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Chrysalis is a plugin for CRYENGINE 5, written in C++11, that provides a foundation of features required to create action RPG style games. It is under constant development, moving towards a set of final goals.

Currently, most of the work needed for a walking simulator is complete or underway.


The primary goal is to provide the base functionality required by several types of games. The main focus is on making an action RPG toolkit, but there are several goals and steps along the way.

  • walking simulator
    • first and third person cameras
    • player input handling
    • actors / characters
    • locomotion
    • interactive entities (doors, switches, etc)
    • item and equipment systems
  • action RPG
    • weapons
    • combat
    • vehicles
  • stretch goals
    • ladders
    • swimming
    • climbing
    • networked gameplay

At present, I am not expecting to create a UI for any of the game features. Any teams looking to use this code will need to make their own UI, since game features tend to vary widely.

UI is a CRYENGINE feature in flux. The Scaleform implementation is getting too old to be useful, while the new UI elements aren't quite ready yet.

In time I will ensure the base code has all the features needed to support a rich client UI, and will probably provide a simple example implementation for the most useful features.

Gettting Started

The best way is to use Git to clone this entire project to your local hard drive.

IMPORTANT: Your Git client must already have Git LFS installed, or the binary files will fail to clone properly and you will find all sorts of strange errors occur.

You can find out more about Git LFS at []

Most new work is performed on the 'ivan' branch - a feature branch where I work, typically for a month or so at a time, before I perform a 'squash merge' back into the 'development' branch.

If there's no 'ivan' branch, have a look and see if there is work happening on a feature branch. I often go a couple of months getting a feature ready or re-factoring, before I can safely merge it all back into the 'development' branch.

The 'development' branch is there to merge multiple feature branches prior to a squash merge into the 'master' branch.

The 'master' branch is usually a month or so behind any work, but is generally expected to both build and have a test level to get you started quickly.

It is important to point out here that you need the CRYENGINE source code in order to build this project. It's best if you checkout the source from GitHub, as Chrysalis will track the CRYENGINE source pretty closely. The engine needs to be installed, and the Chrysalis project must point to the version of the engine you will build it against.

Currently, it is building against the 'Stabilisation' branch of my fork of the CRYENGINE repository.

After you have cloned the repository to your local hard drive you will need to right click on the 'Chrysalis.cryproject' and tell it to 'Generate Solution'.

This will invoke the cmake process, which will process the cryproject file and create an MSVC solution that is suitable for your machine.

The 'Solutions' folder that is present in some branches of the repository is from an earlier attempt to have the Microsoft Team Services system perform a build for continuous integration purposes. It failed, and will need to be purged at some point in the future.

The project contains both the code to build, and the project files needed by CRYENGINE to run the example levels.

Don't expect any flash looking level design or grahpics, I'm a programmer, so any models and textures are done as quickly and easily as I can to test out the features.

One final note about the supplied test levels. The level.pak and terraintexture.pak files which are required to load these and test in pure game mode are not booked into the repository. These files are generated by sandbox when you go to the main menu and select "File...Export To Engine". You will have to do this at least one for each level in order to test in game mode. The same applies if you make any changes to a level, it must be exported to the engine in order for those changes to be seen in game mode.

Important Information

Chrysalis is very much a work in progress. I try not to check in broken builds, and generally would only do so on a feature branch I am working on, but...things can slip my notice. If you run into any show-stopper problems preventing you from trying out the code, contact me, and I'll see if I can help you sort it out. Contacts details are below.

With that said, I expect you to be competant and comfortable working with CRYENGINE before you consider setting up a test environment for Chrysalis. You can ask for general help on the CryTek forums or within our Slack group.

Code Quality

This code is considered pre-alpha, under heavy development. That's not a reflection on the quality of the code, but on the degree of features completed and the level of polish for those features.

My First Level

Chrysalis has some code features which are specific to a long-term goal I have, though most of these will not affect you. One that does affect everyone is the way you play test a level.

Most CRYENGINE games are designed with a player who is also the actor, and that player is spawned into the game as an actor when you connect to the game.

I have worked hard to refactor the code so that the concept of player and actor / character are now completely separate. Code relating to the player is kept to a minimum, in particular:

  • camera management
  • input management

All the other code is split off into an actor class. Actors can have lifespans totally indepedant of the player. A player is able to 'attach' themselves to an actor, the camera and input are then directed to that actor - who acts accordingly.

While I expect to add some code in the near future to handle spawning a new actor when the player enters game mode, for now, it does not.

When you first create a level, be sure to add a new 'Character' entity to that level. Name that entity 'Hero', and run a console command to attach the player camera and input to that character:

attach Hero

This will set up the player to attach to the 'Hero' character - something that is done automatically when the level is loaded.

You will not be able to enter game mode to test a level without at least one character in the level, and attaching the player to that character.

I will sort out something more convenient in time, as I get close to making a release of this code.

Known Issues

  • Loading the test_all map in game mode may not work until after you have loaded it in the Sandbox and exported the level.
  • Animations may not work correctly until after they have been loaded once in the Sandbox. They need to be compressed by the engine.
  • You may need to generate all the metadata again, particularly if you find that some assets are not loading, like the character definitions or the animations. If so, right click on Chrysalis.cryproject in the Windows Explorer and choose 'Generate / Repair metadata'.
  • Some warnings / errors on loading a level - safe to ignore
  • Switching models between first and third person modes doesn't presently work.
  • Interaction with entities is not working yet.
  • Keybinds are hard-coded and will remain so until a replacement for the keybind XML file is available.
  • Actor animations do not have any transitions as yet, and so rotations will look bad for a while.
  • Crouch animations are from the Motus Mobililty Basic / Pro pack, and as such I cannot distribute them. I have built a blendspace for movement while crouching, but it won't be functional unless you buy the appropriate pack of animations and import them into the project. Place them in the assets/objects/characters/human/male/animations/crouch/ folder, making sure to follow the general naming conventions.
  • The CryCamera asserts the first time you switch from first person view to third person view. It can be safely ignored for now.
  • Motus character does not have a physics proxy body yet. That will need to be added at some time to allow detection of hits to body parts.

Key Binds

  • WASD
  • mouse wheel to zoom in and out on the ActionRPG camera
  • left click to interact - code is in flux so it may do weird random things - beware, it's buggy so it can get locked up as well
  • F - interact - same as left mostly
  • C - crouch
  • H - crawl - no animations yet
  • V - kneel - no animations yet
  • B - sit - no animations yet
  • F M X - use, drop and toss items
  • 0 - 9 - action bar keys - these will activate actions for interactive items. There is no UI yet to show which things will happen if you press these keys...just try hitting 1-4 and see if anything happens.
  • J K L - inspection start, inspect, and inspection end. May not currently work.
  • PageUp, PageDn, Left, Right, Up, Down - to help debug the camera, these offset the camera by a small amount with each press.


If you want to contact me, you can often find me on the CRYENGINE community Slack channel under the name 'Ivan Hawkes'.

You can contact me directly by emailing

If you have any questions about the code, please take the time to try and find the answer within the code before contacting me for help. General questions about C++ or CRYENGINE should be directed to Google, Slack, the CRYENGINE Forums or online discussions groups for that topic.