Crytek surprised game developers earlier this month by announcing that CryEngine V comes packed with a “Pay What You Want” business model. That means developers can choose to use the platform for free and not suffer royalties or other charges. However, those wanting to pay something for using the engine will see their money dumped into the company’s new Indie Development Fund, which was established to back indie developers scattered across the globe.
Crytek’s latest engine also introduces the Cryengine Marketplace, a repository where developers can grab individual assets generated by Crytek along with “thousands” of items created by the Cryengine community and “trusted vendors.” These high-end items include 3D objects, sounds, and materials such as residential buildings (element), a train yard (scene), a Cryengine GameSDK sample project, and loads more.
According to the release notes, CryEngine V includes a new sandbox editor, a new API for C# scripting, support for DirectX 12, a reworked low overhead renderer, an advanced volumetric cloud system, a new particle system, support for FMOD Studio, improved profiling, and support for Visual Studio 2015. The level editor has also been retooled with better organized menus and toolbars, and now includes improved and added keyboard shortcuts.
With the arrival of CryEngine V comes a list of features that are no longer offered, such removing the requirement of opening a level/map after startup. The Asset Browser has also been “depreciated” along with the Editor Settings Manager, the Modular Behavior Tree editor, the Visual Log Viewer, and the AI Debugger. However, there’s now an Undo History tool, an easily-accessible list of all the existing console commands, a list of all the exiting console variables, and a shortcut to open online documentation by hitting the F1 button.
As Crytek points out in its new video, 2016 is the year of virtual reality, and CryEngine V is ready to support the budding new industry. Oculus’ Rift is set to roll out in a few days, followed by the SteamVR-based HTC Vive on April 5. Offering a compatible engine for free means that consumers will see a load of high-quality VR games, apps, and “experiences” in the near future. Yes, it’s an awesome time to be alive.
To get CryEngine V, head here. Keep in mind that whatever developers shell out for the engine, at least 30 percent will be applied to the platform itself. Developers can pay $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, or choose to pay a specific amount. There’s also a slider that allows the developer to choose how much of that will go towards Crytek, and how much goes to the Indie Development Fund.