Leadwerks is the easiest way to make quality 3D games. Learn everything you need with our comprehensive tutorials. Build games with the world's most intuitive game development system. Publish to Steam Workshop and show your game off to the world.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (125 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 6, 2014

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Buy Leadwerks Game Engine: Indie Edition

Buy Leadwerks Game Engine: Indie Edition - 4-Pack

Includes four copies of Leadwerks Game Engine - Send the extra copies to your friends!

 

Recent updates View all (34)

June 11

Summer Games Tournament



Summer is here, which means the beach, barbecue, and the first Leadwerks Summer Games Tournament.

WHEN: The tournament will start Monday, June 15, and end Sunday, July 19th at 11:59 P.M. (Pacific Standard Time).

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Publish your summer-or-other-themed game to Steam Workshop or upload it to the games database before the deadline. You can work as a team or individually. Use blogs to share your work and get feedback as you build your game.

PRIZES: Rather than a competition, this tournamant is a "co-opetition". Everyone who participates gets a prize!

If this is your first game tournament entry, you will receive a cool Leadwerks sticker in the mail.



If this is your second game tournament entry, you'll receive a rockin' Leadwerks T-shirt in the mail.



Entries will be reviewed Monday, July 20th. See the official forum thread for more information and discussion:
http://www.leadwerks.com/werkspace/topic/12779-summer-games-tournament

If you're new to game development, now is the perfect time to get started, with a discount during the Steam Summer Sale.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/251810

6 comments Read more

June 10

Pump-Action Captain is Greenlit

Congratulations to the Pump-Action Captain team for their successful Greenlight campaign:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=448599247
Pump-Action Captain is a difficult, minimalist, FPS with Rogue-Like and RPG elements. An unconventional hybrid of many different genres. You have only ONE life, and ONE weapon; Your trusty Boom-stick! This uber-fancy shotgun can be upgraded in a number of different ways. Fight off waves of randomized interbreeding enemies, ranging from zombies, to robots, to angry snowmen! Ultimately, you face the worst enemy of them all: the dreaded Deathclock. The longer you play, the harder it gets. It's just you, your shotgun, some luck, and a whole lot of skill.



The team used Leadwerks Game Engine, the FPS Weapons Pack, and the Zombie Character Pack, along with models from the Leadwerks Workshop and their own custom characters. We wish them luck as they get ready for release on Steam!

0 comments Read more

About This Software

Leadwerks is the easiest way to make quality 3D games. Learn everything you need with our comprehensve tutorials. Build games with the world's most intuitive game development system. Publish to Steam Workshop and show your game off to the world with Leadwerks Game Launcher (now in beta).

Key Features

Learn to Make Your Own Royalty-Free Games
We provide tons of documentation and video tutorials walking you through the steps to build your own 3D games. Leadwerks is the perfect pathway to go from total noob to pro game developer. And when you do publish your commercial game, there's no royalties to pay, ever.

Advanced Graphics
Leadwerks makes AAA graphics achievable 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, for future expansion.

Built-in Level Design Tools
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.

Integrated Lua Script Editor
We integrated Lua right into Leadwerks because of its proven track records in hundreds of commercial 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 your games will keep running fast as they grow. (Please note that C++ programming support requires the Standard Edition DLC.)

Visual Flowgraph for Advanced Game Mechanics
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 are yours. Yours to play, yours to sell, yours to give away, and do as you please. You will never be charged royalties for any game you make in Leadwerks. And because we only rely on free open-source middleware libraries, you never have to worry about purchasing expensive licenses from third parties.

Free Self-Publishing to Steam Workshop (beta)
Leadwerks Game Launcher is a new way to distribute games. You can publish your Lua-based games from Leadwerks Editor, then send a link to your friends to play without installers, plugins, or zip files. Use this to get your game in front of players and build a following. (Does not support Workshop publishing of C++ games.)

Steam Features

  • Download and publish game content with Steam Workshop.
  • Publish your Lua game to the Workshop for other users to play.
  • Publish image renders and YouTube videos directly to Steam from the editor.
  • Built-in Steamworks support makes your game ready to publish to Steam.

Graphics

  • OpenGL 4.0 deferred renderer with uniform lighting model supports any number of lights, all casting soft dynamic shadows.
  • Up to 32x hardware MSAA makes rendered images incredibly sharp and detailed.
  • Full support for vertex, fragment, geometry, and tessellation shaders.
  • Dynamic megatexture terrain provides fast rendering of terrains with many layers.
  • Hierarchical hardware occlusion queries provides fast visibility testing.
  • Hardware tessellation for dynamic real surface displacement on the GPU.
  • Normal mapping with specular and cubemap reflections.
  • Instanced rendering allows fast drawing of large volumes of objects.
  • Hardware skinning provides fast skinned animation.
  • Deferred transparency with multiple overlapping layers of shading.
  • Real-time mesh modification.
  • Trilinear and up to 16x anisotropic filtering.
  • Blend and transition animation sequences.
  • Extract animation sequences in the editor.

Editor

  • Automatic asset management reloads models and textures when they are modified from another application.
  • Drag and drop import of FBX, DDS, BMP, JPG, PNG, TGA, and PSD files.
  • Visual interface controls every aspect of the art pipeline.
  • Constructive solid geometry modeling tools.
  • Brush primitives include box, wedge, cylinder, sphere, arch, tube, and torus.
  • Automatic UV mapping.
  • Brush smooth groups.
  • GPU-accelerated terrain editor makes sculpting silky smooth and fast.
  • Built-in shader editor with instant visualization and error highlighting.
  • Native user interface is used on each supported platform.

Programming

  • Built-in Lua script editor with debugger, code stepping, and syntax highlighting.
  • Visual flowgraph lets you connect objects to control game interactions and set up scripted sequences.
  • Launch your game and debug the Lua virtual machine as it runs.
  • API design with an object-oriented command set lets you code any type of game.
  • Entity scripts provide a per-object hook interface.
  • Direct programming gives you control over your game's loop and program structure.
  • Script variables are displayed in a visual interface and reloaded in real-time.

AI

  • Navmesh pathfinding provides automatic AI navigation that works everywhere.
  • Character controller movement seamlessly integrated with physics and pathfinding systems.
  • Set entities to automatically chase another object or navigate to a position.

Physics

  • Fast and accurate rigid body physics.
  • Constraints including hinge, ball, and sliding joints.
  • Joint actuators provide fast and stable motorized constraints for doors, robotic arms, and other motion.
  • Automatic physics shape calculation.
  • Generate physics shapes in the editor from models or brushes.
  • Swept collision.
  • Raycasting with lines or spheres.

Particles

  • Real-time particle editor with instant visualization.
  • Emission volumes include box, sphere, cylinder, tube, and cone.
  • Adjustable curve graph for alpha and scale.
  • Particle animation sheets with adjustable frame counts and layout.
  • Velocity-based rotation for directional particles like sparks.

Sound

  • 3D sound spatialization.
  • Emit a sound from any entity.
  • Automatic channel management frees up unneeded channels.
  • Skip to any time in sound.

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1
    • Processor: 2.0 ghz dual core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia, AMD, or Intel OpenGL 4.0 / DirectX 11 graphics. AMD graphics require driver 15.4 beta or later.
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Non-English characters including Cyrillic in the user path are not supported.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit
    • Processor: 2.0 ghz dual core 64-bit
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia or AMD OpenGL 4.0 graphics card with proprietary drivers
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Intel graphics drivers do not presently support OpenGL 4.0 on Linux. Non-English characters including Cyrillic in the user path are not supported.
    Recommended:
    • Graphics: Nvidia graphics card is recommended on Linux.
Helpful customer reviews
532 of 564 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
124.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
My short time with Leadwerks and its Sockpuppets here on Steam.

At first it looked promising to get a true alternative to Unity "on the cheap", in regards as annual subscription comparison to other engines vs up front fees. The reason for that is, indie developers are on extreme low to no budgets and calculate different than studios taking small risks, only, and are prepared to cut deals on a royalty basis when a game hits the shelves. Or one could spend little to no money for other engines (see below).

The good:
With under 100 quid, Leadwerks is in the indie pricelist acceptable with no royalties to pay. The Engine has a clean user interface and eveerything for most parts makes sense how to do things. Every newbie will manage to get around quickly how to use the controls in Leadwerks.

The bad:
Leadwerks' asset pipeline can be quirky when importing static or animated meshes via FBX (a caution to LightWave users). The asset creation tool should be at least Autodesk FBX convertion tool which is free of charge, before importing anything into Leadwerks. Another topic to address is textures with alpha - Leadwerks will not automate anything for you at this point, instead you have to fix everything yourself and depending on complexity, you can spend hours to get a tree look right.

The ugly:
Leadwerks comes in two flavours; Indie Edition (Lua Scripting language) and Standard Edition (Lua and C++). As such, this is where the Game Engine won't crack the shell to be one tool to rule them all. At least not with the API Documentation efforts been made so far. In fact, it's a disaster to read the API Documentation. Not in everyone's favor to get a skinny bone to chew on. Last but not least, Leadwerks Documentation includes old stuff, depricated or missing non-consistent with the current 3.3 version (including but not limited to like, there is no vegetation painter as opposed to a previous version, no screenspace ambient occlusion, no sample content for the special effects and shaders, glass refraction, not enough from this and not enough from that and overall nothing to offer but "learn Lua").

The bottom line:
Leadwerks is not a game engine, but offers the potential to be one in the future (only time will tell).

Suggestions to free royalty-free alternatives:
- S2 Game Engine - free version for commercial use without royalties (AAA Graphics Engine)
- NeoAxis Game Engine - free without limitations but no full source code access
- Torque 3D Game Engine - MIT License with full source code

UPDATE:

The "Developer" of Leadwerks gave me a permanent ban, because I told the truth that Leadwerks is a rip-off. The graphics software doesn't offer a game engine you get.

1. Shaders: no, you can't write a GLSL, instead you have to port it over to Leadwerks to actually work.

2. Asset pipeline - if there is any, instead your FBX files get screwed up and you run into a loop

3. DOCUMENTATION !!! what a JOKE

4. and I could write volumes what a great mess Leadwerks is.

5. don't spend your money on it, get Unity 3D, Neoaxis, Torque, S2 Engine or the 20 quid deal with Epic Games UE4
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A developer has responded on Jun 11 @ 6:03pm
(view response)
54 of 63 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
I'm very disappointed with this software. It's incredibly basic, with simple add ons which IMO should come with the software, costing ridiculous amounts.

The work people have done with previous versions has been practical thrown out, as it's changed so much with no backwards compatibility. So it seems little consideration is given to people trying to make things with this software.

The only great things this has going for it is the royalty-free part. It is fairly easy to use too.

I'm pleased I at least waited for the sale discount and opted to only get the lui version.

You will also need the beta drivers to run this software if you have a ATI GPU. link Kindly put there in the developers responce.
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A developer has responded on Mar 21 @ 11:19am
(view response)
53 of 68 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
446.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Ok so after taking a break for leadwerks i decided to go back and give it another go, I wish i never the comunity is so hostile dont get me wrong there are a few good people there but that is by far outweighed by the bad. If you dont know all there is to know forget it they make you feel small and offer no real help. The softwere its self is great but missing a good few key fetures and there is alot of coding to do so its not as easy as it says.

If it were to get a better forum with some good mods ect, it really needs a better structure there is no easy way to find things not alot of example stuff like scripts and if you ask for one or help with anything boy do you know about it.
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37 of 47 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
I've spent about 2 months (mostly offline) working on and trying to figure out Leadwerks Engine. Now I decided to make a review.
If you'd like to develop games on Linux, LE should be a good choice. Otherwise, it is ridiculous to use this engine.


Graphics are not very good. Games made with LE look "old-gen".
Scripting (Lua) is not as easy as they say.
If you create a "game prefab" and then change value of a variable of its script in inspector, you have to create a new prefab with it to use it in a game map. That's insane.
Writing your own shader scripts is really hard. I couldn't get how to code shaders in LE (with glsl) eventhough I create my own shaders in Unity (cg shaders). There are a few simple shaders and some special shader examples around but it is hard to create "your own style".
It is easy to understand the logic behind usage of this engine but it is so difficult to create "something good"/"something unique".
You can use post-screen effects easily but can't manage them in detail (unless you create your own ones).
Occlusion culling is supported. This is only feature that I really like.

I don't regret the money I spent for LE. I regret the time I spent on LE. Unity Free is much more better than LE eventhough the free version doesn't support some features like dynamic soft shadows, occlusion culling etc.
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19 of 27 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
I was very unset by what for me was the most important part of this whole program, the tutorials. For whatever reason when I would open Leadwerks and it would show the window asking if I would like to see tutorials, I would click the link and nothing would happen, after that not working I would search for tutorials they would all be in text. This made it hard for me to know if what I was doing was correct or not. I was hoping that the program would have built in tutorials that I could use to learn from, but these things where not there for me to learn from and that maps did nothing but add more questions to my endless list of "How do I do that?"s. If anything I was hoping that It could teach how to make other objects move and react but It does nothing for me. Untill something has changed and I can learn how to make a slightly complex game with help from the program itself, I will regret spending my money and unless you have experiance with programs like these I would suggest not spending your money.
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