New version 4.1 - 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 or as a standalone and show your game off to the world.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (218 reviews) - 75% of the 218 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Jan 6, 2014

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Recent updates View all (64)

December 5

Winter Games Tournament 2016

At last, it is time for the 2016 Leadwerks Winter Games Tournament! This is going to be a big one, for a few reasons.

  • We're very likely to reach 100 games in Leadwerks Game Launcher, which means it will be ready to move out of early access mode and be an official release on Steam.
  • As an experiment, you're getting two extra weeks to polish your games, with an extended deadline lasting until January 15th.

WHEN: The tournament begins Monday, December 5, and ends Sunday, January 15th at 11:59 P.M.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Publish your wintery-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. If you need models for your game, we've got a Christmas props model pack for you to use for free from Leadwerks Workshop.

Games must have a preview image, title, and contain some minimal amount of gameplay (there has to be some way to win) to be considered entries. It is expected that most entries will be simple, given the time constraints.

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 collection of three limited-edition professionally printed postcards featuring beautiful Leadwerks screenshots. Send them to a friend or put them on the wall.


If this is your third game tournament entry, you'll receive the new Leadwerks USB stick, which is perfect for storing projects, code and artwork! The items will be printed with the Leadwerks logo for a distinctive look.


If this is your fourth game tournament entry, you'll receive a rockin' Leadwerks T-shirt in the mail. Wear it to show how cool you really are.


If this is your fifth game tournament entry, you'll receive the new Leadwerks hoodie! This gorgeous garment makes you look like a Silicon Valley startup geek. This light jacket is perfect for air-conditioned spaces that are just slightly chilly.


If this is your sixth game tournament entry, you will receive a Steam Controller. The Steam Controller lets you play your entire collection of Steam games on your TV—even the ones designed without controller support in mind.


Bonus Prize
Everyone who participates also gets this bonus prize: an 11x17" poster mailed to your door! These posters will be printed only once, only for this event. This is your only time ever to get one, so make it count!

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November 23

Version 4.2 Preview

An early build of Leadwerks Game Engine 4.2 beta is available on the beta branch on Steam.  This release will update the engine with the latest C++ tools and add new graphics and other features.

  • Visual Studio 2017 support
  • Compatible with the latest C++11 / GCC on Linux
  • Transparency and refraction effect
  • Heat haze particle prefab
  • Spotlight texture: you can add a material to a spotlight and the first texture will be rendered onto the light (for flashlights)
  • New animation commands
  • Analytics via GameAnalytics.com
To receive this update, opt into the application's "beta" branch in the application properties.

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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 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
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (218 reviews)
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