George Scotto right now is one of the key figures in developing graphic engines for VR. The business director of CryEngine is actually taking care of the market’s decisions behind the impressive engine, which had recently benefited from the strategy known as pay what you want, that helped greatly Crytek in popularizing it, especially thanks to its gratuitous form. During a special lesson, held in the Vigamus Academy, we have interviewed Scotto, focusing on the main components of the CryEngine and on the future of the economic side of the company.

So, can you tell us why CryEngine is suited for VR?

Yes, of course! So, in the last year we have been focusing on development and improving CryEngine for VR. The number one thing we did was the DirectX 12 integration. So, we have a low overhead render so we’re able to get the graphics performance improvement and this works very well with VR. So, our focus is more keen with partners by AMD, integrating their LiquidVR into the CryEngine, working with partners like NVIDIA, working with their technology and engineers to implement GameWorks VR. So, we’re really focusing on adding all the IPS and the functionality that will make the engine work better for viewer.

Why would you suggest Cryengine over Unreal and Unity for budding VR developers?

Well, it’s a good question and we think that Unity and Unreal are very good engines. So, CryEngine may have a lot of respect for these engines and CryEngine as far as realistic settings and scenes; we think that quality is much higher, we think that you really could get a very good VR experience and immersion. So, CryEngine is that type of engine where you have more immersion, you’re immersed into the world and we think that’s what makes it a powerful engine for VR.

So, how much the graphical fidelity is important to achieve presence in VR?

Well, we think it’s one component, of course, but as I showed in my presentation, to make a good VR application it’s more than just how it looks. You have to start with the basics, you have to build a game from the beginning, from the start, from the scratch, where you have to think  about the user position in the game, how they’re reacting, how the head movement are moving, how the eyes are focusing, I mean, it’s much more than just great graphic. Graphics are important but you have to have the right game aswell, the right design.

There is this common thought that CryEngine is difficult. How can you overcome this obstacle?

Well, in the last six months we have improved our documentation, so the first thing we have a big team that is writing the documentation to make it more clear, more documentation how to use things, we have created many video tutorials. So, you can watch a video tutorial to learn the big basics and then you can develop your skills and watch video tutorials to learn the more complicated parts of CryEngine. So, in the past we had no videos, no tutorials. So we have a lot of work being done in making this much more clear. A new user could go and learn the engine. We’ve also created the C# interface, and the C# interface is making much easier, you don’t have to be a expert C++ programmer anymore. You can use the C# interface and you could create games easily. The next thing is creating templates. So, examples of games. So, we’re creating a lot of examples of how to create different types of games, which makes it easy for casual game developer to start the engine, but your criticism is right, the engine used to be much more difficult to use. We also improved the user interface, to make it much easier to do things, to understand how to do things, using the user interface. It’s really about making the whole experience easier.

In a few years do you think that CryEngine will become the go-to technology for VR developers?

We think it should be the go-to technology now. I think it starts with our games, I think that when people see VR experiences that we bring, they will be very interested in using CryEngine. But the way it looks, but the game immersion and how people… yeah, I think that it will become a much more important engine.

Do you think that CryEngine can be suited for MMO? I mean you started with Everquest and Star Wars: Galaxies. Do you think that this genre can be suitable for VR?

I would pay a lot of money to play these games. I think that would be the best experience, ‘cause when I played Everquest and World of Warcraft and every MMO I’ve got into close relationship with many players and It would be so much cooler to be in the world with them, interacting in that virtual world with them… So, I think that you will see this. I can’t tell you who’s doing it but I think you will see this.