C4 Engine



Terathon Software LLC

May 05, 2005


Supported Platforms:
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, PS3, Other

Languages Written In:

Languages Supported:

Graphics APIs:

  (127 reviews)

2b43b428f568623be302bd98e15c3686 elengyel

The C4 Engine is a comprehensive suite of robustly implemented game programming tools for the Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, PS4, and PS3 platforms.

Supported Features


  • Object-oriented design
  • Multithreaded job manager
  • Resource manager
  • Plug-in architecture
  • Containers library (arrays, lists, maps, trees, graphs, etc.)
  • Math library (vectors, matrices, quaternions, etc.)


  • Point lights, spot lights, directional lights
  • Inter-zone lighting analysis
  • Fully dynamic lighting
  • Radiosity-based lighting volumes
  • SSAO


  • Stencil shadows
  • Cascaded shadow mapping with smooth transitions
  • Projected light source shadows
  • All types of shadows can be combined


  • Multitexturing
  • Bump mapping
  • Parallax mapping
  • Horizon mapping
  • Diffuse, specular, normal, gloss, emission, occlusion maps
  • Texture painting in editor


  • Large variety of standard shaders can be created with material attributes
  • Complex custom shaders can be created with graphical shader editor
  • Comprehensive bump/normal mapping capabilities
  • Parallax bump texture mapping
  • Horizon bump shadow mapping
  • Bumpy reflection and refraction
  • Cook-Torrance microfacet shading
  • Cube environment reflections
  • Realistic water shading


  • Dynamic level-of-detail
  • Skinning
  • CSG operations
  • Import from OpenGEX
  • Import from COLLADA

Scene Management

  • Portals
  • Visibility graph
  • Occlusion Culling
  • Level of detail
  • Fully lit impostors for massive forests
  • Mirrors and remote portals
  • Object instancing
  • External scene referencing
  • Game level save/load system


  • Skeletal animation
  • Hierarchical animation blending system
  • Forward kinematics
  • Inverse kinematics


  • Voxel terrain
  • Transvoxel algorithm for dynamic seamless level-of-detail
  • Cliffs, overhangs, caves, arches


  • Rigid body simulation
  • Real-time rope and cloth simulation
  • Real-time large-scale fluid surface simulation
  • Continuous collision detection
  • Contact forces and friction
  • Precise buoyancy forces
  • Customizable force fields
  • Joints (spherical, universal, discal, revolute, cylindrical, and prismatic)
  • Full networking support


  • Client-Server
  • Fast, reliable network implementation using UDP/IP
  • Solid fault tolerance and hacker resistance
  • Advanced security measures, including packet encryption
  • Automatic message distribution to entity controllers
  • Cross-platform internet voice chat


  • 2D sound
  • 3D sound
  • Streaming sounds
  • Doppler shift and other frequency effects
  • Reverberation
  • Atmospheric effects
  • Directional sounds with cone attenuation
  • Obstruction attenuation applied to direct and reflected paths
  • Audio capture for voice chat

Tools & Editors

  • Integrated world editor
  • Graphical shader editor
  • Graphical script editor
  • Interface panel editor
  • Animation cue editor


  • Built-in UI system includes windows, buttons, menus, scroll bars, icons, list boxes, sliders, etc.
  • Unicode text rendering and user input
  • Fully interactive in-game interface panels
  • Custom scripts attached to widgets
  • Panels have an extensible animation system with many built-in techniques


  • Graphical script editor
  • Scripts are edited graphically for easy artist/designer access
  • Games can easily define custom script components, and these automatically appear in the editor
  • Controllers can advertise custom function calls that can be accessed from scripts
  • Scripts support variables, looping, and conditional execution, all shown in a concise graphical manner


  • Generic treatment of keyboards and mice
  • Broad support for USB devices (joysticks, gamepads, steering wheels, etc.)
  • Direct support for Xbox controllers under Windows
  • Events reported to game through an action binding system

Special Effects

  • Screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO)
  • Full-scene cinematic motion blur
  • Distortion effects such as heat haze and shockwaves
  • High-quality and high-performance procedural fire effects
  • Volumetric fog with multiple density functions
  • Interactive in-game interface panels
  • Fully extensible particle systems
  • Voxel-based blob (metaball) particle systems
  • Surface markings / decals on arbitrary geometry
  • Emission glow and specular bloom effects
  • True volumetric light shafts


License Name Price in $US Source Code Included?
Proprietary $250.00 Yes
Subscription Edition, source included, updates for one year
Proprietary $750.00 Yes
Standard Edition, source included, updates forever
Proprietary $1,500.00 Yes
Professional Edition, source included, updates forever


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Showing 126-127 of 127

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Good for C++ programmer

  by A640880c851b25ab67d24b543a740dac hwlim Dec 14, 2009 at 14:07

This review is based on 1.5.x version of engine. I have licensed this engine several years ago but haven't produce anything yet. In other engine I learned and understood in several months and produce a playable demo and win 3rd place in the contest. I failed to use C4 mostly because I do some website programming in my job, although I know C, but not C++, you need to understnd C++ quite weill in order to release the full power of this engine, try to see the simpleball demo on the engine wiki you know what I mean. The learning is quite steep for me.

This engine does not support FBX format, which is my prefer format, so the asset import is not straight forward to me. The collision system does not work quite well, sometime just get stuck, maybe 2.0 is better but it is not release yet. There is no XB360 port yet and mostly it never get iPhone support.

If the collision gets better + native FBX support + more platform I will look into this engine again.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Looks Pretty Good!

  by 2ff3272e188f37cae603c779333dafd4 JTilo Aug 29, 2006 at 00:22

The engine looks to be well rounded. I haven't seen the source, but features in the demo look good, and the forum/creator support looks excellent. The only problem I have with this engine is the editor (demo I tried). I'd get aggravated trying to use it, but I'd say it's one to watch.

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Suggest Edits

Last edited Apr 14, 2014 at 02:44