CCC: In a market where squad shooters seem to be everywhere, why stay with the decision to have the nanosuit ultimate super shooter?
NC: It's about delivering a really intense FPS experience centered on the player. With the amount of deep fiction we want to tell in the game, its better told when you're the only character because it's all about you; it's really ego-centric. In fact, in Germany they're called ego-shooters, not first-person shooters. This was the way we can make the best FPS experience possible. A lot of people stopped focusing [on] playing alone and instead are playing more with friends. But we feel that multiplayer is a great place to play with friends; single player is all about playing by yourself.
CCC: What was it like working with award-winning authors Richard Morgan and Peter Watts, and what can you tell us about the story, as details have been scarce.
NC: Richard Morgan wrote [the] main story treatment for Crysis 2 and helped to collaborate on the story. We had our own vision for Crysis 2, and he brought a lot to the table and we were glad to work with him. Peter Watts worked on the novel adaptation and it's a really great read. He recently won a Hugo Award himself, and they're both fantastic guys. Having them in our group of collaborators is a really positive experience. The story itself is something we're being secretive of, aside from a couple of internet leaks. We want people to experience the story for the first time as they play through it to have a greater impact when you experience something for the first time. All we've given you as is that you play as a Force Recon Marine named Alcatraz. You'll meet old and new friends; that's all we're saying.
CCC: Speaking of leaks, how do you guys feel about the leaked beta build hitting the internet recently?
NC: The pirated leak was unfortunate for us, but we don't feel like it was done willingly. Ultimately the version was back from January, so the fact that it was old when it went out made it even worse. We were still making significant improvements to the game every day at this time. There's a time in every development cycle where you just stop making the game and fix bugs, but during this we were still working heavily on the game and fixing gameplay and improving major systems. We made a lot of good progress on the game in February and we were excited to see the finish line in the near future; team morale was high.
Next thing you know, there's news of a leak coming out, and the studio became really depressed by this. Everyone was happy and then everyone became isolated and depressed; it was the worst feeling imaginable. We did get a lot of support from fellow developers at GDC from this pretty much universally, despite a healthy competition between developers; the entire industry seemingly went silent because a boundary was crossed that shouldn't have been crossed. It didn't just shake Crytek; it shook the entire industry. Even the entire walkthrough was leaked on YouTube, again making us sad since we wanted to keep the story a surprise. But the community support was really positive; people were self-policing themselves on our forums and the internet, saying that they downloaded it, apologized, and pledged support for Crytek.
CCC: How does this affect your support for the PC community?
NC: The easiest thing to do is to ignore the PC community and just make future games for consoles, but that's a pretty extremist view and it'll hurt both gamers and games in general. We just have to look at methods to where the software itself is protected and look at ways to ensure that when you're playing it's a legitimate copy. I know a lot of people look harshly at DRM, but what can we do? The actions of a few affect many.
CCC: How would you sell people who missed out on Crysis 1 as to why they should pick up Crysis 2?
NC: Crysis 2 is a new jumping-in point. The Crysis 1 backstory will be seen and gaps will be filled in that were left unanswered, but keep in mind that Crysis 2 takes place three years after the original with a new character; missing out on Crysis 1 is okay. When you see the flashbacks to Crysis 1, it gives you the feeling that there's a deeper mystery in this universe. Missing out on Crysis 1 won't hurt your experience and hopefully will encourage them to play through Crysis 1.
CCC Freelance Writer