Gold Source (also known as Gold Src) is a heavily-modified version of the original Quake 1 engine, that powered some of the most critically acclaimed games of it's day:

  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • Team Fortress Classic
  • Counter-Strike
  • Day of Defeat
  • and many more.

A powerful and versatile engine for it's time, it helped propel modding forward quite a bit with its mod development tools. And even though it's already 10+ years old, it's mod projects are still going strong.

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Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: Clearing up confusions about Valve's engines.

19 comments by ytres on Mar 12th, 2011

I have made this news post in an effort to clear up misconceptions about GoldSource and Source.

GoldSrc is based upon the Quake 1 engine, not the Quake 2 engine.
GoldSource is a heavily modified version of the Quake 1 engine. It has a few lines of code from the Quake 2 engine, to fix bugs, but at it's core, it's the Quake 1 engine. Ken Birdwell from Valve explains it in further detail:

"It is fundamentally just a heavily modified Quake 1 engine. There are about 50 lines of code from the Quake 2 engine, mostly bugs fixes to hard problems that Carmack found and fixed before we ran into them."

At its core, it's a Quake 1 engine. You can tell this by comparing Half-life's map compiling tools with those shipped with Quake1. You'll find very minor differences -- none of them are fundamental. The core rendering is architecturally identical to Quake1, the only "significant" change is removing the fixed palette, making map lighting RGB instead of 8 bit, and converting software rendering to be 16 bit color instead of 8 bit color, which was pretty easy and only required minor code changes. Our skeletal animation system is new, though it was heavily influenced by the existing model rendering code, as were a lot of our updated particle effects, though less so with our beam system. Decals are totally new, our audio system has some major additions to what already existed, and at ship time our networking was almost totally Quake1 / QuakeWorld networking but about a year later Yahn rewrote most of all of it to be very different in design. The most highly changed sections are the game logic; ours being written in C++ and Quake's being in written interpreted "Quake C". Our AI system is very very different from anything in Quake, and there's a lot of other significant architectural changes in the whole server and client implementations, though if you look hard enough you can find a few remnants of some nearly unmodified Quake1 era entities buried in places.

Jay Stelly adds, "We also took PAS from QW and/or Q2 and a couple of other minor routines I can remember (no more than 100-200 lines of code there). There was some feature overlap (as Ken mentions) like game code DLLs and colored lighting, but we developed our own solutions to those independent of Q2."

- Ken Birdwell, Valve


Source is a heavily modified version of GoldSource, with mostly new code. Also has Havok physics (albeit heavily tweaked) incorporated.
It's not based on the "Havok Engine", it has the Havok Physics Engine incorporated in it however.

Hopefully that will help clear up some things for our users.

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Half-Life
Half-Life

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Updated 3 days ago Released Oct 1998 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter

Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's d├ębut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly...

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Counter-Strike

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Updated 1 week ago Released Nov 2000 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter

Play the world's number 1 online action game. Engage in an incredibly realistic brand of terrorist warfare in this wildly popular team-based game. Ally...

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

Updated 1 week ago Released Mar 2004 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero advances the #1 online action game series by introducing objective based single-player action, the official CS bot, and...

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Cyber Arena

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This mod is made to restore the atmosphere of classic shooters. Classic maps, favorite weapon is a guarantee of great gameplay.

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Post comment Comments  (20 - 30 of 159)
MisterMan123456789
MisterMan123456789 Apr 9 2013, 9:55pm buried:

(buried)

face it guys, the goldsource engine sucks the source engine is much better

-22 votes     reply to comment
staffssuckshit
staffssuckshit Apr 22 2015, 7:44am replied:

No

+1 vote     reply to comment
Landman
Landman Apr 14 2013, 5:24pm replied:

Um..... duuuuuuuhhhh.... Jeesh dude. Gold Source is nearly 15 years old.

+19 votes     reply to comment
Ogdred
Ogdred Feb 14 2013, 8:00am says:

What is the soundtrack that starts at 1:52 called?

+2 votes     reply to comment
G-Mad
G-Mad Feb 5 2013, 4:42am says:

VERY GOOD IF VALVE RELEASE GOLDSOURCE ENGINE UPDATE!!!

+6 votes     reply to comment
SpeedyClaude
SpeedyClaude Feb 5 2013, 12:24pm replied:

I love GoldSrc too, but it's obsolete.

+3 votes     reply to comment
.Shiki
.Shiki Feb 15 2013, 5:45am replied:

nope it isn't Obsolete
it's an Eternal Game Engine.

+6 votes     reply to comment
MisterMan123456789
MisterMan123456789 Mar 3 2013, 5:57pm buried:

(buried)

doesn't have **** on source engine though

-7 votes     reply to comment
G-Mad
G-Mad Jan 24 2013, 4:57am says:

How do you use this engine to make a MOD for Half Life 1? (Are this is use Source SDK and Visual Studio?)

+2 votes     reply to comment
OsirisGodoftheDead
OsirisGodoftheDead Apr 1 2013, 5:56pm replied:

You need Visual Studio 6. I don't think any other versions work.

+2 votes     reply to comment
newsuperyoshi
newsuperyoshi Jun 15 2013, 6:10pm replied:

You can forward convert, same with Source. Just will have some problems you can fix.

+2 votes     reply to comment
tschumann
tschumann Feb 22 2013, 12:18am replied: +2 votes     reply to comment
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this engine is known all around the world... This was, is and it will still be half-life

Jan 21 2011, 2:46pm by bluluxabica

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