New version 4.0 - Leadwerks is the easiest way to make 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:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (179 reviews) - 75% of the 179 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Jan 6, 2014

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Recent updates View all (56)

May 12

"Doom" in Leadwerks

Tired of waiting for the release of the new Doom game? AngelWolf recreated the classic E1M1 map in Leadwerks. You can play it here to get psyched up for the big release tomorrow.

1 comments Read more

May 5

Update Available

An update is available with the following changes:

  • Fixed System::Print() command which was printing char* values as bools.
  • Added optional parameter to the end of Entity::SetInput().
  • Add optional parameter to the end of Emitter::SetVelocity()
  • Fixed light occlusion culling bug.
  • Fixes a sound source position bug.
  • Untextured animated models will now have animation appear by default.
You must update your project to get the updated shaders and executables.

0 comments Read more

About This Software

Leadwerks is the easiest way to make 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 available in early access).

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.

New Vegetation Painting System
Leadwerks Game Engine 4 introduces a one-of-a-kind vegetation system for handling massive amounts of foliage. Instead of storing each instance in memory, our new system uses a distribution algorithm to dynamically calculate all relevant instances each frame for rendering and physics. This allows enormous densely packed scenes with minimal overhead. The results are blazingly fast, efficient, and easy to use. In fact, our new system is so advanced it's featured in the book Game Engine Gems 3.

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
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. Games can be played on the desktop with a PC or in the living room with a Steam Machine. (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, 8.1, or 10
    • Processor: 2.0 ghz dual core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia, AMD, or Intel OpenGL 4.0 / DirectX 11 graphics.
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (179 reviews)
Recently Posted
Crazycarpet
( 109.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
Great engine, very powerful and easy to use. Josh and other community members provide great assistance. Any problems I had with Leadwerks have been fixed, or I've figured out that it was more a me problem.

Great Lua integration, and ToLua++ makes life extremely easy.

Really excited for the release of Josh's "environment probes" that provide rooms with Global Illumination, Ambient lighting, etc. They look amazing so far.

Couldn't be happier with Leadwerks and I'd definetly recommend it to anyone looking to make games. If you're interested in game development Leadwerks, I'd strongly recommend getting Leadwerks. It's a great way to learn since not everything is done for you like in some other all in one solutions, but because if this it's very flexible. It's very straight forward, fast, powerful and easy to use.

However, personally I'm not a fan of the water. But you can't please everyone.
(I'd also recommend buying Leadwerks: Standard Edition - you need it to be able to fully interact with Leadwerks and use it to it's potential.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
HGI
( 8.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
Excellent engine, and much more powerful than I thought it would be. I go between Leadwerks and CryEngine and I'll be honest, I find myself swaying towards using Leadwerks more nowadays.

Highly recommended
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lucian Alexander Moon
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 29
I originally posted a bad review because my computer could not run the engine. I discovered it was an issue with my graphics card. It was fixed, but then I never bothered to edit my review. Well I was playing around on it since Unity was having some issues on my not-so-good computer, and I've decided its not that bad after all. Maybe not worth $100, but definetly worth the $70 I got it on sale for (It was like years ago, cant remember the exact price) It would be nice if it could use multiple languages, as I do not know lua, but it didnt seem hard to learn so Ill give it a look over. Would give it a 7/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[TBRKT] Brandon K
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 28
It works well but I can't find a single tutorial. The ones I do find are very outdated.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
 
A developer has responded on Apr 28 @ 6:45pm
(view response)
Fb||Picou
( 136.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 25
In one word : AMAZING !
I'm a newbie in game development and after 2 hours of tutorials, I knew : put the skybox, sculpt, paint the floor, put assets on the ground, manipulate them (rotate, scale them, etc...).
I think that if you want to put many assets on your scene (like trees), Leadwerks is made for you ! you can do it with no problem ! I covered the map with trees, then I played : any problem !

CONS :
- it's not easy to put water on your map...Water is always at the same level...I think it's a feature that will be developed in the future (I read that).
- You can't dig like others softwares...
11/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
{=Corrosion=}
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 21
It's pretty awesome so far, I learned how to do a bunch of stuff in about 5 minutes that ranged from getting enemy AI working to getting a playable character working, to making a small map that actually looked decent. Easy enough, awesome enough.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PeekATracked
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 17
This is for people who don't know how to create a game. complete noobs like me.
I bought this and i tried it for 3 hours, then i got tired of it and stopped working with it.
100€ wasted for me, its probably not a bad program, but nothing for people who don't know what there doing
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheRainwildsKeeper
( 6.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 16
Add support for Vulkan API please.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Extreemhost
( 275.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 4
Just one word amazing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kibbinz
( 22.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 23
Crashes often and when I try to create an object or save a texture it crashes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
 
A developer has responded on Mar 1 @ 2:55pm
(view response)
Dinobaggio
( 32.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 22
Great for making landscapes and terrains, spent hours sculpting a crevice, having fun with textures(etc) now I need to learn a LOT more Lua to make some characters, npc's (etc)...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Joe
( 101.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 18
The game engine has a lot of bugs and it's a one man show doing the work and updates that are not tested before released. The end user of the product is the beta tester and good luck getting any support when the program crashes.
I bought it at 80% off for $20.00 so no big deal throwing away $20.00 but not worth $100 at all.

Save your money and move on to a real game engine with support and people use to make games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
IMMATUREGAMER
( 21.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 14
Its a good software for beginers. You can make all sorts of stuff with it! Im trying to make a game right now with it so if its Twenty Dollars again.... BUY IT
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sargent House
( 135.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 10
For quite sometime I have wanted to show my game ideas, for a very long time I have been switching between Leadwerks, Unity, and unreal engine, For me leadwerks has won me,
Being new the game building world, having no experiance, learning is hard and takes alot of time, but you do get there,

Unity does my head in, the scrips, the non compiling, WHAT did i do that stoping this running, hard work, for new builders.

Unreal Engine, It is good, let me say if again, really good, but, BUT, it is a raw platform, easy to play around with, very hard to make a working game, you cannot be new to programing, It requires knowlegde, knowlegde I hope to gain but dont have yet, and the assets while great also, are costly, NOT an engine for first time builders, admire those that can.

Now down to Leadwerks, map building easy to follow, assets, you can get alot from all over the net, might take some time playing around but really workable, the ASSET Store, getting bigger as I type, so many great items ready to just drop in yor scene, Lua scriping, have not had any problems with, fantastic, those the have the C++ background, I believe if you can program in C++, you have the ability to use Leadwerks to produce a AAA game,
Now, I own the indie version with only Lua, but for more the standard version is with C++,

Do I recommend, for sure, if your new, don't have programing knowledge, Leadworks is for you, if you know C++ leadwerks is also for you, show us something great,
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Soulless
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 6
I don't have any clue why or how but whatever i do it wont let me start a product, can you fix this problem
Helpful? Yes No Funny
 
A developer has responded on Feb 7 @ 5:51pm
(view response)
synchromesh
( 115.9 hrs on record )
Posted: February 2
If im honest i bought Leadwerks to replace my 3D World studio so i could export my creations, levels simply because i was a Radiant user also for many years so the editor is kind of familiar to me and i could use them in many of my other game projects as well ..

Unfortunatly ( unless im missing something ) if you export as Obj it does not include your textures etc as 3D World world studio did :( so to be fair im no expert and do not use it as much as i would like to.

But is it any good ?

Well from some small demos i have managed yes its a great engine and easyish but does require a steeper learning curve than the video led me to believe but if you master it you could create some incredible games..

You only get out of it the effort you put in ..
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SpEcIeS
( 91.3 hrs on record )
Posted: January 30
This was my first experience with a game engine and it was excellent. The community is very helpful and the Leadwerks site offers some excellent tutorials to get a person started and they offer an excellent message board with plenty of friendly help. On YouTube there are many videos to walk a person through some more complicated information.

If you are looking to build games for sale, or for pleasure, I would recommend The Leadwerks Game Engine. :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
IZ A TR-8R M8
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: January 26
doesnt work you need the perfect computer for it so before you buy do your research onwhat computer works with it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
 
A developer has responded on Jan 26 @ 6:46pm
(view response)
Suomis
( 35.2 hrs on record )
Posted: January 26
I had little to no experience with such programs before buying Leadwerks during the -80% sale. I had only used Source SDK back in 2009 but never really got into it and I have some experience with CAD-programs. Even with such limited experience, Leadwerks really made it easy to step into gamemaking because of the fantastic tutorials. I'm still a novice by all standards but I would've never thought learning would be so easy with the program. The Workshop feature makes it easy to download or buy user made content for your own use and from what I've understood, publishing games is also really easy. I have yet to try that out, though. Great tool, recommended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
johnmc50
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 24
I figured it out its not hard just takes I tried to get help from other people on steam but they didn't know, so I went to you tube. and found the answer
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Excellent engine, and much more powerful than I thought it would be. I go between Leadwerks and CryEngine and I'll be honest, I find myself swaying towards using Leadwerks more nowadays.

Highly recommended
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
109.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
Great engine, very powerful and easy to use. Josh and other community members provide great assistance. Any problems I had with Leadwerks have been fixed, or I've figured out that it was more a me problem.

Great Lua integration, and ToLua++ makes life extremely easy.

Really excited for the release of Josh's "environment probes" that provide rooms with Global Illumination, Ambient lighting, etc. They look amazing so far.

Couldn't be happier with Leadwerks and I'd definetly recommend it to anyone looking to make games. If you're interested in game development Leadwerks, I'd strongly recommend getting Leadwerks. It's a great way to learn since not everything is done for you like in some other all in one solutions, but because if this it's very flexible. It's very straight forward, fast, powerful and easy to use.

However, personally I'm not a fan of the water. But you can't please everyone.
(I'd also recommend buying Leadwerks: Standard Edition - you need it to be able to fully interact with Leadwerks and use it to it's potential.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
It's pretty awesome so far, I learned how to do a bunch of stuff in about 5 minutes that ranged from getting enemy AI working to getting a playable character working, to making a small map that actually looked decent. Easy enough, awesome enough.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
275.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Just one word amazing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Add support for Vulkan API please.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
135.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
For quite sometime I have wanted to show my game ideas, for a very long time I have been switching between Leadwerks, Unity, and unreal engine, For me leadwerks has won me,
Being new the game building world, having no experiance, learning is hard and takes alot of time, but you do get there,

Unity does my head in, the scrips, the non compiling, WHAT did i do that stoping this running, hard work, for new builders.

Unreal Engine, It is good, let me say if again, really good, but, BUT, it is a raw platform, easy to play around with, very hard to make a working game, you cannot be new to programing, It requires knowlegde, knowlegde I hope to gain but dont have yet, and the assets while great also, are costly, NOT an engine for first time builders, admire those that can.

Now down to Leadwerks, map building easy to follow, assets, you can get alot from all over the net, might take some time playing around but really workable, the ASSET Store, getting bigger as I type, so many great items ready to just drop in yor scene, Lua scriping, have not had any problems with, fantastic, those the have the C++ background, I believe if you can program in C++, you have the ability to use Leadwerks to produce a AAA game,
Now, I own the indie version with only Lua, but for more the standard version is with C++,

Do I recommend, for sure, if your new, don't have programing knowledge, Leadworks is for you, if you know C++ leadwerks is also for you, show us something great,
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
633.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2015
Leadwerks is a semi easy-to-use, but also very powerful game engine that is frequently updated and has a very friendly and active community. With Leadwerks, you can create any game you want, be it an FPS game, 3rd person shooter, or a puzzle game, you can make it in the Leadwerks engine.

Some Of The Great Features

The deferred renderer is a great thing giving you the ability to easily add dynamic lights and/or static lights with realistic shadows. CSG level editing (like Source Engine's Hammer editor) is fun and fast in the Leadwerks editor, allowing you to map out and create a level to test out pretty quickly. Another great thing about this engine is that it is Steamworks ready. If you get your project Greenlit, you are ready to rock n' roll publishing your game on Steam.

Leadwerks Game Engine vs Professional Edition

To note about the two versions of this engine, the regular version (Leadwerks Game Engine) is the base version. It allows you to program your game in LUA scripts which do not need compiling time and it gives you the easy-to-use game editor that allows CSG level editing, like you would find in the Hammer editor. The Professional edition is an add-on (DLC) that requires the regular verion, but gives you the ability to program your game in C++ in which gives you more power and the ability to download and use any other C++ libraries such as RackNet for networking and so on.

Is This For Beginners? Well...

Is this engine for novice game developers? Well... I would not think so, I say "semi" easy-to-use for a reason. This engine does require you to program in at least LUA script. Yes, it does have a tutorial for beginners and it comes packed with a couple game examples and templates (FPS example and marble game example) that you can work from when you create a new project, but I would say these are only examples/templates that still need to be built upon. If programming is not your forte, this would not be the engine for you. Also, the documentation needs work as there are many commands in both LUA and C++ that are not well documented or not documented at all, requiring you to search the forums on leadwerks.com in hope for a post already created and answered, but if you cannot find a forum post you can always ask the friendly community that are more than happy to help you out.

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a powerful engine that has LUA scripting, CSG editing, Steamworks ready, all run through an easy-to-use editor, I do recommend the Leadwerks Engine. The regular version (Leadwerks Game Engine) is the way to go. However, in addtion, if you want to program your game in C++, I recommend you to pick up the Professional Edition also. This engine is truely great and will continue to grow for years to come. I will be using this engine for many of my own future projects on http://ToxinGames.com.

Teamed Developers, Please Note:

Please note, if you are working on a team, only people who will be coding the game in C++ are required to get the Professional edition, everyone else that are either designers and/or LUA scripters are required just to get the base version.

CSG Map Making Tip

As a tip from a fellow game developer to another, I would urge you to use CSG brushes only for whiteboxing (or prototyping your map). As you draw more and more brushes, your map may begin to lag heavily in the editor. This makes the map design stage cumbersome and time consuming. Saving a map with lots of brushes takes a commitment. One of my maps that I worked on had at least 300 CSG brushes and it took at least 20 to 30 seconds to save. The reason why it lags is because CSG is different from models and, I believe, it uses a different rendering technique than a regular model that you import. Luckily, you can export your CSG brushes to OBJ files, import them into a modeling program such as Blender (which is free, highly recommended) and then export them to FBX files which you can feed into Leadwerks. Do youself a favor, optimize your map as you design it with the export function, it makes life that much easier ;)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
115.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
If im honest i bought Leadwerks to replace my 3D World studio so i could export my creations, levels simply because i was a Radiant user also for many years so the editor is kind of familiar to me and i could use them in many of my other game projects as well ..

Unfortunatly ( unless im missing something ) if you export as Obj it does not include your textures etc as 3D World world studio did :( so to be fair im no expert and do not use it as much as i would like to.

But is it any good ?

Well from some small demos i have managed yes its a great engine and easyish but does require a steeper learning curve than the video led me to believe but if you master it you could create some incredible games..

You only get out of it the effort you put in ..
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
84.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2015
it is awesome, love the terrain editor.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
101.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
The game engine has a lot of bugs and it's a one man show doing the work and updates that are not tested before released. The end user of the product is the beta tester and good luck getting any support when the program crashes.
I bought it at 80% off for $20.00 so no big deal throwing away $20.00 but not worth $100 at all.

Save your money and move on to a real game engine with support and people use to make games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
59.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2015
Great game engine! The UI may not be as advanced as something like Unity, but it is a hell of a lot simpler to navigate! The APIs are very well documented and simple to integrate. The level editor is very easy to use and allows for precise movements to help you create that level you've been dreaming of.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
this is the best game making software ive ever used and i love it
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
Its a good software for beginers. You can make all sorts of stuff with it! Im trying to make a game right now with it so if its Twenty Dollars again.... BUY IT
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
Great for making landscapes and terrains, spent hours sculpting a crevice, having fun with textures(etc) now I need to learn a LOT more Lua to make some characters, npc's (etc)...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
91.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
This was my first experience with a game engine and it was excellent. The community is very helpful and the Leadwerks site offers some excellent tutorials to get a person started and they offer an excellent message board with plenty of friendly help. On YouTube there are many videos to walk a person through some more complicated information.

If you are looking to build games for sale, or for pleasure, I would recommend The Leadwerks Game Engine. :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
648 of 697 people (93%) found this review helpful
36 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
126.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 23, 2015
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, 2015 @ 6:03pm
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230 of 255 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
51.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 8, 2014
Ok here is what I think of the engine

Pros:
- It is really easy to use once you get the hang of it
- Is a good start for newbies to mess around with
- Cheap royalty free engine (This is hard to come by now)
- Lua is a simple language to start out since it's a scripting language and the engine has a built-in IDE.
- Very easy to build basic maps without any modeling skills
- Come with a few simple scripts for doing simple tasks (Doors, Platforms, Character Controller, Etc)
- Easy to use lighting
- Supports OpenGL 4.0 (Same as Directx 11)
- Steam Controller Support
- Steam Workshop (In beta)
- Option to upgrade to C++ Version (Uses C++11 and works with VS2013)
- Demo (Please for the love of god try it before buying)

Cons:
- No built-in protection for assets when compiling
- No native network support built-in (You can use Raknet)
- No vegetation painting system in Terrain Editor (Only Ground)
- Limited support and documentation (It's growing and has good starter videos)
- Doesn't support older version of OpenGL (Give it a few more years and it won't matter anyways)
- Needs more announcements on whats going on with the development of the engine.
- No Mobile Support (I'm sure in time)

Like any engine starting out I'm sure it will have it's ups and downs. Some of you are asking, is this worth it? Well that depends on what you want to do with the engine. They give you a blank slate to work with and you start building. You can build any type of game you want but it will require some effort to do so.

Q: Can I sell the game I make?
A: That is a big Yes

Q: Is it fun to play around with even if I have never built a game before?
A: I'd say yes

Q: Can I build any game I want?
A: Sure

Q: This or Unity or Another Engine?
A: Well I'm sure some of the other engine has more features but they do come with a price and not royalty free. If you want to be cheap then this is a good engine. New features are being added every few months.

Q: Can you model inside the engine?
A: We it's not a modeling tool but you can place primitive shapes and texture them. (like a wall or floor)

Q: Do I have to code?
A: Well yes, if you want to do anything besides walk around then you'll need to know Lua or C++ if you have the upgrade version.

Q: What type of models can I import?
A: FBX file type

Q: Does the engine come with some Assets?
A: A few but you'll need to provide most of the stuff for your game.

Q: Can I run this if my video card doesn't support OpenGL 4.0?
A: No, Check your support OpenGL version with this http://www.ozone3d.net/gpu_caps_viewer/

Q: Does the free version of Visual Studio Express 2013 work with Leadwerks Standard?
A: Yes it does Visual Studio Site

Q: Well I'm using linux so what compiler can I use?
A: Codeblocks http://www.codeblocks.org/

Q: What are accepted file types for the workshop?
A: (As of May 20, 2014)
For any type of asset:
"mat","pfb","phy","tex","mdl","lua","shader","wav","ttf","map","meta"

For add-ons:
"luo","lib","a","so","h","c","cpp","dll","pdb","ini","html","htm"
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189 of 205 people (92%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
4,492.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 7, 2014
So after using the engine for some time now I decided to write a review. Having no prior experience in coding (Lua) I was able to learn by using the tutorial maps provided with the engine, as well as helpful tutorials created by other users of the engine (leadwerks.com/werkspace).

Now after creating a basic game and publishing it on the community workshop I have moved on to creating a rather big game. Keep in mind I have only been coding and using this program for about 6 months. My game is called the Hunt for Food. Check out the videos on my steam profile if you want to see what you can do with this engine in its current state (with little experience). My most recent update on youtube. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Voq5c3abIU

Ok now onto the engine itself.
Pros-
Engine Developer- This engine is being built by one person (for the most part as far as I know) which is great because he is really good at communicating (he responds to forum posts everyday and will even talk to you personally if you have issues). You might think that means there are slow updates? Well that isn't true if you opt into the beta. You will get multiple updates every month if you are in beta.
Coding-The script functions are easy to learn and you will be able to code your own game after spending some time on tutorials. Lua is addicting to me now, when I start on making a script I can't stop until I am done.
Graphics- It really looks great. It's easy to make a really good looking scene and even add post-effects to it. Even with everything on low quality it looks good.
Community-The leadwerks community has been extremely helpful and a lot of people will help you out. Many useful tutorials have been made by community members.
Art Workflow-It is very easy to import textures and models straight into your game. Just drag and drop the file into your folder and the editor imports it for you. Setting up animations is quite simple now that an animation viewport has been added so that you can watch your animations play before you seperate them into sequences.
Price-At first I thought this was going to be a rather low end piece of software due to the price comparison between it and unity. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this engine to be very useful and of high quality for the low price of 100$.
License-You don't need to show a splash screen or pay any royalties and that is awesome. There is no need to worry about publishing your game if anything the engine developer will help you out.
Workshop-The workshop is full of useful assets create by the community that are free to use.

Cons-
Scene Organization- Right now the scene is organized in one list starting from the first entity you added to the last entity you added to the scene. This creates problems and makes you spend a lot of time scrolling up and down a long scene list looking for a tree you placed a long time ago.
Missing Features/Improvements-The engine isn't 'done' yet. While it is usable and the things it can currently do are very impressive it still feels a bit young sometimes with features like water and vegetation painting missing. There could also be other improvements implemented to things like physics and lighting. On the other hand this leaves lots of room for the engine to grow since it isn't locked down yet in terms of development.

Overall-
This engine is very fun and easy to use. The engine developer is awesome, the engine is great, and the community is friendly. You can make a game in a day with this engine if you put your mind to it and then you can put it on the workshop and have everyone in the community check it out!
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190 of 207 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
756.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 3, 2014
(Edited 2/21/2016, updated to reflect 4.0)
Aside from the fantastic graphics capabilities, this is a very good engine for the price! It provides a lot of freedom and the workshop is a great feature that should be integrated into other engines the way it is in this engine. Haha, this might be a bit long but here are my pros and cons:

Pros:
-Graphics: this is likely something that will improve much more in the future, but what's already in the engine is great to be honest, especially since you can achieve a lot of performance with the deferred renderer since it lessens the performance hit of geometry and lights
-Support: the engine is mainly a one man show, but the support from the development team and their (his) strong presence in the community is great
-Shader Editing: it's very easy to edit shaders and the post-processing stack is very simple but effective
-Price: I know $100 may seem like a lot, but with what you get out of this engine, it's well worth it
-Polish: this engine is very easy and intuitive to work with (especially the drag-and-drop options) and CSG editing, which are the best CSG tools of any game engine I've used
-Workshop: This actually sort of sets this engine apart from the rest since so many quality assets are in the workshop with a great and helpful community
-License: The license is great for both the Workshop and the engine itself
-Coding: I was hesitant about using Lua, but for me it's a great language for this type of engine, and it's pretty easy to put objects with Lua scripts into a scene without breaking other code. Also, it's super fast to test because it doesn't need to be recompiled.
-Vehicles: This used to be a missing feature, but it now has been put into the engine, and the physics are very stable and realistic
-Exporting games: This has been changed a lot since the first release. You can now publish files with encrypted folders to help protect assets and code.
-Animation: This has also been changed a bit. Models imported can have additional animations imported from models with similar bone structures, which helps to reduce redundancies with animating. Also, there is a panel that allows for working with animations (such as extracting animations from other animations-this makes more sense once you start working with it).
-Character controller: I forgot to talk about this, but it's become one of the most polished and powerful features of the program. This is a custom-made physics component for characters in the game and allows for pathfinding, realistic movement, and controlled physics. In short, while it isn't too flexible, it provides a great physics base for characters and the player.
-Vegetation: the vegetation system is great, and in some ways it's innovative in it's implementation which means better performance

Neutral:
-OpenGL: most games today use DirectX, and that's fine but they are limited to Windows. OpenGL is roughly as powerful as DirectX from a graphics point of view. OpenGL can be used by Linux games, which is nice. Unfortunately, OpenGL for computers (non-mobile) are often overlooked by driver developers (notoriously AMD), and AMD often has bugs related to this. Usually they are sorted out, but this can be frustrating from a developer point of view

Cons:
-Hardware: this engine requires a lot in terms of hardware to create useful projects (of course this is a downside of a deferred renderer in general), but with that comes with great graphical potential
-Water: the water in this engine is average in quality
-No streaming: this is a big one if you want to do open-world games because you'd run out of VRAM

Overall, I would definitely recommend this engine, especially since the development team behind it is very helpful and supportive of the community.

IMPORTANT NOTES (read carefully):

Some people may be confused by past documentation and think that this program can export Android and iOS. This is NOT true. These platforms were only in the early versions of LE 3, and they have since been completely dropped in favor of PC gaming. DO NOT buy this software if you plan to make mobile apps with it because you won't have the ability to do so.

Also, download the demo BEFORE purchasing. If you have trouble running it, there is plenty of support in terms of links to various drivers, particularly for ATI and Intel cards (NVidia cards tend to work the best with Leadwerks). Both ATI and Intel cards tend to have drivers bugs often for Leadwerks. That being said, the developer does a good job at contacting ATI and Intel to get these bugs fixed and has provided links to earlier drivers that work well.
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90 of 97 people (93%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
402.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
Leadwerks is a very intuitive and unique mid-scale game engine. With a certain investment of effort, I made things I had no idea how to do with other engines.

What's even better, I discovered and learned so many things related to computer graphics by simply using the LE (Leadwerks). That said, the main strength of LE lies probably in its use of industry standard technologies: OpenGL + GLSL for CG, and c++ and Lua for programming.

A nice thing about Leadwerks is that you can use it as a regular API and totally ignore the editor, which is, btw. quite decent and has a great CSG brushes support. A big plus (and a necessity for me) is a complete transparency of a program flow: in LE, you start from the main function (in the case of C++ - a standard edition) or from Main.lua file that gets invoked from the main c++ function (an indie edition).

Now, despite its claims, it's not meant for utter beginners. Nevertheless, it's easier to use and has a less steep learning curve than other engines, such as Unity, Unreal, etc. However, you'll have to invest some time in learning programming and a minimum of linear algebra (matrices, vectors and similar) to be able to develop any 3D game. Also, you won't find an asset store (there is a very basic user workshop sharing space). And while the engine does the heavy lifting (OpenGL, input, physics etc.), you will have to implement most of the things related to game logic yourself (there are some prepackaged useful script for FPS character, for example).

The downside of the engine lies in the fact that it's developed and maintained by a single developer. He works very hard and responds regularly to LE users, which is quite nice and respectful. However, I have an impression that a mid-scale engine, such as LE, demands a lot more work than a single person can deliver.
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