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Spring Engine

The Spring Engine is an open-source game engine primarily designed for real-time strategy (RTS) games. It's unique for several reasons:

Open-Source and Collaborative

As an open-source project, the Spring Engine is developed and maintained by a community of volunteers. This collaborative effort ensures continuous improvement and updating, driven by the community's needs and feedback.

Flexibility and Customization

One of the key strengths of the Spring Engine is its high degree of flexibility and customization. It allows game developers to modify nearly every aspect of the game mechanics, visuals, and physics. This makes it a popular choice for creating both traditional and experimental RTS games.

Graphics and Physics

The engine is known for its impressive 3D graphics capabilities, which include detailed terrain, water effects, and unit models. It also features a robust physics engine, allowing for realistic unit movements and interactions.

Modding Community

The Spring Engine has a vibrant modding community. Numerous mods and games have been developed using the engine, each with unique themes, units, and gameplay mechanics. This has led to a diverse ecosystem of games under the Spring Engine umbrella.

Multiplatform Support

Initially developed for Windows, the engine has since expanded to support other platforms, including Linux. This multiplatform support has helped broaden its appeal and user base.

AI and Networking

The engine includes support for AI opponents and online multiplayer, which are crucial components of modern RTS games. The AI can be customized, and the networking capabilities allow for smooth online gameplay.

Active Development and Legacy

Despite being several years old, the Spring Engine is still actively developed. It originated from the desire to create an engine capable of running a free version of "Total Annihilation," an RTS game from the 90s, and has since evolved into its own entity with distinct features and capabilities.

User-Friendly Editor Tools

The Spring Engine is equipped with a variety of tools that assist in game development. These include map editors, unit editors, and other utilities that simplify the process of creating and modifying game elements. This accessibility makes it easier for both experienced developers and newcomers to experiment and bring their ideas to life.

Large Scale Battles

A significant feature of the Spring Engine is its ability to handle large-scale battles. The engine efficiently manages hundreds of units in combat simultaneously, maintaining performance while providing a visually impressive and strategically complex experience. This capability is particularly appealing to fans of classic RTS games where large armies clash on expansive battlefields.

Community Support and Documentation

For developers and modders, the availability of extensive documentation and active community forums is a huge plus. The community provides tutorials, guides, and direct support, facilitating learning and problem-solving. This communal knowledge base is invaluable for troubleshooting and creative exploration.

Custom Scripting Language

The engine uses a custom scripting language for game logic, which gives developers a lot of control over game mechanics. This scripting language allows for the creation of unique gameplay features and behaviors that can set a game apart from others.

Resource Management

In line with traditional RTS games, the Spring Engine includes sophisticated systems for resource management. This involves gathering, using, and managing resources like energy, materials, and units, which are central to strategic gameplay.

Compatibility with Older Games

The engine's ability to run and modernize older RTS games is another noteworthy aspect. It has been used to revitalize and bring new life to classic titles, preserving their legacy while enhancing them with modern graphics and features.

Dynamic Environments and Weather Effects

The engine supports dynamic environments and weather effects, adding another layer of realism and strategic depth to games. This includes changes in terrain, weather patterns like rain and fog, and day-night cycles, all of which can impact gameplay.

Games created with Spring Engine h2

Total Annihilation: Spring (TASpring)

This was one of the earliest projects developed using the Spring Engine. It started as an attempt to recreate the classic RTS game "Total Annihilation" with enhanced graphics and physics. Over time, it evolved into a platform for various mods and games.


Perhaps the most well-known game developed on the Spring Engine, Zero-K is a futuristic RTS game with a focus on tactics and terrain control. It features a wide range of units, including robots and giant mechs, and emphasizes player skill over resource management.

Balanced Annihilation

Inspired by "Total Annihilation," Balanced Annihilation is an RTS game that aims to balance the original game's units and mechanics for a more competitive gameplay experience. It's known for its strategic depth and large-scale battles.

Evolution RTS

This game focuses on fast-paced gameplay and is known for its unique approach to resource management and streamlined unit production. Evolution RTS is designed to be more accessible to newcomers while still offering depth for experienced RTS players.

Spring: 1944

A World War II themed RTS game, Spring: 1944 focuses on historically accurate units and combat. It's a testament to the engine's flexibility, showing its capability to handle different time periods and combat styles.

The Cursed

This is a fantasy-themed RTS game with a focus on dark, gothic visuals and units. It offers a mix of traditional base-building RTS gameplay with some unique twists and unit designs.

Kernel Panic

This game stands out for its cyber-themed visuals and gameplay. It's a more abstract RTS, focusing on digital warfare with units that represent computer viruses and defenses.

Tech Annihilation

Another game inspired by "Total Annihilation," Tech Annihilation includes a vast array of units and technologies, allowing for a wide range of strategies and play styles.

The Spring Engine is much more than just a tool for game development. It's a dynamic and evolving platform that embodies the spirit of open-source collaboration. Its combination of powerful features, community support, and flexibility makes it an outstanding choice for both aspiring and experienced game developers in the RTS genre.

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