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 #44

About INFRA with 3 comments by assassini on Dec 12th, 2014

Hey guys. You've probably noticed the IndieDB Indie of the Year competition that has been going on for a week or so. The top 100 was announced three days ago, and we were in there! And that's because of your votes! It's awesome and you guys are awesome.

The second phase of voting has begun and we're now competing for the title of indie of the year. We would appreciate it if you would vote for us again!

Anyways. This week we have a fresh(ish) piece of concept art from our friends over at Kraffit.

These screenshots, on the other hand, are from a level that Mikko has been working on.

We've also been working on a plethora of other stuff, but none quite made the cut into this week's devblog. I guess this will have to do.

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Games
Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 Half-Life 2

Updated 4 days ago Released Nov 15, 2004 Single & Multiplayer 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...

Garry’s Mod 10

Garry’s Mod 10 Garry’s Mod 10

Updated 6 days ago Released Nov 27, 2006 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter

Garry’s Mod is a sandbox mod for the Source Engine. Unlike normal games there aren't any predefined aims or goals. Players are given tools and are left...

INFRA

INFRA INFRA

Updated 6 days ago TBD Single Player Puzzle Compilation

Those most overlooked are often the most important. INFRA puts you into the shoes of a simple structural analyst. Nothing more than a quiet desk jockey...

Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth

Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth

Updated 1 week ago TBD Single Player First Person Shooter

Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth - a sci-fi action adventure first-person game. The story takes place in a world that is not yet destroyed by the Seven...

Silent Escape

Silent Escape Silent Escape

Updated 1 week ago TBD Single Player First Person Shooter

Silent Escape is a mod that takes place in the Half-Life 2 universe. In Silent Escape, scientists has organized the project of "Silent Escape" in which...

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 317)
Dearnike
Dearnike Oct 19 2012, 11:10am says:

Is this engine's even outdated? Cmon tell me.
Because it ISNT.
This engine is faar better than FreakBait3,Cryengine.
Just because it was created at 2004 it wasnt outdated yet.
No Im not a fanboy,so **** you who think i am.
See Ya.

0 votes     reply to comment
Acetyl
Acetyl Dec 9 2012, 4:31pm replied:

It is by definition, outdated. As time goes on, technology standards change, tools improve, support improves. Source was designed to be very modular, which is why the engine you see today is still somewhat viable. But its clear you came here with a made mind, its clear you are a blind fanboy who only listens to the resources that gives him the answer he wants, and its clear you've never once developed anything with source.

Outdated =/= useless. But the tools are horridly out of date, and the overall workflow is not good for commercial development.

Look at all the facts, not just the ones you like.

+1 vote     reply to comment
chibi123
chibi123 Nov 1 2012, 11:08pm buried:

(buried)

i dont know so **** you

-5 votes     reply to comment
jawnkwan
jawnkwan Oct 13 2012, 4:59pm says:

Hello out there, I am in the beginnings of creating a Terminator game, using the Source Engine. It takes place in the Future War shown in the 1984 film. Currently, I have only a friend and myself working on this project. We need help.
Anyone with experience and interest in contributing contact me for further details.
Thank you for your time.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dearnike
Dearnike Oct 12 2012, 8:17pm says:

Some people says that this engine was outdated....
Yeah,dipsh**s these days.

-1 votes     reply to comment
RandomArmy
RandomArmy Sep 23 2012, 1:55am says:

Anybody want to help with a game in Source SDK? (Need help with models, weapons, and textures. I'm all set with ,enus, GUI's, HUD and level design.)

0 votes     reply to comment
harrison1703
harrison1703 Sep 25 2012, 6:54pm replied:

ask me im makin a mod called operation kill gordon for half life 2 a recreation of all the half life games i started just a few weeks after the release of half life 2 im about 90% finished. i can help
:)

0 votes     reply to comment
BE4STYxTROOP3R
BE4STYxTROOP3R Jul 19 2012, 9:20pm says:

Yay for Valve

+6 votes     reply to comment
HelderMartins
HelderMartins Jun 9 2012, 12:11pm says:

Hi, there! I am new arround here, so can you tel me how to download source engine? thank you.

+1 vote     reply to comment
LittleDizzle
LittleDizzle Jun 11 2012, 3:18am replied:

the sdk that you actually use to make maps/mods/games is free to anyone who owns half life 2 or many other source powered games on steam where it can be found under the tools tab

+2 votes     reply to comment
InsanityDeath
InsanityDeath Dec 14 2013, 7:49pm replied:

Wait how do you make a full fledged game? I only see the "Create a Mod" choice.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Platforms
Windows, PS3, X360, XBOX
Company
Valve
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Official Page
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Licence
Commercial
Release Date
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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