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20. March 2018

 

CryEngine 5.5 preview has just been released at GDC 2018.  In addition to several new features, the 5.5 release includes several new learning materials toCry55 help new developers get started using CryEngine.  Another major change in this release is the availability of source code for the new CryEngine editor.  Additionally, Crytek have announced a new royalty based cost structure.

Details of the release from the release announcement:

CRYENGINE 5.5 highlights:

  • Getting Started Course: Our new beginner’s course shows users with no experience in game development how to create a full game in CRYENGINE in just 10 chapters.
  • SVOGI Improvements: SVOGI can now run on consoles. We have enabled developers to cache SVOGI on the disk and calculate GI completely offline. This means users can make the most realistic scenes yet.
  • Terrain System Improvements: New features and enhancements vastly improve the terrain system, including the ability to weight and blend multiple materials, more detailed height maps, and more.
  • Updated Entity Components: New and legacy components are integrated in the new entity system, including rain and water ripple entities. A new VR Camera and interaction component makes getting up and running with VR even easier.
  • C# Upgrades: We have expanded how users can create C# assets directly inside the Asset Browser, with Visual Studio instances, debugging through the IDE, and more.
  • Game Platform Plugins: A brand new Game Platform plugin allows for easy access to common distribution platforms and data transfer protocols. This includes Steamworks and PSN API functions like matchmaking, leaderboards, and achievements.

Crytek are also moving to a straight royalty based subscription model with this release:

Crytek has announced a new 5% royalty-based model for CRYENGINE, alongside a range of improvements, enhancements, new learning offerings, and full access to the editor source code. Developers around the world now have complete, uninhibited, and easy access to the power of CRYENGINE, and the opportunity to have their expertise with the engine recognized.

Creators who release games using CRYENGINE V will find development faster and easier than ever before and incur costs only after $5,000 is raised in revenue. An enterprise tier will also be introduced for custom support packages and royalty buyouts. Developers currently developing on CRYENGINE 5.0-5.4 can apply for a royalty exemption if they wish to stay on the current version and not take advantage of access to the editor source code. For more information, consult the CRYENGINE FAQ pages.

They are moving away from the donation based system they implemented in 5.0 and frankly it makes sense.  While a donation based system was excellent for the end user it seemed unviable for a project like CryEngine.

GameDev News

17. May 2017

 

Amazon have just released a comprehensive new starter game for their Lumberyard game engine, a fork of the AAA CryEngine.  This new example is a complete 3rd person view title with high quality production values authored by Climax Studios, the developer behind Silent Hills: Shattered Memories and the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series of games.   This new demo game is critical, as several underlying systems in Lumberyard have changed, making this the primary example of how modern Lumberyard development is done.  Details of the release from the Lumberyard blog:

We first gave you a glimpse of Starter Game at GDC 2017, and now we’re happy to give you the entire project for free, including full source and assets. Whether it serves as inspiration for a game of your own, or as a way of learning Lumberyard’s features, Starter Game is another tool for helping you reach your game dev goals.

Watch this video on how to download and install Starter Game.

In many ways, Starter Game started with you. We heard your requests for more sample content—please keep that great feedback coming by the way!—and then looked for ways to incorporate features from 1.9. So we started working with Climax Studios, known for their great work onLY Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series. With Climax’s decades of experience, and your great suggestions, Starter Game was born.

One feature that Starter Game leverages in particular is our new Component Entity system, which was recently updated in 1.9. This system provides a modular and intuitive way of constructing game elements, helping you create complex entities faster and with minimal effort. Starter Game uses the Component Entity system wherever possible, including Player Control, AI, UI and Particles. It also shows how this new system can be used in conjunction with legacy tools and APIs (e.g. terrain brush, FlowGraph, etc.), freeing you to adopt new features as you see fit.

In addition to components, another request we got from developers was to include an example of bipedal locomotion, since humanoids are the most common form of player characters. Enter Jack: the fully modifiable, two-legged robot of Starter Game, complete with a trailing third-person camera. You can learn from Jack’s setup, tweak parameters to change the feel, and bring it into your game to accelerate your prototyping. Jack also utilizes AimIK, an inverse kinematics system to point the held-weapon appropriately at targets, without creating bespoke animations. Thanks to AimIK’s procedural generation, you won’t need to create individual animations for every single angle or posture, saving you time and effort.

 

With all of the recent changes in Lumberyard, including the launch of this new sample game, I have decided to take another hands on look at the Lumberyard game engine, available here and embedded below.

GameDev News

25. August 2016

 

Crytek have just released CryEngine 5.2, their now open source AAA 3D game engine.  CryEngine 5.2 brings a number of new features, one that will be huge for Blender users, the FBX importer now has full material and animation support making CryEngine useable without using their exporter plugins.CryEngine

 

 

Major features of this release are:

  • FBX importer now supports animation and materials (video link)
  • VCloth 2.0 cloth simulator (video link)
  • Constraints on live characters
  • New C++ starter template (fps, tps, sidescroller, top down, rolling ball physics)
  • Documentation improvements
  • Window shell extensions for launching projets
  • CryPlugin system beta
  • Sandbox UI notification center
  • Viewpont gizmo in sandbox
  • Particle Editor new UI
  • Simplified project creation and Management
  • Extended analytical occluders support
  • Detailed screen space shadows (DSSS) officially supported

 

You can read the full release notes here.

GameDev News

10. August 2016

 

Amazon just released Lumberyard 1.4 Beta.  Lumberyard is Amazon’s fork of the CryEngine game engine, which is free to use, as long as you use Amazon’s cloud services (or host your own) for your game server.  I did a Hands On With Lumberyard video shortly after it was released if you want more details on Lumberyard.

 

The Lumberyard 1.4 Beta release focuses on making multiplayer games more cost effective and to improve team workflow when developing with the engine.decal_screenshot_01  All told there were over 230 improvements or fixes in this release, including:

 

  • News messages now shown in Lumberyard editor
  • New gem samples for environment special effects (rain, clouds, etc )
  • New Decal sample
  • New API enabling mannequin controller using Lua script
  • Automatically live reload skin files in Editor
  • Define Cloud Canvas resource manager resource groups using gems
  • New sample level illustration motion controller setup/scripting for VR
  • New preview mode in editor for previewing canvas at different resolutions
  • UI Canvas now support keyboard and gamepad operation
  • GridMate now supports encrypted connections
  • Amazon GameLift now tracks health of each server process.
  • Various Improvements
  • Various Fixes

 

More details are available in the release notes as well as on the Amazon GameDev blog .

GameDev News

29. June 2016

 

Lumberyard is Amazon’s new game engine based on a forked version of CryEngine.  I did a short hands-on video of Lumberyard shortly after it was released if you want more information.  Earlier this month Amazon announced the upcoming release of Lumberyard 1.3, announcing that it would have VR support among other features.  Well that release date is now here, at least in Beta form.  This release brings with it over 130 features, improvements and fixes including some serious graphicalvolumetric_fog enhancements.  The two major features of this release are HDR support and the aforementioned VR support (currently Oculus Rift and HTC Vive).  There were several other graphical updates to the engine, including:

  • Volumetric Fog: We increased the temporal stability of volumetric fog, reduced the presence of flickering artifacts, and improved fog’s overall performance.
  • Motion Blur: To give a higher degree of control over the motion blur effect, we added a weighting algorithm to improve the visual quality of silhouettes and added a shutter speed control like those you find in a real-world camera.
  • Height Mapped Ambient Occlusion: This new feature generates ambient occlusion per pixel from a terrain height map, which brings out subtle details and depth cues in terrain that would have been previously unseen.
  • Depth of Field: We implemented a new depth of field technique that reduces edge-bleeding artifacts and utilizes fewer GPU resources.
  • Emittance: We have replaced glow with a physical-based model of emittance. This allows you to model glowing objects as proper citizens of a physically accurate world of lighting and materials. We have changed lighting calculations to properly account for emittance, and we provided a way to automatically convert older content to use the new emittance property.

On the mobile graphics side, we have improved iOS rendering performance by an average of 15%, which is a significant jump considering our mobile renderer is already leveraging Metal and GMEM to maximize performance. We also added adaptive and scalable texture compression (ATSC), which is useful for managing bandwidth, memory footprint, and power, all of which are important for low-power, mobile devices.

Finally, if you are a graphics programmer like me, then you are just as concerned about profiling and performance as pretty pixels. So one last thing I want to highlight is the integrated graphics profiler. You can now display all sorts of mission-critical performance stats in real-time, including detailed CPU and GPU timings per frame, per pipeline stage, per sub-system. You will also find many useful graphics counters like to draw call counts, shader counts, triangle, and vertices count. These run-time stats nicely complement capture-based analysis tools like RenderDoc and Lumberyard’s Driller logging system.

You can read the announcement blog here while the more detailed release notes are available here.

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