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
Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Hammer Editor Source Model Viewer Faceposer
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Contagion - Sept 19th Update, Linux & Mac Update, and more!

About Contagion with 2 comments by Tatsur0 on Sep 15th, 2014

Contagion

Today's update may seem smaller than it really is which has more to do with a great deal of work than the lack there of. Since our July 31st/August 1st release our focus has been on the Free 1st DLC Bundle and the Core Game Mechanics much of which is still being prototyped and tested for upcoming releases.

There hasn't been a single day of inactivity and we may have some additional surprises coming your way. Even with me flying back home to the States to save the Company additional expenses and get me on a timezone to better run things with Alex Wright (COO) I already have a powerful NoteBook to continue my work and everyone knows what they're do. I will also be making my first public appearance via a popular Talk Show on October 10th, Sponsoring and Running a Large Venue with 32 high end machines in the center of ZombieFest (with possible special guest appearance), and I think we might hit up Universal and/or DisneyWorld (never been to Florida) the day before we return.

Our Changelog is missing a considerable amount of AI Code, Optimization to Code, and further steps towards including the features we've mentioned such as an improved and much needed lobby system for those not wanting to go through the trouble of setting up a server which requires the usual Port Forwarding and more or 3rd Party Lan related software, New Animation System for our MoCap Animations, Ranking, Unlockables, Stats, and cosmetic options for players.

I will not see my family for some time as we sort Immigration which means I will be lost in my work. This year is going to be a very exciting year!

Check out today's Update (Including additions that didn't make it in the Build Changelog Text)-

September 14th Changelog:

  • Added new triggers and challenges to Biotec
  • Added new gates to CE_StoneCreek
  • Added new sounds to improve atmosphere and immersion
  • Improved Sound Zones
  • Optimized AI Code
  • Optimized Core Engine to boost Performance
  • Optimized a significant number of assets to improve quality of game-play
  • Optimized the following maps. CE_RoanokePD, CE_Biotec, CE_StoneCreek, and CE_BarloweSquare
  • Significantly improved Zombie Pathing & Nav Mesh in CE_RoanokePD, CE_Biotec, CE_StoneCreek, and CE_BarloweSquare
  • Removed dozens of Bugs, Exploits, and Glitches in CE_RoanokePD, CE_Biotec, CE_StoneCreek, and CE_BarloweSquare
  • Removed obsolete Sounds and other Assets
  • Rebuilt numerous Biotec and BarloweSquare Props to avoid issues with Players & AI
  • Fixed a number of scripts for more accurate and improved game-play

More updates coming and without the major delays!

Very soon we will be leaking more about the upcoming Free DLC as you may have caught some of that in the past. All 4 weapons are nearing release status, All 4 new characters are looking great (Manuel, Yumi, Mia, & Curtis), Both Maps again right on track, and Flatline is looking very promising. There are rumors of a release date and originally was planned for 3rd quarter but too many deaths, babies, and overhauls have led to delays. We have no doubt that we'll release before years end only our 1st Free DLC Bundle and we promised 2 but while we have an internal date we do not have a public ETA just yet.


I've mentioned this before but the Engine we're currently on has led to numerous brick walls when trying to do as something as simple as creating working Linux Binaries let alone Linux & Mac Platforms. It wasn't built for it but we have a few tricks up our sleeve to try and sort this out. If for any reason this does not pan out our only option is to update to a later Engine which considering the fact we gutted the original for the most part is not an easy task.

We are currently interviewing some of the best and brightest to either work it out or take up Valve's suggestion to move to a new Engine which will require some delicate coordination so that we can still update the existing Engine while building up on the new. No matter what happens our goal is to keep our promise and release on both Linux & Mac. We owe it to our fans but more importantly to those who made sure we hit that Stretch Goal! I rarely make promises so I never have to break em and I don't plan to break this one.

We highly recommend Linux and Mac users NOT purchase Contagion until this is sorted unless you're comfortable with Wine or Crossover.

Again I am flying back home and this will require a lot of effort to get setup with me passing my work to the team but not being as available as I've been with the community (I will do whatever I can to sort this out ASAP and maybe sooner than I expect). This includes our Weekly "Friday Frenzy" Twitch Stream & Giveaway. Some good news on that front is we've got an eager member of the team working out a SFM intro with a new music track specifically made for it when it will most definitely start back up and may even return with DLC in mind! For now please enjoy the latest Episode 31 (check out any else you missed as well as Contagious Gaming Playlist)!


Expect a pretty epic year! Wish me a safe flight(s) and remember just cause I may not be around for a bit the team is still working day & night and your support has always kept us moving steadily forward!

-The Contagion Team

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Games
Abatron

Abatron Abatron Indie

Updated 1 month ago TBD Single, Multiplayer & Co-Op First Person Shooter

Abatron is space warfare on steroids. Blurring the lines between Real-Time-Strategy and First-Person-Shooter, Abatron is the next evolution of hybrid...

Access To Reality

Access To Reality Access To Reality Indie

Updated 3 months ago TBD Single Player First Person Shooter

Summary: The story, which is complicated, as our world. And character will see it whole, in different times. THREE TIMES: -The Future, Past and Present...

AI: The Awakening

AI: The Awakening AI: The Awakening Indie

Updated 10 months ago TBD Single & Co-op First Person Shooter

Technology keeps mankind evolving ... But what if innovation keeps us running into our own doom? In AI: The Awakening you're slipping into the role of...

Alien Swarm

Alien Swarm Alien Swarm

Updated 5 months ago Released Jul 18, 2010 Single & Multiplayer Arcade

An epic bug hunt featuring a unique blend of co-op play and squad-level tactics. With your friends, form a squad of four distinct IAF Marine classes...

Black Mesa

Black Mesa Black Mesa Indie

Updated 1 month ago TBD Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter

Black Mesa is a re-envisioning of Valve Software's classic science fiction first person shooter, Half-Life. Powered by Source Engine, You will re-visit...

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 315)
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
Niki49
Niki49 Jun 9 2012, 5:58am says:

This engine is just freaking awesome, its extremely realistic and looks really good.

+3 votes     reply to comment
tile
tile Apr 29 2012, 8:54am says:

@ennemyofficer

dude, really? sounds like you pirated the game your modding. i have a point_veiwcontroll parented to a func_tracktrain and it works FINE.

and yes, it has bugs, but that doesn't mean it's oudated.

(even the newest tech has bugs. the source engine has been updated for every new game that valve makes. your argument is invalid.)

0 votes     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Platforms
Windows, PS3, X360, XBOX
Company
Valve
Contact
Send Message
Official Page
Valvesoftware.com
Licence
Commercial
Release Date
Released Oct 31, 2004
Engine Watch
Track this engine
Share
Community Rating

Average

9.6

1061 votes submitted.

You Say

-

Ratings closed.

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

Embed Buttons

Promote Source on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the HTML code provided (more).

Source Source
Source
Statistics
Rank
3 of 654
Last Update
3 days ago
Watchers
1,169 members
Games
58
Files
26
News
235
Features
31
Tutorials
101
Reviews
93