CD Projekt Red has announced the opening of the REDkit public beta - allowing fans of The Witcher 2 to create their own games using the engine and a set of powerful tools.
A simplified software development kit (SDK) designed for use by modders, REDkit is both a gift to the community and a clever way for CD Projekt Red to drive sales of its 2011 hit The Witcher 2
even as it works on its successor
. Designed to be simple to use, the REDkit software includes methods for users to create non-linear adventures featuring their own characters, custom-made objects and even specially created landscapes - with CD Projekt claiming it's possible to plant a realistic forest, driven by the SpeedTree foliage system, in just a handful of clicks.
While the SDK itself is free, the REDkit tool requires a PC version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings patched to version 3.3. Those who wish simply to play mods created by others - one of which, Lykaon
, is already available thanks to a closed beta process - need only update the game using REDkit Gamers' Edition, which upgrades the game to version 3.4. Steam users, meanwhile, will find this done automatically if the game is installed from their Steam Library.
While the REDkit Modders' Edition requires registration with the site, the software itself is free - as is a mesh importer that allows users to bring objects created in 3DS Max 2009 and 3DS Max 2013 into the game. Sadly, it does come at a cost: those with a Steam copy of the game will find all Steam functionality broken when the Modders' Edition is installed - leaving CD Projekt recommended that Steam gamers wait for the official release of the REDkit Modders' Edition.
Mods created using the software can be shared through CD Projekt's official website
, which promises to prolong the life of the role-playing title quite considerably - and while the community will have some catching up to do in order to compete with the wealth of mods available for Skyrim, the tools provided by CD Projekt will certainly help them on their way.
The REDkit Beta can be downloaded from the official site
now, while the below video from CD Projekt Red demonstrates its capabilities.