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:


  • 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: Faceless ~ July 4th Mini-Update

About Faceless with 22 comments by Sklarlight on Jul 3rd, 2014


We know you have been craving an update, and whilst we cannot give you the update you want yet, we certainly didn't want to leave you in the dark, which is why we're releasing a mini-update instead! Of course, things have been quiet lately as development goes on in dark and secretive places, no, that's not where our people work, it just means we're keeping ourselves to ourselves.

We have a certain goal in mind where we would like to achieve everything on our checklist before releasing a major, and I mean major update. Of course, we get the incoming messages on the Steam Community Hub saying "Is this project dead? This project is dead!" And we all wish we could prove on the spot that we truly aren't, but we want to save that for a special day. And believe me when I say it will be a special day.

Non-game Updates:

Two new (non-game) Faceless related things have happened today, David Denyer, our composer, has released the game's Main Menu single for sale at £0.99p/$0.99c - And the reason for this is because of our previous project lead, the now-known scammer who unfortunately stole from the project, leaving David with unpaid studio expenses for the recording session and the talents of Jemma Cash (formerly Matthews) who provided her vocal talent for the game's soundtrack. This will also go towards helping the project as a whole after David has been reimbursed! We hope to expand upon the previous project leader in our major update, as we believe in the power of the internet to be able to grant justice, as we've tried to cooperate with him peacefully to retreiving the funds that rightfully belong to Faceless and to those who want their donations back, to no avail. Unfortunately, IndieGoGo is unable to assist on the matter. Luckily, as mentioned on our Facebook Page in this post, we managed to take down the previous project leader's latest campaign for an Indie game titled Prehysteria, of which he would have embezzled funds from the project once more, with the help of IndieGoGo, Prehysteria, as of this moment, no longer exists.

Here's what a few of your thought about the Demo piece that we showed you all a few months back!

We would've loved to wait until we had the entire OST to sell after the game, but unfortunately these circumstances have changed things, and we would absolutely love it if you all wanted to support David Denyer as a composer, and this project also, as the track is fantastic! It'll give you a hint of what's to come. This track was originally on Soundcloud and the videos tab here on IndieDB, but they have been removed as they were outdated demos of the Main Menu track, since then, the strings have been re-recorded, the quality upped and so on, it is a great overhaul of the demo that you have heard in the past. This is the final version of the Main Menu Dies Irae track for Faceless.

Not in the UK? Click here for

Onto the next piece of news, a book on the backstory of Faceless, titled Faceless: Deliverance will be surrounding the mysterious, supernatural adventure of Daniel North. A polite reminder is to state that this book is not for people who want to see more of the Slenderman, as The Being has a heavily modified lore/origins to the point that it is barely recognisable in that regard, and the story follows Daniel North, the mysterious and missing character from the game. Since the beginning of development, Daniel North was just going to be a missing character unrelated to anybody, one that the players of the game would attempt to find, this character has since grown into something far bigger to the point that an entire story has been structured around him. The story will take place before, during and after the timeline of the game itself.

Whilst this supernatural mystery doesn't have The Being as its pivotal focus, it certainly is a prominent figure throughout the whole book, and Daniel's main quest. This is certainly a must for book-readers and horror fanatics alike, as the story will expand upon a lot of mysteries that will be seen in the game itself. This will be published as an e-book, and will also be sold in print in the future!

Steam Trading Cards:

With the fantastic support of all our Greenlight voters from the birth of Faceless until now, we will be able to publish our game on Steam, and even though we still cannot promise a release date, we will be opening another campaign when we have our seriously major/packed update for those who still want to have a chance for Beta access. (Prior to Early-Access.) - With being on Steam, we are able to utilise the Steamworks functions, including that of creating Steam Trading Cards, which as many of you know the crafting of them results in backgrounds, emoticons and experience points. Even though this isn't a pivotal point to the game, we did want to share with you the designs for them.



Badge Example:



We also have some Profile backgrounds to show you, again, the artwork is to be confirmed as they may go through some changes or adjustments, but these are fairly close to being final.









We have two versions of a new promotional wallpaper created by Kevin Nielsen, a blurred and sharpened one of The Being with its new spider-like and fluid-like tentacles. (Downloads contain all Resolutions from 1280x720 up to 4k.)

Sharp Version:

Blurred Version:


Download Sharp Version                         Download Blurred Version

Game Updates:

Now we did say we weren't going to be showing you any game updates, but we are going to show you a few images for the game. First off, from our modeller, Angel, we have two turntable previews of a couple of the dolls you will see in the game! We've taken a victorian inspiration for the costumes, and you will be seeing fairly creepy looking dolls that you wouldn't just be able to get in any store. It makes you wonder where The Being got them from?


Also, this is the concept image for our main menu, which we are coming extremely close to achieving. We took a lot of inspiration from main menus in games such as Left 4 Dead (For the lobby) and The Haunted: Hells Reach as well as our own ideas. The background is not final, but the layout itself is one that is currently being made into our menu.

On top of that, we do want to tease you, we do love all of our fans, because you are what keeps us thriving to make the project better and better all the time, and we don't want to leave you without a good update, so here are a couple of images of a Doll being placed onto a Ritual Zone symbol in-game.

And finally, the last thing we'd like to leave you with...
What to expect in our major, major update:

We have a schedule. We have a checklist, we know exactly what we want to do before our next update, and we won't be letting you know all of what to expect otherwise that would completely ruin the surprise, but here are a couple of things to expect:

  • Publically demonstrating the Dolls gamemode on single AND multiplayer.
  • Showing the Being's behaviour ingame as the gamemode progresses.
  • Demonstrating voice proximity and chat commands.
  • The player models for the four selectable survivors.
  • And depending on how things go, there is a chance we may have a beta release date.

But until then:

Once again, thank you all for your support, and we do hope that we can keep you enticed throughout development, and our quietness never means we are dead or dying, this project will be done.

And as a final recap, Sam A. Mowry is voicing Elijah Grey in the playable prologue, this was announced a while back at the New Year of 2014, but I wanted to just remind people of that, it was an honour for myself and another developer to work with such an exceptional person and we hope to work with him again in the future. And for the final tease of this update that we've been hiding for a long time, the Being is not the only threat in the story, there are paranormal entities known as Anomalies which will haunt the player in the single-player Prologue and Epilogue chapters. Anomalies are naturally occuring monsters that live on the same plane/realm that The Being originated from. In the lore, anybody killed by The Being will turn into An Anomaly. A creature born with malevolent intent, they are the worst possible versions of the person they used to be, an almost malevolent ghost. However, when they cross over to our plane/realm, they have a loss of sentience, causing them to keep taking a repeated path over and over again, which makes them not so threatning in the Prologue and Epilogue, but just don't touch them... Ever...


Thank you all again for reading, we don't have a confirmed date for our major update, but please keep in mind that this project is definitely not dead. Many unreal changes are going to be happening over the course of time, and it's something that we want to show you as much as you want to see it.

Until then, all the best!


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Post comment Comments  (300 - 310 of 312)
viper7x Mar 5 2008, 1:26pm says:

Here, I have half life 2 (orange box) but I can't see to find out how to get hold of the engine. Is it possible to do this and if so where would i find it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
da_newb Mar 5 2008, 5:38pm replied:

Open up Steam and on the top where there are all the tabs click tools. Then click on Source SDK and click on install in the bottom right. I would also recommend installing the bases. I think some mods utilize them in some way. I might be mistaken though.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Gongong Feb 1 2008, 3:03pm says:

Best engine ever built. And the mod list proves it. :D

About the derivation: Tell me an fps engine that isn't Quake or Unreal-derived. :P

+9 votes     reply to comment
comrade_grunt Apr 1 2008, 2:35pm replied:

The doom engine :V

0 votes     reply to comment
hexpunK Mar 21 2008, 11:41am replied:

I agree, plus its got to be the easiest engine to map/model/skin for, very flexible once you get used to it

+2 votes     reply to comment
lcpuche Dec 8 2007, 3:57pm says:

its not queakelike... at all

-1 votes     reply to comment
da_newb Nov 24 2007, 12:04pm says:

I love how people get upset when they realize that "their engine" is derived from another one. But if every engine was created from scratch I would need to kill someone.

+2 votes     reply to comment
arkythesharky Dec 22 2007, 1:48am replied:

Actually I think it's the other way around, leilei being a giant anti-HL2 troll.

+1 vote     reply to comment
leilei Feb 6 2008, 5:05pm replied:

you're right, quake was derived from the source engine

+1 vote     reply to comment
leilei Nov 14 2007, 11:32pm replied:

years ago any mention of quake was insta-deleted by a random hl2 fan on the article

now with this big paragraph they can't prove it wrong anymore

-3 votes     reply to comment
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Released Oct 31, 2004
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Highest Rated (16 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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