|Developer(s)||Simutronics / Idea Fabrik|
2.0 / December 5, 2012
|Written in||C++, C#, HeroScript Language (HSL)|
HeroEngine is a 3D game engine and server technology platform originally developed by Simutronics Corporation specifically for building MMO-style games. At first developed for the company's own game Hero's Journey, the engine won multiple awards at tradeshows, and has since been licensed by other companies such as BioWare Austin (which is using it for Star Wars: The Old Republic) and Stray Bullet Games (for an as yet unnamed project).
On June 12, 2010, Idea Fabrik announced that it had purchased "the HeroEngine and HeroCloud game development technologies" as well as hired "the staff of Simutronics that was associated with the development and support of HeroEngine/HeroCloud".
The engine has online creation. For example, one developer can be creating a house and the entities inside, while another works on the landscaping and terrain around it. Each sees the other's work in real time.
The simulation and rendering processes of the engine are currently run on a single-thread. However, it is planned for there to be a multi-threaded release, but the publish date has not yet been determined.
Development times vary between games. Faxion Online took 18 months to complete, and Star Wars: The Old Republic took over five years.
Integration with other technologies
HeroBlade contains integrated features such as custom scripting and collaborative project management, which allow developers to make notes directly onto the in-game levels for others to see. These notes can be attached to tasks to signal other developers that something specific needs to be worked on. HeroEngine also works with technology from third-party vendors, such as FMOD, PhysX, SpeedTree, Wwise, Scaleform, and Vivox, as well as having plugins for 3D Studio Max and Maya.
HeroCloud is a version of HeroEngine that is available for $99 per year, under the license that they receive 30% the money sales of any game made with it. It includes everything that a license to the HeroEngine has, except for access to the source code.
The company chairman of Idea Fabrik announced on 6 November 2015 that they were having funding issues related to an unnamed 3rd party, which could cause downtime on their HeroEngine and HeroCloud services. He stated that they were attempting to resolve and were "currently in negotiations to secure [their] funding for the present and the future."
Games developed using HeroEngine
- Faxion Online (2011) (shut down after three months) - UTV Ignition Entertainment
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) - BioWare
- The Elder Scrolls Online (early development)
- Hero's Journey - company's game the engine was developed for. However production has stopped on the game.
- The Repopulation - MMORPG previously developed by Above and Beyond Technologies in Steam Early Access. The Repopulation has since been acquired by Idea Fabrik Studios on 13 January and returned to Steam Early Access in February of 2017.
- Visions of Zosimos
- World of Kingdoms
- Wood, Jon (22 October 2008). "Star Wars: The Old Republic: Updates from Around the Web". Retrieved 23 October 2008.
- "Idea Fabrik PLC press release". Idea Fabrik PLC. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Massey, Dana (3 April 2007). "Preview: Hero's Journey & HeroEngine". WarCry Network. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- , official forum, "In the current release, simulation and rendering run on a single shared core."
- HE-Cooper Administrator, official forum, "Faxion's Development cycle was around 18 months. Which, luckily for us, is exactly what the HeroEngine is supposed to do."
- "The official HeroEngine webpage's feature page". Archived from the original on 9 March 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "The official HeroEngine webpage's management tools page". Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
- Jordan, Jon (May 2008). "Engines of Creation". Game Developer. p. 12.
- "Front Line Awards". Game Developer magazine. 2006.
HeroEngine finalist for 'Best Engine'
- "HeroEngine and HeroCloud services announcement".
- Boyer, Brandon (9 March 2007). "Simutronics' HeroEngine Gets Three Licensees". Gamasutra. UBM. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- Biessener, Adam (25 May 2012). "Why The Elder Scrolls Online Isn't Using HeroEngine". Game Informer. UBM. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- Fabrik, Idea. "Idea Fabrik acquires "The Repopulation"". ideafabrik.com. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "Online gaming's Netscape moment?". The Economist. 7 June 2007.
- "Leading Technologies Now Available to MMO Developers". Forbes. 18 February 2008.
- "Simutronics Selects DiamondWare for HeroEngine Virtual Worlds Game Platform". Virtual Worlds News. 8 March 2007. Archived from the original on 18 November 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- Cole, Emmet (30 November 2007). "Online Games Use Fraud Software to Combat Cheats". Wired News. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Virgin Appoints CEO For 3D Digital Distribution". Gamasutra. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- Aihoshi, Richard (31 August 2006). "HeroEngine Interview". Vault Network. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "HeroEngine Licensee ZeniMax announces Elder Scrolls Online". 14 May 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2019.