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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SMC Large 001


Hello all you fellow modders and tinkerers alike, just thought I'd drop on in and show off something cool I've been running for the past 5 months or so with a fellow owner and a staff team, known as the Source Modding Community! This is a Discord server devoted to modding all Valve games despite the "Source" in the title, from Half-Life 1 to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive! We have it set up so people can join and either participate in general discussions from modding certain games to chatting about miscellaneous things or video game news to giving people the ability to host their own text channels to showcase mods and projects they are working on!

The Mod Channels:

Mod Channels

So far we have mod channels for Half-Life 1, Half-Life 2, Portal 1, Portal 2, and Black Mesa however we are all for expanding to other games if the interest arises in the community. In these mod channels the lead developer(s) of the mod is given a special role and is given certain abilities to effectively run their own little part of the community where they can post updates, media, and pin important information they want to convey to the rest of the community. Keep in mind that these channels are for full mods/overhauls only, any single maps being worked on for any game can be discussed in any of the "_modding" channels. If you are hesitant on making a channel because you are afraid you will drop the project or put it on hold we can also hide the channel if you ever decide you want to take a break from it and bring it back when you are ready to continue development. Also keep in mind that the current list of channels is quite big, however, the Discord team has confirmed that text channel groups are coming so when that happens we will be able to put everything into groups making it easier to find the channels you want to talk in. If you are currently working on a mod or about to work on a mod and you want to throw a new mod channel up then please contact a staff member, keep in mind that some proof of work is needed to show that you won't just drop the project completely in a day but we aren't too picky and a Moddb page is not needed for early WIP projects as long as you have some sort of content to show off but having a Moddb page is a big bonus.

The Roles:

Roles 2

Something we have that is special is a role system that gives people certain tags that can be mentioned for people who have certain problems or questions in the modding process. Say someone has a Hammer related problem, they can easily mention the "Level Designer" role and everyone with that tag can run in and help the person in need to solve their problem or answer their questions! To get these roles it's as simple as asking any staff member that is on or off and when they get the chance they'll give you any roles you want with the exception of the staff roles and channel specific roles. We are also still adding roles so if you think a new role is needed then don't be afraid to bring it up to the staff!

The Members:

Member 2

Currently as of writing this article we have over 300 members and counting! Not all of them are active in discussions or are modders but a good majority are and we have a wide variety of people ranging from newbie content creators to skilled and well known faces who have been in the modding scene for years. If you are holding back from joining because you are afraid of being the odd man out then don't be, everyone is welcome despite modding background and even if you don't plan on participating in active discussions you are always welcome to lurk.

The Staff:

Staff 2

The staff team we have now are fantastic and always here to help! Most of us have a background in different types of modding and are not only here to keep the peace but to provide any help where needed in the modding aspect including offering our services to up and coming mods and projects! Anyone and everyone can mention the staff in any channel so if you are in need of any help you can always give one or all of us a mention and we'll be there on the draw to help! The server also has an application which anyone can fill out at any time and when the need arises we will go through each and every one by hand to elect new members into the staff. I know it's a moot point to mention that the staff are friendly as it is subjective per person, however, every single staff member we have now have always been willing to help anyone in need and from what I've seen they all have hearts of gold and good heads on their shoulders so if you are looking for a family-like server where every staff member has the potential to be your friend then look no further! (Note: Any of us could be axe-murderers so if you wake up with an axe in your back then I guess your subjective opinion would tend to be on the negative side)

The Special Channels:

Special Channels 2

On the SMC we have a few special channels that may be of interest to people such as a "Jobs" channel! The Jobs channel works as a job board of sorts where anyone can offer or seek services for their projects for paid or unpaid work. We also have a "Source-Resources" channel which contains various Youtube channels, useful websites, and even other Discord servers! Along with those we have a "Releases" channel for showcasing released mods that have been in development on the Discord channel, and an "Introduce-Yourself" channel where new members can, well, introduce themselves and be granted access to the main portion of the server. We also have a few "web_" channels for third-party websites to talk about things on their site or offer services such as news which our "web_orange-box-group" handles. In the future we might even get a "web_moddb" channel if the Moddb team takes a liking to the server!

Jerry's Final Thoughts:

All in all we want this community to be a welcoming place where all Valve modders can come together and discuss what they love to do best, we aren't a super serious community but we do care about the content we create and we are hoping to share that with the rest of the Moddb community. Since we started we were simply relying on word of mouth to show off what we have but with this article we're hoping more people can discover us and jump on board with us! If you have any questions for us or comments then please feel free to drop them below! Thank you for your time and a special thanks to Moddb for not only running this for all these years but for being there for the modders, we hope to see you on soon!

The Server:

SMC LogoShadow

Click the valve to be taken directly to the server!


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After months of hard work and much deliberation we are proud to announce the winners of the Day of Infamy community mapping contest!

Day of Infamy - Community Mapping Contest Top 10!
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The best-selling games on Steam last year aren’t just the triple-A juggernauts.

Add game Games
Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2

First Person Shooter

Pick up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted...

Counter-Strike: Source

Counter-Strike: Source

First Person Shooter

Counter-Strike: Source blends Counter-Strike's award-winning teamplay action with the advanced technology of Source technology. Featuring state of the...

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2

First Person Shooter

This co-operative action horror FPS takes you and your friends through the cities, swamps and cemeteries of the Deep South, from Savannah to New Orleans...

Portal

Portal

Puzzle

Portal is a first-person puzzle game. Players must solve physical challenges by opening portals to maneuver objects, and themselves, through the enigmatic...

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

First Person Shooter

Set in the immediate aftermath of the zombie apocalypse, Left 4 Dead's survival co-op mode lets up to four players blast a path through the swarming zombie...

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

First Person Shooter

As Dr. Gordon Freeman, you were last seen exiting City 17 with Alyx Vance as the Citadel erupted amidst a storm of unknown proportions. In Episode Two...

Portal 2

Portal 2

Puzzle

It’s been a long time. How have you been? I’ve been really busy being dead. You know... after you murdered me?

Half-Life 2: Episode One

Half-Life 2: Episode One

First Person Shooter

Episode One follows scientist Gordon Freeman and his companion Alyx Vance as they fight in humanity's continuing struggle against the transhuman race...

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch

First Person Shooter

Fast multiplayer action set in the Half-Life 2 universe! HL2's physics adds a new dimension to deathmatch play. Play straight deathmatch or try Combine...

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast

First Person Shooter

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast is a playable technology showcase that introduces High Dynamic Range lighting to the Source engine. It is included with Half-Life...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 333)
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Guest
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anyone know what engine i should use to make my own game

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Argoon
Argoon

That is a stupid question because no one can know what engine is the best for "your game", all we can do is suggest the engine we like the most, but sometimes what we like is not "the best".
The only way for you to know, what is the best engine for your game, is for you to experiment with them, and imo the best engine for any game, is the engine we as a developer/moder know the best, trying to find a engine perfect for your game is stupid and is the reason that many wannabe game developers never release anything.

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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.

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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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1064 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (19 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 EnemyOfficer

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