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The History of Source 2

Source 2 was announced at GDC 2015, with a promise that the tools will be made available in Early 2015.

The Source 2 Engine was officially revealed as part 3 of the Dota 2 Reborn announcements on June 15, 2015.

Dota 2 is the first game that recieved the Source 2 Engine treatment. Source 2 includes technology for rendering improvements, performance optimizations, higher fidelity content, and richer, more dynamic games.

Steam VR Home an evolution of Valves Destinations toolkit also uses Source 2 to bring users to a multitude of locations both official and user created.

Half-Life Alyx is the first game to showcase the engines true abilities through a first person viewpoint and utilizing more true to life colors (when compared to dota2) and physically based shading. The game also demonstrates the work Valve has put into creating rich and vibrant VR experiences that the market needed in order to continue to grow.

Features of the Source 2 Engine

  • Lower Latency Input: The engine Responds faster to mouse clicks and keyboard events.
  • Tiled Map System: Specifically geared towards dota 2 the Tiled Mapping system provides for an easier to manage and more consistent workflow when developing custom maps.
  • New engine-integrated authoring tools, rebuilt from the ground up.
  • Completely rebuilt Hammer level editor, featuring modern polygon mesh editing tools.
  • Enhanced Performance:
    • Highly scalable: Runs Faster on older machines, Maxes out high end desktops as well
    • Multi Threaded: Uses all available cores
    • 64bit OS
    • Use all available memory
    • Supports DirectX11, OpenGL Vulkan
    • Virtual Reality Ready
    • Content Streaming
    • Improved Audio
    • Physics: Includes Valves in house Physics Solution for more stable collisions and simulations
    • Enhanced Panorama GUI, designed to be more user friendly.
  • Rendering Improvements:
    • Less Constraints: Maps in Source 2 can be authored using powerful geometry editing tools and may contain complex meshes which are free of convexity constraints
    • Freedom: Designers can create worlds that were not possible to build in the previous engine
    • Lighting: Unified lighting system ensures all game assets have access to the same rendering feature set
    • Support for both forward and deferred rendering pipelines.
  • Multi-platform: Natively uses OpenGL rather than a wrapper so as to improve performance

Notable Games & Experiences built on Source 2

Dota 2Valve2013
Robot Repair (Part of The Lab)Valve2016
Steam VRValve2016
Dota UnderlordsValve2019
Half-Life: AlyxValve2020

Sources & further reading