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In this tutorial, you will be adding the "crouching" functionality to the player character that was built in the first part of this series (Creating a Player using C++).

You will be building upon the Player.cpp and Player.h files built in the Creating a Player using C++ tutorial



  • Visual Studio (2017, 2019 or 2020 work just fine) or any other IDE or code editor of your choice

Refining the Code

As C++ projects get larger, adding more functions, events and general code, you’ll find that the code can quickly become unorganized. Therefore, it’s common practice to periodically refine your code before adding new functions. Your Player.h and Player.cpp, while not incredibly long, could use some refinement and renaming in areas to make better sense of what we currently have. This will make it easier to locate bugs and communicate about your code with others.

Refining Player.h

  1. Open Game.sln, which can be found within the solution folder of your project's main directory, in Visual Studio (or your editor of choice).

    If you have not generated a solution yet, or are unsure about the location of the Game.sln file, follow the first steps of the Creating a Player using C++ tutorial.

  2. Open Player.h and Player.cpp.

  3. Move the enum class EPlayerState from its current position to the Public class within CPlayerComponent.

    EPlayerState Position

  4. Delete the m_movementSpeed and m_cameraDefaultPos member variables from the private class in Player.h,

    along with the corresponding AddMember lines:

    m_movementSpeed was replaced with walk and run speed in the sprinting tutorial

  5. Within the private class, add a new Vec3 member variable, m_cameraOffsetStanding

    Vec3 m_CameraOffsetStanding;

    cameraOffsetStanding variable

  6. Add the corresponding AddMember line for m_cameraOffsetStanding:

    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_cameraOffsetStanding, 'cams', "cameraoffsetstanding", "Camera Standing Offset", "Offset of the camera while standing", Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_STANDING);

    cameraOffsetStanding AddMember lines

    Previously, the values had to be modified every time you placed a player into your level. However, you can define the variables in advance within the code while still allowing values to be modified within CRYENGINE 5.7 LTS. To achieve this, you must define constant values for each member.
  7. Create a new private class at the bottom of Player.h.

  8. Within this private class, add the following values:

    static constexpr float DEFAULT_SPEED_WALKING = 3;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_SPEED_RUNNING = 6;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_JUMP_ENERGY = 3;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_CROUCHING = 2.2;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_STANDING = 3.0;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_ROTATION_SPEED = 0.002;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_ROT_LIMIT_PITCH_MIN = -0.9;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_ROT_LIMIT_PITCH_MAX = 1.15;
    static constexpr EPlayerState DEFAULT_STATE = EPlayerState::Walking;

    New private class with values

  9. This has defined the values for Schematyc, but now you must update the AddMember values to use these constant values. This is done by changing the end value of each AddMember line to the one defined above in the new private class. For example, change 

    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_walkSpeed, 'pws', "playerwalkspeed", "Player Walk Speed", "Sets the Player Walk Speed", ZERO);


    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_walkSpeed, 'pws', "playerwalkspeed", "Player Walk Speed", "Sets the Player Walk Speed", DEFAULT_SPEED_WALKING);

    Modified AddMember lines

  10. To finalize the process of setting up default variables within the header, replace the lines 

    CPlayerComponent() = default;
    virtual ~CPlayerComponent() = default;

    with the lines 

    virtual ~CPlayerComponent() override {};

    The updated public class

  11. Add clarity between the run-time variables and the component properties in the first private class by adding comments defining them.

    Any line can be turned into a comment (i.e., completely disregarded when the code is run) by adding // to the front of the line.

    Example comments

  12. Add the following new runtime variables to the current ones. 

    Quat m_currentYaw;
    float m_currentPitch;

    New Runtime Variables

    Since these runtime variables will be used to refine the camera in Player.cpp, you do not need an AddMember line or definitions for these with variables.

  13. Move the following functions into the protected class.

    void Reset();
    void InitializeInput();
  14. Under those functions, still within the protected class, add the following functions that will later be used to clarify code function in Player.cpp.

    void RecenterCollider();
    void UpdateMovement();
    void UpdateRotation();
    void UpdateCamera();

    Protected Class

  15. The updated Player.h should look like this:

    The refined Player.h file

Depending on your character and how you want to implement it, you can also remove any mention of the Animation Component. For a simple first-person capsule player, this component is not needed, but later in the process you may want to implement a model with advanced animations. This can always be added in again later but if you prefer a more refined and less bloated code, its removal will cause no issues.

Refining Player.cpp

With the header cleaned up, you can move on to refining Player.cpp by clearly defining your logic by name and implementing some of the new variables added to Player.h.

  1. Under namespace, create a definition and name for CPlayerComponent.

  2. Beneath that, add the variables declared in Player.h, followed by a function body (defined by a pair of curly brackets): 

    : m_pCameraComponent(nullptr)
    , m_pInputComponent(nullptr)
    , m_pCharacterController(nullptr)
    , m_currentYaw(IDENTITY)
    , m_currentPitch(0.f)
    , m_movementDelta(ZERO)
    , m_mouseDeltaRotation(ZERO)
    , m_currentPlayerState(DEFAULT_STATE)
    , m_cameraOffsetStanding(Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_STANDING))
    , m_rotationSpeed(DEFAULT_ROTATION_SPEED)
    , m_walkSpeed(DEFAULT_SPEED_WALKING)
    , m_jumpHeight(DEFAULT_JUMP_ENERGY)
    , m_rotationLimitsMinPitch(DEFAULT_ROT_LIMIT_PITCH_MIN)
    , m_rotationLimitsMaxPitch(DEFAULT_ROT_LIMIT_PITCH_MAX)

    CPlayerComponent Definition

  3. By modifying your Reset from being an Event (as it currently is) to a Function, you can call it within other section of the code.

    1. To do this, add the following after the CPlayerComponent::Initialize function:

      void CPlayerComponent::Reset()
  4. Copy the movement variables from EEvent::Reset and paste them into the body of CPlayerComponent::Reset.

    m_movementDelta = ZERO;
    m_mouseDeltaRotation = ZERO;

    Reset Function

  5. Add the following variables to CPlayerComponent::Reset.

    m_currentPlayerState = EPlayerState::Walking;
    m_currentYaw = Quat::CreateRotationZ(m_pEntity->GetWorldRotation().GetRotZ());
    m_currentPitch = 0.f;
  6. Add comments to further clarify the purpose of these components of CPlayerComponent::Reset.

    Reset Function with Comments

  7. Delete case Cry::Entity::EEvent::Reset and all its contents.

  8. You can utilize the new Reset by adding a line to call it within CPlayerComponent::Initialize():


    Reset Called in Initialize

  9. Currently, your code uses a cylinder as the shape of the player's physics collider. Implementing a capsule-shaped collider provides new benefits such as gliding up stairs and not become snagged on small physics proxies.
    To implement the cylinder shape, add a new definition named RecenterCollider after the Reset definition.

    void CPlayerComponent::RecenterCollider()

    Empty RecenterCollider

  10. Within RecenterCollider add the following if statement.

    static bool skip = false;
    if (skip)
    		skip = false;
    auto pCharacterController = m_pEntity->GetComponent<Cry::DefaultComponents::CCharacterControllerComponent>();
    if (pCharacterController == nullptr)
    const auto& physParams = m_pCharacterController->GetPhysicsParameters();
    float heightOffset = physParams.m_height * 0.5f;
    if (physParams.m_bCapsule)
    	     heightOffset = heightOffset * 0.5f + physParams.m_radius * 0.5f;

    Unlike a cylinder, the capsule is a cylinder plus a sphere, cut in half and placed on the top and bottom of the cylinder. This is why the calculation uses half height and radius.

  11. Beneath the if statements, add the following: 

    m_pCharacterController->SetTransformMatrix(Matrix34(IDENTITY, Vec3(0.f, 0.f, 0.005f + heightOffset)));
    skip = true;

    RecenterCollider Function

  12. Next, move to the GetEventMask section of Player.cpp. Add the following events: 

    Cry::Entity::EEvent::EditorPropertyChanged |

    GetEventMask Events

    You can place Event lines on their own line to better visualize the list. Each event must be followed by | apart from the last of the list

  13. Within EEvent::GameplayStarted, replace InitializeInput(); with Reset();

    case Cry::Entity::EEvent::GameplayStarted:
    	} break;

    Reset in GameplayStarted

  14. Within EEvent::Update, replace the existing logic with the functions you added to Player.h:

    case Cry::Entity::EEvent::Update:
    	} break;

    Updated EEvent::Update

  15. Add the following events after EEvent:Update:

    case Cry::Entity::EEvent::PhysicalTypeChanged:
    	} break;
    case Cry::Entity::EEvent::EditorPropertyChanged:

    Entire ProcessEvent

  16. Rename CPlayerComponent::PlayerMovement as CPlayerComponent::UpdateMovement

    void CPlayerComponent::UpdateMovement()
    	Vec3 velocity = Vec3(m_movementDelta.x, m_movementDelta.y, 0.0f);
    	float playerMoveSpeed = m_currentPlayerState == EPlayerState::Sprinting ? m_runSpeed : m_walkSpeed;
    	m_pCharacterController->SetVelocity(m_pEntity->GetWorldRotation() * velocity * playerMoveSpeed);
  17. Redefine the float playerMoveSpeed as a const float.

    Completed CPlayerComponent UpdateMovement

  18. Create a definition for UpdateRotation(); by using by adding the following below CPlayerComponent::UpdateMovement:

    void CPlayerComponent::UpdateRotation()

    This process can also be done by right-clicking on the void UpdateRotation(); line within Player.h, select Quick Actions and Refactorings, then select Create Definition of 'UpdateRotation' in Player.cpp.

  19. Within the new definition, add:

    m_currentYaw *= Quat::CreateRotationZ(m_mouseDeltaRotation.x * m_rotationSpeed);

    Completed CPlayerComponent UpdateRotation

  20. Create a definition for UpdateCamera(); and fill it with the following:

    void CPlayerComponent::UpdateCamera()
    		m_currentPitch = crymath::clamp(m_currentPitch + m_mouseDeltaRotation.y * m_rotationSpeed, m_rotationLimitsMinPitch, m_rotationLimitsMaxPitch);
    		Matrix34 finalCamMatrix;

    Completed CPlayerComponent UpdateCamera

  21. The refined Player.cpp file should look like this:

    Refined Player.cpp

Adding Crouching

Updating Player.h

  1. At the top of Player.h, add an include that will be used to determine if the character is currently under a physical object while crouching. 

    namespace primitives
    	struct capsule;

    Namespace Primitives

  2. Below the enum class EPlayerState, add an enumerator and name it EPlayerStance

    enum class EPlayerStance
  3. Underneath that, define and name the player stances: 


    The finalized EPlayerStance class

  4. Go to the private class within Player.h and add two new member variables under the //Runtime Variables section: 

    EPlayerStance m_currentStance;
    EPlayerStance m_desiredStance;
    Vec3 m_cameraEndOffset;

    EPlayerStance Runtime Variables

  5. Add the following member variables under the //Component Properties section:

    Vec3 m_cameraOffsetCrouching;    
    float m_capsuleHeightStanding;   
    float m_capsuleHeightCrouching;    
    float m_capsuleGroundOffset;      

    EPlayerStance Component Properties

  6. Add the following to the private class with the other static constexpr values:   

    static constexpr float DEFAULT_CAPSULE_HEIGHT_CROUCHING = 0.75;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_CAPSULE_HEIGHT_STANDING = 1.6;
    static constexpr float DEFAULT_CAPSULE_GROUND_OFFSET = 0.2;
    static constexpr EPlayerStance DEFAULT_STANCE = EPlayerStance::Standing;

    Static value declarations

  7. In the public class, create new AddMember lines for each of these new values:

    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_cameraOffsetCrouching, 'camc', "cameraoffsetcrouching", "Camera Crouching Offset", "Offset of the camera while crouching", Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_CROUCHING)); 
    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_cameraOffsetStanding, 'cams', "cameraoffsetstanding", "Camera Standing Offset", "Offset of the camera while standing", Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_STANDING));   
    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_capsuleHeightCrouching, 'capc', "capsuleheightcrouching", "Capsule Crouching Height", "Height of collision capsule while crouching", DEFAULT_CAPSULE_HEIGHT_CROUCHING);  
    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_capsuleHeightStanding, 'caps', "capsuleheightstanding", "Capsule Standing Height", "Height of collision capsule while standing", DEFAULT_CAPSULE_HEIGHT_STANDING);    
    desc.AddMember(&CPlayerComponent::m_capsuleGroundOffset, 'capo', "capsulegroundoffset", "Capsule Ground Offset", "Offset of the capsule from the entity floor", DEFAULT_CAPSULE_GROUND_OFFSET);

    Crouching AddMember lines

  8. Within the protected class, add the following functions:  

    void TryUpdateStance();  
    bool IsCapsuleIntersectingGeometry(const primitives::capsule& capsule) const;

    New Functions

  9. Finally, modify the existing UpdateCamera function by adding float frametime between the brackets. 

    void UpdateCamera(float frametime);

    Updated void UpdateCamera

Updating Player.cpp

  1. Within Player.cpp, add the following variables to the list of CPlayerComponent variables added during refinement:

    , m_currentStance(DEFAULT_STANCE)
    , m_desiredStance(DEFAULT_STANCE)
    , m_cameraEndOffset(Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_STANDING))
    , m_cameraOffsetStanding(Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_STANDING))
    , m_cameraOffsetCrouching(Vec3(0.f, 0.f, DEFAULT_CAMERA_HEIGHT_CROUCHING))
    , m_capsuleHeightStanding(DEFAULT_CAPSULE_HEIGHT_STANDING)
    , m_capsuleHeightCrouching(DEFAULT_CAPSULE_HEIGHT_CROUCHING)
    , m_capsuleGroundOffset(DEFAULT_CAPSULE_GROUND_OFFSET)

    Crouching variables

  2. Add the following variables to the player state section of the Reset function:

    m_currentStance = EPlayerStance::Standing; 
    m_desiredStance = m_currentStance;

    Player State Reset Variables

  3. Add the following to reset the camera position when a lerp is added later in this tutorial, and add a relevant description:

    m_cameraEndOffset = m_cameraOffsetStanding; 

    Lerp Reset

Adding an Input

Now you will need to define the main logic involved in having your player crouch, which will be controlled by the Left Ctrl key. This tutorial creates a crouch controlled by a hold-key, a key you press continually to activate the effect. Therefore, the code must check for both the key press, the key release, and if the character is already crouching. 

  1. Within void CPlayerComponent::InitializeInput() in Player.cpp, copy and paste an existing RegisterAction and BindAction line and modify it so that you have a unique eKI (LCtrl) and name for the crouch action: 

    m_pInputComponent->RegisterAction("player", "crouch", [this](int activationMode, float value){});
    m_pInputComponent->BindAction("player", "crouch", eAID_KeyboardMouse, eKI_LCtrl);

    Crouching Bind and Register Actions

  2. Between the curly brackets of the RegisterAction, start a new line to input your logic.

    m_pInputComponent->RegisterAction("player", "crouch", [this](int activationMode, float value)
  3. Add the following statement to set the crouch function: 

    if (activationMode == (int)eAAM_OnPress)
    		m_desiredStance = EPlayerStance::Crouching;
  4. Beneath the if statement, add the following else if statement to set the standing function.

    else if (activationMode == (int)eAAM_OnRelease)
    		m_desiredStance = EPlayerStance::Standing;
  5. The complete register/bind actions for the crouching should look like this:

    Crouch Register and Bind actions

Adding a Lerp

If you used the crouching logic as is, you would have a functional but jarring crouching motion, as pressing crouch in a game with this logic would cause the camera to immediately jump between positions. You can smooth out the camera transition with a lerp.

Lerping (short for Linear Interpolation) is the mathematical interpolation, or smoothing, between two values.

  1. At the top of the case Cry::Entity::EEvent::Update within Player.cpp, add the following calls:

    const float frametime = event.fParam[0];

    Crouching Calls

  2. Still within the EEvent::Update, add frametime to the brackets of UpdateCamera:


    UpdateCamera frametime

  3. Add float frametime to the brackets of the initial call for CPlayerComponent::UpdateCamera:

    void CPlayerComponent::UpdateCamera(float frametime)

    CPlayerComponent UpdateCamera

  4. Within CPlayerComponent::UpdateCamera, below the lines that modify the camera movement (added in a previous tutorial), add the following line to enable lerping:

    Vec3 currentCameraOffset = m_pCameraComponent->GetTransformMatrix().GetTranslation();
    currentCameraOffset = Vec3::CreateLerp(currentCameraOffset, m_cameraEndOffset, 10.0f * frametime); 

    Adding the Lerp

Adding a TryUpdateStance

Now it is time to add the crouching logic itself, within the scope of the TryUpdateStance member variable.

  1. As you did earlier in the tutorial, create a definition of TryUpdateStance right before the performance updates to Player.cpp.

    Add this definition right before the UpdateCamera/UpdateRotation/UpdateMovement lines added in steps 16, 18, and 20 of "Refining Player.cpp", so that our updates happen only after we have actually pressed the crouch key.

    The problem with adding crouching logic after our update is that if we hit the crouch key, the key press is detected on the frame and therefore the movement logic would happen one frame later. We want crouching to happen during the same frame as the update, so we add TryUpdateStance before the updates.

  2. Inside the curly brackets of the newly created TryUpdateStance definition in Player.cpp, add:

    if (m_desiredStance == m_currentStance)
    IPhysicalEntity* pPhysEnt = m_pEntity->GetPhysicalEntity();
    if (pPhysEnt == nullptr)
    const float radius = m_pCharacterController->GetPhysicsParameters().m_radius * 0.5f;
    float height = 0.f;
    Vec3 camOffset = ZERO;

    TryUpdateStance Setup

  3. Below this add the basic crouch logic:

    switch (m_desiredStance)
    		case EPlayerStance::Crouching:
    				height = m_capsuleHeightCrouching;
    				camOffset = m_cameraOffsetCrouching;
    			} break;
    		case EPlayerStance::Standing:
    				height = m_capsuleHeightStanding;
    				camOffset = m_cameraOffsetStanding;
    				primitives::capsule capsule;
    				capsule.axis.Set(0, 0, 1);
    = m_pEntity->GetWorldPos() + Vec3(0, 0, m_capsuleGroundOffset + radius + height * 0.5f);
    				capsule.r = radius;
                  	capsule.hh = height * 0.5f;
    				if (IsCapsuleIntersectingGeometry(capsule))

    The crouch switch logic

  4. To create the crouching motion, add the following to the end of TryUpdateStance (still within the curly brackets):

    pe_player_dimensions playerDimensions;
    playerDimensions.heightCollider = m_capsuleGroundOffset + radius + height * 0.5f; 
    playerDimensions.sizeCollider = Vec3(radius, radius, height * 0.5f);
    m_cameraEndOffset = camOffset;
    m_currentStance = m_desiredStance;

    Continued TryUpdateStance code

  5. The complete TryUpdateStance should look like this:

    The completed TryUpdateStance

Creating the PWI

While crouching under a physical object, you need a way for the entity to check and see if that object would obstruct the character when they attempt to stand. To perform this check, you can use a primitive world intersection (PWI) test. This will create a primitive capsule projection based on the same dimensions as the standing CharacterController which will detect intersections and prevent the player from standing, even if LCtrl has been released.

  1. Create a definition for bool CPlayerComponent, which you added to Player.h earlier in this tutorial.

  2. Add a line between the curly brackets of the new definition added to Player.cpp:

    bool CPlayerComponent::IsCapsuleIntersectingGeometry(const primitives::capsule& capsule) const

    Empty IsCapsuleIntersectingGeometry function

  3. In the space between the brackets, add:

    IPhysicalEntity* pPhysEnt = m_pEntity->GetPhysicalEntity();
    if (pPhysEnt == nullptr)
    return false;
    IPhysicalWorld::SPWIParams pwiParams;
    pwiParams.itype = capsule.type;
    pwiParams.pprim = &capsule;
    pwiParams.pSkipEnts = &pPhysEnt;
    pwiParams.nSkipEnts = 1;
    intersection_params intersectionParams;
    intersectionParams.bSweepTest = false;
    pwiParams.pip = &intersectionParams;
    const int contactCount = static_cast<int>(gEnv->pPhysicalWorld-   >PrimitiveWorldIntersection(pwiParams));
    return contactCount > 0;

    The Capsule Intersection test

  4. To finish everything off, press Ctrl + Shift + S to save all tabs, and Ctrl + Shift + B to build the completed solution.

Testing the Character

Once the solution is built, you can test your player character in the Sandbox Editor.

  1. Open the level you created in the Creating a Player using C++ tutorial and select the previously placed Player Entity.
  2. With the Player Entity selected, open the Properties panel and scroll down to the CPlayerComponent properties, where your defaults should now be pre-set.
  3. Play around with the values in the CPlayerComponent properties or redefine the default values in the code to find a camera and capsule height that best suits your game.

    You may also want to add a static object, such as a static mesh or designer box, suspended in the air, to test the collision mechanism.

  4. Press Ctrl + G and test out your character.


This concludes Part 4 of the Creating a Player using C++ tutorial. To learn more about C++ in CRYENGINE and/or other topics, please refer to the CRYENGINE V Manual

Video Tutorial

You can also follow this tutorial series in video form on our YouTube channel:

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