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Valve's Source Engine now offered as Xbox 360 middleware


Romier S
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It looks Unreal 3 is getting some competition as the Xbox 360 version of the Source Engine is now available to developers as a middleware solution on Microsoft's console. You can read the report right here:

 

http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/739/739199p1.html

 

Valve to offer Source as middleware solution on the 360

 

Today Valve Software announced that the Xbox 360 version of its Source engine is being offered to developers. The Source engine debuted with Valve's own Half-Life 2 and has since been licensed for use in PC games like Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and SiN Episodes: Emergence.

 

Half-Life 2 is scheduled to be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the first quarter of 2007, in a package that also includes the series' first two episodic content installments, as well as a pair of new games, Portal and Team Fortress 2.

 

I would imagine a Playstation 3 version will be made available down the line as well.

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How does the Source Engine compare technically to the Unreal Engine 3? I get the feeling it's a bit behind the curve.

 

From a wizz bang visual standpoint you might be correct but as an overall package I'd say the source engine can compete with the best of them. Valve has done alot of tweaking to the engine and it really isn't the same engine that originally appeared in Half-Life 2. They now have some added effects (HDR, water effects, improved textures, etc). Just look at video clips of the latest HL2 expansion packs. Nothing "behind the curve" about them if you ask me.

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It's an interesting question Camp. Not one I'm in any position to answer of course since I'm not familiar with the development tools offered by Source in comparison to Unreal Engine 3 in any meaningful way. I have heard some rumblings around the old internet about Unreal 3 being a real bear to work with and though it's widely used, it's not exactly liked by those using it.

 

It's an exciting announcement if developers actually do use Source in the future (and it's important to remember that it includes the phsyics, networking, graphics etc.). Not just in bigger titles, but even for XBLA development of original titles in the future (and that's depending on the licensing costs of course).

 

I think with any middleware, it's all about the effort/assets you bring to it. Half Life 2 isn't the game that it is because of the underlying tech (though it is impressive mind), but the enormous amount of art and time spent creating City 17. I think despite the technical proficiency of the Unreal 3 engine, we'll see games like Gears of War that look absolutely incredible and stuff like the new Turok which looks like this:

 

[ATTACH]2379[/ATTACH]

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From a wizz bang visual standpoint you might be correct but as an overall package I'd say the source engine can compete with the best of them. Valve has done alot of tweaking to the engine and it really isn't the same engine that originally appeared in Half-Life 2. They now have some added effects (HDR, water effects, improved textures, etc). Just look at video clips of the latest HL2 expansion packs. Nothing "behind the curve" about them if you ask me.

Engines like those can definitely get updated. Hell, the Tribes II engine has been expanded to include things you see in current-gen engines and you can buy a license for it for well under $1000.

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I'm going to re-install Tribes 2 just because you mentioned the game. Damn!

 

I can't help but think how empty the game engine space is without id. I know the Doom 3 engine is available for license but, realistically, no major games should use it. I just miss the days when Carmack dictated the pace at which game visuals advanced.

 

Now that I'm in Dallas I'll be sure to look him up and kick him in the butt so he'll forget about rocketeering and get back to game engine design. ;)

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