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Old 07-11-19, 07:51   #1
Halston
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Default Release the Foundation Engine SDK for the trilogy

So, I've been thinking... With the reboot trilogy now drawn to a close, why not release the Foundation engine's SDK tools? The Tomb Raider Level Editor from the PS1-era is still alive and kicking, and very strongly, too. UGC (user-generated content) platforms are a hugeee selling point, and allow players to make their own content for years to come. It's a common practice for many AAA game developers. Franchises like Call of Duty, Far Cry, LittleBigPlanet, Dreams, Left 4 Dead, Portal 1/2, Half-Life and (all other valve games), Grand Theft Auto V, and many more all have either in-game editors, released SDK tools used to make the game itself, or in some cases, both.

I assume it could be multiple years before we see an announcement for the next Tomb Raider title. It wouldn't take much extra effort for them to close the reboot by releasing a slightly modified version of their engine/editing tools. Making an in-game editor themselves would be a huge feat and lots of work, and it's clear they aren't investing any more time or money into Shadow or the reboot games, so all they'd have to do is polish and package the SDK used for Shadow, Rise, and TR13.

Crystal Dynamics have made interviews about how the Foundation engine is one of the top ones they've seen out there, and that it's easy to use and is a "what you see is what you get" type of editor. It's user-friendly and doesn't require as much in-house, professional knowledge to use as most other engines would. I've seen the screenshots and the presentation from Crystal back when TR13 launched, and it's only improved since. Crystal even mentioned in that presentation that the new editor was designed with the user in mind and that they may one day release it. Well, we can clearly see that never happened and I understand why.

Releasing the engine before the trilogy is over would be financial suicide for the games, but now that they're over why shouldn't we have them when other games have given theirs out? Imagine the new content that would come from the community getting their hands on it. Amazing new tombs, crypts, worlds, stories, outfits, characters, and more. We could make our own Croft Manor with reused assets from the flashback scene and The Nightmare DLC. This is the longest, most far-fetched idea (that I've brought up twice before), but it's something I can see really working in their favor, and being the ultimate sendoff to the reboot trilogy and a great gift of support for the community. It's about time the 20-year-old TRLE got upgraded.
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Last edited by Halston; 07-11-19 at 07:58.
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Old 07-11-19, 07:54   #2
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This has been a topic since LAU. There is no way they are going to release their tools tbh, which is a huge shame.
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Old 07-11-19, 07:57   #3
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This has been a topic since LAU. There is no way they are going to release their tools tbh, which is a huge shame.
It's a huge shame, considering that this new engine was said to be built to be compatible with public release one day, and so that "anyone could use it". I should have known they would change their minds, but with the reboot now over, they don't have to worry about community content competing with theirs, and they can still limit the editor in any way they want to, which is fine with me as long as we get it. I'd be happy with just creating levels.
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Old 07-11-19, 07:59   #4
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Waiting for someone to release the repacker tools that's all we need, don't expect em or cd to do anything, they didn't even bother to fix the day 1 bugs.
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Old 07-11-19, 08:07   #5
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Waiting for someone to release the repacker tools that's all we need, don't expect em or cd to do anything, they didn't even bother to fix the day 1 bugs.
Repacker is good for editing game files like swapping models and textures I assume? Unfortunately, we'd need the full editor to be able to make any kind of actual levels with logic and decent design. I have played so many UGC games, and run a UGC community, and Tomb Raider is literally the ideal candidate.

If the game came with a "Crypt Maker" or "Tomb Editor" then it would have added HEAPS of replayability value and fan service. It's clear that Eidos doesn't care to do things themselves, so leave it to the community lol.
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Old 07-11-19, 08:11   #6
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Didn't a CD Dev once said that they were going to consider releasing a SDK tool kit back in 2013? Or something like that.
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Old 07-11-19, 08:15   #7
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Didn't a CD Dev once said that they were going to consider releasing a SDK tool kit back in 2013? Or something like that.
BOI... that's what I just said in the post and a reply
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Old 07-11-19, 08:16   #8
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I think the biggest problem is (upon static analysis of Rise of the Tomb Raider Debug Version). Most of the game data serialisation (binary to class data) of the DRM sections is done based on classes. Meaning unless we know what 99% of the classes hold a custom editor is not possible to build and many other faculties such as modding is not really possible to dynamic extents (such as creating new levels).

The engine consists of thousands and thousands of classes. If you ask me, they should release the tools to programmers only who can make new tools based off the existing ones rather than releasing internal tools to the public which is never going to happen. Alternatively, they could have internal engine programmers co-operate with community programmers and assist them in developing new tools or finish existing ones.

Cheers.
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Old 07-11-19, 08:18   #9
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BOI... that's what I just said in the post and a reply
Ooops, I missed it sorry
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Old 07-11-19, 08:23   #10
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Originally Posted by Gh0stBlade View Post
I think the biggest problem is (upon static analysis of Rise of the Tomb Raider Debug Version). Most of the game data serialisation (binary to class data) of the DRM sections is done based on classes. Meaning unless we know what 99% of the classes hold a custom editor is not possible to build and many other faculties such as modding is not really possible to dynamic extents (such as creating new levels).

The engine consists of thousands and thousands of classes. If you ask me, they should release the tools to programmers only who can make new tools based off the existing ones rather than releasing internal tools to the public which is never going to happen. Alternatively, they could have internal engine programmers co-operate with community programmers and assist them in developing new tools or finish existing ones.

Cheers.
Someone mentioned a repacker for modding the game, but I was referring to releasing the actual tools used to build the game itself. They can remove anything that they feel uncomfortable giving out, like in-house specific options. The new engine's SDK was built for user-friendly design and for possible public release (as stated by Crystal Dynamics around 2013). It's a shame that it never happened, and I doubt they'd put literally any extra time into making that happen and maintaining it post-release. Wishful thinking, though.
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