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
  • View media
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The Journey Continues...

Since porting to Unreal Engine 4, quite a bit has not only improved because of the engine, but because our team has simply grown in skill since you've last seen us. While the time it has taken to port everything over has been tedious, we are overall happy with how much the game has improved as a whole. Here are some samples of our updated units, plus a beautiful shot of our environment for the planet Nekros:
(more screenshots on our Website)

rocketbelly rts game fps shooter

thrasher rts game fps shooter mu

manalock rts game fps shooter mu

abatron firstperson shooter rts


Now that we've got updated units and a sweet playable map, we can finally begin doing playtests. With up to 8 different people playing at a time, things have gotten really interesting. Especially since we have different team members with different playstyle preferences. Some like to focus solely on RTS, or vice versa FPS. Others switch between the two freely. Not knowing exactly what might be coming your way certainly helps keep you on your toes, no matter which mode you're in. Here's a few shots we've managed to grab during the recent sessions:

shooter unreal ue4 thirdperson 1

rts indie game play 20

fps hybrid online multiplayer 2

rts indie game play 2

Stay Tuned!

If you've enjoyed this update and want to know more about Abatron, or simply want a more steady stream of news, then you're in luck! We have several different ways that you can keep up to date with everything Abatron. Here are our top picks!

Website ( with weekly updated blog) :



Monthly Newsletter:

Thanks so much for reading and we will do another update soon!

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Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 332)
slipkid69 Oct 3 2013 says:

Yes I don't like it I love it.

+3 votes     reply to comment
ppetrechen Dec 13 2013 replied:

Me 2.

+3 votes     reply to comment
GamerDude27 Feb 17 2014 replied:

Me 3

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kidnation Nov 26 2014 replied:

Me 4

+1 vote     reply to comment
JrComissarValvatorez Aug 15 2013 says:

Valve should just drop Direct X Eight for Orange Box games already. No need to hold the rest of us back because mommy and daddy can't afford a replacement for little Timmy's would be litterbox.

+5 votes     reply to comment
michael89 Aug 27 2013 replied:

The support was dropped on P2 - source, so newer engine branches starting from it are DX9 - only.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Justinsanity Jul 9 2013 says:

How can I get this engine?

-4 votes     reply to comment
Sticksanity Jul 11 2013 replied:

Download Source SDK from steam.

+5 votes     reply to comment
michael89 Aug 27 2013 replied:

Source Sdk is just the collection of tools, while source sdk base is the real deal.

+6 votes     reply to comment
xalener Jun 12 2013 says:

Why isn't Titanfall here?

+6 votes     reply to comment
Aplayer12345 Jul 24 2013 replied:

Wait... I've just read the wiki, and the game is developed on Source engine :DDDDDD WICKED :D

+4 votes     reply to comment
elyad1998 Jun 2 2013 says:

the physics are great but the graphics ( textures, water physics) are ...

-1 votes     reply to comment
EddAdrian Jan 4 2015 replied:

maybe in your opinion, when they presented it in 2003 it was incredible on the graphics also. no other game had all those features together, and no other big title in 2004 like far cry came even close to half life 2 as a whole. even in the recent years i still love it because the art-style is just beautiful and it's really immersive, when used right. games like black mesa source and portal 2 shows that and also Titanfall, even though the engine was modified, it's still source.

+1 vote     reply to comment
saltedDog Jun 7 2013 replied:

Great.It's just old.But lots of modders are making it great.Source is the best engine in the world.It's easy to use.And fun to use.

+7 votes     reply to comment
xalener Jun 12 2013 replied:

It's not the best engine in the world. It's just the engine that everyone has an editor for.

0 votes     reply to comment
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Released 2004
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1069 votes submitted.

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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 by Half_Kill

Lowest Rated (2 agree) 1/10


Jan 14 2011 by jonas6910

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