The first version of the engine was known as W3D ("Westwood 3D") was highly modified version of SurRender 3D engine, developed by Hybrid Graphics Ltd. Westwood used W3D for Emperor: Battle for Dune and updated for Command & Conquer: Renegade.

After Westwood was bought by Electronic Arts the engine was further updated for Command & Conquer: Generals, and renamed to SAGE. The rendering part remains nearly identical to the W3D engine, but most other elements have been redesigned from the ground up.

The SAGE engine allows for dynamic lighting that casts realistic shadows and realistic reflections on most objects. High quality visual effects are now possible with the SAGE engine powering games. One example of a unique effect is the stop-motion camera. Blow up a gas station, for example, and the action will freeze in mid-explosion, and the camera will quickly pan around the environment, revealing pieces of debris and shrapnel suspended in the air, before the action promptly resumes. The SAGE engine also allows games to take place during different times of the day, with realistic lighting and shadow changes, etc.

A new, highly modified version is now used to power Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.

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Today we present a special video showcase of some of the new unit and hero models that we've created for Age of the Ring. Unit art is what we spend a lot of time on trying to get just right. Whether we base it off of existing Weta concepts, come up with our own design, or employ a mix of both: each unit is extensively researched and discussed amongst our 'art department', consisting of RiderOfRohan, Dúnedain76, and Mathijs.

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The main things we take into account when designing a unit are style, silhouette, and, most importantly, coloring and contrast. It's become a bit of a meme inside of Skype calls - "make it contrasty."

When designing an original unit, such as the Lothlórien's Nandor Hîr-Hathol unit or Gondor's Linhir Spearmen (both featured in the video above) we look for historical references to base our work on, so everything stays within that grounded fantasy Weta created for Lord of the Rings. Once we have the style locked down, we move onto doing the actual model.

Silhouette. It's easy to take a generic human male soldier model and just retexture it for everything we need (maybe shrink it a little for when we're doing a dwarf), but the result is that everything will sort of start to blend together ingame. To prevent this, we spend most of our time on each unit creating its 3d shape: one soldier may have big mail sleeves, another may wear a leather doublet, maybe an overcoat or tabard, so we take our time highlighting these features in the mesh, so that each type of soldier has its own distinctive shape, which is then further emphasized when we start on the texture.

wip render

Example of different silhouettes in similar units: each Fiefdom unit above has a distinctive helmet and other mesh features. Models are WORK IN PROGRESS.

Next is coloring and contrast. We're big fans of a muted color scheme due to the realism this brings, but at the same time we also feel things need to be noticeable ingame. We try to find a middle ground, applying plenty of color where appropriate. A good example of this are the Lothlórien basic units, who, upon receiving heavy armor, are given robes of deep purple:

lorienpurple


Getting things 'contrasty' is the last thing we work on before finishing a base model mesh. RotWK is an old RTS in an engine that is less-than-perfect, so unit models tend to blur when fully zoomed out. To still maintain definition, we make sure to cast extra-heavy shadows on everything: a belt will cast a strong shadow on the breastplate beneath it, mail sleeves will cast a strong shadow on the arm sleeves below, et cetera. When viewed in a close-up render these shadows are unrealistically dark, but ingame, they allow model features to be recognized even from a blurry distance.

That's all for this update. We hope you enjoyed. If you haven't yet, please consider voting for us in the 2016 MOTY awards - time is running out!

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 35)
zunnie
zunnie

It's funny how some trolls are going after our standalone mod ( Indiedb.com ) saying it is a pirated version.
Although it is true we use some assets from the original game most of the content we added is created by our developers. The no-cd thing is required for ANY standalone mod based on the SAGE engine to be able to run. This includes the releases of them guys that are now bashing this release @ TSR and AR. Even APB and TCW use it.

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moddb_dev
moddb_dev

This Engine has lags and so BAD! .CC Generals uses SAGE engine and it has performance problems on Modern OS like;Win8.1 x64...

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WartotalXD
WartotalXD

where can i get Sage engine pls help??? I need it for a Mod

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Kark-Jocke
Kark-Jocke

Wery good mod ;)

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jordanrw8
jordanrw8

(buried)

Norwegian piece of ******* ****.

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JMEK96
JMEK96

i probably sound like a complete retard here guys but im new to this sorta thing so could anyone give me advice to how to get these engines??

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Guest
Guest

You have to buy a game that has this engine. After that, you decompile it and use it. You have to get permission from EA though, otherwise you could run into some legal issues, however.

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FILM_Smartson
FILM_Smartson

1. buy a game that uses SAGE engine.
Examples: C&C3, RA3, C&C Generals
2. learn how to code with the .INI files
3. if you are going to make a game with this engine, make sure that the textures, models, gameplay, is completely different
4. if you have a copyright problem with the engine,
just make a total conversion mod

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Four_Hammers
Four_Hammers

I think EA should give up their SAGE because it sucks and they don't have originality

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ApornasPlanet
ApornasPlanet

Hello! I need to learn how I can open up the official SP missions from TW in world builder. So that I can look at the scripting and stuff. Please let me know!

//Apornas

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TAK02
TAK02

There should be a file with the name Maps or something. Open it with XCC Mixer, extract and open using world builder. You may need to go inside every directory inside the game's folder before you find it. In C&C4; it's in Data

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Highest Rated (4 agree) 10/10

one of the best RTS engines out there.

Feb 7 2010 by Maxen1416

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