Source 2: Valve’s Best Game Engine Explained

The Source engine is one of the most popular game engines in the world. Released by Valve Games in 2004, this engine was used to create some of the most classic titles in the history of gaming, such as the Half-life or Counter-Strike series. Source was a great tool for creating worlds for dynamic games, with action-packed gameplay.

Source wasn’t only used by Valve. Released for free with its engine-integrated authoring tools, Source was a great way for indie developers to create new video games. Besides big releases, Source was also used to create indie gems such as the Cry of Fear series, or many of the awesome custom maps loved by the CS:GO and TF2 community.

Because of this, when Valve announced that they would be releasing an upgraded version, Source 2, it caused quite a stir in the gaming world. There were immediately many rumors circulating the internet, and everyone started wandering, what changes will Source 2 bring for the gaming community?

What Is Source 2?

In a couple of brief words – Source 2 is the successor of the original Source engine and an improved tool for game and map creation. Although Source engine integrated authoring tools were known for their use in creating some of the most famous FPS games ever released, the first game released on Source 2 was actually one of the world’s most popular moba, Dota 2, with the switch to Source 2 made in 2015.

Although it might seem like a strange choice, showcasing Source 2 capabilities with a moba game was also a message about how flexible the engine is. Dota 2 was a great way to show the new features, such as improved audio and voice processing, as well as some rendering improvements introduced in the new engine. One of the updates has also introduced a way for players to add custom maps to the game, which led some Dota gamers to create worlds and their own games, such as the highly acclaimed Battle Chess map.

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While Dota 2 was the first game to show off Source 2 in practice, it was Half-Life Alyx that really drove the message home that Source 2 will be bringing some major changes to gaming. With a first person perspective, as well as Virtual Reality capabilities players could really experience the environment created with Source 2 technology, as well as all of the improvements introduced with the new engine. Players could not only see with their own eyes the improved graphical features, such as the unified lighting system but also feel more responsive input in their mouse clicks when playing the game.

Valve is actively working on the new engine, as well as providing extended support to Source 2. The next big Source 2 release will be Counter Strike 2, (also known as CS 2 for short), where Valve will be porting all the classic maps to the game, as well as introducing new and improved audio, textures, and possibly some new addition to physics.

At the moment, we know that Source 2 will include the following features:

  • Rendering improvements
  • Advanced shader technology, including dynamic lightning and shadow
  • Advanced character meshes and animation tools
  • Improved game environment and physics engine
  • Improved AI and console support

Is Source 2 Free?

If you’re thinking about creating your own game or a map for one of Valve’s games, you’re in luck! Just like the original Source engine, Source 2 will be completely free. This means that if you want to use Source 2 to turn your creative vision into reality, you will be able to do so completely free.

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Source 2 will be even available for commercial projects, under a single condition. The game must be available on Steam, and Valve will take some money off the royalties in order to cover the copyright fees.

Summing Up

Source 2 will most likely revolutionize gaming and allow interested users and game developers to create worlds, which were not possible with the original Source engine. Although we’re still waiting for more info, it’s clear that moving forward Source 2 will make many changes in the gaming industry.

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