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Crytek Planning a Free CryEngine Release? ...

Marleys Ghost

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It seems Crytek maybe planning a free CryEngine release.

 

"The developer behind Crysis 2 and the engine behind it, CryEngine 3, has plans to release a free version of their game engine that will be "up to speed" with CryEngine 3. This should help Crytek to further compete with Epic Games and Unity, both of which offer free versions of their respective game engines, Unreal Engine 3 and Unity. "

 

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3178763

 

 

I suppose it was only a matter of time considering the route both Unity3D and Epic have taken. But will be worth keeping an eye on.



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Well, it would be an interesting development, but as I said, considering the route Unity and Epic have taken in the last year, it seemed that it might only be a matter of time before they followed suit.

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Exactly, plus the community is amazing with already extremely talented artists. Some of the best I have ever seen..

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I hope this decision will help the indie gaming community and more and more games will be completed.

 

Anyway from what I heard from Ubisoft, they are saying that in these days not the engine is the problem when making a game (i am talking about big companies). So making free the access to this SDK can only be great for all... I think.

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Guest Red Ocktober

Posted

this is great news... boy how i'd really love to plop one of my subs down into the CryEngine's water... but seriously... these things represent great investments in time and a prerequisite level of skillset that i'm sure i don't have, as a single person development shop...

 

these major game engine development tools (UDK, iDtech, CryTek) are humongous toolsets... these are 'real' game engines...

 

also, i think that comparing the CryTek engine to UNity is a mistake... not to put Unity down in any way or anything, it's just that a single man/woman shop could make something substantial with Unity, but would be hard pressed to come up with the next great FarCry competitor even using CryTek...

 

now, sure i can mod a UDK level and pass it off as my game... but ask me how to add realisitic real waves to the thing, and i'll have to pass... ask me how to make a flight simulator based on it, and i'm lost in spae...

 

ahhh... i may be wrong, but i'm feel as if i'm at my limits with Torque... and even with Torque i purposely chose NOT to license the code version, and went with the binary version which only lets me code the engine from the scripting inteface... i just didn't feel like spending the rest of my life tinkering with their code... believe me, there's a lot of it (i messed with the older TGE code )... even that has taken me almost two weeks to get a working watercraft (submarine) running around in it...

 

also... i see a lot of promise in Leadwerks... lots of next gen features, but in a manageable package... and while it's not a game engine in the pure sense (this is an advantage over other FPS based game engines), it's integrated editor brings it close enough to blur the definition to the point where it becomes almost a moot point...

 

 

finally, if i have to, i can fall back on 3DRAD... a limited, but easy to use, good looking development system...

 

 

in short, to be completely honest... learning CryTek would be a huge investment in time and money that i really don't have right now...

 

 

besides... these people aren't giving anything away that they haven't already exploited... and i'm sure that they see the handwriting on the wall as far as the future of gamemaking is concerned... the landscape is about to change dramatically... the browser will be the new platform for desktop gaming... and beyond that... well, who knows...

 

 

--Mike

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it sounds good, but still Leadwerks is a better deal provided it gets a few crucial additional features

 

They really are picking a fine time to do this. At exactly the moment when Leadwerks and Visual3d.net and Unity are getting to a point where they are comparable and even capable of surpassing Unreal and CryEngine is certain respects and in Leadwerks' case all respects.

 

My guess is it's free to use but you must pay a $25,000+ royalty per commercial release.

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My guess is it's free to use but you must pay a $25,000+ royalty per commercial release.

 

 

No idea on that score, but it would need to be at most comparable to the deal with UDK (if not better) for them to make any headway into Unity3D's and UDK's user demographic, otherwise whats the point?

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They really are picking a fine time to do this. At exactly the moment when Leadwerks and Visual3d.net and Unity are getting to a point where they are comparable and even capable of surpassing Unreal and CryEngine is certain respects and in Leadwerks' case all respects.

 

.....no

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Guest Annika O'Brien

Posted

There's a soup kitchen in Downtown LA that gives away free food daily yet bears no threat to the surrounding restaurants and their businesses. I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily, I mean, yeah, people will download the CryEngine and play around with it, but ultimately, I think they will continue to gravitate towards a product they can use easily, not just whatever they can download for free.

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There's a soup kitchen in Downtown LA that gives away free food daily yet bears no threat to the surrounding restaurants and their businesses.

 

 

I must admit, I have not considered Epic and CryteK to be the soup kitchens of game engines before ... :D

 

 

Not sure that analogy works .. B)

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Wow its seems Unity walked a long way. Now they are equally in one sentence with Unreal Engine.

 

Played around with Unity for an hour or so. Its different. The import is nice. The little help-icons everywhere are the stuff i liked most. You click and -- whoop go to a nice help article!

 

 

The established game engine companies have to do new stuff. But what can they do? A lot of technology has been developed and "small" companies like Leadwerks and others are picking up speed. The visual border disappears and no ground breaking new technology is invented every point release. User got the choice between several good looking engines these days.

 

So how can they keep small companies away?

 

1. Use their manpower and do awesome Toolsets.

2. Crush the small companies with free/low-cost license models

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.....no

 

 

I'm a ex-crysis modder, that doesn't make me an expert. But I don't see a very big difference between CryEngine2 and Leadwerks right now. Also Visual3d.Net has Infinite Terrains and spherical worlds and universes coming soon. Does this not surpass Unreal and CryEngine3? Unity is "comparable" I wouldn't say it surpasses them.

 

Leadwerks, is more open to programmers and is rapidly developing so I would say Leadwerks which is already in my opinion on par with CryEngine2 as it is can find several niches to surpass CE3 'right out of the box'. And because it's more open to developers than a free CE3, I think programmers will be able to add even more functionality themselves which is part of the reason I think Leadwerks has the ability to surpass CE3 depending upon the fervor of the community.

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Well for me a game engine requires game mechanics, good visuals, and tool set, but game mechanics are the important "sway" factor.

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There's a soup kitchen in Downtown LA that gives away free food daily yet bears no threat to the surrounding restaurants and their businesses. I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily, I mean, yeah, people will download the CryEngine and play around with it, but ultimately, I think they will continue to gravitate towards a product they can use easily, not just whatever they can download for free.

 

People will gravitate regardless if its free and/or easy to use or not, because it says you can "make a game" which catches everyones attention. But most people dont realize the time and effort it really takes into making a complete playable game that looks descent. So it is an epic fail alltogether. Doesnt matter which engine it is really, or the software being used to create the assets, or the programming language being used to code the game, because heres whats going to happen...

 

1. You will dl the engine

2. You will mess around wit it

3. You will give up

4. You will dl another engine

5. Reapeat steps 1-4

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the free Unity3d has certain features missing. UDK has all it's features with nothing missing. yet both only offer scripting. in terms of the UDK versus CryEngine free versions. UDK does allow a commerical release, i think for about $99 US. so Crytek would have to offer a similar sort of deal with their free version.

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..ill think twice before i consider CryEngine 'free'..similarly to UE or Unity, yes, its 'free' for you to download, play, learn how to use it (its good for them, expanding user base)...however..soon as you cross line called 'commercial development' or better say 'lets make some money', you will see real nature of such 'free' solution..and im not talking about 99$, but massive percentage out of whatever you make (profit)..

 

However, major limitation for most of people (3d enthusiasts or bedroom coders), is not tech or engine, whatever you use, but put it simply, media necessary to produce some quality game of that scale where use of UE or CryEngine will make some impact. Soon as you go down to scriptwriting, sound design, unique level design(im not talking about downloadable models packs), characters, animations..you will realize that real limitation is not ability to use engine of any kind, but simply, production of content for it,if you planing to sell your game..as for hobbists and people who just taking it for learning curve..its okay..no impact for both parties anyway..

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..ill think twice before i consider CryEngine 'free'..similarly to UE or Unity, yes, its 'free' for you to download, play, learn how to use it (its good for them, expanding user base)...however..soon as you cross line called 'commercial development' or better say 'lets make some money', you will see real nature of such 'free' solution..and im not talking about 99$, but massive percentage out of whatever you make (profit)..

 

Yup, which is why the graphics in CE3 is the only thing its good for...$ is the name of the game. I knew in the back of my head that the word "free" has a catch these days....

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Well "free" will always have conditions, unless of course people like Unity and Epic and Crytek suddenly become registered charities (or soup kitchens :D ) B)

 

I have both UDK and Unity "Free", for me I really dont see an issue with the UDK licensing given the tools and game mechanics included:

 

http://udk.com/licensing

 

Unity as far as I know, the Free version displays a splash screen (standalone) and a watermark (web). There is also a clause "Companies or incorporated entities that had a turnover in excess of US$100,000 in their last fiscal year must use Unity Pro."

 

If Cryteks intention is to try and infiltrate the demographic currently making up the user base of both Unity (100,000 registered users in its first four months) and Epic's UDK it would need to "sit" itself between the two (licence wise) in my opinion, to have any chance of success, or at the very least match Epic and then try from a toolset/game mechanics angle to do the work.

 

As I have already said, for me a game engine requires game mechanics, good visuals, and tool set, but game mechanics are the important "sway" factor. Especially during development.

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The established game engine companies have to do new stuff. But what can they do? A lot of technology has been developed and "small" companies like Leadwerks and others are picking up speed. The visual border disappears and no ground breaking new technology is invented every point release. User got the choice between several good looking engines these days.

 

So how can they keep small companies away?

 

1. Use their manpower and do awesome Toolsets.

2. Crush the small companies with free/low-cost license models

I completely agree with you Michael as this is very much my assessment of the situation too. Chris and I were discussing this topic this morning and also believe that it brings a lot of invaluable user feedback to the big companies too, not only feedback on bugs but a wealth of suggestions for improvements and additional functionality which they have the man power to implement quickly.

 

I also agree with Mike in as much that all of these AAA engines require a massive learning curve in order to be fully productive with them, which for the existing modding community is not a problem but is a big investment for people who have previously invested in smaller engines like Leadwerks and need to start afresh with a new engine.

 

Of course, this is only an indication of Crytek's current thinking it's not an official statement of intent but it would be hard to see them not going down the same road as Epic with UDK as there is little to lose by doing so and much to gain.

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I think it's neat. We've always had "free" mod SDKs available for the big engines since the days of Quake 1. Tripwire published Red Orchestra using the UT2004 engine, with no licensing fees paid up front to Epic. It's always been an option for developers, but we've always had users who come to us for a simpler more straightforward solution.

 

However, I think 100,000 free users over four months isn't much to brag about. By the same logic, Leadwerks gained 15,000 users in two weeks, because they downloaded our free demo. I'm not too keen on a free SDK version for two reasons:

-It isn't free to us. It costs us resources for supporting the free users and the increased demands on our site. I'd rather use these resources to improve the product for you, the paid user.

-It devalues the paid user's experience because they get surrounded by a lot of low-quality users.

 

This is all a result of console technology. Because the large companies are restricted to console hardware, which is much lower-spec, but more profitable for them, that leaves the high-end PC market to people like us. Now they are getting worried. They don't want to pursue the high-end PC market, but they also don't want us doing it. B)

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Josh i thought Red Orchestra won the 1st prize of the make something unreal contest, which was a free license. i agree that downloads don't equal finished products(games).

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If someone makes an awesome game with a AAA engine, and the company really likes it, I'm sure they'll find a way to work something out. That's always been the case. Counterstrike is another example.

 

However, it's very hard to make a total conversion mod starting with an existing game. That's why a lot of people prefer using systems that are designed exclusively to be general-purpose game engines.

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Guest Annika O'Brien

Posted

To clarify, I was in no way comparing CryEngine to a soup kitchen. The point I was trying to make was that "free" doesn't inherently hurt other companies. I am a Linux person. Linux is great and Linux is free, not just free, but open source. Do Steve Jobs and Bill Gates lose sleep at night scared they may lose their business to Ubuntu, the user-friendly GUI. No.

 

People use what they want to use. I'm a huge fan of Crysis and don't have anything negative to say about CryTek. I don't see their success as a threat to Leadwerks. If anything, I hope they continue to raise the bar.

 

Each company has their own edge. We all have different approaches though some overlap just due to keeping with the industry standards.

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