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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The International 6 DOTA 2 tournament is underway, and Valve boss Gabe Newell’s opening address has been posted online. In it, Newell gives a little hint as to what he’s been up to at the company:

“For the last year, I’ve been spending most of my time with the VR team.”

That team has obviously been focused on the launch of the HTC Vive headset in April, as well as the production of first-party content for the system, such as The Lab, its renderer, and another unannounced project.


Valve has also recently introduced a virtual reality spectator mode to DOTA 2 itself, allowing live matches to be watched from within VR, to the point where you can teleport into the map itself and view the action from a first-person perspective. A DOTA 2 special edition HTC Vive headset is also available from the Valve store.

This year, The International featured some new augmented reality integration in its livestreaming. During the hero pick/ban stage, the selected heroes were combined with live footage of the arena itself:

gaben2

INFRA: Part 3 announcement
INFRA

INFRA: Part 3 announcement

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We're announcing INFRA: Part 3. Also, the trailer for INFRA: Part 2 is out!

Valve Adds DOTA 2 VR Spectator Mode For HTC Vive
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Valve Adds DOTA 2 VR Spectator Mode For HTC Vive

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The DOTA VR Hub lets you watch matches and teleport around the map in VR.

Valve Reveals Special Edition DOTA 2 HTC Vive VR Headset
Dota 2

Valve Reveals Special Edition DOTA 2 HTC Vive VR Headset

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This special Vive has a red head strap in celebration of The International.

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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.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
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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Windows, VR, X360, XBOX, PS3
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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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