Crytek has launched CryEngine 5

Crytek has come out today and announced that their brand new CryEngine 5 is now available for use, thus prompting thousands of developers to question their sanity as they attempt to figure out where CryEngine 4 had gone. As it turns out, the most recent CryEngine, simply titled as CryEngine, was the fourth iteration, but avoided using the standard nomenclature because reasons.

That short rant aside, CryEngine 5 brings with it DirectX 12 support, a community marketplace and help forum, royalty free development and much more. Here's a video showcasing what exactly you can accomplish with the CryEngine and what features are being added with CryEngine 5:

• C# Enabled: A new API that allows developers who know C# to start scripting in CRYENGINE V right away. 

• Reworked Low Overhead Renderer: Significantly increases the performance of today’s hardware in graphically intensive applications. 

• DirectX 12 support: Utilize the latest branch of DirectX to take greater control of hardware resources. 

• Advanced Volumetric Cloud System: Optimized for VR to give clouds full 3D spatial rendering for higher quality with minimal performance hit.

• New particle system: Create stunning real-time fluid effects, handled almost entirely on the GPU.

• A new launcher and UI: Navigate CRYENGINE more intuitively thanks to a streamlined UI which includes realigned features and new icon groupings.

• FMOD Studio support: Allowing greater flexibility in audio middleware selection.

• CRYENGINE Answers: A dedicated channel where the CRYENGINE community can share questions and answers.

While the list of changes is seemingly small, it is of great importance, especially the addition of DirectX 12 support and C# API.

In the case of DirectX 12, this makes CryEngine 5 the first of the big trio (Unity and Unreal Engine 4 being the other two) to actually support it properly, which means we should expect to see massive performance improvements if the recent Rise of the Tomb Raider switch from DX 11 to DX 12 is any judge. The inclusion of the API for C# scripting is also a welcome addition given how nice the language can be to work in, and even though its similar to Java, which is already supported, simply having more options available to the developers is never a bad thing.

CryEngine 5 real time development

CryEngine 5 brings support for real-time development

Besides the list above, Crytek also announced that CryEngine 5 will be operating under a "Pay What You Want" business model where the developers have full access to the engine and its source code for a fee of their choosing with no obligation to pay royalties or any other charges later on. Developers that opt to pitch in a bit of their revenue to this program will be able to decide what percentage of it will go towards Crytek's new Indie Development Fund - a grant program that aims to support promising indie projects around the world.

In order to actually earn some money from all of this, Crytek has opened up the CryEngine Marketplace, a place for developers to access individual assets from Crytek's own library, as well as thousands of other materials, sounds and models created by the community. If you're thinking this sounds remarkably similar to the Unity Store you wouldn't be wrong, the idea is almost identical, but most importantly its a system that has been proven to work well. 

I've never fiddled with the CryEngine so I can't speak about how easy it is to use, but the features they've listed out today are impressive, to say the least. If you would like to give CryEngine 5 a try you can find both the download link and community guides over at the CryEngine website. Happy tinkering!