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: Official Source Filmmaker Content Pack DLC for Black Mesa is Now Live!

About Black Mesa with 9 comments by Hubicorn on Aug 19th, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We here at Black Mesa, are pleased to announce our involvement in providing a large collection of assets and content to be used in Valve's Source Filmmaker as an official DLC!

Now that you can download the Black Mesa Content Pack DLC directly through Source Filmmaker, we hope to see many more Headcrabs in top hats, Snarks holding tea parties and Gargantuas... well... smashing things. Needless to say, the opportunities for scientific exploration in this discipline are multitudinous. Just be sure, before creating your scientific masterpiece, you read our Video Policy Page.


During early tests, we noticed some excellent results such as this, this and this or indeed this. Results we hope to see replicated during the 4th Annual Saxxy Awards. Don't forget submissions for it are from 4pm on the 17th September until 4pm on the 24th September (PST), guidelines for those submissions can be read here.  There would be nothing better than to see part of the Black Mesa Facility in one of the winning entries (or even a part of a scientist). So, best of luck to all those who participate in the competition, and we hope that you enjoy using our content to further the causes of Science!

Dr D. Conagher,
Multispacial 3D and Audiovisual Branch
Sector B Quantum Optronics Division. (ULCR - 13)

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Post comment Comments  (50 - 60 of 313)
EnnemyOfficer
EnnemyOfficer Apr 4 2012, 11:47am buried:

(buried)

The Source Engine is an outdated piece of **** that makes you spend 60% of your time trying to find alternative ways to make something because of the amazing number of bugs the SDK contains.

I want to make a laser that dissolves any NPCs ; I can't because the beam doesn't do any damages even if I set the properties/flags rightly. So I try to parent a trigger_hurt to the beam but even if I set "Damage Type" to "Beam", it is only turning a NPC to a ragdoll and doesn't dissolve it as I wanted. Great, now I have laser that just turn without blood a combine into a ragdoll, very realistic !

I want to make an introduction sequence with a point_viewcontrol that will fly over a path_corner/path_track, I can't because the viewcontrol doesn't stop and still continue to fly in a direction even when it's out of the map. Great, I have to use it in a static way.

There are so many stupid bugs that force you to change things you wanted in your mod.

And please don't tell me "wfgo I make css map and soucre 4 ever !!1!1 never had problems", since the Source Engine may seems nice only when you make what Valve is making now.

-10 votes     reply to comment
SmashBalls
SmashBalls Jan 7 2014, 6:36pm replied:

It seems you haven't studied it enough to find work-a-rounds on things like you were describing, or you just don't have a lot of patients, I have spent up to 4 hours trying to find a solutions to things sometimes but they always worked even if they had to be strange. I agree with you that Hammer is stuffed with more bugs then every game combined on the face of this planet, sometimes it makes me fear, anger, or puke, but after over 2 years of putting up with it you learn to not get so sick and to avoid these strange problems. Yes its got alot of issues but its an extremely easy program once you get a hang of it and learn from your mistakes (which only happens if you atleast try everything in your power to fix problems your map has such as deleting and redoing somethings).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dearnike
Dearnike Oct 19 2012, 11:16am replied:

Oh My God i think we got a kid and a bad mapper here.
You cant do cutscenes because Half Life 2 didnt yet,YOU NEED TO MAKE A ******* MOD.
Well if you hate Source SDK then just walk off from your stupid CSS mapping then,your maps sucks.

+2 votes     reply to comment
alexch
alexch Oct 17 2012, 1:52am replied:

What games did you do on the engine? You can download?

+2 votes     reply to comment
ᎶʋƝʂℋɨƤ_ℳƘ_ƖƖ
ᎶʋƝʂℋɨƤ_ℳƘ_ƖƖ Apr 15 2012, 6:33am replied:

Bugged, yes, i agree. But any engine have bugs. I tried many of them. Indie engines, commecraial, some very old ones. All of them have bad sides.

If you can't make something on it then it don't mean it "outdated piece of ****", get some skills.

+8 votes     reply to comment
Theuaredead`
Theuaredead` Apr 27 2012, 8:05pm replied:

Source and GoldSource are very modifiable and more easier to use, compared to other engines.

+5 votes     reply to comment
CrazyDarkDemonMonkey
CrazyDarkDemonMonkey Mar 8 2012, 5:30pm says:

Even though it was outdated, its still get the job done for awesome mods and etc. I have outdated source engines and they work so OutStandingly (mortal combat voice and silence, dripping blood in background with the fatality music...) but hey its what you think, so okay...But outdated source engines work is a fact. Well at least it worked for me.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CrazyDarkDemonMonkey
CrazyDarkDemonMonkey Mar 8 2012, 5:22pm says:

This is the best engine for all mods...if theres any other engines that are good for some other mods that source isnt, speak up and disagree with a comment supporting your disagreement about this comment.

+4 votes     reply to comment
epicbox
epicbox Feb 14 2012, 8:05pm says:

This keeps being the best engine for mods, in my opinion. Even if the source code for the 2009 version isn't available.

+4 votes     reply to comment
matheuslike9
matheuslike9 Jan 29 2012, 12:52pm says:

How can I own a Source Engine ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Platforms
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Company
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Licence
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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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