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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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Devblog #51

About INFRA with 1 comment by GonaUho on May 15th, 2015

Mother of walls of text, begone! Last week we poured so much of our inner writer that this week's update is going to be a bit shorter.

Microwaved food and soda still haven’t grown old, thank heavens. This week was business as usual, two steps forth, one step back.

Business NPC

If anyone was following us on Twitter they noticed that we got some of our non-player character models finalized enough for us to finally let you guys take a peek at them. We also fixed a movement bug causing the character to move way faster than intended when interacting with multiple surfaces and tuned some of our more newer level design.

It's a freaking minitrain!

Obviously a lot more was done than that, but the impact of the more subtle changes and development are more difficult to individually go through. And here’s something you've probably learned to expect already:

Office NPCs

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 329)
PortalPlayerSteam
PortalPlayerSteam Aug 23 2014, 3:05pm says:

Can't Wait For Source 2 Engine For Left 4 Dead 3, Half Life 3, And Lots More!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest May 2 2014, 1:22am says:

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Crypt May 28 2014, 5:42pm replied:

If you want to make a commercial game you need to purchase a commercial license.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Feb 25 2014, 2:33am says:

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Dukenukem1234
Dukenukem1234 Dec 7 2013, 9:51pm says:

can some one help me make a duke nukem 3d remake on source sdk plz!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Aug 23 2014, 8:57pm replied:

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Wolfyboy
Wolfyboy Dec 23 2014, 3:23pm replied:

Just a fair warning to you guys: people tried making Duke Nukem Source before, and they got shut down by 3D Realms. They are really stingy when it comes to their copyright.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bogdyalive
Bogdyalive Aug 18 2014, 12:05pm replied:

I could help you with mapping.

+1 vote     reply to comment
racerautov8
racerautov8 Dec 29 2013, 2:48am replied:

That's a big job to do there.

+5 votes     reply to comment
SU154
SU154 Nov 10 2013, 8:30am says:

I want to ask how big the generated maps can be? I want to use engine for an open world survival mod but i really want the entire game to be on one level, with no loading. Can someone give me an estimate of how big the maps can be without having a nasa processor to run it in square meters or kilometers maybe? thanks

+2 votes     reply to comment
roblox254
roblox254 May 25 2014, 1:00am replied:

use Real Virtuality 4 :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Toyoka
Toyoka Nov 26 2013, 12:58am replied:

This isn't possible because of Source Engine limitations. You're better off using the Unreal engine for that.

+3 votes     reply to comment
damnmav
damnmav Nov 17 2014, 6:44pm replied:

?? n0thing is imposibru in sours engyn

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Platforms
Windows, X360, XBOX, PS3
Company
Valve
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Official Page
Valvesoftware.com
Licence
Commercial
Release Date
Released Oct 31, 2004
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Highest Rated (17 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, 3:48pm by Half_Kill

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