The top 10 game engines as selected by Develop continues today with CryENGINE 3. We will be revealing a new entrant to the list every day until this Friday, so keep checking back to see which other tech providers you should be looking at for your next project…
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, ‘MMO and next-gen ready’
Browser support: No
Cost: Available on request
Published titles: Crysis (CryTek), Crysis Warhead (Crytek), Aion (NCsoft)
Titles in development: Not disclosed
Middleware integrations: Scaleform GFx, CRI, FMOD
Those expecting Crytek to mirror Epic in terms of version numbering might have been surprised to see CryENGINE hit version three so quickly, but maybe it’s important to be on an even playing field with your punchiest competitor.
The main addition to v3 is the long sought after console support – the formerly PC-only engine is now fully supported on Xbox 360 and PS3, with the developer at pains to point out that it’s worked the graphics, physics, AI, networking and sound subsystems to make them ready for the massively many-core architectures likely to find themselves in the next generation of consoles.
Of course, this is CryENGINE, so what you really care about is the visuals. Crytek has seen fit to add a huge number of high-end graphical features to the engine, including a real-time dynamic global illumination solution fully optimsed for current-generation machines. There’s also a new real-time soft particle system, which can be affected by object collisions, forces such as wind and gravity, and lighting and shadows; volumetric light beams; screen-space ambient occlusion support, a unique deferred shading solution and a high-level platform-agnostic shader scripting technology.
The ‘What You See is What You Play’ Sandbox editor – which now deploys live to target consoles, giving instant feedback to scene changes – has also had its functionality bolstered, with a new automatic vegetation placement ruleset that’ll plant your foliage based on slope, surface altitude and desired density. There’s also dedicated road and river builders, a specialised vehicle editor, a facial animation tool, plus automatic navmesh generation unified for inside and outside spaces coupled with the engine’s dynamic pathfinding system. And, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a fully featured audio offering, AI and game scripting by Lua or the graphical Flow-Graph system, an integrated physics engine and a full suite of performance analysis tools.