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

Half-Life

Updated 2 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...

Counter-Strike
Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike

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...

Cyber Arena
Cyber Arena

Cyber Arena

Updated 1 week ago TBD Multiplayer First Person Shooter

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

Gunman Chronicles
Gunman Chronicles

Gunman Chronicles

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

Gunman Chronicles is a futuristic first-person shooter computer game using the Half-Life game engine. It was originally planned as a total conversion...

Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 159)
vocaloid9299
vocaloid9299 Nov 23 2012, 8:28pm says:

Is it at all possible to use HD (like HL2 quality) sounds in this engine? I tried, but there's just silence.

0 votes     reply to comment
DaVince21
DaVince21 Jan 30 2013, 8:15am replied:

HD sounds? Just call them high quality sounds. :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
vocaloid9299
vocaloid9299 Jan 31 2013, 4:52am replied:

OH WHATEVER
By the way, problem solved.

+2 votes     reply to comment
TheGTAHeroes
TheGTAHeroes Oct 23 2012, 5:17am buried:

(buried)

Create Now Episode 3!!! Or EA Games Will Create That

-9 votes     reply to comment
TheDiddyHop
TheDiddyHop Jan 9 2013, 12:52pm replied:

Dont worry, Source 2 is coming with a not yet reveled game...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Whitestormhound
Whitestormhound Nov 11 2012, 6:11am replied:

then it shouldn't be multiplayer cus ea is piece of **** when it comes to that

+2 votes     reply to comment
BAZOOKA_TROOPA
BAZOOKA_TROOPA Sep 22 2012, 12:32am says:

What? No download? I wanted to make things with it... It's a nice engine. I mean, if some huge game company like Bethesda were to use it they'd be shunned but... Still nice for an Idie game or a 96-03 game.

+2 votes     reply to comment
pizza
pizza Jun 9 2012, 3:57pm says:

Would be nice if that engine was open-source.

-1 votes     reply to comment
GamingEVOlut1on
GamingEVOlut1on Jan 13 2013, 3:09pm replied:

GoldSource Has an sdk so you can Mod half-life easily.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Milanium
Milanium Jul 8 2012, 6:26am replied: +2 votes     reply to comment
EugenefromZPS
EugenefromZPS Aug 6 2012, 11:04am replied:

i have it running but the menu is purple source checkerboard how can i fix it

+2 votes     reply to comment
OsirisGodoftheDead
OsirisGodoftheDead Apr 1 2013, 5:57pm replied:

Add a bitmap image called splash.bmp in gfx/shell. Either that or you could set it to use a map as the background.

+1 vote     reply to comment
tschumann
tschumann Jun 11 2012, 2:29am replied:

Yes it would be. We can only hope.

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Released Nov 1998
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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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