Crystal Space

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Crystal Space
Developer(s)Jorrit Tyberghein et al.
Initial releaseAugust 26, 1997; 26 years ago (1997-08-26)[1]
Stable release
2.0 / July 3, 2012; 11 years ago (2012-07-03)
Written inC++
Type3D engine

Crystal Space is an unmaintained[2] framework for developing 3D applications written in C++ by Jorrit Tyberghein and others. The first public release was on August 26, 1997.[1] It is typically used as a game engine but the framework is more general and can be used for any kind of 3D visualization. It is very portable and runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X. It is also free and open-source software, licensed under the GNU LGPL-2.0-or-later, and was's Project of the Month for February 2003.[3] In 2019, one of the project's main developers described it as "effectively dead and has been for a good number of years".[2]

Engine design[edit]

Crystal Space is programmed in object oriented C++. It is very modularly built with a number of more or less independent plugins. The client programs use the plugins, such as the OpenGL 3D renderer, by registering them via Crystal Space's Shared Class Facility (SCF).


Crystal Space has modules for 2D and 3D graphics, sound, collision detection and physics through ODE and Bullet.

  • Graphics:
  • Mesh objects:
    • Plugin-based mesh system
    • Triangle-based meshes with frame and bone animation support
  • Collision detection and dynamics:
    • ODE and Bullet dynamics
    • Simplified collision detection when full dynamic simulation is not needed

Reception and usage[edit]

The engine was for instance used for the OpenOutcast and PlaneShift projects.[4] It was the Project of the Month on SourceForge in February 2003.[5]


  1. ^ a b "History". Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Sunshine, Eric (31 January 2019). "Crystal Space 3D SDK / Discussion". SourceForge. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Project of the Month, February 2003". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  4. ^ Crystal Space 1.2 Released by Corvus Elrod on The Escapist (8 October 2007)
  5. ^ Cohen, Peter (2003-02-03). "SourceForge highlights Crystal Space 3D game engine". Macworld. Retrieved 2023-02-20.

External links[edit]