Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My review of "Mastering CryEngine"

                “Mastering CryEngine” is a book by Sascha Gundlach and Michelle K. Martin.  It was released in April of this year by Packt Publishing. “Mastering CryEngine” is about the CryEngine game engine by Crytek.  Crytek just released a new version of the CryEngine which you can purchase on Steam for $10 a month. There is also a free version of CryEngine available on their website http://cryengine.com/
                “Mastering CryEngine” is not a book for beginners to CryEngine.  The book assumes that you have made most of your game with CryEngine and are looking for ways to optimize and perfect it.  The first chapter discusses how to set-up an asset pipeline for your game.  The term ‘asset pipeline’ refers to all the code, artwork, music, etc. that your game is made of.  This chapter also discusses setting up version control and having quality assurance for your game.
                The second chapter talks about setting up various input for your game including the keyboard and mouse.  The third chapter is about the advanced use of the Flow Graph Editor which is used for artificial intelligence in CryEngine.  The chapter goes into using C++ and Lua computer languages to set up custom Flow Graphs for objects that you have created for your game.
                The fourth chapter I found really fascinating as it was about creating a face for a character in game.  CryEngine lets you construct various facial movements for your characters and also lets you do lip synching for them.  The fifth chapter is all about mastering “The Sandbox” which is the level editor for CryEngine.  Several lesser known features of “The Sandbox” are discussed as well as advanced camera work.
                The next chapter imparts information on using the Lua scripting language with CryEngine.  Writing Lua scripts can save a lot of time and effort in CryEngine and can be used for some artificial intelligence. The seventh chapter talks about character animation and using the CryMannequin editor to create animation for your various characters. 
                Chapter eight talks about smart objects in CryEngine.  Smart objects have their own editor and allow you to place rules about how an object is supposed to act or react to another object.  It is a simple form of artificial intelligence and the book describes how to set these up by showing some examples. The next chapter is about creating particle effects in your game and how to set them up so that your game can be optimized.  The last chapter is about getting your game ready for release.  Optimizing builds, creating an install for your game and several other final touches are discussed.
                “Mastering CryEngine” is a wonderful book.  I highly recommend it if you are creating a game with the CryEngine.  Most of the information may be available other places; but not with examples and not all in one place.  With “Mastering CryEngine” you should be able to release your game with little difficulty. Here is a link to the book on PacktPub’s website http://goo.gl/JbwWyJ.

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