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CRYTEK presented the CRYENGINE 5.4 Preview, which is a major update with several noticeable advancements and integrations. The release features over 620 improvements, fixes and features, presenting all new Vulkan API support, an Entity Component System with unified standard entities across C++ and Schematyc and much more. You can find the CRYENGINE 5.4 Preview on Github here.
Here is a quick overview of the newest features:
Key Highlights in the 5.4 Preview build:
Substance Materials: You can now use Substance Archive files (*.sbsar) to create Substance Graph instances for texture generation. This is a workflow which was used by Crytek’s development team during the production of the award-winning Robinson: The Journey as well as the current production Hunt: Showdown, and is now available to all users within the Sandbox Editor.
Vulkan API Support: In 5.4, the engine includes a beta version of the Vulkan renderer to accompany the DX12 implementation from last year. Vulkan is a cross-platform 3D graphics and compute API which enables developers to take advantage of high-performance real-time 3D graphics with balanced CPU / GPU usage. For the preview release, Vulkan support in CRYENGINE will be compatible for projects on PC, and the aim is to deploy additional Android support in future.
Entity Components: CRYENGINE’s new component entity system provides a modular and intuitive way to create games. It allows level designers to place standard prefabs into the game which can be used via Schematyc for event updating. This expands the ways in which non-coders can simply and rapidly create entire games with CRYENGINE.
C# Templates: Expanding the Launcher improvements, the engine now includes a selection of C# templates to get users up and running quickly, with many templates brought over from the library of C++ templates.
Terrain Upgrades: 5.4 expands the terrain system with upgrades to further raise the fidelity for landscapes. Objects may now be marked to become part of a terrain mesh, allowing a much higher level of detail and dramatically extending the capabilities and flexibility of CRYENGINE’s terrain editing tools. Developers can also take advantage of an improved terrain shader to support terrain object blending for blends between objects and the terrain with material falloff.
Asset System Updates: In 5.3, they shipped a base implementation of the Asset System (which was long overdue in the Sandbox Editor) that allows users to directly interact with their assets and directories. They have now added direct drag-and-drop support for the Asset Browser along with other tools integration (Material Editor, Particle Editor).To aid in the assistance of changing the paths or managing dependencies, they have also introduced an all new Dependency Graph with the 5.4 version of the Engine.
Editor Source Code Update: The team has decided to stagger the release of the Editor Source Code to minimize any risk and so it is not included in this update. In the next full release, the full Sandbox Editor source code will be provided so you can extend the Sandbox Editor for your own custom tools and applications. In this release, they have taken time to provide the resources and knowledge necessary to work within the Sandbox Editor code and to develop Editor Plugins that are fully integrated with the Sandbox Editor and its most advanced systems.