Crytek, creator of the CryEngine games engine, has released its Renderdoc graphics debugger under a permissive open-source licence, allowing the community to freely use and modify the tool as they see fit.

Crytek released Renderdoc, which allows developers to capture and replay frames from any Direct3D 11.0 and 11.1 application and analyse API usage, back in February this year. Although free to download and use, the software was proprietary with the source code being locked behind Crytek's internal development system. Since then, Crytek claims to have seen considerable uptake of the tool - despite the absence of support for OpenGL debugging, which it promises will be added in the future - and has accordingly made the decision to turn Renderdoc into a fully open-source project.

The entire source tree for the tool has now been uploaded to the GitHub collaborative coding site, under the permissive MIT Licence. Users are free to fork the tree, make their own modifications and even submit pull requests to see their changes and improvements rolled into the main source tree. Crytek will still maintain the official Renderdoc port, but has confirmed that it will be accepting pull requests from the community.

With the promise of ports to non-Windows platforms and the OpenGL API in the future, the company appears to have struck a major blow in the fight to push its technologies to the forefront of third-party game development.