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CryENGINE 3 Cookbook Paperback – June 23, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dan Tracy

Dan Tracy is Crytek's Technical Level Designer for the award-winning CryENGINE and Crysis 2. He is responsible for the creation and maintenance of numerous technical features and external applications used for telemetry and optimization. Viewed as more than a level designer, Dan prides himself on pushing the envelope when it comes to improving both technical and game related designs across multiple production disciplines. Dan was recruited by Crytek in 2009 after the previous year working as a Quality Assurance Technician for BioWare. He was recruited due to his pivotal role in co-founding and leading development on the award winning total conversion project `MechWarrior:Living Legends'. Since then, he has been featured in numerous gaming magazines and has been interviewed by multiple media outlets. Dan is a passionate gamer, but an even more passionate modder and game designer with vast knowledge and experience with multiple engines and titles including Never Winter Nights' "Aurora", Battlefield's engine "Frostbite", Unreal 3, and CryENGINE.

Sean Tracy

Sean Tracy is Crytek's Senior Field Application Engineer for the award-wining CryENGINE. He is responsible for adapting the engine and its features to individual licensees, as well as developing full technical and `vertical slice' demos for prospective and existing clients. Describing himself as a `generalizing specialist', he also gives support directly to CryENGINE licensees, while designing and maintaining their workflows, pipelines and development techniques. Sean was recruited by Crytek in 2008 after working as an electronics technician for the Canadian Military. He was recruited due to his role in founding and leading the development on the award winning total conversion project `MechWarrior:Living Legends'. Since then, he has been featured in numerous gaming magazines and has been invited to speak at many game related trade shows and seminars. He is an avid gamer with extensive modding experience on titles including Never Winter Nights, The Battlefield engine "Frostbite" , Doom and Quake.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (June 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849691061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849691062
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Doyle on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a veteran game developer, I've had the chance to work with a number of game engines, with varying qualities and quantities of tools, but few have impressed me as much as Crytek's CryEngine 3. Speaking as a developer, as far as I'm concerned, an engine is only as good as its development tools and workflow.

While development timelines haven't changed much, the complexity of game art and gameplay mechanics have made enormous leaps. We're expected to create larger and more beautiful worlds with more interaction than ever before, and given no extra time to do so. In this scenario, a game engine with lackluster tools has the potential to create all sorts of development headaches. At a minimum, spending excessive time fighting with or learning development tools can have a negative impact on meeting milestones.

CryEngine 3 has a respectable tool suite and editor (called Sandbox) which are easily comparable to the other AAA engines on the market. Of course, without a good introduction to those tools, you might find yourself with a giant question mark over your head as you stare at the editor, especially if you've never worked with 3D game development tools before. This is where PACKT Publishing's new CryEngine 3 Cookbook comes in. Written by Dan and Sean Tracy, both developers from Crytek, the CryEngine 3 Cookbook is a well-structured, step-by-step guide to the basics of using the CryEngine 3 tool set, broken up into twelve easy to follow chapters.

Dan and Sean take you by the hand, covering everything from how to launch, modify, and use the editor to creating levels, terrain, characters, and even vehicles. The book is 313 pages in length, but is a surprisingly quick read, with few pages presenting walls of text.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
The disadvantage about the book is that the only colour illustration is on the cover. The figures inside are all in black and white, and do not convey the efficacy and realism of the shadings possible under CryEngine.

Having said this, the authors do provide a lengthy explanation of the many features of the Sandbox, an IDE specialised to CryEngine.

Attention is paid to how to create and import graphical assets. Photoshop is used for the former. The CryEngine developers have wisely stayed away from the low level operations of drawing graphics; for this Photoshop is the de facto standard for many coders. Instead, we can see how the importing into CryEngine is straightforward, along with the subsequent integration of these graphics into to overall context of your game.

There is underlying the interactions within a game a physics engine. This deals with issues like the realistic behaviour of moving objects under a gravitational field, and how to model collisions. Along with this are occlusion issues. Purely graphical issues where one object partially or entirely blocks another. The reader is warned that collision calculations need to be kept as simple as possible, since they are computationally expensive and can crucially slow down the real time nature of a game.

At a low level, the physics engine comes with many adjustable parameters that you can easily set at values to uniquely characterise the game. While the graphics are obviously what the player immediately sees, the physics engine is where you can subtlely distinguish your game from others at a subliminal level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Moeller on September 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because I wanted to get some hands on experience using the CryEngine with a reference book, but had not used the CryEngine before.

I feel this book is more aimed towards beginners, and allows someone new to the CryEngine to be able to easily jump in, and have a reference for doing a ton of stuff that might not be very straight forward, as well as a lot of detail on using the interface.

Overall, just reading through the first chapters, I was able to get comfortable with the interface, and able to create and setup my own basic level. Further on, the book goes into a more general "cookbook" style, with recipes for doing a variety of different things you might need in your level.

The book is well written, easy to read and a beginner can pick it up without a problem. There are lots of recipes for most things you would want to do, such as: creating terrain, changing level layout, placing items, changing lighting, putting down enemies, creating assets to import into the CryEngine, creating vehicles, some game logic, creating cut scenes, and much more.

The one problem I did have with using the book with the CryEngine are that the assets have changed since the book was published, so some of the items, or textures it tells you to look for at the beginning aren't there. You can use alternatives instead, but it would be nice if the downloadable files included them, or you could know which version of the CryEngine Sandbox was used in the book.

Overall a great book for learning how to use the CryEngine Sandbox, with lots of helpful recipes that will have you creating cool levels.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Will Long on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
After recently acquiring the CryEngine SDK and hoping to get to learn its ins-and-outs for an upcoming game project, I opted to purchase this book to give me a little insight and show me some things I wouldn't have learned otherwise. There was a little problem with that, namely that this wasn't a cookbook at all. This book is 100% for beginners completely unfamiliar with any Crytek or similar game engines/editors. It is a "point you to this button" walkthrough and nothing more, much to my chagrin and disappointment as I'd come to have high expectations from Packt publishing (edit: previously mentioned Mat Buckland's AI book was WordWare, but other Packt books have been excellent additions to my library). Everything contained in the book I'd already learned on my own in the first hour of tinkering with the SDK. If that is what you need, then this book is an excellent resource, otherwise I suggest anyone besides absolute beginners should wait for another book to make its appearance.
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