Great news everyone as today Crytek has released a freely available CryENGINE 3 SDK for non-commercial use, you can download it and try it out, you just need to do a free registration in order to be able to use it. The CryENGINE 3 Free SDK can be used for non-commercial projects, so you can use it for educational purposes or even to make your own games and distribute them as long as they are available completely free. And things get even better as the CryENGINE 3 Free SDK also offers full support for the stereoscopic 3D output modes that were available in the game Crysis 2 that is based on this engine. And although the game itself only contained the post stereo rendering, meaning not full dual frame rendering as a means to still provide decent feeling for volume of the objects on the scene almost without sacrificing any performance, the free SDK also offers you to use dual rendering mode. This means that you would be able to make full stereoscopic 3D rendering for both images intended for the left and right eye, but this comes at some cost, namely the bigger hit in terms of performance when in stereoscopic 3D mode.
The Post Stereo mode (SSRS or Screen Space Re-Projection Stereo) is the only option affordable for consoles according to Crytek in this SDK as Xbox 360 and PS3 generally lack the power to use dual rendering on more complex gaming environments that you’d be normally designing with the CryENGINE 3 engine. The trick behind this is that the image for the second eye is extracted from the one rendered for the first eye by offsetting pixels based on the depth, so the processing power required for rendering the frame for the second eye is significantly reduced and thus the drop in performance drop is hardly noticeable. However when working on a game for PC you’d probably prefer to use the Dual Rendering mode in order to get two fully rendered frames for each eye in order to have more convincing depth effect, of course provided that you have powerful enough video card that can handle the extra load. Both the Post Stereo and the Dual Rendering modes are fully implemented in the CryENGINE 3 Free SDK, so you will be able to experiment with them to see what the visual and performance difference are.
CryENGINE 3 Free SDK System Requirements [Developer]:
– Supported operating Systems: XP, Vista, Windows 7 (with Windows 7 recommended)
– CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2GHz or better
– Memory: GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
– Video Card : Nvidia 8800GT 512MB RAM, ATI 3850HD 512MB RAM or better
CryENGINE 3 Free SDK System Requirements [End User*]:
– Supported operating Systems: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1 or SP2, Windows 7
– CPU: 32-bit or 64-bit processor (a multi-core processor is strongly recommended)
– Memory: 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
– Video Card: ShaderModel 3 capable graphics card (for example an Nvidia 6 series card)
* End Users who only use the game launcher without Sandbox have lower system requirements.
The only new feature that the CryENGINE 3 Free SDK still lacks is the support for DirectX 11, but apparently such will be added in a later version of the SDK, so you will also get to use that feature.