OK, I have decided that the standard has been slipping lately in this blog, so I am making a return to bring it back to it’s former glory!
Now the title is a little misleading. This isn’t about Crysis, it is about the CryENGINE2, or more specifically, the editor which allows you to utilise this engine. It just so happens the demos that are available are all for Crysis maps (the only game to be written with the engine…yet). But I have to say the editor looks like it could be a whole new game in itself!
Firstly, some links. These are links to a two part demo of the editor, where a lot of the features are shown off. These are highly recommended for fans of Crysis and anyone with even a remote interest in mapping or modding. (Yes they are big, but they are good quality).
I am just going to gawk and admire some of the features I like the best. The time of day lighting isn’t really new, but it is still amazing how it looks and affects everything in the environment. This is mainly due to the shadows, which is really where Crysis starts to become in a league of its own. The fact all the shadows are dynamic, means you can blow stuff up, move stuff around, create new objects in game and see exactly how the shadows look. You can move around the light sources and see there and then how it is going to look in game. This is just amazing, and should allow very quick development and also allow anyone to give it a shot at making an awesome looking map.
Then we have the vegetation editor, which looks pretty good at making large areas of jungle or whatever and not making them the same pattern of trees and bushes. I also like the idea of being able to wipe over an area and not have trees jutting out of rocks, you set where they can grew and it makes sure it all looks good.
The tunnelling feature is just brilliant. I know of no other game where making a tunnel is this easy, a lot of games won’t even allow tunnels, you must have a prop or model over a trench of some sort to simulate the tunnel. The fact you just dig away and then jump in to see how it’s going makes me think a lot of maps are going to appear which use tunnels and caves to an extent.
The next bit I like is the AI part. I like how you can jump in and see how the AI is going to react to the player. That way you can tweak timing and placement of your AI perfectly and very quickly, allowing you to get onto more important things. More important things like the camera tracking. You may or may not know I am quite a fan of in game movies, and have always envied how people get such smooth camera movements in games like Half Life 2 and Battlefield, I just never have the patience to make those that perfect. In this though, it looks as easy as the click of a button, so again, expect to see a LOT of movies to be made using this engine ( even I might do one 😉 )
Then the movie ends 🙁 . So what can you take away from this? Well, this editor looks like it is going to be very useful, especially for all the professional modders and mappers out there who will undoubtedly delve even deeper into the code (it was hardly mentioned in the video) to bring us some amazing things. It also allows us Joe Bloggs to play around and even come up with something special ourselves. Overall, I see this as being almost a game in itself, and can’t wait to get my hands on it!
On a related note, rumours has been flying that Crysis is set for a “Fall” (September-ish) release, but no-one at Crytek will admit to this, it’s always “when it’s ready”. There is also a beta happening soonish, or at least details should be appearing soonish, so keep your eye out for that.
I shall leave at that point, I hope you enjoy those videos! I will probably post slightly more regularly if I have the time, with some upcoming topics being S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Command and Conquer 3 and Oblivion: Shivering Isles, as well as anything else that takes my fancy when I’m bored.