CryEngine is a game engine designed by the German game developer Crytek. It has been used in all of their titles with the initial version being used in Far Cry, and continues to be updated to support new consoles and hardware for their games. It has also been used for many third-party games under Crytek's licensing scheme, including Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 and SNOW. Ubisoft maintains an in-house, heavily modified version of CryEngine from the original Far Cry called the Dunia Engine, which is used in their later iterations of the Far Cry series.
CryEngine 1 is a game engine used for the first-person shooter video game Far Cry. It was originally developed by Crytek as a technology demo for Nvidia and, when the company saw its potential, it was turned into a game. When video cards with support for 3.0 pixel and vertex shaders were released, Crytek released version 1.2 of the engine which used some of the capabilities for better graphics. Later the company developed CryEngine version 1.3, which added support for HDR lighting. The engine has been licensed to NCsoft for their MMORPG, Aion: The Tower of Eternity. On March 30, 2006, Ubisoft acquired all intellectual property rights to the Far Cry franchise and a perpetual license to use the Far Cry edition of CryEngine.
CryEngine 2 is used in Crytek's game Crysis, and an updated version in Crysis Warhead, a side story of Crysis. In March 2009 at the Game Developers Conference, CryEngine 2's successor, CryEngine 3, was shown on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. CryEngine 2 was first licensed out to French company IMAGTP who specializes in architectural and urban-planning communication. The purpose of licensing the engine was to create a program to allow clients to see exactly what a building or other structure would look like before any actual construction was started. As of March 7, 2011, Simpson Studios has licensed CryEngine 2 out to use on a Massively Multiplayer Virtual World (MMVW) that takes place on a terraformed Mars. On May 11, 2007, Crytek announced that they would be using the engine to create a game based on their new “intellectual property”. It is also confirmed that it will not be a part of Crysis and in fact may not even be a first person shooter. On September 17, 2007, Ringling College of Art & Design became the first higher education institution in the world to license CryEngine 2 for educational purposes.
On March 11, 2009, the German game studio Crytek announced that it would introduce CryEngine 3 at the 2009 Game Developers Conference, held from March 25 to March 27. The new engine was being developed for use on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. As for the PC platform, the engine is said to support development in DirectX 9, 10, and 11. As of June 1, 2009, it was announced that Crysis 2 would be developed by Crytek on their brand new engine. CryEngine 3 was released on October 14, 2009.
On March 1, 2010, a new tech demo of the engine was released for the i3D 2010 symposium, which demonstrates 'Cascaded Light Propagation Volumes for Real Time Indirect Illumination'. On June 11, 2011, the Australian Defence Force revealed that Navy personnel would train on a virtual landing helicopter dock ship made using the CryEngine 3 software. As of July 1, 2011, the Mod SDK version of CryEngine 3 specifically to create custom maps, mods and content for Crysis 2 is available on Crytek's website. Crytek also released a free-to-use version of the CryEngine for non-commercial game development. It was released as of August 17, 2011 under the name CRYENGINE® Free SDK.
Crytek announced on September 9, 2011 that they would be using CryEngine 3 to bring the original Crysis to consoles. It was released for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on October 4, 2011.
CryEngine (4th generation)
On August 21, 2013 Crytek announced that their next CryEngine would not carry any version number. The reason for this decision was the fact that this new engine bears almost no similarity to previous CryEngine versions. The new CryEngine adds support for Linux and consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U.
Massively multiplayer online game
A massively multiplayer online game (also called MMO and MMOG) is a multiplayer video game which is capable of supporting large numbers of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet. MMOs usually have at least one persistent world, however some games differ. These games can be found for most network-capable platforms, including the personal computer, video game console, or smartphones and other mobile devices.
MMOGs can enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a large scale, and sometimes to interact meaningfully with people around the world. They include a variety of gameplay types, representing many video game genres.
The most popular type of MMOG, and the sub-genre that pioneered the category,which was launched in late April 1999, is the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), which descended from university mainframe computer MUD and adventure games such as Rogue and Dungeon on the PDP-10. These games predate the commercial gaming industry and the Internet, but still featured persistent worlds and other elements of MMOGs still used today.
The first graphical MMOG, and a major milestone in the creation of the genre, was the multiplayer flight combat simulation game Air Warrior by Kesmai on the GEnie online service, which first appeared in 1986. Kesmai later added 3D graphics to the game, making it the first 3D MMO.
Commercial MMORPGs gained acceptance in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The genre was pioneered by the GemStone series on GEnie, also created by Kesmai, and Neverwinter Nights, the first such game to include graphics, which debuted on AOL in 1991.
As video game developers applied MMOG ideas to other computer and video game genres, new acronyms started to develop, such as MMORTS. MMOG emerged as a generic term to cover this growing class of games.
The debuts of The Realm Online, Meridian 59 (the first 3D MMORPG), Ultima Online, Underlight and EverQuest in the late 1990s popularized the MMORPG genre. The growth in technology meant that where Neverwinter Nights in 1991 had been limited to 50 simultaneous players (a number that grew to 500 by 1995), by the year 2000 a multitude of MMORPGs were each serving thousands of simultaneous players and led the way for games such as World of Warcraft and EVE Online.
Despite the genre's focus on multiplayer gaming, AI-controlled characters are still common. NPCs and mobs who give out quests or serve as opponents are typical in MMORPGs. AI-controlled characters are not as common in action-based MMOGs.
The popularity of MMOGs was mostly restricted to the computer game market until the sixth-generation consoles, with the launch of Phantasy Star Online on Dreamcast and the emergence and growth of online service Xbox Live. There have been a number of console MMOGs, including EverQuest Online Adventures (PlayStation 2), and the multiconsole Final Fantasy XI. On PCs, the MMOG market has always been dominated by successful fantasy MMORPGs.
MMOGs have only recently begun to break into the mobile phone market. The first, Samurai Romanesque set in feudal Japan, was released in 2001 on NTT DoCoMo's iMode network in Japan. More recent developments are CipSoft's TibiaME and Biting Bit's MicroMonster which features online and bluetooth multiplayer gaming. SmartCell Technology is in development of Shadow of Legend, which will allow gamers to continue their game on their mobile device when away from their PC.
Science fiction has also been a popular theme, featuring games such as Mankind, Anarchy Online, Eve Online, Star Wars Galaxies and The Matrix Online.
MMOGs emerged from the hard-core gamer community to the mainstream strongly in December 2003 with an analysis in the Financial Times measuring the value of the virtual property in the then-largest MMOG, Everquest, to result in a per-capita GDP of 2,266 dollars which would have placed the virtual world of Everquest as the 77th wealthiest nation, on par with Croatia, Ecuador, Tunisia or Vietnam.
Happy Farm is the most popular MMOG with 228 million active users, and 23 million daily users (daily active users logging onto the game with a 24-hour period).
World of Warcraft is a dominant MMOG in the world with more than 50% of the subscribing player base, and with 8-9 million monthly subscribers worldwide. The subscriber base dropped by 1 million after the expansion Wrath of the Lich King, bringing it to 9 million subscribers, though it remains the most popular Western title among MMOGs. In 2008, Western consumer spending on World of Warcraft represented a 58% share of the subscription MMOG market. The title has generated over $2.2 billion in cumulative consumer spending on subscriptions since 2005.
Multiplayer online battle arena
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), also known as action real-time strategy (ARTS), originated as a sub-genre of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre of video games, in which a player controls a single character in one of two teams. The objective is to destroy the opposing team's main structure with the assistance of periodically spawned computer-controlled units that march forward along set paths. Player characters typically have various abilities and advantages that improve over the course of a game and that contribute to a team's overall strategy. A fusion of action games and real-time strategy games, players usually do not construct either buildings or units.
The genre traces its roots to Aeon of Strife (AoS), a custom map for StarCraft where four players each controlling a single powerful unit and aided by weak computer-controlled units were put against a stronger computer-controlled faction. Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a map based on Aeon of Strife for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne, was one of the first major titles of its genre and the first MOBA for which has been held sponsored tournaments. It was followed by the two spiritual successors League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, and eventually a sequel, Dota 2, as well as numerous other games in the genre.
In 1998, computer game company Blizzard Entertainment released its best-selling real-time strategy game (RTS) StarCraft with a suite of game editing tools called StarEdit. The tools allowed members of the public to design and create custom maps that allowed play very different from the normal maps. A modder known as Aeon64 made a custom map named Aeon of Strife (AoS) that became very popular. Aeon64 stated that he was attempting to create gameplay similar to that found in the Precinct Assault mode of the 1998 game Future Cop. In the Aeon of Strife map, players controlled a single powerful hero unit fighting amidst three lanes, though terrain outside these lanes were nearly vacant.
In 2002, Blizzard released Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (WC3), with the accompanying Warcraft III World Editor. Both the MOBA and tower defense sub-genres took substantive shape within the WC3 modding community. A modder named Eul began converting Aeon of Strife into the Warcraft III engine, calling the map Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Eul substantially improved the complexity of play from the original Aeon of Strife mod. Shortly after creating the custom DotA map, Eul left the modding scene. With no clear successor, Warcraft III modders created a variety of maps based on DotA and featuring different heroes. In 2003, after the release of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, a map creator named Meian created a DotA variant closely modeled on Eul's map, but combining heroes from the many other versions of DotA that existed at the time. Called DotA: Allstars, it was inherited after a few months by a modder called Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, and under his guidance it became the dominant map of the genre. After more than a year of maintaining the DotA: Allstars map, with the impending release of an update that significantly changed the map layout, Guinsoo left the development to his adjutant Neichus in the year 2005. After some weeks of development and some versions released, the latter turned over responsibility to a modder named IceFrog, who initiated large changes to the mechanics that deepened its complexity and capacity for innovative gameplay. The changes conducted by IceFrog were well-received and the number of users on the Dota: Allstars forum is thought to have peaked at over one million.
By 2008, the popularity of DotA had attracted commercial attention. That year, The Casual Collective released Minions, a Flash web game. Gas Powered Games also released the first stand-alone commercial title in the genre, Demigod. In late 2009, Riot Games' debut title, League of Legends initially designed by Feak, was released. Riot began to refer to the game's genre as a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Also in 2009, IceFrog, who continued to develop DotA: Allstars, was hired by Valve Corporation, in order to design a sequel to the original map.
In 2010, S2 Games released Heroes of Newerth, with a large portion of its gameplay and aesthetics based on DotA: Allstars. The same year, Valve announced Dota 2 and subsequently secured the franchise's intellectual property rights, after being contested by Riot Games for the DotA trademark. Dota 2 was released in 2013, and was referred to by Valve as an "action real-time strategy" game. In 2012, Activision Blizzard settled a trademark dispute with Valve over the usage of the DOTA trademark and announced their own standalone game, which was eventually named Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard adopted their own personal dictation for their game's genre with "hero brawler", citing its focus on action. In 2014, Hi-Rez Studios released Smite, a MOBA with a third-person perspective.
There are two opposing teams whose goal collectively as a team is generally to destroy their enemy's base to win, though some games have the option of different victory conditions. Typically, there is one main structure which must be destroyed to win, though destroying other structures within the opposing team's base may confer other benefits. Defensive structures are in place to prevent this, as well as relatively weak computer-controlled units which periodically spawn at each base and travel down predefined paths toward the opposing team's base. There are typically 3 "lanes" that are the main ways of getting from one base to another. There are also specific type of roles, the names of which vary from game to game (typically a damage role, a support role, and a tanking role).
A player controls a single powerful in-game unit generally called a 'hero'. When a hero stands near a killed enemy unit or kills an enemy unit, it gains experience points which allow the hero to level up. When a hero levels up, they have the ability to learn more powerful skills and abilities. When a hero dies, they have to wait a designated time, which generally increases as they level up, until they revive at their base.
Each player receives a small amount of gold per second from their base. Moderate amounts of gold are rewarded for killing hostile computer-controlled units and larger amounts are rewarded for killing enemy heroes. Gold is used by heroes to buy a variety of different items that range in price and impact. For the most part, this involves improving the combat viability of the hero, although there may be other items that support the hero or team as a whole in different ways.
As the heroes of each team get stronger, they can use multiple strategies to gain an advantage. These strategies can include securing objectives, killing enemy heroes and farming gold by killing A.I. units. The stronger a team gets, the more capable they are at destroying the enemy team and their base.
Members of the genre do not generally feature several other elements traditionally found in real-time strategy games, notably base management, and army building. Some video games have certain heroes which control a few specialized units. The RPG genre has a much closer resemblance to the gameplay, only limited to an arena.