Techland is one of the most influential leisure software publishing and distribution companies in Poland. We have been on the market since 1991 and have been developing our own software for five years now. Our most popular games are Crime Cities, Extermination (Mission: Humanity), Pet Soccer, Pet Racer, and the official game of the FIM, our Speedway Grand Prix series based on the Chrome engine.

For two years we have been working on Chrome, a tactical FPS game. During the colonization of a newly discovered solar system, Valkyria, an unusual and dramatic story takes place among the huge and wild terrains of the five planets. This occurs within the residential complexes of the first settlers, inside mines rich with precious minerals, and inside the headquarters of the powerful corporations fighting with each other over the unique riches of Valkyria.

Our main aim was to create extensive outdoor locations that would give the player a lot of freedom to move around. We wanted to make it so that no other game would give the player such a realistic image of a deep forest. The forest itself introduces a new type of play mode based on combat in the wilderness. You can move around the forest, watch the detailed surface of leaves and bark, and then jump onto the shuttle, fly high above the ground, and watch everything get smaller and become a remote panorama made up of extensive terrains and thousands of plants.

All this was possible due to the implementation of innovative algorithms used for the description of huge areas covered with a multitude of detailed objects. The terrain is presented as an aerial view map, which may be a drawback in a way, but you can use custom/typical 3D models as well. The algorithms used for creating the series of polygons needed for the visualization of the terrains in a particular view, together with the newest methods of transmitting them to the graphics boards, gave us the possibility to fast-render such terrains, no matter if you are crawling or watching them as a bird's eye view panorama.

The methods of storing and rendering the flora objects are significant, too. In Chrome you will find levels with millions of plants. It was only the implementation of a proper plant selection system that gave the game a good fluency. The basic difficulty was the application of such object selection methods that would make the missing parts of flora invisible to the human eye. It is the player's impression that is most important when dealing with these kinds of issues.

We also introduced an interesting option in the plant information in Chrome. The info covers the density of particular species in different terrains. A suitable algorithm generates a list of plants to be displayed in a particular view. It seriously lowers the level of RAM usage, as the description of millions of objects would take tens of megabytes.

Pretty terrain. The next essential thing in the game was land, water, and air vehicles (crafts) because crossing extensive terrains on foot would take a lot of time. Besides having the vehicles serve as a means of transport, we also increased playability by having them become effective weapons (for example, vehicle-mounted cannons or vehicles used for ramming the opponents). We also focused on car physics.

We are proud of the body physics design used in the simulations of dead bodies falling in the game. This slightly gruesome sight makes the combat more realistic as the falling bodies might lean against a table or slide down the wall. Falls from big heights and the corpses' reactions to grenade explosions are worth noticing as well. This technology enables very realistic simulations -- a body being hit by a speeding car, for example.

A large variety of weapons enables the player to employ different combat tactics, and the limited capacity of the backpack forces the player to choose his weapons carefully. Most of the weapons are conventional firearms, but the game will also include other spectacular weapons.

The implant system enables you to configure the parameters of your character during the game. Unique playability achieved in this way enables you to act as a silent assassin (implants improving skills like accuracy, night vision, or cloaking) or a hostile fighter (implants improving reflexes, speed, or curing wounds).

After developing the newest technologies for simulations of extensive outdoor locations and the playability of Chrome, we decided to focus on the multiplayer mode. It offers the players extraordinary online matchup due to the use of extensive, deep forest locations and an innovative implant system. Of course, in the multiplayer mode, all weapons and vehicles are available. Besides standard game modes, Chrome will offer multiplayer team modes based on objectives.

And they all fall down. We spent the last year developing a storyline and the twists and turns in the adventures of the main character. We have prepared 16 missions in various locations on different planets. Preparing the environment for those locations (terrain, plant life, and animals) took a lot of effort, but most of the effort was put into preparing the missions' scenarios. Many prototypes were made and thoroughly tested. The results of those tests led to further improvements and changes in the storyline. We dedicated the last couple of months to the implementation of the game.

Recently we have made considerable changes to the Chrome engine. The most important change was porting the game's engine to Direct 3D. We made that decision for several reasons. The two basic ones were: easier access to the latest 3D accelerators and the plans to release Chrome on the Xbox. Of course, the engine itself was improved in order to increase its performance and improve possible visual effects. We did everything we could to make the forests look denser and the world more realistic.

CHROME on Take-Two Interactive website

CHROME on website

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