CryEngine 5.6 now available, features over 1,000 changes
Game development studio Crytek has announced that the latest release of its signature CryEngine game development engine, version 5.6, is now available. The engine has powered games notable for pushing computers at the time to their graphical processing limits such as Crysis and Far Cry.
Though there are over 1,000 changes touted with the release, specific changes and new implementations can be considered more drastic. As introduced via an official blog post on CryEngine's website, some of the major features introduced with version 5.6 include the following:
In-Editor Project Management: The Sandbox Editor now controls project creation and management, making getting started with a new CryEngine project faster and giving developers more flexibility with a new streamlined and improved workflow.
Micro-facet Multi-layer Materials: This new feature advances the visual reproduction of metals and gives more artistic control over the creation of a range of materials. By describing materials as a stack of layers of varying thickness, each with different optical properties, users can, for instance, model a wet surface by defining a slightly absorptive layer on top, and spatially or temporally varying the thickness of that layer.
Area Lights: This feature delivers a better representation of how light behaves than traditional punctual light sources. CryEngine’s new implementation makes use of pre-computed textures, which will calculate and model area lights far more accurately. It also allows for more flexibility when defining different kinds of light shapes. As of right now, the area lights are a part of the Point Light Component, so if you have point lights in your scene, you can easily change them to area lights.
Full-Body Ragdoll Inverse Kinematics: A physics-aware, energy-based, full-body inverse kinematics implementation, which tries to satisfy constraints imposed on the physics skeleton with minimum effort energy-wise. The effect is similar to applying physics impulses to characters, except the results are computed instantly, without the physics thread running.
CRIWARE ADX2 Implementation: CryEngine now supports the ADX2 comprehensive and easy-to-use audio system. This takes advantage of CryEngine being audio middleware agnostic.
Behavior Tree User Interface: A GUI interface which enables users to quickly create complex behavior trees for AI, bringing NPCs and enemies to life. This tool was developed by the Hunt Showdown team, which means that this is production-proven technology being implemented in the engine.
Real-time ACE Editing Feedback: Users can now preview a middleware event in the right pane of the Audio Controls Editor without the need to connect it to a corresponding trigger first, improving CryEngine’s audio pipeline with instant feedback.
The full changelog for CRYENGINE 5.6 and previous versions can be found on CryEngine's documentation site. You can find plenty of additional detail on the various changes implemented, such as custom-mesh ropes, inter-entity constraint points storage, and much more.
Further coverage: CryEngine news post
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