New version 4.3 - Leadwerks Game Engine 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 or as a standalone and show your game off to the world.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (222 reviews) - 73% of the 222 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Jan 6, 2014

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Recent updates View all (77)

June 25

Leadwerks 4.4 Released

Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4 is now available on Steam.  This version adds a new GUI system, support for inverse kinematics, and enhanced visuals.  The free update goes out today to over 20,000 paid users on Steam.

Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4 sees the introduction of Leadwerks GUI, a system for creating resolution-independent in-game menus.  Custom GUI elements can be created with Lua script, or an item can be selected from a number of pre-built GUI scripts including buttons, tabbed panels, slider controls, and more.  Leadwerks GUI is designed for the future, with support for 4K and 8K displays, as well as VR menus of any resolution.



Inverse kinematics are now supported, with two new joints that provide fine control over the orientation of physics bodies.  These can be used to control the end effector in an IK setup, or for precise control of moving objects.  The Leadwerks physics system has been updated to the latest Newton Dynamics 3.14.



Post-processing effects have been updated to enhance visual quality.  Bloom, HDR iris adjustment, SSAO, and fog have all been updated for improved graphics.  A new shader has been added to the vegetation system that scattering millions of rocks across a landscape to make terrain more detailed and realistic.



The Leadwerks learning materials have been converted into an all-new documentation system.  This allows easier searching and browsing of tutorials, API documentation, and examples.  A new series of tutorials has been added to teach the basics of C++ programming, in addition to the existing lessons on Lua scripting.

Leadwerks Game Engine can be purchased at a discount during the Steam summer sale.  All Leadwerks games have Steamworks support integrated out-of-the-box and are ready to publish through Steam Direct.
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June 12

New Features Coming in Leadwerks 4.4

Let's take a moment to review some of the great new features coming soon in Leadwerks Game Engine 4.4. The release is due out at the end of the month, but you can try it now by opting into the beta branch on Steam.

Leadwerks GUI
Leadwerks GUI provides you with an in-game GUI to handle all your game menus and interfaces. Each widget uses a Lua script that controls drawing and user interaction. You can choose from our provided scripts to create panels, buttons, sliders, and other interface elements, or create your own. Oh, and Leadwerks GUI is designed to be 100% resolution-independent, so it will render pixel-perfect at 4K, 8K, or any other arbitrary resolution.
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Enhanced Visuals
Some of our post-processing effects have been updated, and a few new effects are included to make your games more beautiful.
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Inverse Kinematics
The new Kinematic joint in Leadwerks 4.4 gives you precise control over the orientation of any physical object. You can even use this to create advanced IK systems for robotics (games are okay too!).
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New Documentation System
All documentation has been migrated to a brand new easy-to-navigate system that lets you easily find the information you need.
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These updates will be available soon. Thanks for your support!
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About This Software

Leadwerks Game Engine 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 Global Illumination and Volumetric Effects
Leadwerks Game Engine 4.1 introduces environment probes for global illumination and reflections, along with volumetric lighting effects, all in an easy-to-control and intuitive interface. This makes it easier than ever to create games with amazing graphics.

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 Learn More
Overall:
Mostly Positive (222 reviews)
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