The development of CryENGINE®1 took place in parallel to the development of Crytek’s first AAA game, Far Cry, between 2001 and 2004. At those times this was a naïve, but successful push for contrasts, by insisting on opposites to industry, namely size, quality, detail and brightness. CryENGINE 1 was the first „Per Pixel Shading“ (lights, shadows and materials) & High Dynamic Range Engine on the market.
The most important achievements that Crytek made with CryENGINE®1 are the Sandbox editor,
real-time lighting, long view distances & detailed vistas, high quality close ranges, photo-real vegetation and high fidelity physics and AI.
The Sandbox editor is a real-time game editor offering "What you see is what you PLAY".
For the shaders, CryENGINE®1 uses a script system to combine textures in different ways to produce visual effects. It supports real time per-pixel lighting, bumpy reflections, refractions, volumetric glow effects, animated textures, transparent computer displays, and shinny surfaces.
In order to visualize terrain, CryENGINE®1 uses an advanced heightmap system and polygon reduction to create massive, realistic environments. The view distance can be up to 2 km
A combination of precalculated real time shadows, stencil shadows and lightmaps is used to produce a dynamic environment. It includes high-resolution, correct perspective, and volumetric smooth-shadow implementations for dramatic and realistic indoor shadowing and supports advanced particles technology and any kind of volumetric lighting effects on particles.
CryENGINE®1 ‘s Physics System supports character inverse kinematics, vehicles, rigid bodies, liquid, cloth and soft body effects.
The AI System of CryENGINE®1 enables team based AI and AI behaviors defined by scripts. It offers the ability to create custom enemies and behaviors without touching the C++ code.