Code Snippet of the Week: CryEngine2 Third Person Camera

June 14th, 2009

Recently I have been employeed at a new company where I work with the CryEngine2 quite frequently. CryTek has released a MOD sdk for their popular Crysis Wars game. In my personal time, I enjoy developing mods for this amazing game. Crysis Wars is a first person shooter game thus the camera by default is set in a first person perspective.

First person perspective

First person perspective

One of the very first mods I wrote for the CryEngine is a Third Person Camera. The CryEngine already supports a third person camera however a developer using Flow Graph is limited as to what they can do with it. For example, the third person camera is at a fixed distance away from the player. A developer can’t really control this at all. That is why I decided to write my own custom flow node for the CryMOD sdk that would give developers the ability to use a flexible third person camera system. Below, you can see a demo of my third person camera as well as the source code.

Third person perspective

And here is the source code.

// FlowThirdPersonCameraNode.cpp
// Purpose: This flow node gives the developer
//	    more flexibility of controlling
//	    the third person perspective 
//	    camera by allowing them to offset
//	    the camera's distance from the player.
// File History:
// - 6/05/09 : File created - Brandon Fogerty
#include "StdAfx.h"
#include "Nodes/G2FlowBaseNode.h"
#include "Cry_Camera.h"
#include "Actor.h"
class CFlowThirdPersonCameraNode : public CFlowBaseNode
	enum EInputPorts
		EIP_SYNC = 0,
	CFlowThirdPersonCameraNode(SActivationInfo * pActInfo)
	virtual void GetConfiguration(SFlowNodeConfig &config)
		static const SInputPortConfig inputs[] = 
			InputPortConfig<float>("distance",-7.0,_HELP("Distance from player")),
			InputPortConfig<float>("height",2.0,_HELP("Height relative to the player")),
		config.pInputPorts = inputs;
		config.pOutputPorts = NULL;
		config.sDescription = "Control the third person perspective camera.";
	virtual void ProcessEvent(EFlowEvent evt, SActivationInfo *pActInfo)
			case eFE_Activate:
				if(IsPortActive(pActInfo, EIP_SYNC))
			case eFE_Update:
				// Grab the game's camera view.
				CCamera cam = gEnv->pSystem->GetViewCamera();
				// Get the local player
				IActor * pActor = g_pGame->GetIGameFramework()->GetClientActor();
				// If we are in a vehicle,  use the default camera system.
				if(pActor->GetLinkedVehicle() == NULL)
					// We need to toggle the regular third person camera
					// so that crysis renders the whole player model and
					// not just the limbs.
					if(pActor->IsThirdPerson() == false)
					// Get our camera's position
					Vec3 vecCamPos = pActor->GetEntity()->GetPos();
					// Offset the camera on the z axis (Up/Down)
					vecCamPos.z = pActor->GetEntity()->GetPos().z + GetPortFloat(pActInfo, EIP_HEIGHT);
					float fDistance = GetPortFloat(pActInfo, EIP_DISTANCE);
					// This is a little math to which ensures that our camera is always facing the direction
					// that our player is looking.
					vecCamPos.y = pActor->GetEntity()->GetPos().y + (pActor->GetViewRotation().GetFwdY() * fDistance);
					vecCamPos.x = pActor->GetEntity()->GetPos().x + (pActor->GetViewRotation().GetFwdX() * fDistance);
					// Override the crysis camera with our newly calculated camera view and we are done!
	virtual void GetMemoryStatistics(ICrySizer *s)
	virtual ~CFlowThirdPersonCameraNode()

Well that is it for this week. You can also find this code snippet on the official CryMod website at

I hope that this makes sense and helps you get more out of the CryEngine! Happy modding!

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QoobTris Development: Lua and new Particle Effects Engine

May 21st, 2009

Hello everyone. I have been working really hard recently to add more features to QoobTris such as a particle engine. Originally, I was using a third party particle engine however that engine had a large memory leak and the developer wasn’t very responsive. Thus I decided to write my own flexible particle system for the game. In addition to adding a killer particle engine, I have also integrated the latest version of Lua (Version 5) into the game engine. So now, all the hud widgets such as the Sail boat and particle effects are fully scriptable which makes dynamic hud development extremely easy. Below you will see a demo of the new particle engine. I hope you enjoy it!