Aspiring game developers got some great news today from Crytek. The "Crysis 2" dev announced that editing tools for the PC version of the game will be coming out way early this summer. Then, in August, Crytek will be releasing a free version of the software development kit for its CryENGINE game engine for creating entirely new content within CryENGINE 3, which is what powers the recently released "Crysis" sequel.
The news comes from an open letter posted at Crymod.com by company CEO and president Cevat Yerli. It seems that the Crymod forums are down right now for "some software upgrades," and they won't be returning until April 29, at the earliest. To tide fans over, Yerli shared the news of the upcoming releases in his letter to the fans.
The "Crysis 2" editor, as previously mentioned, will be coming "in early summer." Using it will allow fan-modders to "build maps, items and more custom content" for "Crysis 2." That's as detailed as the editor reveal gets, but early summer isn't so far away.
Even more notable is the forthcoming free release of the CryENGINE SDK. Yerli writes, "This will be a complete version of our engine, including C++ code access, our content exporters (including our LiveCreate real-time pipeline), shader code, game sample code from 'Crysis 2,' script samples, new improved Flowgraph and a whole host of great asset examples, which will allow teams to build complete games from scratch for PC."
Before you start having dreams of making your own hit game and selling it, take note: although this release will be supported by Crytek with updates, it will not be for commercial game development. The SDK is for fans to have fun with, to create new content that can be freely enjoyed by one and all.
That said, Crytek is also open to the idea of indie commercial development using CryENGINE. Yerli writes, "If you want to use it to make a game to launch commercially, we'd like to help you with that. If you want to take your product down a traditional commercial route, we will offer an innovative low cost licensing model if you want to release your game digitally."
So essentially, the CryENGINE SDK release is a completely full-featured demo, something that anyone can use and learn to program on. If you like what you've tried and want to pursue it professionally, hey, Crytek is in the business of middleware licensing too. All in all, it's a pretty genius way to market a non-standard product directly to a group of people who may not understand how to get their hands on something like it otherwise.