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.

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
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  (60 - 70 of 317)
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
EnnemyOfficer
EnnemyOfficer Dec 30 2011, 2:32pm buried:

(buried)

This engine was one of the best for modding before it became an outdated piece of ****.

-6 votes     reply to comment
strikers_alliance
strikers_alliance Jan 1 2012, 7:35am replied:

Just think: Source engine provides acceptable graphics while it's a lot more lightweight than other mod-able game engines. That's its advantage, dude.
Also, Valve keeps polishing it. It's becoming much better, not outdated at all. Who even needs to make a new engine when the current one is so good and is still becoming better?

+9 votes     reply to comment
Gjsdeath
Gjsdeath Feb 13 2012, 3:24am replied:

Sadly they don't release these updates in code form. I would of loved to actually mod Portal 2, not just create maps and assets for it. Wouldn't it be cool to see NPCs running around, maybe guns or vehicles? More than one env_projectedtexture active? Same goes for L4D1/2 and TF2.

And don't forget those... things... they call "tools". Most tools are command line, and anything that has a GUI is the very definition of unstable. I'm trying to mod AlienSwarm(it's the best codebase we have atm), and it's version of Hammer is the worst I've seen(and when I thought it couldn't get any worse). I swear it has a memory leak(cause I don't think a few brushes need 1.4GB of RAM) and it crashes 90% of the time I touch the model selector.

Valve seems to pride it's self on the fact that so many people mod it's engine. I would imagine they would try to keep us, instead of trying to kill us off with these SDK & mod-breaking updates and by releasing tools that make you want to kill the nearest living thing out of frustration.

I'm not the only one, many Source modders are jumping ship for far more stable and powerful tools(UDK). A few really good looking mods have already converted, and I know one that might be converting soon.

I'm still modding it, I'm really trying to hold on. Not sure why, either because I like the way Source works or I'm just too lazy to learn something better. But really, it's just a matter of time before Valve breaks my SDK again and I just say **** it and walk off.

Come on Valve, where is the love?

+5 votes     reply to comment
KEVLAR60442
KEVLAR60442 Jan 10 2012, 4:12pm replied:

The biggest issue IMO is that the improvements to the Source engine are minimal compared to other engines of the same age. Even the IW engine, the engine that people bring to mind when they think of old engines overstaying their welcome, brought massive improvements in 2007, and arguably looks better than Valve's default Source engine ATM.

+1 vote     reply to comment
strikers_alliance
strikers_alliance Jan 12 2012, 8:16am replied:

Yeah, Valve keeps doing incremental updates to Source engine instead of major changes, but I have to admit that they introduced some good ones, such as better HDR system, dynamic lighting, better animations as well as less map limitations.

+2 votes     reply to comment
RoboTyphoon
RoboTyphoon Dec 9 2011, 4:01pm says:

When in the **** are you going to fix the L4D SDK model viewer?!

+3 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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