CRYENGINE is always evolving and we want to keep being as transparent as possible as we move forward and make the engine the best it can be for everyone. To start the week, we wanted to highlight a couple of topics which have been of particular interest on our community channels: Sandbox source code and documentation.
Sandbox Source Code
With 5.4 we announced the intention of releasing the Sandbox source code. The intention to make the source code available remains. However, as you will know, development – and engine development – is not always straightforward. We are making progress on internal tech and legal checks on the code to make sure everything is cleared to go live, and, in parallel, we are looking into the right model to make this code available. Anyone who has worked in development knows that sometimes delays, while regrettable, are sometimes unavoidable. “It’s ready when it’s ready” is always the best approach rather than rushing something out. However, we want to assure everyone that we continue to work towards giving users access to enhance the Editor and contribute to alleviating pain points by submitting fixes and contributing directly to the development of the engine.
We are currently working on how the source code should be released and that may mean that we make amendments to the business model which we currently use. We fully see the need for an API that users can simply tie into without having to have access it, a model similar to other industry-standard solutions. On the other hand, we also recognize the benefit for other users to have access to the Editor code which will allow for further expansion of the engine. Our intention to make the source code available is a big pivot for the company and we want to get it right. We want to empower the community, but without jeopardizing the interests of the business on which the development of the engine ultimately rests. We are currently evaluating the best way to achieve this for everyone. So: Tech stuff, legal stuff, and business stuff all plays a part in delivery. We are working on it. We’re not there yet. Watch this space.
Documentation and Learning
With the push for 5.4 many of you in the community knew that we were focusing on the common request of improving our documentation, with a particular focus on getting more organized and up-to-date. Our main goal here is to structure the docs with more of a focus on discipline rather than a specific technique. Part of this means we will be splitting out categories as shown in the picture below. You will now be able to navigate directly to a “Getting Started” section or particular topic, for instance, animation, if that is what you happen to be interested in.
Regarding timelines, we are still aiming for the 5.4 cycle. However, due to some of the changes across 5.5 and the new skin for the editor we are going through the process of scrubbing legacy documentation so everything is upgraded to the latest workflows on release. We are still rolling out regular and constant updates to current documentation and a complete restructure is the goal within the coming months during the 5.4 release cycle. We have already covered many topics within the Preview phase that have been received well and this work will continue.
WIP screenshot of documentation overhaul in progress.
The learning restructure also looks to shift away from routine tasks to become more about completing solid game loops that could be repurposed or expanded upon within your own developments. The scope of this work will cross both written and video material as we have always done. Our aim is to deliver a learning offering that will give you everything you need to create mini-projects which will help you become familiar with important systems in the Editor.
As part of achieving this goal, we have also hired a dedicated new Learning Manager who has the remit of evaluating and improving the educational material offered within our portal and externally. Expect more in an upcoming blog post, where we’ll have more detailed information about the direction of travel and a bit more about this new member of the CRYENGINE team. I think you will be surprised and happy to see the speed and shape this initiative is taking.
Down the line we may tackle more topics that are common themes throughout the software industry, rather than CRYENGINE specifics. The focus on learning will be to follow and exceed industry standards and make the engine enjoyable to learn and grow with. Our ambitions are as bold as yours, and while it will be a steep learning curve for us, we are committed to making the progress we recognize we have to make.
- Collin Bishop, Product Manager CRYENGINE