Crytek's Seeley Talks CryEngine 2 Creation, MMO Expansion

As part of a longer Gamasutra interview on CryEngine 2's Asian market intentions, Crytek's Harald Seeley has been discussing the challenges of expanding the Crysis engine to
As part of a longer Gamasutra interview on CryEngine 2's Asian market intentions, Crytek's Harald Seeley has been discussing the challenges of expanding the Crysis engine to support MMO developers and yet still support Crytek's internal projects. The interview, conducted at the recent G* game event in South Korea, touched on issues of Asian MMO developers licensing Western engines which are not always initially set up to work in a massively multiplayer environment. This was something that was also touched on by Webzen's Woon Yoon when discussing the Unreal Engine 3-licensing Huxley, which has been delayed, and which Yoon claims is partly due to Huxley being an MMO. In the Crytek interview, Seeley directly addresses the issue that leading engines such as UE3 and CryEngine 2 are often developed for a specific game first, and then rolled out to other developers, including online game developers, explaining: "It was created to support the game, but it was also created with the idea that it would become standalone middleware which was capable of supporting more than one kind of game. MMOs were definitely always figured into the process, but in the rush to get a game out, you always take some shortcuts that later you have to go back and do more thoroughly. That's an ongoing effort, because we have so many MMO licensees, and we have good relationships with them such that we don't want to see a lot of replication of work. We want to make sure that everybody who has a good idea and makes a change to the engine and makes it more MMO-friendly... that that gets shared with the rest of the community. So we foster that kind of interaction between them." Just how do these interactions work, in terms of suggestions for what CryEngine 2 licensees need in order to complete their games? Seeley explains: "We have a team that's going to review each of those ideas, and that's the engineering team that built the engine to begin with. Since we have our own efforts internally to support for multiple studios now and multiple genres and platforms, it's important for us, internally, to make sure that the engine is as generic as possible, because otherwise, each team will end up with their own version of the engine. And I've worked at publishers where that's the case, where in every project, they have an engine that's just for that project. It's really hard to leverage advances in engine technology across multiple teams when you do that." The full interview with Seeley is now available on Gamasutra, including much more detail on the engine's development and its deployment in the Korean market.

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