3D in Crysis 2 hits the “sweet spot,” is “comfortable”

Last month, Cevat Yerli, Crytek’s CEO, proclaimed that Crysis 2 would “set the bar” for 3D gaming, making the game synonymous with the new technology. During PAX this past week, I had the chance to play the multiplayer portion of the upcoming FPS and was able to sit down with the game’s executive producer Nathan Camarillo to find out just what setting that bar meant.

When asked if what Yerli said about 3D gaming was really the company line, Camarillo immediately answered, “Yeah, for sure. Yeah, we definitely want that.”  But not just because they are planning to be the first out of the gate, it’s because they are taking a unique approach to implementing 3D within Crysis 2.

“We call it a concave 3D,” says Camarillo. “So basically, you’re if  looking at your TV set, the outer frame of the television is a window into the Crysis 2 world. So what alot of movies and films do right now, and some videogames as well that are doing in 3D, they throw stuff out of the screen at you and what you wind up with is violations where something sticking out touches the edge of the screen.

“That throws your mind off because it disappears. You expect the whole object to come out of the screen and the full shape to be there and it’s truncated or cut off. It’s really disorienting for you.”

What the Crysis 2 team has done to combat that is to create the game world down into the screen and behind instead of having to fight the edges. Camarillo calls their version of 3D a “deep 3D experience,” making the world feel very deep inside the TV. He also talks about a few other tricks up their sleeve that they’re doing to enhance the amount of depth information our eyes perceive at short to medium ranges, but won’t go into those at this point.

Camarillo also points out that their version of 3D just feels comfortable, which will allow us to play Crysis 2 for hours on end.

“We’ve been seeing 3D our whole lives, in real life,” he continues, “and when it isn’t close to that feeling, it’s fatiguing on our eyes and brains because we’re perceiving something 3D that isn’t 3D and our eyes are trying to (constantly) focus. So, if we don’t get this right, you might play for 15 minutes and stop playing.

“But we want you to be able to play this, it’s a game. We want you to play multiplayer in 3D for hours. We want you to play the single-player story for hours on end and put it down when you want a break, not because your eyes hurt or your head hurts.”

Our 3D discussion ended with Camarillo saying that Crytek has been doing research for the past couple of years on the game’s 3D and says it is not as much work on the eye as other games, but that it feels more 3D. That is the “sweet spot” that will be compared to all other videogame 3D implementations and Crysis 2‘s effort will be the first that “feels this comfortable.”