|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 the 6th 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
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) - BioWare
- The Elder Scrolls Online (2014) - ZeniMax Online Studios "Only in development process. The game was released using a own engine created by Zenimax.
- Hero's Journey - company's game the engine was developed for. However production has stopped on the game.
- The Repopulation - MMORPG developed by Above and Beyond Technologies currently in Steam Early Access. As of January 30th 2016, The Repopulation is switching to the Unreal Engine (it is unknown what the MMO server backend will use now).
- Jon Wood (2008-10-22). "Star Wars: The Old Republic: Updates from Around the Web". Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "Idea Fabrik PLC press release". Idea Fabrik PLC. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
- Massey, Dana (2007-04-03). "Preview: Hero's Journey & HeroEngine". WarCry Network. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- , 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 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "The official HeroEngine webpage's management tools page.". Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- 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 (2007-03-09). "Simutronics' HeroEngine Gets Three Licensees". Gamasutra. UBM. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
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- "Simutronics Selects DiamondWare for HeroEngine Virtual Worlds Game Platform". Virtual Worlds News. 2007-03-08. Archived from the original on November 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
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- "Virgin Appoints CEO For 3D Digital Distribution". Gamasutra. 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- Aihoshi, Richard (2006-08-31). "HeroEngine Interview". Vault Network. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "HeroEngine Licensee Zenimax announces Elder Scrolls Online". 2012-05-14.