.:Xash3D Engine:.

Custom Gold Source Engine build from a scratch

Unkle Mike (aka G-Cont, aka Дядя Миша) - main developer
HLFX.ru & CS-Mapping.com.ua forum members - help, support, testing

CortexReaver, nemyax - English translation

Xash3D Engine has been tested for compatibility with many of Gold Source games and MODs. At this moment it should provide you an ability to successfully complete almost any existing singleplayer Half-Life mod without compatibility problems. Some mods can be not totally compatible, if they are too hardly modified or using some very specific or unstable features of Gold Source engine. Also multiplayer part of Xash3D engine is not fully completed yet because of lack of some important information and hidden source codes of Gold Source engine. So in most cases multiplayer mods should work good in a local or a LAN game, but some features can not work or work not exactly as under Gold Source engine. Check a detailed list of tested mods and a list of tested maps in "Features" section. A full list of Xash3D Engine features is also there, plus a guide on how to get work Half-Life and its' mods under Xash3D (in English and in Russian).


Since Xash3D is a Half-Life compatible engine, then all the innovations below will be given in comparsion with GoldSrc engine.

Basic limits.

Xash3D limits are not just higher than Half-Life ones, they also can be tuned in gameinfo.txt file.
- MAX_EDICTS is 600 - 4096 (versus 900 in Half-Life).
- MAX_TEMPENTS is 300 - 2048 (vs. 500).
- MAX_PARTICLES is 1024 - 8192 (vs. 4096).
- MAX_BEAMS is 64 - 512 (vs. 64)
Careful limits reduction can save RAM in mods which don't need many edicts. Also MAX_EDICTS parameter is broadcasted from server during a multiplayer session, it adjusts clients to new conditions automatically.

Other limits.

These limits are engine-hardcoded and can not be tuned by user.
- MAX_VISIBLE_PACKET is 512 entities (256 in Half-Life).
- MAX_MODELS is 2048 unique models (including sprites and bmodels)
- MAX_SOUNDS is 2048
- MAX_SENTENCES is 2048 (1534 in Half-Life)
- MAX_USER_MESSAGES is 191 (128 in WON Half-Life)
- MAX_TEXTURES is 4096 (2048 of them can be used for VGUI)
- MAX_MESSAGES is 2048 (1024 in Half-Life) (quantity of messages in titles.txt)
- Maximum size for indexed textures is 4096х4096 (vs. 512х512 in Half-Life)
- Maximum size for true-color textures is 4096x4096.

Limits for bsp-models.

- MAX_MAP_MODELS 1024 (256 in half-life)
- MAX_MAP_LEAFS 32767 (8192 in half-life)
Note: other BSP-model limits are specified by compiler tools and don't depend on the engine.

Realisitic lighting values on server.

Xash3D allows to get more accurate value of current lighting level, because it considers lightstyles and their current values. The player's lighting is taken directly from renderer and considers all lighting types, including entity light and dynamic light.

Improved decal save.

Half-Life supports decal save only on world surfaces and very rare on doors, elevators and other moving models. Xash3D saves decals on every brush model. Decal transition between levels is also maintained (implemented in Half-Life, but doesn't really work).

Entity patch technology support.

This technology allows to load entities from external .ent script file. This script can be produced by the external ripent.exe application or by engine's facilities by typing the entpatch command. If the command is entered when a map is loaded, a new entity patch will be created.

Various map formats support.

Xash3D supports following BSP-map formats: Quake 1, Half-Life, Half-Life Blue Shift. Besides, Quake 1 external bmodels are supported (medikit and ammo models). Note: it is recommended to play Quake 1 maps in Deathmatch Classic mod to prevent stuckness of player because of the difference between hull's sizes of Half-Life and Quake.

Hot resource precaching support.

Xash3D allows to precache models "on the fly" that helps to avoid nasty PF_PRECACHE_ERROR. Also Xash3D doesn't crash if a model or sound wasn't found.

Reliable changelevel.

Before switching to a next map Xash3D will analyze its state (without unloading the current map) and decides whether correct changelevel procedure is possible. In case of any error in a next map the engine will signal about it in the developer's console, and the changelevel will be aborted. The error message also contains troubleshoot tips that can make level designer's life easier, because such errors are most difficult to diagnose and fix.

Built-in credits.

To display credits and exit the game after, run the pfnEndSection command with oem_end_credits argument. The credits code is placed in menu.dll and can be changed by user at his discretion.

MOVETYPE_PUSH physics is more stable.

Xash3D entities behave more stable on moving platforms and don't shift away on sharp turns.

New MOVETYPE_COMPOUND physics type.

It allows to tie one entity to another, taking into account movement and rotation of the former entity. You can see an example in SDK - a crossbow bolt that correctly attaches itself to func_pushable, func_rotating, func_tracktrain and other brush models.

Console autocomplete support.

Xash3D has a powerful console autocomplete system that allows not just print command lists, but also describe all of them during the search. For more comfort you can type "makehelp" in the console, and the engine will generate help.txt that contains the list of all commands and variables with short descriptions. Map, movie, background track, cfg script, save, weapon (give command), sound (play command), game directory names input is also assisted by the autocomplete feature.

No parent directory restriction.

Most Quake engines are restricted to the parent directory with specific name, which doesn't matter when you make mod, but very uncomfortable when you make total game conversion and therefore replace the parent directory. Xash3D doesn't restricted to specific folder, and the parent directory is defined by the launcher. This way you can make your own game that doesn't depend on Half-Life.

Dedicated server has the autocomplete feature now, your command history can be saved.

Dedicated server has the autocomplete feature now, your command history can be saved.

Background maps support.

Background map is a map to be displayed as a menu background. You could see them in Half-Life 2. Xash has a simplier background map system - it doesn't depend on unlocked chapters (because original Half-Life has no chapters system) and it chooses the background map from the list. This list file must be named as chapterbackgrounds.txt and placed in scripts directory (if you don't have such directory, then just make it). Every list's entry is separated by new line. You can use any playable map as the background, but better don't use maps where player starts in a moving train, because it won't look good.

Lightstyle interpolation.

Turned off by default. Doesn't work with short sequences like switching on and off the light. It smooths light animation very well on long slow sequences like SlowStrobe or SlowPulse. Note: FPS rate may suffer from this option.

luma glowing textures support (Quake-style).

You can see such textures in original quake maps as glowing fields on a texture. Because this feature is caused by the Quake pallet's special features, the engine enables it for textures that have Quake or Quake2 pallet. This pallet is saved well after the simple conversion of wad2 files to wad3.

Improved model and sprite lighting.

Improved model lighting includes per-bone lighting from static and dynamic light sources, and it also includes correct model lighting on every stage of long sequence execution, when model goes far enough from its real location. The best example is forklift.mdl Sprite lighting is a correct lighting of all sprites that is rendered in additive mode and had "alphtest" during the compilation. For example, blood decals uses the world lighting and doesn't glow in darkness. Both sprites and models don't just use the world lighting, but also consider lighting of the closest brush model if there is one.

Player model display in the menu.

Instead of a usual player image you can see his 3D model in the menu and track all changes right on-the-spot.

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Hi there! The long awaited fresh build of Xash3D Engine is released! As always there are a lot of different things which have been fixed / improved / implemented. It marked as 'experimental', but don't worry, it works fine. Many of important known bugs have been wiped out, so it's good for the updating of your current installation (except you want to try this build on some of specific Xash3D projects like XashXT, Paranoia 2 or Quake Remake, because they depend on some of revised features and should be updated later for full compatibility). It's experimental in the most part because some of features are really new and probably may be reworked later. Below is the list of changes since the previous public build 3366.

Xash3D v0.98 build 3598 changelog:

Engine: implementation of generic extension of BSP file format. Added some extra lumps for mods to make new features like terrains, improved lighting etc.
Engine: PVS system rewritten for variable PVS radius that can be used as FAT PVS or FAT PHS without recalculating of vis-array
Engine: started to implement a new global feature which is called HOST_FIXED_FRAMERATE to provide constant FPS for client and server (Xash-based mods only)
Engine: fixed wad parsing from "wad" string in worldspawn settings (was broken in previous version)
Engine: fixed crash/hanging while trying to play AVI-file if codec is not installed
Engine: sorted commands and cvars in alphabethical order. Included scripting functions from Xash3D FWGS

Render: some unused functions from RenderAPI were replaced with useful functions. Backward compatibility stays keep on.
Render: added few functions in RenderAPI for Xash3D FWGS by a1batross request
Render: got a support for loading of multi-layered textures (for potential landscape implemenantion)
Render: rewritten waves on water surfaces, uses table sin, providing better performance and look close to GoldSrc
Render: completely rewritten texture loader, obsolete code removed, added support for multi-layered textures and float textures, fixed errors
Render: now "gl_texturemode" is obsolete and removed. Use "gl_texture_nearest" cvar instead
Render: improved double-cloud layered sky for Quake. Reduced parallax distorsion
Render: OpenGL loader completely rewritten. Removed obsolete extensions, fixed some errors
Render: moved lightstyle animation from render frame loop to client frame loop (to prevent the execution of lightstyle animation on multipass viewing)

Sound: changed DSP code to get DSP effects more like in original GoldSrc
Sound: rewritten sound PHS code. Now it can be useful
Sound: first implenantion of raw-channels manager (in the future this will be used for a custom video playing in Xash-based mods and voice stream)
Sound: sentence sounds now can be freed after playing (and save some memory)

Server: allowed to write map lums on a server to store userdata (physic collision, ai nodegraph as example). Works with extended BSP format only
Server: physic interface was updated and expanded to get more control over player and entities simulation
Server: ignore sounds from pmove code when prediction is enabled
Server: changed userinfo handling, fixed information send to all the clients
Server: fixed player animtion timings
Server: added cl_msglevel cvar to filter up unneeded messages
Server: restart server properly if circular buffer pointer was exceeded 32-bit limit value
Server: fixed player think timings

Client: added two functions into engine interface for custom interpolation on the client
Client: demo protocol has been changed to 2 (now allows comments in demo's header)
Client: demo's playback now takes into account the interpolation of client view angles
Client: fixed some issues on demo's playback
Client: fixed broken parametric entities (rockets in TFC as example) in multiplayer
Client: implementation of GoldSrc-like net graph
Client: fixed ugly "un-duck" effect right after changing a level (see for example transition from c0a0b to c0a0c)
Client: predicting code has been cleaned and rewritten to get more compatibility with original GoldSrc prediction
Client: handle colon separately for client version of COM_ParseFile (like in GoldSrc)
Client: finalized NETAPI. Now it can handle servers list from a master server (and display on a built-in client browser, of course)
Client: texturebrowser and overview mode now are not affected by player's moving in the world
Client: accumulate pmove entities right after handling delta instead of world rendering
Client: changed master server address and request to actual
Client: excluded dead bodies from solid objects in pmove processing
Client: new style of displaying for FPS counter
Client: fixed muzzleflash decoding from a studio animation event
Client: changed color handling for viewbeams (removed color normalization)
Client: fixed studio culling on models with non-default scaling (large models in SoHL)
Client: get VGUI backend to implement the lastest version of vgui.dll

Network: removed compression routine (very low efficiency)

GameUI: fixed color strings sending across network as server names or player names

Console: now map list show an extension or type of various map and mapstats check level for transparent water support
Console: replaced the console buffer with effective circular buffer (up to 1 Mb of messages)

File System: complete revision of filesystem code, removed WAD2 support

ImageLib: fixed crash in quantizer if image is completely black

P. S. Have fun and support developers!

List of singleplayer Half-Life mods tested under Xash3D

List of singleplayer Half-Life mods tested under Xash3D

Feature 17 comments

The list has been updated on December 22nd, 2014. Xash3D Engine was tested for compatibility with most of singleplayer Half-Life mods and maps, and for...

Running Half-Life under Xash3D: user's manual (English)

Running Half-Life under Xash3D: user's manual (English)

Feature 53 comments

Hello, if you are new with how to use Xash3D Engine to run Half-Life and its' mods, this manual is for you. Just follow the instruction and have fun!

Xash3D Engine v0.95 Features

Xash3D Engine v0.95 Features

Feature 22 comments

It's just a copy of information from Xash3D Readme (xash-en.chm, with minor editing). In a most part, the information is up to build 1905.

XashNT in development

XashNT in development

News 11 comments

There are some important news about further Xash development.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 572)

Hey Qwertyus i just play "Half-Life: Residual Life V1.4 playtest" one this xash3d version "http://www.indiedb.com/games/xash3d-android/downloads/xash3d-fwgs-v019windows" Xash3D have so many cool future you stay but some futre you don't know like "weapons bobbing and weapons tracer especialy when you are using a mounted gun" have realistic tracer like in in real life and cool than steam version of Half-Life, does Xash3D support "Half-Life: Residual Life V1.4 playtest" ???

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Would it be possible to have an option to emulate the software liquid effect instead of the 3d accelerated texture warping effect on liquids?

Here's an example of the software liquid effect:

Also, even with gl_texture_nearest 1, skyboxes are still filtered. Doesn't look right.

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Qwertyus Creator

gl_allow_software "1"
gl_texturemode "gl_nearest_mipmap_nearest"

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Both gl_allow_software and gl_texturemode don't exist in Xash3d v0.98 build 3598. Besides, in v0.97 gl_allow_software "1" didn't make liquids have the software effect, and gl_texturemode "gl_nearest_mipmap_nearest" still had a filtered skybox.

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Qwertyus Creator

Unkle Mike is working on updating of the engine, many things have to be changed and there are a lot of work to be done. I don't know if he find the time for software effects, it's mostly "just for fun" feature. I'll tell him about the things you've mentioned, but no warranties.

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Well I hope he does implement those things. I really like the software liquid effect, I think it looks much better than the texture warping effect.

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An annoying bug i found with Xash3D for PC is that when i play mods, for some reason all NPC's turn around really really slowly, it takes about 5 seconds for any npc to turn 90 degrees..

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Qwertyus Creator

What version/build of Xash3D do you use? And what mods do you mean? If you have troubles only in mods, you can try to delete mod's config.cfg to load default settings. Also this can depend on unlocking of FPS. It's not recommended to set fps_max over 100. Moreover, it's better to enable the option of vertical synchronization to make your FPS equal to your monitior's frequency (otherwise you can experience sprites' flickering on LCD screens etc.).

Reply Good karma+1 vote

I am using build 3598 which is the latest, if i'm not mistaken. And you were right, the fps_max was the problem. Although it seems values above 300 result in this problem, but the game seems more smooth in higher fps, so i guess this problem will need fixing in later builds of Xash3D. Thanks for your help i appreciate it ;)

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Qwertyus Creator

It's not possible to fix, it's a fundamental engine's limitation. Game physics and other things depend on it.

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Ratings closed.

Highest Rated (5 agree) 10/10

Just awesome. What you did creating this engine cannot be described with any words.

Jan 28 2012 by ADTeam™

Lowest Rated (5 agree) 1/10

The writers of this engine don't care about copyright at all. The engine is riddled with valve code, some from the hl sdk, possibly some from the hl2 beta leak... Bottom line, it's illegal.

Note: this review was written on 12/29/13, and may not reflect how the code is later...

Dec 29 2013 by Danfun64

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