On the eve of Crysis Warhead
's release, Crytek producer Bernd Diemer explains in an in-depth Gamasutra interview
that the Crysis
pseudo-sequel was originally planned as a "vanilla expansion pack."
"That's the kneejerk reflex of developers: 'We're doing a game? We're almost done? Let's do an expansion pack next,'" says Deimer. "The initial design was more along these lines. You needed the original game to play it, it was single-player only, and a lot shorter."
The company brought in team members of its then recently opened Budapest studio
to train with the developer's tools and engine, encouraging them to play with its planned expansion and look for ways to improve on it.
The Budapest team created prototypes with the Crysis editor, similar to what a mod team would do. "They used whatever was available in Crysis to prototype new gameplay, such as the new vehicle rides, aliens breaking through the ice -- those made it from the first prototype video into the final game."
After looking at their ideas and prototypes, however, the developer realized that their additions were more suited for a standalone experience, rather than an expansion pack.
Says Deimer, "We then decided to develop a longer campaign -- a full single-player campaign -- but we kept the $29.99 price point, which leans more towards the expansion pack."
The PC game tells a parallel story on the other side of the island setting featured in the original Crysis. Players taking on the role of a United States Delta Force operator with a Nanosuit, Sergeant Sykes, one of the character’s introduced in the previous title.
Deimer's comments came as part of a larger Gamasutra feature
analyzing the structure, design underpinnings, and creation of the Crysis