
Teaser Trailers & Other Media:
Before we get stuck into why we’re using CryEngine3 for the project, lets have a look at some of the work we’ve been doing with its predecessor, CryEngine2. We’re showcasing teaser trailers that show a level in Northern Ireland, and another one in the Arctic Circle.
Bare in mind, these are from our pre-alpha build, and the quality is set to hugely increase with the arrival of CryEngine3.
Now we’re going to explain a bit about why we’ve gone with CryEngine3, and the upcoming Indie SDK release this summer for the project’s development. At present, CryEngine3 is one of the most technologically advanced engines available to the public, and has some top end features that are ideal for a project such as ours. Many of the reasons listed can be seen in the CryEngine3 for Cinema trailer, which I’ve linked to at the bottom of this section.
- Top-end lighting:
When trying to create environments, we want it to stand out – and with the lighting set up in this engine, its possible to get very, very close to realistic lighting setups, and incredibly easy to do, helped in part by the WYSIWYP system of the editor.
- Maya Integration:
This is a huge plus for us, particularly with our heavy use of Maya by our 3D team. The ability to link the cameras, lighting, and perhaps the most important of all for us, the rigs and animation easily with the engine makes development time much shorter; and as an Indie team with limited funds, that’s particularly important.
- Cinematic Camera:
Most of the features included with this tool (3D LUT Support allowing HD rendering at 60FPS or more, Aperture based DOF effects, and shutter based motionblur to name a few features) are incredibly useful for cinematic sections – which we’ll be making use of with our project, along with during PC-NPC conversations.
- Mocap support:
To get the most realistic animations, mocap support is ideal; particularly for unarmed combat sequences. This allows us to make full use of martial artists, and with the inengine integration we can do it simply, and quickly.
The rendering ability of CryEngine3 is one of the best in the industry – we’re able to create both indoor and outdoor environments that run quickly and efficiently, whilst still looking fantastic.
- Character Editor:
As we’re focusing on character development, we need to have a system which allows us to make the characters look, and feel, real. The indepth animation and individualisation system for characters is ideal for us, as it allows us to fully realise that aim.
- Coding & AI:
As with its predecessor engine, the coding in Cryengine3 is done via C++, Lua, XML, and Flowgraphing – all methods which allow a scriptor to develop a project easily, efficiently, and most of all, allow the implementation of stable working builds regardless of the timescale. A game can look visually stunning and perform beautifully yet without good, responsive and interactive AI, the player will not be challenged nor immersed in the gameplay, as it breaks the feeling of immersion.
The Increment relies upon the speed and the reaction of your comrades as well as your own personal reflexes - if they fail to react you will fail. The Cryengine 3 AI system brings your team alive in the grittiest of tactical situations, you hear, feel and express every motion no matter the scenario. And for us? That fits our design plans perfectly.
As always, we are looking for new staff to join our team of developers. We're currently looking for people with the following skillsets:
- 3D Hardsurface Modelling
- 3D Organic Modelling
- C++/XML/Lua Coder
If you have one of these skills, send a PM to me on Crymod, ModDB, email me at Jquigley@Ironwolfstudios.net, or post on our forums at Forum.ironwolfstudios.net and i'll get back to you as soon as possible.
IWS Team Lead