Leadwerks Engine 2

Engine default


Leadwerks Software

Not specified


Supported Platforms:

Languages Written In:
C/C++, Java, C#, Visual Basic 6, VB.NET, Basic, D, Perl, Python, Delphi, Pascal, Fortran, Lisp

Languages Supported:
C/C++, Java, C#, Visual Basic 6, VB.NET, Basic, D, Perl, Python, Delphi, Pascal, Fortran, Lisp

Graphics APIs:

  (74 reviews)

00000000000000000000000000000000 Leadwerks

Leadwerks Engine 2 features a unified lighting system with dynamic soft shadows. Our advanced deferred renderer can draw dozens of dynamic lights at good speed. Advanced shader effects and support for huge terrains up to 33 million triangles delivers next-gen technology at an affordable price.

Supported Features


  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Leadwerks Engine is provided as a DLL for use with virtually any programming language, a scriptable executable, and a BlitzMax module.
  • An object-oriented design is combined with a procedural command set to deliver an easy-to-use yet powerful API.
  • See an overview of features here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAYPTWqgF5U
  • Deferred Shading
  • Render-to-Texture
  • Fonts
  • Advanced deferred renderer draws many dynamic lights at superior speeds.
  • Fast instanced mesh rendering.
  • Render buffers can be used to create post-processing effects, or render-to-texture effects.
  • Render to any graphics context to create windowed applications.
  • Particle System
  • Depth of Field
  • Motion Blur
  • Sky
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Fog
  • Weather
  • Mirror
  • Particle emitters.
  • Refraction and reflection effects for water and glass.
  • Post-filter effects like DOF, bloom, SSAO, volumetric light scattering, and more.
  • Multi-world rendering can be used to display 3D skyboxes.


  • Per-pixel
  • Volumetric
  • Radiosity
  • Unified lighting system with dynamic soft shadows.
  • Support for point, spot, and directional lights.
  • Deferred renderer can draw dozens of dynamic lights at good speeds.
  • Advanced lighting effects like screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO) and volumetric light scattering.


  • Shadow Mapping
  • Dynamic soft shadows with per-light control of shadow map resolution, softness, and quality.
  • Masked texture effects for tree and plant shadows.
  • An optional color texture can be attached to a light to simulate cloud shadows or stained glass effects.


  • Basic
  • Multi-texturing
  • Bumpmapping
  • Mipmapping
  • Customizable materials system.
  • Support for normal and parallax mapping with specular reflection.
  • Each material can have a number of textures and effects defined, as well as a shader.
  • Choose from our library of material shaders, or create new effects with a custom shader.


  • Vertex
  • Pixel Leadwerks Engine supports vertex and pixel shaders, with support coming soon for geometry shaders on SM 4.0 cards.


  • Mesh Loading
  • Skinning
  • Deformation
  • Support for Autodesk FBX, Collada, .obj, .x, .3ds, .md3, .3dw, and .b3d formats. Load FBX and Collada files directly, or convert any of these formats to our own Game Model Format (.gmf)
  • An export plugin is provided for exporting GMF files from Ultimate Unwrap 3D Pro.
  • Meshes can also be constructed in code by adding vertices and triangles.

Scene Management

  • Octrees
  • Occlusion Culling
  • PVS
  • LOD
  • An internal scenegraph silently manages and optimizes the world. This provides fast performance of culling, raycasting, and physics without complicating the end user experience.
  • Hardware occlusion culling performs per-pixel culling of all meshes on the GPU.
  • Support for mesh and terrain LOD.


  • Forward Kinematics
  • Keyframe Animation
  • Skeletal Animation
  • Animation Blending
  • Skeletal animation system allows the user to specify any time in the animation sequence.
  • Animations can be blended or transitioned in any way.
  • All skinning is performed on the GPU for fast performance.
  • Objects can be parented to any limb to add weapons or accessories.


  • Rendering
  • CLOD
  • Splatting
  • Terrains up to 33 million triangles are supported with real-time lighting and shadows.
  • Alpha blended texture layers with constraints for height and slope.
  • Mesh layers allow the user to paint grass and plants onto the terrain, simulating billions of grass instances.
  • Modify terrain in real-time.
  • Terrain editor with heightmap filters including fluvial erosion and fractal noise.


  • Basic Physics
  • Collision Detection
  • Rigid Body
  • Vehicle Physics
  • Powered by Newton Archimedes.
  • Support for multicore-optimized processing.
  • Fast and accurate rigid body simulation with support for spheres, boxes, cylinders, capsules, convex hulls, and triangle meshes.
  • Supports ball, hinge, corkscrew, slider, and universal joints.
  • Built-in character controller with smooth movement and accurate stair climbing.
  • Physics-based vehicles with support for any number and configuration of tires.


  • 3D Sound
  • OpenAL is used to provide compatibility with Windows XP and Windows Vista.
  • Support for WAV and OGG files.
  • 3D spatialization.
  • EAX effects like reverb and echo.
  • Seamless sound looping.

Tools & Editors

  • Leadwerks Sandbox features real-time lighting and physics, and allows the user to place models and build terrain.
  • See an overview of Sandbox features here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmN7OLy6yUY


License Name Price in $US Source Code Included?
Proprietary $150.00 No
Single user commercial license

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Showing 51-74 of 74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Great engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Jc84144 May 13, 2009 at 01:27

I'm enjoying working with this engine a lot, and being part of the community.

Great engine, great performance, great features, great price. What more could you want?

5 stars. It deserves it.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

LOVE Leadwerks Engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 hamed3d May 13, 2009 at 01:05

Hi, I am a 3d technical artist and currently studying game development in Canada. I have used so many game engines in the past and I can honestly say this game engine has a bright future.....

I love the engine design structure, Tools, and how easy it is to use this game engine in a professional level....

I just started using the engine couple of days ago and so far support team has help me out and I am very happy with that....

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Cheap, yet great quality game engine!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 bmwqg May 13, 2009 at 00:41

I have been using this game engine for most of my game productions, and have to say, it is far better than most out there. Not to mention, the great price for the quality you are getting!!!

If you are producing a 3d game, and want great quality, but spare the unnecessary spending, Leadwerks Engine is the way to go!

I would choose this over Unreal Engine any day, especially with the quick and large variety of support! Do you want a certain feature added? Ask the devs... they will more than likely put it in!

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

An Engine to add to your "MUST HAVE" list!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Eagle Dec 23, 2008 at 21:39

Over The years I have worked with many engines. I have used everything from point and click to C++ coded SDK’s. One inherent fact that seems to be a constant in the indie development community is the “Speed” factor. No matter what engine you picked up it always seems to have special limits or model formats that you are confined by. The simple rule was “do it this way or it won’t work”. These days are coming to an end. If you have not used the Leadwerk Engine yet I highly suggest you do! The graphics are cutting edge and the shaders bring this engine in line with the 100k Jupiter Engine by Lithtech. I have had great success in development with the Leadwerk Engine and find it easy to use, powerful and fully compatible with my modeling tools, everything a girl needs, Great work Leadwerk!
Vickie Eagle

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

A Wonderful Tool!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 RenderingJooe Nov 24, 2008 at 13:02

THere isn't much to say about the engine. Try the demo/evaluation kit and you will see that the engine couldn't be better.

The creator took the great approach of exposing everything he could to the end user, instead of hardcoding every little specialised function one person asked for. Sure, it may be hard to create your own water effects, etc (even though the creator has added such example shaders), but the open-ended system is a great approach.

On the issue of everyone who posted reviews with 0/5 stars for everything because they use an AGP SM1.1 graphics card and can't afford $30 for an SM4.0 card, they are just being cruel in their reviewing. This engine runs great on SM3.0 cards, and there isn't a single issue that needs to be complained about.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Interesting engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 tkunze Nov 10, 2008 at 14:45

Leadwerks is an interesting "next gen" engine which provides:

- Amazing rendering results
- Outstanding dynamic shadow system
- Support of indoor and outdoor games
- Good set of documentation/tutorials

The engine is easy to use and since the tutorials are finished it is really easy to start.

As mentioned before the package is focused on some of the game development aspects at the moment (e.g. there is no specific support for GUI elements).

However LE is relatively new so the feature set is still growing.

Usually i would rate:

Features: 3 stars
Ease of use: 5 stars
Stability: 4 stars
Support: 4 stars

But i think LE recieved to less stars in prior votes (by accident) or by arguments i can not follow. Therefore i give 5 stars in each category.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Shader Model 3.0 Compliant Graphics Card

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 siekan Nov 09, 2008 at 13:07

The Shader Model 3.0 Compliant Graphics Card requirement SUCKS.
Why I can play Oblivion and UT3 but I can't even run a demo of stupid 150$ engine?
Developer of Leadwerks Engine should reconsider it, and make running of the engine possible also on older graphics cards - even with lower settings.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Awesome visual and easy engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 bergice Nov 07, 2008 at 23:50

This engine rocks, it got an easy syntax and yet it offers massive terrains and breath-taking effects.

I can say that this engine is for everybody because it got support for beginners and is still VERY powerful for the experienced.

Its worth the money :P

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Cool Game Engine!!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 wachikung Sep 15, 2008 at 17:48

I used this engine for 1 month. It very cool game engine. It's easy to use and very good feature to made good game.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Above All Else

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 pha3z Sep 15, 2008 at 15:18

I've evaluated all the following engines:
Crystal Space
Quest 3D
Unreal 3

And seen but *not* closely investigated these:
Power Render 6

I can say this:
If you want open-ended with streamlined architecture, nothing comes even close to Leadwerks. Every other engine out there has limiting file formats and obtrusive workflow tools that require you to use them the way they want to be used. This is the only one I could find that let me go outside the box the way I wanted.

My largest complaint about Leadwerks is that its *only* collision implementation is Newton. If the developer would modify it to offer a simple fast collision system, the engine would be nearly flawless.

If you're wanting to make an ordinary FPS game and play by the usual rules, this engine is worth looking at. If you're wanting to make something outside ordinary, this engine is even MORE worth looking at.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Definitely the future game engine of choice for newer generation game developers.

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Metwatvoorsoortding Sep 13, 2008 at 14:11

I have tried Torque,3D Gamestudio,Unity,DarkBasic Pro.
Leadwerks Engine 2 beats them all.
A friend at SIGGRAPGH recommended me this engine.
Nice to have a cheap engine like this with all the features of the higher commercial game engines !
And it rocks !

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Beats the heck out of Unreal Engine 3 and Cryengine 2 !

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Galigary23 Sep 13, 2008 at 13:49

I got awesome frame rates on a third person shooter I was working on, even more then when I coded it directly in DirectX 9c. Also, this was the only engine that was actually easy enough to use and had the proper documentation to let me actually write a video game from scratch that did anything! I find the support awesome ! Overall, the best thing to happen to computer graphics technology since the "3D Engine era" !

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Best OpenGL engine we have ever used !

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Ryan456 Sep 13, 2008 at 13:23

We've been using NeoAxis for several years now.
When we started using Leadwerks 2 Engine,we never looked back.
The terrain system is also amazing !
I'm sure this engine has a very bright future ahead.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

full of features

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 mohammad Sep 06, 2008 at 00:36

first- you will never find an engine with this prize and full of next gen features .
in the ease of use i give it 3 star , i think it cold be easer , and i hope it will .
in stability it get 5 star and it deserve it , i never had any crash since i start using it .
in terms of support , 4 star >>> to josh WE NEED MORE TUTORIALS please :)
== my only complement is i wish it have some basic AI and GUI for us the beginner programmers to be a full Next-Gen game engine

PS : for Mike ... there isn't a perfect Engine

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Watch out John Carmack

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 RenderingJoe Aug 30, 2008 at 20:44

leadwerks will be showing you how to build engines.

This engine is awesome, it blows Crytek and Epics engines out of the water and its only 200 you cant beat it. Don't believe any of those negative comments they abviusly arent users.

The mastermind to this engine is Josh he is an absolute genius, the speed new stuff is added beats any other engine out there. Be quick to buy it as I think Epic will be wanting to buy it like they did with Artificial Studios.

And then support is great, Lumooja is creating the C++ side of things and now suports thousands of languages for scripting. This engine will work with any language.

Awesome !!!!!!!

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

The only engine I can easily put our creations in it

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 safak Aug 29, 2008 at 12:31

We have tried many commercial and free engines out there, including Ogre, C4, Torque; but in none of the we modeled something and 30 seconds later see it in action !

This engine is one of the most artist friendly engine we have ever come across.

Get it, you will be amazed.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Best engine so far

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Lumooja Aug 28, 2008 at 21:28

I have bought many 3D engines, including Blitz3D, BlitzMax, TGE, TGEA, C4, RealmCrafter 1 & 2, Leadwerks Engine 1 & 2, and tried also some opensource engines like CrystalSpace 3D, Ogre3D, Panda3D.

Amongst all those engines I find Leadwerks Engine 2 the easiest to use, and it seems to have the most advanced graphical features too. I like the engine because I can program it to do what I want, since it's so easy to learn what and how you can do things with it. I've not seen an engine where you need less coding, with 10 lines of code you have already a rotating cube on the screen with lights and shadows. I prefer to use C++ to code with the engine, and the engine supports over 300 languages (=all which can load a DLL), and in addition also native BlitzMax coding is possible using a mod file which comes with the engine, and even a scripting language (which has almost the same syntax as BlitzMax).

It's simply amazing that everything is in real-time, all lights, shadows, and physics. Of course it needs a modern graphics card for that, although the minimum cards which work are still ATI 1550 and GeForce 6800.

With a GeForce 8600 and better, you can already have hundreds of dynamic lights and shadows at the same spot, or even more if they are not all visible at the same time.

Now that the engine version 2.1 is finished, the developer has started to convert it to C++. This will be great, since then it can run also as a native application under Linux and Mac. Right now it runs fine under Linux WINE, usually only a few FPS slower than under native Windows XP.

Although the engine is written in BlitzMax at the moment, it doesn't have any noticable performance issues, since the engine is using the GPU to do most things. The GPU is the bottleneck. BlitzMax is not a BASIC language like many seem to think, although the syntax is similar to BASIC. It's a special RAD game development language written in GNU C++, which then generates assembler source code and uses FASM to compile it. Indeed BlitzMax programs run faster than GNU C++ for Windows programs (=MinGW), but that's because MinGW is not a very good optimizing C++ compiler. The real GNU C++ under Linux beats Visual C++ in compiled code speed.

Support is the best I have seen for any game engine, as the developer has often fixed things within a few minutes.

Game development using Leadwerks Engine 2 is done 90% in Sandbox, where you can visually design your game in real-time, and add your own custom game items and logic using entities. Entites have a position and rotation, and can contain any kind of text and values, so you only need to tell in your game how that entity is used. The engine comes with full source code of a game example, which you can use and add more game specific features to it. There are also community projects going on, which are based on this game example, so you will find fully working game sources for free. And many more examples will come, when people from the community have finished them.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful


  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 hnphan Aug 28, 2008 at 14:35

I'll keep this short; this engine is really powerful, the things u can do with it is mind boggling. I work in the games industry and this engine has helped me understand and try many things that otherwise would be very long to implement.

Although it does not have AI and network, it would be possible to write or use external DLLs to do so. Everything else though is there so with time, this engine could possibly be on par with the more expensive commercial engines (UT3 and such...) at 150 bucks.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Next-Gen Engine at Bargin Basement price!!!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 freshmeat Jul 27, 2008 at 01:06

The recently released LE v2.0 Engine is literally MILES AHEAD of any other products I have tried like Gamestudio A7 (Slow & Old) and TGAC (unstable & overly complex), C4 (ugly interface, beginner unfriendly), Unity (need a Mac to run it, expensive), PowerRender (support?)

This young but feature-rich engine is extremely powerful, fast & stable and easy to use . With unified lighting system with dynamic soft shadows, SSAO, Volumatric Shadow, Render enormous landscapes up to 33 million polygons, custom addable shaders, Multi-platform, dll with Newton 2.0 physics, and since it's a .dll you can use any language you like to write with it.

Deferred Rendering has just been released in v2.1 along with a realtime editor called "Sandbox" which is unlike anything I've ever seen . (you can edit / move / add / change properties on-the-fly while physics , lighting/shadow & sound are dynamically updated in real-time)

Support is fast as Josh actively check his email and the forum is very active.

To top this off. The engine is currently priced at $150 - you can't get any better than that!!

Dont' just take my word for it, take a look for youself !

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

It can't be beat

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 thedude Jul 20, 2008 at 23:34

What more do I need to say...the engine speaks for itself.

I myself, and our team, all have licenses to this engine, and are working on an up and coming true triple A title for the PC platform.

Expect great things to come from this engine!

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Greatly Impressed

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 StevenP Jul 20, 2008 at 23:13

This engine is destined to be one of the top game engines out there (and yes, I am comparing it to Crysis and Stalker.) I really believe that soon this engine will be capable of true triple-A titles. There are some features I hope to see soon and I have read that Josh will be adding them (for example, realistic moving water.) As others have said the documentation is getting better (via the community supported wiki) but obviously there needs to be more.

Another thing that bears repeating is that this is not a "click-n-create" engine like FPS Creator. It is not difficult to program with but it does require some. If you are an artist the Sandbox editor makes the game design and artistic portion a joy to work with and the quality of graphics will not disappoint. However, if you are an artist only, do try and team up with someone who can do basic coding (for simple games) and perhaps more advanced coding if you are planning a professional triple-A title.

The price is awesome considering the quality of engine you're getting.

If this engine shapes up like I hope I'll be forced to come back here and give it straight 5's!

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

This is the one

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 cassius Jul 20, 2008 at 19:58

I came to Leadwerks engine after using the exellent Blitz 3d and found it just as easy to use.The results are VERY impressive even on a sm3 graphics card. There is a built in scripting language or you can use any dll supporting language.Support is good,documentation growing.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Great Engine - Scaleable, Reliable, Perfection

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 tylerp9p Jul 20, 2008 at 18:21

I have been using this engine since version 1.21, and it has come a long way.

I program using the Leadwerks SDK using a multitude of languages (C++,C#,BlitzMax,LUA, and Python), and the performance is great no matter what!

I can get a nice app with physics, sounds, lighting, etc, in a few lines of code.

The documentation grows and grows everyday, and Josh is always there to lend a hand. The new tutorial every day is also a big help.

This engine would definately rate better than UnrealEngine3 and CryEngine2 in my book, and it still has room to get better.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

a good artists engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 moose_o_death Jul 20, 2008 at 17:24

i think i'll just say what i rated this engine by
features are a 5, excellent features such as SSAO and light scattering, sandbox editor is fun and easy to use, i'm art so i can only really comment as such but it seems easy to program for and add features. it really is unparalleled in it's price range you have to go looking at stalker clear skies or crysis to see equivalent tech.

ease of use 4, it's an easy engine to use, but it's not a case of assembling a game from premade components and letting cash flow in. you need to know what your doing before hand

stability and performance 5, moreso for performance. what it does on screen runs very well. it doesn't crash very often, which is batter than i can say about most vista apps

support 4, josh is geniunely helpful, the documentation is lagging developement but the community is trying to keep up with the wiki.

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Suggest Edits

Last edited Oct 23, 2013 at 08:47