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The Source Engine is a 3D game engine developed by Valve Corporation. Its unique features include a large degree of modularity and flexibility, an artist-driven, shader-based renderer, accurate lip sync and facial expression technology, and a powerful, efficient and completely network-enabled physics system.

The Source engine was first shown to the world by being the power-horse behind the hugely anticipated Half-Life 2 which was released in late 2004. Since then the Source Engine has been upgraded with the release of such titles as Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Team Fortress 2 and the Left 4 Dead series to name a few.

Whilst it has been years since the release of the Source Engine they haven't yet unveiled a 'next-generation engine' as the Source engine is always updating and is just as relevant in the gaming world today if not more than when it debuted in 2004. It has been aided by the release of the free Source Development Kit (SDK) which include such features as HDR for developers to use in their projects. Hence the reasons stated we have yet to see 'Source Engine 2'.

On July 10th 2012, Valve released the 'Source Filmmaker' - a freeware client to allowed anyone to make movies inside the Source Engine. More information on the Source Filmmaker can be found here.

Below you can find a list of amazing features that the Source Engine boasts:

Renderer

  • Version 2.0 (and below) shaders, bump mapping, LOD on models and world
  • Author shaders with HLSL
  • Cube and environment mapping
  • Dynamic lights, vertex lighting and light maps, many light types including flickering, pulsing etc.
  • High-Dynamic Range lighting
  • Water with refraction and fresnel effects
  • Advanced particle system that can emit sprites or models
  • Projected shadows allow for a large number of characters per scene
  • Occluder entities for visibility blocking
  • Indoor/Outdoor environments
  • Deformable terrain
  • 3D skyboxes extend the horizon and add parallax on distant objects
  • Dynamically rendered organics (grass, trees etc)
  • Subdivision surfaces, diffuse & specular bump maps
  • Real-time radiosity lighting
  • Effects include but are not limited to: particles, beams, volumetric smoke, sparks, blood, environmental effects like fog and rain
  • Scalability
  • Dx6-Dx9 hardware supported

Materials System

  • Instead of traditional textures, Source defines sets of materials that specify what the object is made from and the texture used for that object. A material specifies how an object will fracture when broken, what it will sound like when broken or dragged across another surface, and what that object’s mass and buoyancy are. This system is much more flexible than other texture only based systems.
  • Materials can interact with objects or NPCs such as mud or ice for vehicles to slide/lose traction on.

Multiplayer Network Code

  • Time and gamer tested by millions of gamers around the world
  • Support for both LAN based multiplayer and Internet based multiplayer games
  • Prediction analysis for interpolating collision/hit detection
  • Optimizations for high-latency, high-packet loss 56k connections

Advanced Characters

  • Detailed and believable characters
  • Realistic eyes
  • Focus on player/object, not simply parallel views
  • Proper eye “bulge” for realistic eye reflections
  • Simulated musculature provides outstanding emotions, speech and body language
  • Language independent speech, characters can naturally speak in many languages
  • Skeletal/bone system for animation
  • Layered animation system can synthesize complex animations out of several pieces
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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Devblog #45

About INFRA with 3 comments by |Yucca| on Dec 19th, 2014

Last moments to vote in IndieDB Indie of the Year competition. Let's see if we can make it to the top 10. If you haven't voted for INFRA yet, it's time to do it now! We would really appreciate that.

This week we have an interesting thing to share with you. The player character! You won't see yourself that much ingame though, apart from the occasional mirrors and such, but it's always nice to know what you look like. No name or other information revealed yet, there's another time for that.

Shaders and textures are work in progress, no need to worry about him looking like plastic.

It wouldn't be an update for INFRA without screenshots of a yet another setting, so here's some of a map I've been working on a past few weeks:

City Streets

City Streets

Taking into account the things happening around, it's a miracle there's still power in this part of the city. Guess there's some things that have been taken care of after all.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 327)
Cheeky_Bi_Agnostic
Cheeky_Bi_Agnostic Jan 30 2015, 6:17am says:

One of my favourite engines to work with.

+1 vote     reply to comment
abdullahsaleh16
abdullahsaleh16 Feb 18 2015, 10:20am replied:

Sadly, the tools are a bit out-dated compaired to other commercial engines.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Grevik
Grevik Feb 22 2015, 1:05am replied:

How is it out of date and how is it sad? you make no sense.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bassethound
Bassethound Jan 25 2015, 9:06pm says:

Does anybody know how to download source?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Feb 15 2015, 9:01pm replied:

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

FoxyTheRunnerFox™
FoxyTheRunnerFox™ Jan 23 2015, 11:54am says:

Half-Life 2- Black Mesa East Eli loving his daughter. '-'

+1 vote     reply to comment
TominatorGaming
TominatorGaming Jan 17 2015, 3:02am says:

Lets say I wanted to make a free game that I would put on the internet, would I be allowed to use this engine for it if I'm not making money?

+1 vote     reply to comment
AndieRTaylor
AndieRTaylor Jan 22 2015, 6:53pm replied:

No money made from it, no license needed.

+1 vote     reply to comment
PortalPlayerSteam
PortalPlayerSteam Aug 23 2014, 3:05pm says:

Can't Wait For Source 2 Engine For Left 4 Dead 3, Half Life 3, And Lots More!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest May 2 2014, 1:22am says:

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Crypt May 28 2014, 5:42pm replied:

If you want to make a commercial game you need to purchase a commercial license.

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Platforms
Windows, PS3, X360, XBOX
Company
Valve
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Official Page
Valvesoftware.com
Licence
Commercial
Release Date
Released Oct 31, 2004
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Highest Rated (16 agree) 10/10

Even tho it is aging and it is beginning to show its weakness comparred to other more modern engines, it is still my most preferred engine and the only one I was able to get into succesfully. And with all of the updates Valve is giving it, I think the source engine will be with us for a long time. I wouldn't really recommend this for a commerical product, just because there are so many more modern engines out there that will be a lot easier in the long run (like UDK), but all of the commercial games…

Nov 16 2010, 3:48pm by Half_Kill

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