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: Fellow developers - We are looking for you!

About Divinia Chronicles: Relics of Gan-Ti with 0 comments by Dieblein on Sep 1st, 2014

Dear fellow developers,

We are looking for you!

As we all working hard to meet our development goals for the Early Access version, we are again reaching out for all individuals on Moddb: This year we have passed Greenlight and gained our spot on Steam - now we have the commercial licence in place to release the game once we are ready. It took us so many years, now we are so close. Do you want to be part of our journey?


Openings available:

  • 3dsMax/Maya 3d Artist Environmental Art (UV & texture highly welcome)
  • 3dsMax/Maya 3d Artist Character Art (UV & texture highly welcome)
  • 3dsmax Animator
  • Concept Artist
Divinia Chronicles- Divinia Chronicles-

Divinia Chronicles: Relics of Gan-Ti is a single-player, classic-style Action-RPG. With influences ranging from Ocarina of Time to Final Fantasy, this action-oriented title seeks to revive the vintage flavour and vibe of the classics in an original world with a new tale to be told. Explore the island of Pandoria, solve puzzles and fight a variety of creatures as Cyrus, Kira and Dyani work to destroy the relics of Gan-Ti and restore order to the land.

We are a small group of friends from different parts of the world, working on the game in our spare time. Developing the game on a zero budget basis, we cannot offer you any payment for your work. However we what we do offer you is the chance to contribute to this unique project, bring in your own ideas to build something truly great - with shared revenues if we should get our initial investment back.


Are you interested? Please do drop me a mail
teammonkeydev (at) outlook (dot) com

@Everyone on Moddb:
Keep creating, keep changing the world!

Martin
"Dieblein"
TeamMonkey

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Post comment Comments  (60 - 70 of 315)
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
McKane
McKane Oct 25 2011, 12:32pm says:

The Source Engine 2008 really showed itself off in Left 4 Dead, the first one. The visuals and the edge smoothing is just amazing!

+3 votes     reply to comment
tschumann
tschumann Oct 29 2011, 3:19am replied:

Export the model and animations as .smd files I think Valve may ship an exporter in the Source SDK, but I'm not sure) and create a .qc file and compile with studiomdl. There are tutorials on writing .qc files on the Valve Developer wiki.

+2 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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