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7. June 2018


CryEngine 5.5.0 Preview 4 has just been released.  Keep in mind that “preview” tag, this is considered an under development patch and should not be used in production.  If you haven’t checked out CryEngine in some time, be sure to check out our hands-on with CryEngine 5.4 video, this engine has changed a lot in the last year or two.


Details of changes and improvements in the release from the release notes:

AI

AI System

  • Fixed: Old parts of the navigation area stay in the map when the area is moved (while navmesh updates are disabled and then enabled again).

Core/System

Default Entities

  • Fixed: Static Mesh Entity mass defaults to 0.
  • Fixed: Camera Component overrides view camera in edit mode.
  • Tweaked: Allow to scale Debug Draw-text (depending on camera-distance).

Flowgraph

  • Fixed: Saving Flowgraph modules between level loading causes crash.

Graphics and Rendering

Particles

  • Fixed: Error in Pfx1 that causes effects with incomplete parameters to spawn particles indefinitely.

C#

C#.Core

  • New: Added the SerializeValueAttribute to mark properties and fields for serialization (without exposing them to the Sandbox Editor Properties Panel).
  • New: Added missing mouse input to the Mouse class.
  • New: Added an extra CRYENGINE Mono extension that solves the issue of missing assemblies (e.g. Clide.Interfaces) in the latest version of Visual Studio 2017.
  • Optimized: Improve the ToString() method of the Rect struct.
  • Optimized: Use Vector2 instead of Point in some cases.
  • Fixed: C# PhysicsEntity does not return the right value for PhysicalizationType after it has been physicalized.
  • Fixed: Crash when deleting a C# Component that's also currently in the level.
  • Fixed: Minor bugs in the C# debugging extension.
  • Fixed: Serializing properties when reloading the C# plugins.
  • Fixed: Several types of properties (Character, ActionMap and ActionMapAction) not being exposed correctly in the Sandbox Editor.
  • Tweaked: Expose Flags property on the Character class.

Physics

Physics

  • Fixed: Prevent cloth from falling asleep if affected by environmental wind.

Sandbox

Editor General

  • New: (Designer Tool) Ruler Tool - Added more distances to display and removed obsolete pathfinding information.
  • Fixed: Rotating a brush/prefab in world-space (before scaling it uniformly) breaks the scale on its rotated axis.
  • Fixed: Double clicking a level in the Asset Browser does not load the corresponding level.
  • Fixed: Assert triggers when using "save as" on a newly created Schematyc Entity.
  • Tweaked: Disable Substance Rebuilding all Instances context menu (if there are no instances). Disable Re-import context menu if asset does not have source file.

Additional Fixes

  • Fixed: Color output for screenshots.
  • Fixed: (Mesh Importer) Mesh Importer cannot save file to folders that do not exist on the disk.
  • Tweaked: (EngineAssets) Renamed primitive_plane_small to primitive_plane.

GameDev News

24. May 2018


CryEngine 5.5 became one step closer with the preview 3 release.  The release contains over 400+ improvements, fixes and tweaks.  The following are the new features of this release:

Animation General

  • Fixed: Attachments (e.g. pistol, shotgun) wrongly attached if compute skinning is used.
  • Fixed: Animation update not reusing its memory pools when no level is loaded (resulting in perpetual growth of memory usage when working with external tools such as Character Tool, Mannequin etc).

AI System

  • New: Islands connectivity is taking navigation annotations into account.
  • New: Debug draw functions are getting navmesh query filter from NavigationComponent with name "MNMDebugQueryFilter".

Middleware Updates

  • Updated to Wwise SDK v2017.2.4
  • Updated to Fmod Studio 1.10.05
  • Updated Oculus spatializer for Wwise from 1.17.0 to 1.20.0

Audio General

  • New: (SDL Mixer) File import for external audio files into ACE.
  • New: (SDL MIxer) Audio parameter and switch implementation for SDL Mixer.
  • Optimized: Smoother scrolling and faster expanding of treeview items in ACE.

Engine General

  • Refactored: Removed small primitive shapes.
  • Refactored: Remove now unsupported GameZero cryproject.
  • Optimized: Added early out for IEntitySystem::InitEntity should init fail and you want to delete the entity (avoids going through all deleted entities).

Common

  • New: Introduce new CryAPIExamples module to compile Doxygen snippets.
  • New: Introduce action map listener example.
  • New: Add examples for common physics functions.
  • New: Introduce networked client listener example.
  • New: Introduce minimal plug-in example.
  • New: Add simple IEntityAudioComponent examples.
  • New: Add XML & Json examples.
  • New: Add asynchronous camera injection (VR) example.
  • New: Add Trigger and Rope Component examples.
  • New: Add ISkeletonPose::GetAbsJointByID example.
  • New: Introduce CVar and CCommand examples.
  • New: Add ENTITY_EVENT_COLLISION example.

CMake

  • New: Support building API examples without the Engine for auto compilation.

Default Entities

  • New: Add preview drawing to the Physic Constraint Components.
  • New: Geometry and Physics Components with Mass and Density now have an interactive dropdown to select either Mass, Density or Immovable.
  • Fixed: Networked property of the Rigidbody Component not having any effect.

Vulkan

  • New: Annotating HLSL shader to include resource layout descriptors.
  • New: Local shader compilation in Windows platform.
  • New: HLSLcc local shader compilation.
  • New: Support for DXC and GLSLANG HLSL to SPIR-V compilers and compiler switching feature.

Particles

  • New: Enhanced grouping capabilities in new ActivateRandom feature; now supports all possibilities of old SecondGen features.
  • New: Replaced SecondGen features (on parents) with child features (on children, who decide when they activate). Replaced SecondGen "Random" parameters with new ComponentActivateRandom feature. Added AddSubInstances and CullSubInstances features, removed KillParticles feature. Parent relationship is now explicitly serialized. Added Component-to-Component node linking in Particle Editor.
  • New: Pre-compute effect timings for stability, equilibrium and death.
  • New: Added screen-fill stats.
  • New: SpawnCount now has option for Max or Total particles emitted.

CryVersionSelector

  • New: A backup of a project can now be created in the CryVersionSelector.
  • New: When switching Engine version - the user now has the option to automatically create a backup of the project before switching Engine version.
  • New: Update package build options with export path selection, configuration selection and the option to include debug symbols.

Editor General

  • New: GeometryCache importer.
  • New: Added a user confirmation dialog to control the process of updating levels to the new level format.
  • New: (Asset Browser) Allow deletion of assets via Delete key.

Additional Fixes

  • New: Added CVar to draw full extent of last cached shadow cascade.
  • New: Expose CVar to control number of octree nodes visited during incremental shadow cache update.


There are also several known issues with this release:

Known Issues

  • UI: Dependency Graph window is not responsive when opening from a selection window.  WORKAROUND: It can be closed from the Windows tray bar, however if you don't have separate icons enabled for the different editor windows on the tray, then this can be an issue. NOTE: Opening the Dependency Graph say for example from the Asset Browser or from the global menu  Tools -> Dependency Graph works fine.
  • RENDER: (PARTICLE) Particle 'new_year' is not being rendered correctly.
  • RENDER: (EDITOR ONLY) Shadow square following camera.
  • RENDER: Some brushes could flicker directly after level load. 
  • RENDER: SkyBox could be broken after several level loads. 
  • CRASH: (VS2017) After compiling and running the Engine with VS version 15.7 the Engine will crash (exception thrown), the problem originates from the last command in ( Editor\Python\plugins\crytools\startup.py ). For more information about this topic click here.
  • C#: Using the CRYENGINE C# extension for Visual Studio 2017 to start the GameLauncher, Sandbox Editor or Server can cause an error when used in the latest version of Visual Studio 2017.

You can read more about this release including how to install this version in the complete release notes available here.  For more details on the earlier CE 5.5 release check out our hands on video:

GameDev News

12. May 2018


Amazon have just released version 1.14 of their Lumberyard game engine.  Lumberyard is derived from the CryEngine game engine, you can learn more about Lumberyard in our revised hands-on video available here.  While Lumberyard 1.14 is not a gigantic release, it does contain some huge new features including:

  • Support for Visual Studio 2017 in addition to Visual Studio 2015
  • New variable system for the Script Canvas visual programming language
  • New bookmark system for Script Canvas
  • New virtual gamepad gem for touch screen on screen controller support
  • New EMotion FX morph target animation system
  • New component entities:
    • Wind Volume
    • Sky Cloud
    • Force Volume
  • New particle emitter component

There are several other smaller improvements and fixes that are all detailed in the release notes available here.  You can download the Lumberyard installer here.

Do be aware, in addition to the pre-requisites defined in the Project Configurator, you also need to have MFC support installed in Visual Studio, which is not included by default.  The following video goes hands-on with the new release and also shows how to add MFC to Visual Studio 2017.  Be sure you have done this before creating a new project, or it will fail.

GameDev News

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.

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