Saturday, 23 April 2011

CryEngine 3

CGSociety have a nice article looking at the technology of CryEngine 3 that sits squarely behind the stunning visual feast that is Crysis 2. I have been enjoying the game itself, though you can feel the more 'consolish' nature of the mechanics etc. Things are much more linear than Crysis 1, which does feed the more cinematic experience, but I somehow like the more open tactical approach. THe visuals are astounding, to have that much going on in front of me is something to behold.

Here are a few more videos showing off the pedigree of CryEngine 3:

CryEngine 3 SDK Soon

Here is the test for the Open Letter from Crytek that is up on the CryMod site today. Essentially this is all good news again for everyone wanting to have the engine, though the full details of the licensing model arent yet covered:

Be Free... Be Creative... Be the Developer

An open letter to the Crytek Modding Community.

Hello to all of you.

Here at Crytek we value our community, and we love what you do with our engine. In recent times our focus has been heavily on the development of Crysis 2, however our modding community has been, and remains, very important to us.

So, I wanted to tell you about our plans for supporting you in the future with some really exciting news, which I want to share with you now. Modding with the most powerful game engine is coming back!

We want to see what you guys can do with CryENGINE 3 and we hope we'll be as amazed with the things you create as we have been over the past few years. This time around, we're going to do things in a different way - offering you the right tools to achieve your vision.

First of all, we will be launching an Editor for Crysis 2 early in summer. This will allow you to build new maps, items and more custom content for Crysis 2. For teams looking for even more creative freedom, we have another option: The free CRYENGINE SDK.
Be Free

In August 2011 we will be launching a free CryENGINE SDK. If you want to use it for fun, like all our previous MOD SDKs it will be completely free of charge, to anyone who wants to play with it! You just register, download the SDK with a personalized license key and you're good to go!
Be Creative

We'll be giving you access to the latest, greatest version of CryENGINE 3 - the same engine we use internally, the same engine we give to our licensees, the same engine that powers Crysis 2.

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.
Be The Developer

With all this power in your hands - we know you're going to do some amazing things with the engine, so we're working out how best to support you.

We'll also be sharing our documentation with you, which is written by the developers of the engine, and we'll be giving you a new and improved We'll update the Free CryENGINE SDK regularly, to make sure you have access to all the advances we make to CryENGINE 3.

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.

If you're looking to use CryENGINE for non-gaming purposes, we'll have a per-seat business model for the engine - please enquire at for further details.

So to go over the details again:

Our next release will be the Crysis 2 Editor, this is for those of you who want to create content for Crysis 2. In August 2011, we will launch our Free CryENGINE SDK for all of you who want to create totally new content on CryENGINE 3. If you just want to make fun, free projects, you can do that free of charge. If you want to try and commercialise your game, we'll be here to help you with that.

I truly value the contribution you have all made to our company and I hope we can continue giving back to you in future.

All the best,

Cevat Yerli

CEO & President of Crytek

Friday, 22 April 2011

Concept Art: Huen and Lisowski

I came to these two bodies of work via ConceptArtWorld which does a great job of bringing these talented people to our attention. Both of these artists have some nice examples of character variation/development in very specific styles and some super environment design work as well.
One of the things that Concept Artists seem to bring to the urban and architectural context us such character and mood, things so often missing from the professions actually creating our built environment.

Benjamin Huen

[Benjamin Huen Concept Images via his blog]


Michal Lisowski

[Michal Lisowski Concept Art via his site]

But I cant leave it there, as his site has this one gallery set for his concept art on Sala Samobojcow Suicide Room which is just full of inspiration in every piece. The character developments, options and thamatics are gorgeous:

[Michal Lisowski Concept Art via his site]

Hell, lets have some more, the set is so good:

[Michal Lisowski Concept Art via his site]

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sara Secular Storytelling

While I could have just tweeted that I like Sara E. Mayhew's post Secular Storytelling: Why writers should move beyond The Hero’s Journey - I wanted to give it a touch more attention. I like analytical thinking and the idea of the Heroes Journey appeals to me as a breakdown of some classic storytelling ideas. I think you can draw on this idea without pushing too hard on the divinity or birthright anlges. That said, I love Sara's picking apart of the details and drawing on the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter to contrast the Heroes Journey and alternatives. GOOD STUFF! I think it is important to draw out prejudices that might be hidden in such structures and to find a humanist way to present tales of this type - I certainly love these 4 stories.
It is fun exploring @saramayhew's tweets, blog, website and more.

Here are some images from her blog:

[Sara E. Mayhew art via her DeviantArt Gallery]

MvB New Coloured Concept - Bluer

Same Moths vs Butterflies colour piece - but I felt that on the other screen the cloth wasnt blue enough, so here is a quick minor variant:

MvB New Coloured Concept

Here is a new Moths vs Butterflies colour treatment on one of the sketches I posted the other day. I tinkered with this over the weekend and took the WIP images as I went along that you can see below. All dont in photoshop, I started with the scan - using the Curves to get rid of the paper and then desaturated the result. I whipped up a quick background that would hint at forest while giving good contrast to the Butterfly scheme. I used a handful of layers that split the basic colour areas apart using hard round brushes most of the time at various opacities to get the layering without going too fine. Lastly I used a filter (Accented Edges) on the zoomed in sketch multiply layer to clean up the pencils.

Here is the WIP set: