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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Back in April, the HTC Vive launch materials teased a new spectator mode that would be making its way to DOTA 2 – a new mode built entirely around VR. Though you won’t actually be playing a live DOTA 2 match yourself with the HTC Vive, you will be able to spectate streams and replays of competitive matches. The official FAQ has more:

“The Dota VR Hub is a set of experiences that lets you enjoy the world of Dota inside Virtual Reality. Watch live matches, replays, and streams in VR Theater with up to 15 of your friends; jump into the world itself to view the action life-sized; and browse through Dota's wide array of heroes to see all of your favorite items in full scale.”

dota2vr1


Within the hub itself are a wealth of live statistics that are presented as popups around each player’s champion, represented as a living statue on each side of the hub. But that point about being able to jump into the world itself is easily one of the coolest aspects of this new DOTA VR Hub.

dota2vr2


As seen in the footage from SadikiSenshiro above, the hub itself resembles a room with a screen and table that shows the live game view and minimap respectively. By using the HTC Vive motion-tracked controller to select a point on the map table, you can teleport into the actual DOTA 2 game world and view the match from a first-person perspective, retaining the ability to teleport around and choose different angles. Currently there’s only support for the HTC Vive, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Oculus Touch support is added once those controllers become available later this year.

Valve has timed the release of the DOTA 2 VR Hub perfectly for the beginning of The International 6, this year’s championship DOTA 2 tournament, which will take place August 3 – August 13 in Seattle. The current prize pool for the tournament sits at a record US$18,000,000+. To further celebrate DOTA dipping its toes into VR, Valve has also released a DOTA 2-branded HTC Vive Special Edition. So now, the super-fans can watch DOTA 2 in VR while wearing their DOTA 2 VR headset.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 329)
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ReDrag0n
ReDrag0n

Source 2 HYPE
Polygon.com

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Dr.Octavia-Pus
Dr.Octavia-Pus

HYPE is real!

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Cheeky_Bi_Agnostic
Cheeky_Bi_Agnostic

One of my favourite engines to work with.

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abdullahsaleh16
abdullahsaleh16

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

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Sockman111
Sockman111

Well the hammer editor is a GREAT tool even today.
Also with source 2 valve is going to make the tools easier to work with, so that's always something to look forward to.

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All_SHREKD_UP!
All_SHREKD_UP!

Does anybody know how to download source?

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Guest
Guest

you go to steam and download one of the Source Bases, the Source SDK, and the Dedicated Server if you are making multiplayer games.

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FelixDman
FelixDman

thanks guest one

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Highest Rated (18 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 by Half_Kill

Lowest Rated (2 agree) 1/10

The Source Engine is an outdated piece of shit that makes you spend 60% of your time trying to find alternative ways to make something because of the amazing number of bugs the SDK contains. I want to make a laser that dissolves any NPCs ; I can't because the beam doesn't do any damages even if I set the properties/flags rightly. So I try to parent a trigger_hurt to the beam but even if I set "Damage Type" to "Beam", it is only turning a NPC to a ragdoll and doesn't dissolve it as I wanted. Great…

Apr 4 2012 by EnnemyOfficer

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