C4 Engine

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Skeletons in C4 Engine
Skeletons in the C4 Engine demo.

Licensing Information

Comparison of Standard and Professional Editions

The table below shows the differences between the Standad Edition and the Professional Edition.

C4 Engine for Desktop Platforms
 • Works with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Standard Edition Professional Edition
Price per user $300 $800
Free update period
• Access to every new version of the engine.
Forever Forever
Maximum external funding
• Funds from publishers, crowdsourcing, or investors.
US $100,000 No Limit
Includes all engine features
• The Standard Edition does not have any disabled features.
Yes Yes
Includes full source code
• Source code for engine, tools, and demo game.
Yes Yes
Includes all editors and tools
• Every edition includes the same set of tools.
Yes Yes
Extra support forum and wiki access
• Access to licensed user forums and wiki editing privileges.
Yes Yes
Includes access to beta releases Yes Yes
Includes access to early development releases and alpha builds   Yes
Includes premium support
• Two free support incidents, which can also be used for small feature requests.
Includes digital copy of The Beginner’s Guide to the C4 Engine
Includes C4 Engine architecture wall poster
• High-quality 18×24 color poster mailed to you in a tube.
Includes free copy of The 31st
• Also includes free copies of all future games made by Terathon Software.
Exact licensing terms Standard License Agreement Professional License Agreement
C4 Engine for Mobile Platforms
 • Pre-release available for iOS.
Standard Edition Professional Edition
Additional price per user $300 $300
Includes future support for other mobile platforms Yes Yes

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.

How can I evaluate the C4 Engine? Can I get the source code so I can make a test game?

The standard evaluation package is included with the demo available on our download page. It includes all of the editing tools that ship with the C4 Engine. For obvious reasons, we cannot provide an evaluation that includes source code.

What versions of Windows are supported?

The C4 Engine runs under Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

What versions of Mac OS X are supported?

The C4 Engine runs under Mac OS X 10.9 and later.

Does the C4 Engine run on Linux?

Yes, the C4 Engine runs on Linux, and Linux support is included at no additional cost.

How do I get the C4 Engine for the PS4?

First, become a licensed developer with Sony. This will require that you have formed a legal corporation of some kind. Once this is all handled, contact us for information about studio-wide PS4 licensing.

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 because the older drivers contain many severe bugs.

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 2013, which 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 6, which can be obtained for free from Apple.

Do I need a professional license?

You only need a professional license if you are developing for consoles or you have received at least $100,000 in funding from an external source (such as a publisher or Kickstarter campaign).

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).

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

Once you have a license, you receive all future updates at no additional cost, forever.

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.