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Crytek Plans Free Version of CryENGINE 3 75

Develop reports that Crytek, makers of the Far Cry series, the Crysis series, and the game engines behind them, have plans to release a free-to-use version of CryENGINE 3, the software's latest iteration. Quoting: "Unreal vendor Epic Games and Unity have both seen their user-bases mushroom overnight since launching versions of their own engines that, while tied to different royalty rates, are completely free to download and operate. Now the CryEngine 3 group has revealed it wants to tap into this thriving market. The firm's CEO Cevat Yerli told Develop that Crytek already gives away a CryEngine 2 editor to the mod community, but explained that Crytek's expansion strategy stretches beyond. 'We have a very vivid community of users and modders and content creators, and usually that's a great way of unlocking the engine,' he said. ... 'So far that's what we've been offering for free, and it's easy entry into the production environment. [But] we do want to make a standalone free platform that people can run independent of CryEngine that will also be up to speed with the latest engine.'"
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Crytek Plans Free Version of CryENGINE 3

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  • Wonder how long would it take to develop OpenSource engines of this complexity? Why are there none? Ogre and Irrlitch are far, far away...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Now I'm just a simple country hyperchicken, but it seems to me that 3d engines tend to age relatively quickly and FOSS tends to be less than cutting edge.
      We are talking about Crytek of yes-but-does-it-run-crysis fame.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They age quickly, yes, but it doesn't really matter much as far as game play, or popularity is concerned. A lot of very popular games still use graphics that will run happily with Dx7 on a GeForce 4.

        But for some reason, the free software community has managed to produce more 3d engines than 3d games, and generally these engines are not really that helpful in writing a game anyway.

        Putting polys on the screen, writing a scene graph and stuff, really isn't *that* hard. Focus needs to shift from engine making t

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Putting polys on the screen, writing a scene graph and stuff, really isn't *that* hard. Focus needs to shift from engine making to game making.

          Yes, but that requires crossing disciplines. Any good coder can make a game engine, but few have talents outside their field; namely the artistic and creative writing abilities.

          So you either end up with very simple games or games that never get finished.

          • This is where indie developers could step in. Need a cheap engine? You can select from many.

          • Best to have a talent for hiring people with abilities you lack.

            • by Vastad ( 1299101 )

              Wish I had mod points. This is pretty much the key skill for any ambitious dream project in any discipline. You don't have to be a Renaissance Man, you don't need to be a modern day Da Vinci. You just need to find the right people and the ability to make them love you, laugh at your jokes and consider your great idea awesome.

      • Even if a game engine is not the most recent one, it doesn't mean the game it runs is crap

        -Unreal and UT are still played, Unreal being one of the best games ever IMHO
        -Half Life was built upon a modified Quake engine, still one of the best games (second to Unreal)
        -Quake 2.
        -DS9 The Fallen (based on the Unreal engine)
        -Elite Force (based on Q3)

        Sure, compared to modern engines, Unreal lacks the lightning, and sound, and textures, and graphics. But it has substance, something that modern stuff lacks, like Hollyw
      • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @06:27AM (#31829274)

        You're misunderstanding that phrase. Whether something ran crysis was a potshot at how badly crysis was coded, not how advanced it was.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Thank you. It's ridiculous when several years after its release, a brand new high-end system will still not run this game at 60fps consistently.
        • Mod parent up. Crysis's sole selling point seems to be that some trees are segmentable. Woohoo!
      • We are talking about Crytek of yes-but-does-it-run-crysis fame.

        Crysis ran poorly on all but the best machines but I don't think that was because of the crytek engine.

        Far Cry used the same engine and would run very nicely on my e4300 and X1650 on 1 gig ram. That same machine didn't meet the basic requirements for Crysis, so it must have been something other than the engine.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by SpeZek ( 970136 )

          Far Cry used the same engine [as Crysis]

          No it didn't. Crysis was Cryengine 2.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Prune ( 557140 )
      On the other hand, the top state of the art real-time fully dynamic global illumination is implemented _only_ in an open source engine. Paper & free code for the GI solution: http://graphics.cs.williams.edu/papers/PhotonHPG09/ [williams.edu] The engine it's implemented in: http://g3d.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] One cannot say that closed-source leads the pack across the scape of graphical features. Another example besides this level of RT GI is spherical-blend skinning, which was in open source first as well. I'm sure others c
    • Ogre I believe is strictly graphics (maybe stretching out a bit more than that, but definitely far from a complete engine).. and Irrlitch is definitely not in the same league. Having said that, I'm not sure something like this would show up anytime soon. If a group came together and started working on an open source engine, and actually got to the point of these commercial engines, they'd probably realize their worth and switch to a pay-for model. Sadly a lot of software i've seen has done this. Start out f
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by init100 ( 915886 )

        Ogre I believe is strictly graphics (maybe stretching out a bit more than that, but definitely far from a complete engine)

        There is a difference between game engines and graphics engines. Ogre is definitely not a complete game engine, but it does not aspire to be one. In my opinion it is a complete graphics engine. Why wouldn't it be?

        • Is it on par with Crytek and Unreal with post processing, shaders, motion blur, anisotropic filtering, AA etc? (Honestly curious, don't know the answer). If so, what's the major difference between a game and a graphics engine?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Carthag ( 643047 )

            what's the major difference between a game and a graphics engine?

            A game engine has one or more of the following: physics, AI, a tool chain for content generation, a scripting language or similar for game rules, etc.

            A graphics engine only displays the graphics.

          • by init100 ( 915886 )

            Is it on par with Crytek and Unreal with post processing, shaders, motion blur, anisotropic filtering, AA etc? (Honestly curious, don't know the answer)

            I suggest that you take a look at their feature list [ogre3d.org] and find out. It has many features, many good tutorials, is free software and cross platform (Linux/OpenGL, Windows/Direct3D, Mac OS X/OpenGL).

            If so, what's the major difference between a game and a graphics engine?

            A graphics engine takes care of rendering graphics, nothing else. It could be something as simple as a 2D sprite library, to a full-featured 3D graphics engine.

            But to write games, you need many other parts that are not provided by a pure graphics engine, such as input handling, AI, network access, physics, sound/mu

    • by mcvos ( 645701 )

      Wonder how long would it take to develop OpenSource engines of this complexity?
      Why are there none?

      Probably because it takes a long time and a lot of investment to develop an engine like this. And commercial business models for open source games tend to be problematic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xordan ( 943619 )

      Making a graphics engine is hard and costs a lot of man hours (thus lots of $$$). There's not many people who can just start contributing to them (compared to other OS projects). The Open Source engines will always be at least a generation behind, simply because they're always going to be slowly implementing what's already been done in the commercial engines, while companies like Crytek are busy working on their next-gen stuff.

      On the plus side, the Open Source engines (Ogre and CrystalSpace anyway) are good

      • A great engine is actually quite doable in Open Source -- it's all about tools and assets. Developers first need to make a choice: use existing formats, or create their own next-gen one. Usually the former wins because they would rather focus on the engine and game than on a map editor and export plugins for model editors. And the existing formats they can pick from are usually a bit older because the current-gen ones aren't always documented.

        Then you have trouble of finding people that can make good mod

    • Making a top flight game engine takes a lot of effort and talent. It also takes quite focused effort. You have to get the thing developed in fairly short order. Reason being is technology is a moving target. So if you are developing for today's tech, but you don't release for 10 years, you are horribly dated when you come out. Well OSS has two major things that work against that:

      1) Lack of organization. OSS projects are like herding cats to an extent. While there may be a central authority that decides what

      • Except most "big" OSS projects have businesses backing them that provide paycheck-motivated developers, which do what boss tell em to do.

        Being OSS developer does not have to mean you don't get 40 hour week and apropriate salary or that you don't have pointy hairded boss.

    • Because it is not worth it.

      You may like it ... but not enough people care.
      Just because it is profitable, does not mean it is also useful.

      How likely is it that we will see shuttle launch code or software akin to medical devices ?

      On the other hand, MS has pored billions into Windows family as well as office,
      and it is not as comfortable as it would like to be ...

      Not only that but Linux is taking on multiple competitors from mobiles to mainframes at the same time

      How so ?
    • By design. Ogre is creeping in fits and starts in the direction of being a game engine, but Irrlicht (if you can't spell it, how much do you know about it?) is explicitly a lightweight 3D engine, targeted at bulk hardware rather than cutting edge gaming systems.
    • The big dilemma I see in FOSS world is when it comes to games. Projects like Linux or OpenOffice get support from the corporate world because it is profitable to use them for business. By support I mean both cash and workforce. For games, your only market is individuals, who hardly pay unless they are forced to. Lacking a steady income, nobody can organise enough people to work on a game engine. There is the Sauerbraten folk, trying to earn money with their cube2 engine but I do not know how business is goi
    • Because there's no business case for it. OSS is not some kind of magic pixie that delivers software for free (although, that would be awesome). It still needs writing. This means that some person or group of people needs to put time and effort into developing it. In general, this happens for one of two reasons:
      • Someone thinks a project would be fun and tries it.
      • Someone benefits from the existence of a piece of software and so funds its creation and development.

      Game engines tend not to fall in the la

    • by Yaos ( 804128 )
      They would spend a year arguing over what the font on the website should be before getting anything done.
  • Great! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by SuperDre ( 982372 )
    That's great news for indy-gamemakers.. Unreal Engine 3 was already cool, but now also CryEngine3, it's a good day to be a 'modder'.. hehe.. But I wonder what the price will be if you want to sell your game.. Well, at least you've got choices now which suit your financialsituation..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcvos ( 645701 )

      Being able to use it for free during development is definitely an advantage. If you only have to pay when you publish a game, that makes the development of games a lot more accessible.

  • In the near future, the stabilization of display and physics engines will create a large spike in original game design, as the separation between megaproductions and indie experiments gets thinner.

    What I wonder now is: will the gaming world reach this point sooner than the movies? Will indie game designers master the large engines before film making becomes affordable enough to eliminate the dependence on the grand public?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
      As an active member of the indie game development community, let me be the first to inform you that indie "original game design" consists largely of "Team Fortress, with Boba Fett", or if you're in the Far East, "Team Fortress, with furries".
  • The firm's CEO Cevat Yerli told Develop that Crytek already gives away a CryEngine 2 editor to the mod community

    Epic Games has been doing that since Unreal in 1998. So it's not that special. Giving away an editor to mod a game isn't the same as providing a relatively cheap fork of the engine that people can use to create commercial applications, or even free for non-commercial applications.
    I wonder what this kind of competition will result in. Will Epic and Crytek shift more towards developing these engine

    • Little known fact: UnrealEd was written in Visual Basic 6. Mod this offtopic or something, because it is. I just thought that I would throw that out there.
      • UnrealEd 1 was VB6. UnrealEd 2 (and later) was all C++.
        Unreal shipped with UnrealEd1, and later was replaced by UnrealEd2 (because Epic moved to UnrealEd2). UT had UnrealEd2, UT2003 and UT2004 and UnrealEd3. And UT3 simply came with "UT3 Editor" because the stopped calling it UnrealEd in UnrealEngine3.

  • Id Software did the open source thing, and now lots of games use the engine.
    Unreal never did that, It was midly succesfull.
    Unity opened (as in beer) the engine to attract dev's, soon after that Unreal opened his sdk too (almost like in beer, but no).
    Seems Crytek (that have a amazing good engine) want to do the same thing: create a population of cheap workers that have experience on his engine.

    Theres a formula to make AAA games that is:
    Students + Middleware + lots of money = AAA game.
    It only make sense if yo

    • Just like music and the other arts, the ability to express ideas using the
      tools available increased interest and demand ( this is speculation and conjecture. )
      I suspect the owners are thinking free and looking for talent.
      It's like a contest, without a defined prize.

      Still, I'm going to download it, screw with it and ??? Hell Ya.

    • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:24AM (#31831362) Journal

      Actually, it feels like I'm seeing far more games running on the Unreal engine these days than I am on anything id have put out. Gears of War games, Mass Effect games, Bioshock games, loads of stuff from Square-Enix, god knows how many others... they're all on the Unreal 3 engine. By contrast, the only vaguely recent game I can remember on an id engine was Wolfenstein. And frankly, that looked pretty mediocre compared to the competition.

      In fact, yes, looking at the "list of games that use this engine" on wikipedia, it's fairly clear that the Unreal Engine 3 is being used for a huge number of commercial games, while id's engines are starting to look distinctly niche and only seem to be used by developers with strong historic links to id.

  • by billsayswow ( 1681722 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @05:09AM (#31828818)
    Yes, that means you, Mr. Indie Game Developer, can make your own Running Through Well-Rendered Trees simulators, and even skip the monotonous shooting parts that Crytek seems to stick in between your times of admiring the trees!
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dude. You could have an EXTREME MAPLE SYRUP simulator.

      You run around checking your taps and gathering buckets of sap. Then you cook it down.

      If you win, you get pancakes.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost