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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About INFRA with 6 comments by assassini on Oct 24th, 2014

Hey guys! The game has come a long way since we first started working on it. We put together some comparisons to see just how much everything has changed over the years.

In case you were wondering about the post title, we also spent some time improving the foliage in INFRA. We turned on "alpha to coverage" for all foliage. This basically allows the leaves of trees and bushes to be anti-aliased. It's not really visible in the thumbnail, but be sure to click the image and marvel at its full glory.

We also made some changes so that the foliage sways in the wind now. It looks super amazing and really makes the levels come to life.

The flashlight also has volumetrics now. It basically looks like that it illuminates dust floating in the air. Adds a ton of atmosphere to dark levels.

It's really expensive to render at the moment, but we are hoping to optimize it so that it runs a bit better. If that doesn't work, we'll just leave it as an option for the "ultra" graphics level or something.

It has been a fruitful couple of weeks. Oh, and we're hoping to get a new gameplay video out in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

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Post comment Comments  (50 - 60 of 318)
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
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
Draiter
Draiter Apr 27 2012, 11:35am says:

I don't know about you guys, but this here is the BEST gaming engine EVER released... Yeah, I said it and I mean it, in my opinion at least... I take it over CryENGINE 3, Unreal Engine and even ****** up, full-of-**** Frost **** Bite 3...

+5 votes     reply to comment
houghtob123
houghtob123 May 24 2012, 9:01pm replied:

I agree with everything BUT Unreal Engine.

+2 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
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Platforms
Windows, PS3, X360, XBOX
Company
Valve
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Official Page
Valvesoftware.com
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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