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:


  • 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
  • View media
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The Journey Continues...

Since porting to Unreal Engine 4, quite a bit has not only improved because of the engine, but because our team has simply grown in skill since you've last seen us. While the time it has taken to port everything over has been tedious, we are overall happy with how much the game has improved as a whole. Here are some samples of our updated units, plus a beautiful shot of our environment for the planet Nekros:
(more screenshots on our Website)

rocketbelly rts game fps shooter

thrasher rts game fps shooter mu

manalock rts game fps shooter mu

abatron firstperson shooter rts


Now that we've got updated units and a sweet playable map, we can finally begin doing playtests. With up to 8 different people playing at a time, things have gotten really interesting. Especially since we have different team members with different playstyle preferences. Some like to focus solely on RTS, or vice versa FPS. Others switch between the two freely. Not knowing exactly what might be coming your way certainly helps keep you on your toes, no matter which mode you're in. Here's a few shots we've managed to grab during the recent sessions:

shooter unreal ue4 thirdperson 1

rts indie game play 20

fps hybrid online multiplayer 2

rts indie game play 2

Stay Tuned!

If you've enjoyed this update and want to know more about Abatron, or simply want a more steady stream of news, then you're in luck! We have several different ways that you can keep up to date with everything Abatron. Here are our top picks!

Website ( with weekly updated blog) :



Monthly Newsletter:

Thanks so much for reading and we will do another update soon!

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Post comment Comments  (60 - 70 of 332)
RandomArmy Sep 23 2012 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 Sep 25 2012 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 Jul 19 2012 says:

Yay for Valve

+6 votes     reply to comment
HelderMartins Jun 9 2012 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 Jun 11 2012 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 Dec 14 2013 replied:

Wait how do you make a full fledged game? I only see the "Create a Mod" choice.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Niki49 Jun 9 2012 says:

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

+3 votes     reply to comment
tile Apr 29 2012 says:


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 Apr 27 2012 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 May 24 2012 replied:

I agree with everything BUT Unreal Engine.

+2 votes     reply to comment
EnnemyOfficer Apr 4 2012 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 Jan 7 2014 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 Oct 19 2012 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 Oct 17 2012 replied:

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
Gunship_Mark_II Apr 15 2012 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` Apr 27 2012 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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Released 2004
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1069 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (17 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 by Half_Kill

Lowest Rated (2 agree) 1/10


Jan 14 2011 by jonas6910

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