Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing this; however this review contains my opinions and thoughts.
Developing a game with the CryEngine 3 free SDK is no simple task. This book strives to make this a little easier for anyone interested in developing their own game. The engine is primarily meant for First Person Shooters (FPS) and other open-world games. The book was based on CryEngine 3 version 3.4 and currently the engine is on 3.58, so there are some differences between the book and the engine you will be using. The also recommend using 3ds Max, Photoshop, Notepad++, Flash CS 5.5 and a few others. CryEngine 3 now accepts several free programs that you can use in place of the costlier software.
The book starts off with an overview of the engine and then jumps into using the Sandbox, which is the level editor for CryEngine. Using the free level that comes with the engine the book demonstrates how to move around, sculpt your landscape and place items. Once you have your basic level to use, the book moves to using the FlowGraph Editor, which lets anyone without programming knowledge, create a graph to have their game objects do things.
Up to this point, I have been using the book with only the occasional reference to CryEngine’s Documentation. I definitely suggest that you bookmark the document and forum webpages for easy reference.
Next the book covers using C++ and for this the book suggests some prior knowledge in C++. I agree that the programming aspect of CryEngine is a little difficult for a person new to programming.
CryEngine 3 covers using Scaleform to create your HUD and then 3dsMax to create your own assets. Flash CC, which is the current version of Flash, does not support Actionscript 2 which is what the book needs you to use. You can use other products such as Blender to create your own models and there are several free alternatives to programming Actionscript 2; but I still suggest using Flash to create the health bars, etc.
CryEngine 3 has a wonderful cutscene editor that lets you create animations and all sorts of other wonderful cutscenes and such. This book demonstrates how to use the tools for this and rounds out with a chapter on Audio design and another chapter on finishing the level for use by everyone.
CryEngine 3 Game Development: Beginner’s Guide is a definite asset to have by your side and you create wonderful levels with this tool.