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CryTek For Free: CryEngine 3 SDK and Editor 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the cryin'-non-shame dept.
Samfer writes with this excerpt from Operation Reality Gaming: "[...] sometime this summer, likely around August, we will see the appearance online of both a Crysis 2 editor and a CryEngine 3 SDK (software development kit). This not only means that people will be able to make full blown new levels for Crysis 2 but that the CryEngine 3 will also be made publicly available for the development of non-commercial projects to the community at large. To quote, 'This will be a complete version of our engine, including C++ code access, our content exporters (including our LiveCreate real-time pipeline), shader code, game sample code from Crysis 2, script samples, new improved Flowgraph and a whole host of great asset examples, which will allow teams to build complete games from scratch for PC.'"
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CryTek For Free: CryEngine 3 SDK and Editor

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  • Bravo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nihn (1863500) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @05:12AM (#35950860)
    Giving the engine for free is a massive swing to what I believe is the future of gaming. Gamers are too far gone now to be "enchanted" by games and want to know how it all works, and how they can change it to suit them better. Fallout 3 is the first game I came across that was fully supported by the community with mods, skins, and improved game play with patches to fix bugs. Having 12 people working on a game and patches is weak compared to having hundreds of intelligent and willing contributors all working for a common goal. Let the players have the keys to the car, you will be amazed at the way we can drive.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I suspect it's more than that, it makes commercial sense. Getting tools to developers at low or no cost is likely to get them using your tools, which later may become a commercial product. If you are a developer you can pick their engine to use for development, only when you've a semi-complete project do you have to worry about licensing for commercial access. This has been happening in the non-game world for quite some time e.g. developer access to Oracle database products which are expensive to license, a

    • by daid303 (843777)

      UnrealTournament was the first game with official MOD support. But people where modding quake long before that, and doom before that, and I don't know what before that but I can assure you, if the first game you encounter with MODs is Fallout 3, then you where missing out on a lot!

      • by ildon (413912)

        I'm not sure how you define "official mod support", but as I define it, Quake and Unreal both had official mod support. Tools and sources were released by the developer for the express purpose of letting people create mods, and the games had hooks or commands that directly facilitated modding and running mods (and really would have served no other purpose, otherwise).

        I would say Doom and Wolf3D did not have official mod support because of the workarounds and nature of the tools required to run mods for thos

      • by dunezone (899268)
        Doom was officially supported, Carmack made sure it was easy to modify after all the work he saw going into tools to reverse engineer Wolfenstenin. He designed Doom to have WAD support so anyone could modify the game easily.
      • I say this as an Epic fanboi (Except for cliffyB.. he's a smacktard because he says dumb things)..
        Myth (by Bungie before they turned evil^H^H^H^Hinto a M$/console tool) came out with their map/tag tools, I know it shipped with Myth 2 (1998), but I was pretty sure it was available for Myth 1 as well at some point, and there ended up being some pretty sweet mods for Myth 1 & 2.
        Actually, going back and poking some more, Marathon even had an official toolset released and map contest.. [bungie.org] (circa 96)...

        I really

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Are you a kid or did you not have a computer for the past 20 years?

      CounterStrike started as a mod, the whole game.

      • Not to mention Team Fortress. A lot of people bought Quake to play mods like TF. It was later ported to Half Life (although the balance always seemed a bit wrong there) and finally became its own game.
    • This is not official Mod support. There is no way to get Crysis 2 servers to run code written with the SDK (server exe's aren't available and all Crysis 2 files are encrypted).They will release a map editor for Crysis 2, but that in itself is not enough to create mods.

      As it stands Crysis 2 will have no real modding.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Fallout 3? Seriously? Did you start playing games in 2010?

      • by McKing (1017)

        Did you actually read his post? He said *IF* the first mod you ever ran across was for Fallout 3, *THEN* you missed out on a lot, UT, Quake, Doom, etc...

        • by Matheus (586080)

          No... *YOU* missed the original post... the quote you are including is the first *REPLY* to that post slamming *THE* original poster for his lack *OF* experience.

          Get off my lawn... I was modding Pong in the 70s!

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Slashdot. The only place where "I've played video games more than you!" is bragging, not a cry for help.

            Well, Slashdot and nearly every other forum on the Internet.

    • Fallout 3 is the first game I came across that was fully supported by the community with mods, skins, and improved game play with patches to fix bugs.

      You must be young.

        I remember mods for Wolf3D and Doom. I remember rarely playing vanilla Quake because there were so very many great mods for it. So many in fact that Quake's gamer/developer community spawned a host of new game companies, most notably Valve.

    • by TheLink (130905)

      Giving the engine for free is a massive swing to what I believe is the future of gaming

      And the future of 3D graphics benchmarking? ;)

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      More importantly it's a boost to PC gaming. It's a platform that's always had so much more potential than consoles.
  • ...but under what license will the sourcecode be released?
    • They are giving away source code for the SDK samples, headers and such, not the engine itself... right?
      • This will be a complete version of our engine, including C++ code access, our content exporters (including our LiveCreate real-time pipeline), shader code, game sample code from Crysis 2, script samples, new improved Flowgraph and a whole host of great asset examples...

        To me this smells like access to underlaying engine code, I could be wrong, though.

        • by am 2k (217885)

          No, the engine is shipped as a DLL, and you are free to call its methods. Still, you can go a looong way with just that. Only stuff like adding new data types to flownodes or adding new editors to Sandbox won't be possible.

        • What that means is you can use C++ code yourself.

          Take a look at things like the Unreal UDK. It's a really nice package for the Unreal Engine 3 which you can use to make games, but you can't write your games with native code or call native functions in libraries you may posses.

          What they're saying here is that you have this sort of access.

    • by alen (225700)

      free if you make games and don't sell them. if you start to make money they want their cut which is fine.

      it's ridiculous the places i see the unreal engine. iOS is the latest one but MS Kinect Adventures, Gears of War and Mass Effect all use the Unreal Engine

    • by Jonner (189691)

      ...but under what license will the sourcecode be released?

      It seems pretty clear that it will still be available only under proprietary licenses, but there will be no charge for non-commercial use.

  • by anomnomnomymous (1321267) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @06:18AM (#35951064)
    I've seen this described as Crytek taking on the likes of the UT3-engine, though I find there's one very important difference:
    The UT3 engine can currently also be used to sell commercial games: Up to the first 50k of sales, it's completely free for developers. After that, Epic will take 25% of the earnings.
    The cool things is that this 50k only works for the share that people get -after- the app stores get their cut. Have a look at their site [udk.com] to see their licensing agreement.

    Not related to Epic in any way; Just a happy 'customer', and hopefully a published indie developer in the near future.
    • by daid303 (843777)

      Epic didn't start out with that, the 'free' unreal 2 engine had a very explicit "You shall NOT create games!" in the license. The basic commercial engine license was 150k back then.

      No hate for the unreal engine, I love it, I learned a lot from it. But just wanted to point that out.

  • This is kind of pointless. You can release everything but if you don't have a license to release a commercial games for independent developers no indie developer is going to take the trouble of using your engine. To be a great engine you need to have widespread acceptance, for that you need studios to use your engine. For studios to use your engine you need to have the people walking in for interviews use it. For those to use it your forums and community need to be abuzz with help and praise for your engine

    • Pointless? This is far from pointless. It lets the masses at large familiarize themselves with the engine which is very good for both them and for Crytek. It allows companies to try before they buy.

      This is massive exposure. Just because you can't use this version to profit doesn't mean a whole lot.

      • This is far better done through official modding support for Crysis 2 (this is not the same as releasing a development SDK, game code needs to be clearly separated and released with full source, the encryption of shaders/etc has to be opened up, it needs to have an infrastructure to check/upload/load custom code/content for mods etc. etc.). Modding lets people get up and running with content fast.

        Really their current setup is the worst of all worlds ... an SDK which is hard to use for amateurs compared to a

      • I wouldn't use it as an indie developer. And understanding a whole new engine, architecture, language, workflow is a huge investment that i would like to have the possibility of getting back in $$. Its a huge exposure yes, source level access to a big name engine is quite something but if you want people to use it you need to dangle the carrot in front of them to get them to become active members of the community. Less work for studios trying to work on the engine to train their staff if they have done indi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'll add support in my map generator for your engine... :)

    and i gnore the stupid comments here... some people here suck because they are paid by companies that suck to write comment that suck on websites that suck (slashdot)...

  • So not GPL nor APL nor BSD. Not interested.

    • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @08:26AM (#35951574) Homepage

      So not GPL nor APL nor BSD. Not interested.

      The gaming world at large is devastated by this news.

      • by RichiH (749257)

        > The gaming world at large is devastated by this news.

        And a good thing also.

        But seriously, releasing things under non-Free licences seems to be very 90ies and while it's nice that they are making an effort, it's mis-guided, imo.

        • But seriously, releasing things under non-Free licences seems to be very 90ies and while it's nice that they are making an effort, it's mis-guided, imo.

          Equally seriously, what world are you living on? That sentence doesn't even slightly describe reality. If you hadn't mentioned APL and BSD in your previous post I'd assume your were Richard Stallman.

  • Looks like market for selling engines off-the-shelf is generally badly hit over the last few years. You can get a quality engine (and SDK!) for free, and you only buy extras. Engines and SDKs that I know of and that are free, or require payment for commercial development or upon release: Unity3D, Unreal, now CryEngine. Not to mention Ogre3D and other open-source engines (without editors, though).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ogre is not an engine, just a renderer. You still need input handling, audio, artifical intelligence (if you want bots) and more.

      • by ivucica (1001089)
        That's what I meant -- rendering engine. In Ogre3D, input handling is practically bundled (OIS). AI is not and can not be universal; that piece of the puzzle is definitely game code, not engine code. Audio is easily integrated.

        It may not be a complete solution, but for rendering (which is one of the hardest pieces of the puzzle) it's surely good.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SuperDre (982372)
      I'm sorry but Ogre3D or any opensource engine doesn't come even CLOSE to UnrealEngine3 or Cryengine... But it also all depends on the license the freeversion of CryEngine will ship with, if it's just as interesting as the UDK it might be VERY interesting, only CryEngine doesn't run on Mobiles, whereas UDK does...
      • by ivucica (1001089)

        I'm sorry but Ogre3D or any opensource engine doesn't come even CLOSE to UnrealEngine3 or Cryengine

        Crappy stuff can be made with any of those. So can good stuff. I'm talking about erosion of market because major stuff is available in all engines for free. Open source engines are mostly missing fancy editors, since they work primarily with rendering.

        Since you are obviously knowledgeable with all three systems, when you work with them, what major thing is missing from Ogre3D? What major thing do you think Unreal Engine 3 and CryEngine include that cannot easily be done with Ogre3D? Feel free to be subjecti

        • by am 2k (217885)

          Open source engines are mostly missing fancy editors, since they work primarily with rendering.

          No, Ogre3D is a rendering engine, while CryEngine is a game engine that happens to have an industry-leading rendering engine implemented. You can easily add a fancy game engine with very much the same capabities of CryEngine3 (except for the rendering stuff) on top of Ogre3D. In fact, there's a rather good business opportunity there.

          • by ivucica (1001089)
            Rendering engine means nothing without good artists. Otherwise, insightful -- here's a cookie :-)
            • by am 2k (217885)

              Yes, but the artist can't do much when the technology doesn't support it. For example, I was pretty much blown away when I read what a wrinkle map does [crymod.com]. Ogre3D is nowhere near to supporting that detail in animations.

              Thanks for the cookie ;)

              • by ivucica (1001089)

                Interesting! Thanks for the info! I'm pretty sure if one sat for a while and thought about it, one could come up with a way to easily implement wrinkle maps with Ogre. On the other hand, there may be many such tricks in CryEngine.

                In the end, it all comes down to this: how much of those tricks does one need for most games?

                • by am 2k (217885)

                  I'm pretty sure if one sat for a while and thought about it, one could come up with a way to easily implement wrinkle maps with Ogre.

                  Yes, since Ogre is fully open source, you can implement everything that is technically possible. The question is just how much time you can invest. At some point it's just as easy to create a rendering engine from scratch.

                  On the other hand, there may be many such tricks in CryEngine.

                  There are a lot. You can find a brief overview at mycryengine.com [mycryengine.com]. The character stuff [mycryengine.com] is also very impressive.

                  In the end, it all comes down to this: how much of those tricks does one need for most games?

                  Yep, if you don't have a team of graphics and animation artists sitting at the office and working on characters all day for a year or more, you can't use most of those features an

      • by am 2k (217885) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @08:54AM (#35951734) Homepage

        You need very good artists (3D modelling, animation) to get anything out of CryEngine, except stomach ulcer for the programmers due to the complete undocumentedness of the code.

        Regular characters in Crysis2 have 20+ animations running at the same time (breathing, walking, look IK, foot IK, etc), all blended with each other. That's not going to fly for an amateur project where the artist is happy to get a half-assed walk cycle going. For those, Ogre3D is much better with its full source available and very nice documentation, and much easier access due to not having every trick in the book and then some implemented.

        • What a silly comment. You don't need any of that to use CryEngine. Sure you might not be making the most out of it but who cares really? You can still get a lot of handy features out of it.

          I'm not understanding why people are constantly comparing Ogre3D with CryEngine. They're not the same thing. One is simply a Rendering Engine (Ogre3D) and one is a complete package that encompasses all aspects of gaming (CryEngine).

          • by am 2k (217885)

            What a silly comment. You don't need any of that to use CryEngine. Sure you might not be making the most out of it but who cares really?

            If you're not using 90% of the features of the engine, why use it at all? I'd prefer using something that's easier to understand.

            You can still get a lot of handy features out of it.

            Yes, your development will still suffer, because the engine is so complicated as soon as you step one millimeter out of the Sandbox editor (I know what I'm talking about, I've been using CryEngine3 for a while now).

            I'm not understanding why people are constantly comparing Ogre3D with CryEngine. They're not the same thing. One is simply a Rendering Engine (Ogre3D) and one is a complete package that encompasses all aspects of gaming (CryEngine).

            Yes, I've made that distinction in another reply to this thread. Ogre3D comes with several aspects of a game engine, though, like animation/particles and user input (vi

            • by ivucica (1001089)

              What a silly comment. You don't need any of that to use CryEngine. Sure you might not be making the most out of it but who cares really?

              If you're not using 90% of the features of the engine, why use it at all? I'd prefer using something that's easier to understand.

              That's right!

              You can still get a lot of handy features out of it.

              Yes, your development will still suffer, because the engine is so complicated as soon as you step one millimeter out of the Sandbox editor (I know what I'm talking about, I've been using CryEngine3 for a while now).

              Nice to hear from someone that actually used the engine to confirm my suspicions :-)

    • by uncledrax (112438)

      Also, you're forgetting by doing this, they are increasing the pool of persons that are familar with working on the engine.. in theory increasing the number of smaller startups..

      Successful small companies become bigger companies.. == more games == more sales == more commission/shares for the Engine company.

      It's a business move, and one I can agree with.

      • by ivucica (1001089)
        Business move is smart, indeed. How useful to other developers - this remains to be seen.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Fantastic! Now everyone will learn how woeful this engine is to work with :)

  • I think it's sad how companies are engaging in every manner possible to prevent people from tinkering around with their purchases. This is yet another example of this exact trend....
    • I must have missed something, could you elaborate?

      • Sorry, there was a post yesterday about all the locked down devices and the death of tinkering, which was "clearly caused by abusive corporations". And hackerspace NYC to the rescue.
  • by g0bshiTe (596213)
    I think Crysis is all about hype. Yeah the game looks stunning, but the gameplay is truely some of the worst I have had the displeasure to play. I much more enjoyed Prototype. I mean if I am in this city I should be able to go where I want, and not be stuck to a linear path. Not even bringing into play the fact that I have to spend a half clip of ammunition to take out 1 enemy. That's just dumb. It totally makes the game about finding ammo. If I wanted that I'd just play Resident Evil.
    • by mcvos (645701)

      The problem with Crysis is that it's old by the time my hardware can handle it. It's rather interesting to see a company invest to make itself irrelevant.

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