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At VRLA I met with Lead Programmer at Crytek, Dario Kuis Sancho Pradel to talk about Crytek's Back to Dinosaur Island VR demo and their plans for VR.

Crytek are serious about VR. They are not playing the wait and see game that many other development are houses are playing. Crytek have a dedicated team exclusively focused on VR. Their goal is to create simple to use VR tools to assist in development with CRYENGINE.

Crytek are focused on four main areas:

  1. Presence
    Convicing and rich visual environments and 3D Audio
  2. Interactivity
    Allowing the player to manipulate the world rather than just watching it
  3. Input Devices
    Crytek are researching various control methods with traditional and next-gen devices
  4. Movement
    Believable and nausea free movement

Challenges to a high performance VR Graphics Engine?

High Frame Rate
In order to acheive a good VR experience the engine must be able to output a minimum of 90 FPS on Crescent Bay

Stable frame rate
Not only must the engine by able to attain 90 fps but it must be stable. Any drop in 
frame rate can result in tearing and adversely affect presence

Beyond HD
1920x1080 in the minimum for VR

Stereo Rendering
Two real cameras are required for believable 3D

Must be minimized to reaffirm the sense of presence

Reprojection 3D vs. Dual Rendering


Reprojection introduced in Crysis 2, the stereo effect is achieved as a post process using depth-buffer information

  • Allows the engine to render from a single camera
  • Excellent performance, great quality on 3D monitors and TVs
  • Can introduce small artifacts
  • Limitations for very close objects
Dual Renderering
The key to good VR is presence. Dual rendering is the most realistic way to render 3D objects

  • Best possible stereo quality
  • Create excellent VR presence
  • Requires two cameras, GPU & CPU intensive

Easy to use Multi Platform Support

In this modern day of console and PC games. CRYENGINE intends to fully integrate VR for multi platform support.
Out of the box CRYENGINE will allow the developer to configure the game to render in stereoscopic mode. Crytek provides Flowgraph nodes to allow designers full control over the VR experience such as head-tracking, pose rendering, gesture recognition etc.
Furthermore the CRYENGINE API is abstracted to be able to interface to any VR device such as Oculus Rift, Sony Morpheus, HTC VIve, and others.

Tell us about Back to Dinosaur Island

Back to Dinosaur Island is demonstrated running on a NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X and runs between 100-110 fps. In Back to Dinosaur Island the demo currently renders the image twice to create the stereo effect. It is not using any VR specific driver features to generate the stereo image so essentially Crytek are brute forcing it which results in the need to run this on a high end GPU such as the Titan X.

Of course this is good news for those of us NOT running a Titan X. Crytek is working hard on their VR engine so by the time they release a game the driver support should have matured enough to help out the rendering.

VR will bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "can it run Crysis?"