Leadwerks is the easiest way to build 3D games. With a rapid development pipeline, support for Lua and C++ programming, and plenty of learning materials, Leadwerks is the perfect way to learn to make games.

  • ADVANCED GRAPHICS: Leadwerks brings AAA graphics to the masses, with hardware tessellation, geometry shaders, and a deferred renderer with up to 32x MSAA. Our renderer redefines realtime with image quality more like a cg render than real-time games of the past. The use of OpenGL 4.0 provides equivalent graphics to DirectX 11, with cross-platform support across operating systems.
  • CSG MAPPING TOOLS MAKE LEVEL DESIGN FUN: Build game levels from scratch right in our editor with constructive solid geometry. Our tools make it easy to sketch out your design and bring your ideas to life. Anyone can build their own game worlds in Leadwerks, without having to be an expert artist.

  • BUILT ON THE INDUSTRY STANDARD: At it's heart, Leadwerks is a C++ library of functions you can call at any time, in any order. Leadwerks uses industry-grade tools like Visual Studio and Xcode, so you'll be coding games like a pro.
  • INTEGRATED LUA SCRIPT EDITOR: We integrated Lua right into Leadwerks because of its proven track records in hundreds of AAA games including Crysis, World of Warcraft, and Garry's Mod. Lua integrates seamlessly with native code for rapid prototyping and instant control. The built-in debugger lets you pause your game, step through code, and inspect every variable in the program in real-time. Lua is perfect for beginners, and the integrated Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler ensures you can publish commercial games that perform blazingly fast.
  • VISUAL FLOWGRAPH: Our unique visual flowgraph enables designers to set up game mechanics, build interactions, and design advanced scripted sequences, without touching a line of code. The flowgraph system integrates seamlessly with Lua script, allowing script programmers to expose their own functions and add new possibilities for gameplay.

  • ROYALTY-FREE LICENSE: Your games you make with Leadwerks are yours. Yours to play, yours to sell, yours to give away, or do whatever you want with. There's no royalties to pay, ever.

Join the community at www.leadwerks.com to learn more.

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In order to avoid confusion it’s important to note that Enshrouded World, Enshrouded World: Home Truths and Surrogate are all the same project just at different points in the development timeline.

I’ve already come this far, why stop now?

This was the guiding question over the last year during the ever increasing perilous late hours spent on Surrogate. The question is in fact far removed from my true motivation which had spawned an unhealthy ambition and tenacity for pushing myself to the limit with the goal of perfection. My true intention was quite naive and hardly original, attain a level of financial success and fame. The desire for financial success stems from the reality of being an unemployed student living with a low income parent however the need for recognition is far more personal. I was stubborn enough to spend eleven thousand hours developing Surrogate, writing around sixty thousand lines of code, recording my own voice acting and performing each line of dialogue with the necessary expressions to capture facial animation data.

Sketchbook

The Long Shadow

I started with FPS Creator in 2007 at age nine and in the early years of secondary school learnt how to use more complex development tools including the idTech 4 and Source SDKs. Video games were always a comforting escape from living in a bleak dysfunctional household ruled by addiction where denial and secrecy permeated every room. It’s no surprise to me that I had such a great interest in game development from an early age. I have always been an isolated, noncompetitive and detached person with trouble relating to others as their lives and families in particular seemed so different. Combined with a penchant for cynicism, hypervigilance and a generally serious approach to life I’ve been unable to lose this negative perception of myself. I very much wanted the game I would develop to be successful and provide me with some level of fame and admiration as a way to supposedly solve the many issues I had to deal with. It wouldn’t be until two years after starting development that I would be prescribed an SSRI for social anxiety and slowly improve my confidence and self-esteem however the wish for recognition never really went away.

It was March 28, 2014 when I got my hands on the recently released Leadwerks 3 and a notebook for recording my world-shattering ideas. The process was not as elegant and intuitive as I thought it would be with many months spent on establishing ideas before discarding them in a sudden change of heart. There are some ideas from that time that remain in Surrogate however they are few and far between. I’d spend most days working on Enshrouded World in some capacity growing more content with every passing hour that brought programming knowledge and more importantly the sweet taste of achievement. I had developed a routine of spending so much time developing the game that my school work was being neglected.

Screenshot

How would I describe the last four and a half years?

Undeniably lonely and morose. There was certainly a sense of great satisfaction when it came to accomplishing the ambitious tasks I had given myself however the isolation of creating a game alone always crept up. It wasn’t until the latter half of the development that I was beginning to question my motives for embarking on this difficult and tiring goal. Perhaps the answers were too much to bare? Or perhaps the countless hours of work were a distraction from thinking of asking such questions and so would keep any negative thoughts and emotions at bay. I’ve found that it’s hard to see work as an addiction when you’re in the middle of achieving a goal, that it’s only made clear upon introspection after the task is complete.

Screenshot

A Naive Beginning

When I started working on the game I had next to no knowledge on game engines beyond royalties and certainly no knowledge of how rare the success I wanted was. Leadwerks had no royalties which was enough for me to choose that over all the other available game engines. It wasn’t until the last quarter of 2014 that I had settled on an idea which laid the foundation for what Surrogate is today. Being a private person working on my own I was sealed off from comments both positive and negative that would have not only guided me in a better direction but also allowed me to gauge interest from the gaming community. Regardless this was a period of great learning and iteration that in my mind was working towards a game that was worthy of a player’s time. Looking back on the design decisions made during this period I can certainly say that I’ve improved and learnt the value of pacing as well as cutting content. At the time my focus was on throwing as many features and levels into the game as possible. This meant the player would spend twenty minutes walking through bland corridors where the cast of characters would be introduced. That was followed by a brief experience with the hovercraft in the tutorial which required players to collect plants before returning inside again for some more wholesome walking. It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that many of the necessary alterations were made to drastically improve the experience.

Screenshot

A Concentrated Dose Of Failure

If any point in time can be described as the worst period in the development it would be the entire year of 2017. It began with being unable to pass through Steam Greenlight at a time that saw thousands of entries being granted access to the Steam storefront. I was determined to launch the game properly with a marketing agency supporting me once Steam Direct was made available. That became the next major downfall however as countless issues and miscellaneous bugs were persistent in every single playtest conducted by the agency. The worst part was the members of the press who had been contacted were playing the game in a broken state and as a result only one review was posted that was severely negative. The result was I had spent $5,000 AUD on the marketing that resulted in no publicity beyond the negative review and certainly no additional traffic or sales. As an unemployed university student this hit me pretty hard, I had put all my eggs in one basket and failed. In addition to the review granting Enshrouded World a 4% score the game appeared on YouTube in the “Attack of Crap Games” series amongst others with a consistently negative reception. Balancing University work and the game development was always a challenge for me and at the end of the year I was unable to sustain both of them. As I was handling all the bugs and engine issues that the marketing agency was reporting my studies were neglected and I ended up failing two of the four classes I was taking that semester. In order to graduate at the expected time I had to complete a summer course in January 2018 and use Enshrouded World for a credit transfer. My low GPA and almost empty bank account continue to remind me a year later of the most challenging and discouraging time in the development.

Screenshot

Once More, With Feeling

Following the many disappointments of 2017 I was determined to continue working on improving the game until it was in a completely working state. The game was altered far beyond just ensuring that it worked properly with many new additions added and equally as many unnecessary aspects removed. While 2018 has certainly been a more positive year I can’t help but feel the outcome is bitter-sweet. Firstly in order to separate this overhauled version from Enshrouded World the title was altered to Enshrouded World: Home Truths however there remained to be no interest. Following a quick post on an indie game promotion Facebook group there was an overwhelmingly negative response particularly surrounding the trailer. Thankfully one commenter was willing to playtest the game and provide some extremely helpful feedback and critique that pushed me in the right direction. Once those features were included which most notably were the wider range of enemies, multiple vehicles and customisation the game was released as a separate application on Steam titled Surrogate. The interest and feedback for Surrogate has been almost completely non-existent thus far which leads me to believe that perhaps continuing to update the game beyond the first Steam release in October 2017 was a mistake however only time will tell. For the moment I’m hoping the project is at least enough to catch someone’s interest on a resume and have finally decided to move on which I believe is the most healthy option I can take right now.

Screenshot

Was it worth it?

So after an incredible amount of time, money and energy has been placed into this game while neglecting many other facets of life did I receive the adulation I was yearning for? No.

It is difficult to be sure about the appropriate measure of success when considering the obviously massive amount of time and effort that has gone into this game. There is no doubt that the development caused much stress and frustration over perfectionistic details. This makes it all the more disappointing that the game has been lost under the mountain of daily releases on Steam. Faced with such a result I certainly can’t help but feel disappointed though remain aware of those who are quick to assert I expected too much especially for my first game. What I’m left with is the knowledge of an unpopular game engine (Leadwerks) and a language just as unpopular (Lua) both of which I’m certain will not be used in my career.

Even now I continue to hold onto my hope that the wishes I’ve had these past several years will come true whether through a new project or somehow with Surrogate.

Screenshot

If you’re interested in learning more: Surrogate - From the Archives provides access to a vast collection of behind the scenes and removed content from the 4.5 years of development.

Surrogate and Surrogate - From the Archives are available on Steam and Itch.io.

Shine - Dev Blog #2 - Mechanics

Shine - Dev Blog #2 - Mechanics

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In the second edition we’ll be going what makes Shine tick, what you do in it, what makes it flow and how we got there.

Leadwerks Game Engine 4.5 enables easy VR development

Leadwerks Game Engine 4.5 enables easy VR development

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Leadwerks Game Engine 4.5 introduces support for VR headsets including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and all OSVR-based hardware, allowing developers to...

Border Recon - New Movement Animation System
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A new implementation system to replace the current glitchy system.

Lone Water - Greenlight Trailer
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Lone Water - Greenlight Trailer

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Hello friends, the time has come! We launched a Steam Greenlight campaign for Lone Water and we need your help. First I would like to show a little trailer...

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Surrogate

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Car Combat

Your memories are beyond reach, a side effect of a life-saving operation. Stationed at an oxygen production facility you must oversee an exodus to the...

Enshrouded World: Home Truths

Enshrouded World: Home Truths

First Person Shooter

Your memories are beyond reach, a side effect of a life-saving operation. Stationed at an oxygen production facility you must oversee an exodus to the...

Enshrouded World: Home Truths

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Car Combat

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Bladequest - The First Chapter

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"A Demon's Game" is a very unique title, but keeps true to it's horror roots, the game focuses on creating a terrifying atmosphere, rewarding exploration...

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Third-person Shooter inspired by the events of Desert Storm featuring infantries and soon: jets, cars, and tanks.

Lone Water

Lone Water

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Lone Water is a first person adventure horror game that tells a story about a Post-Apocalyptic FLOODED World. You are a lone survivor in this world and...

TinyGom Racing

TinyGom Racing

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1/10 remote-control cars solo racing in different environments and levels. 3 modes: Quick race (5 opponents) Time-Trial (ghost included or not) Championship...

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 26)
Guest
Guest

can i build/export game to Windows on Linux ? Or i need to boot to Windows (which i don't have :P)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
JoshKlint Creator
JoshKlint

When you export a Lua game it includes the Linux executable, so that will work automatically. If you are using C++ you need to compile your game on Linux to get the executable.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
demen2010
demen2010

hello can i juste know id it easy to learn or hard ?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
JoshKlint Creator
JoshKlint

We're going for easy. Try the demo on Steam and let me know what you think.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
JackM.
JackM.

The thing is catch me, map editor similar to hammer!
Great job, and oh yes, real-time shadows in viewport!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
JoshKlint Creator
JoshKlint

It now exports to VMF format, too. I've only tried it with the Left 4 Dead SDK but the texture mapping planes are perfectly retained in Hammer. Also added texture lock mode.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Crypt

It looks similar but it functions far worse. But the WYSIWYG viewport is quite nice!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Lesbian_Owl
Lesbian_Owl

Its not crysis. But its good aswell :3 really cool

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Crypt

Have you spent any time with this engine at all? The graphics aren't the only thing to look at in an engine, and this one is just not fun and awkward to use, I sincerely wish there was a demo before I bought it.

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JoshKlint Creator
JoshKlint

Specifically what are you having trouble with? We've worked very hard to make the development experience smooth and enjoyable. Was there any problems you ran into?

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Crypt

The review I've submitted covers some of the larger points in a bit more detail, but to summarize, everything from navigation, to menus is finicky, hard to work with and slow.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
JoshKlint Creator
JoshKlint

Thanks for the feedback. I've been able to address a number of these issues recently. I didn't notice the viewport speed issue until you pointed it out, but once I did it was obvious. I fixed the bug and also added some mouse smoothing to make the navigation more fluid.

A new section for tutorials has also been created on the site here:
Leadwerks.com

And of course there are over 200 pages of documentation here:
Leadwerks.com

You might not be used to the constructive solid geometry approach to level design, but most people find it a lot simpler than trying to scale models precisely or build maps out of raw polygons.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
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