C4 Engine

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Licensing Information

The C4 Engine is licensed as four different editions:

The following table compares the general aspects of all four editions, and a list of frequently asked questions follows. Click on any edition for more detailed information.

Price $250
per user
per user
per user
site license
Free update period 1 Year Forever Forever Forever
External funding limit
Maximum amount of funding received from external sources to be eligible.
$99,999 $99,999 No limit Zero
Supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
Every edition supports all three desktop platforms.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
All engine features included
Every edition has the same engine features.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
All editors and tools included
Every edition includes the same set of tools.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Full source code included
Source code for engine, tools, and demo game.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Plugin development supported
Whether you are able to create plugins for the engine.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Extra support forum and wiki access
Access to licensed user forums and wiki editing privileges.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can sell a C4-based product
Whether you are allowed to sell games you’ve made with C4.
Yes Yes Yes  
Premium support provided
Includes priority support incidents and feature requests.
Additional PS4/PS3 license available
Access to PlayStation code first requires a license from Sony.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to many of the general questions we receive. Additional questions of a more technical nature are answered in the wiki FAQ article.

What versions of Windows are supported?

The C4 Engine runs under Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Does the C4 Engine work on the Mac?

Yes, the C4 Engine runs on the Mac, and Mac support is included at no additional cost. Mac OS X 10.7 or later is required.

Does the C4 Engine work on Linux?

Yes, the C4 Engine also runs on Linux, and it’s included at no additional cost.

What are the minimum graphics hardware requirements of the C4 Engine?

The C4 Engine runs on graphics processors from Nvidia and AMD that meet certain functionality requirements. For Nvidia hardware, a GeForce 8x00 or higher is required. For AMD hardware, a Radeon HD 2600 or higher is required. Note that these graphics cards are quite old, and newer cards will provide a much better experience.

Does the C4 Engine run on Intel GPUs?

Yes, the C4 Engine runs on Ivy Bridge and later GPUs from Intel. It's important that the latest drivers be installed first.

How many polygons can the C4 Engine render per frame?

There are no internal limits to the size of a scene, but the number of polygons rendered is rarely a limiting factor when it comes to an engine’s performance. Many factors influence the rendering speed, and these include the complexity of the materials used, the number of shadows drawn and their types, whether various kinds of special effects are enabled, and how heavy the load on the physics simulation is. There aren’t any specific numerical limits for any of these that can be stated. As with any engine, speed will generally be determined by how well levels are designed.

What do I need to build the C4 Engine source on Windows?

The C4 Engine ships with project files for Visual Studio 2012. The Express Edition of Visual Studio can be obtained for free from Microsoft.

What do I need to build the C4 Engine source on the Mac?

The C4 Engine ships with project files Xcode 4, which can be obtained for free from Apple.

What do I need to build the C4 Engine source on Linux?

The C4 Engine ships generic makefiles that can be used to build the engine from the command line.

Is there an evaluation version of the C4 Engine?

Yes, the standard evaluation package is included with the demo available on our download page. It includes all of the tools that ship with C4.

Do I need the Professional Edition?

You only need a Professional Edition license if you have received at least $100,000 in funding from an external source such as a publisher or Kickstarter campaign.

Can I upgrade the edition that I’m using for the difference in price?

Yes, you can start with the Standard Edition (or Subscription Edition) and later upgrade to the Professional Edition for the difference in cost. Your account page will have a link where you can upgrade.

Does everyone on my team need a license?

Yes, each person on your team needs to be a licensed user of C4 regardless of their job function. Artists, level designers, etc., who don’t need access to the source code still need to have a license (or be assigned to a multi-user license).

If I have a multi-user license for the Standard Edition, can I just upgrade one user to the Professional Edition?

No, all users under the same license must be using the same edition of the engine.

For how long do I get updates after licensing the C4 Engine?

The Standard Edition and Professional Edition of the C4 Engine include all future updates, forever, at no additional cost. The Subscription Edition includes updates for one year, but you can still use the latest version that you have forever.

Is there a student version of the C4 Engine?

At this time, we do not offer an educational license for individual students. Students should purchase the Standard Edition or Subscription Edition. If you are a faculty member at a university, we offer an Academic Edition (site license) for instructional purposes.

Is the C4 Engine open source?

No. All licensees are required to keep the C4 Engine source code confidential. You may modify the source code for use in your own products as much as you want, but you may not redistribute your modifications to anyone else.