Metro Exodus SDK Released, Next Metro Influenced by Ukrainian Creators’ War Experiences

Nathan Birch
Metro Exodus Sales

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a profound effect on the country’s burgeoning video game development community, with few more deeply affected than Metro franchise creators 4A Games. While the company is now officially headquartered in Malta, many of the studio’s employees remain in Kyiv or elsewhere in Ukraine. In a new blog post, 4A provides details of the daily hardships and stress the team faces as they continue to try to operate within a warzone. Despite the challenges, work still continues on 4A Games’ next projects, including a new Metro title.

“For our Kyiv studio and Ukraine-based personnel, it’s now being made under the most extraordinary and horrifying of circumstances. Some days start with our morning stand-ups and a coffee. But some start with air-raid sirens and missile strikes. Some days we take the Metro to work but other days we’re forced to shelter in it. Each day we try and live our lives with as much normality as we can muster, and yet we’re dealing with power and water cuts, families who need re-locating, friends and colleagues volunteering or being called to the front. Our “new” normal… it isn’t normal, by any stretch of imagination. It’s life during wartime, and it inevitably shapes the games we make.”

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While the circumstances surrounding the development of the next Metro game are unfortunate, 4A Games promises they’re using the inspiration to make a stronger, better game.

“The next Metro game is also changing for the better. And not simply because of the circumstances we find ourselves in. We’ve never hidden the fact that the Metro series has always carried a strong political and anti-war message. Yes, we’ve always wanted to entertain and immerse you in our post-apocalyptic world but there’s also been a bigger story to tell. And the war in Ukraine has made us re-think what kind of story the next Metro should be about. All the themes of Metro – conflict, power, politics, tyranny, repression – are now part of our daily-life experiences. So, we’re embracing them and weaving them into the game with a renewed purpose.”

Of course, given the situation in Ukraine, it may be some time before the next Metro arrives. In the meantime, 4A Games is releasing the Metro Exodus software development kit for free to anybody who owns the game on PC. These aren’t mere “mod tools,” but rather the full editor 4A used to make the game. Here are some of the features included…

  • Scene Editor - The Scene Editor is the tool you use while working on a level. It is mainly used for adding and manipulating all kinds of objects, from NPCs and weapons to patrol points, restrictors, and proxies.
  • Model Editor/Viewer - The Model Editor allows you to change collision properties, textures, materials, add locators and texture presets, edit animation tags and other animation properties.
  • Navigation - The Navigation Mode allows you to create/edit the navigation mesh (aka: AI map) of the level. This is required for the AI (enemies, friends, etc.) to move through the level.
  • Particles - The Particles Mode allows you to create/edit particles in the game.
  • Terrain Tool - The Terrain Tool allows you to edit terrain for your level. Valleys, mountains, caves, uneven or sloped ground, etc. You can easily modify both shape and appearance by using a range of tools.
  • Weather Editor - The Weather Editor allows you to create weather presets to use within weather volumes. There are several options to adjust: Skybox, Sun, Clouds to Post Process, Snow/Water Levels, etc. You can create different types of weather, Day/Night Cycles, or Modifiers.
  • Camera Track Editor - The Track Editor is used for creating cutscenes, camera spans, camera shakes, and screen effects.
  • Visual Script - The VS (Visual Script) Editor allows scripting complex gameplay features and AI behavior without writing a single line of code. The main advantages of visual scripts include their simplicity and clear visual feedback to the user. Their logic is founded upon so-called events which are produced in the scripts by specific triggers, and further processing of these events.

Metro Exodus is available on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5, although obviously, the mod tools are only available on PC.

We here at Wccftech hope for a resolution to the conflict and the safety of all Ukrainian citizens. If you wish to donate to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, head to this page.

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