The irrLicht is a cross-platform, open-source, 3D graphics engine written in C/C++. It runs on the platform of windows, Solaris, MacOS and Linux. IrrLicht was developed by single developer Nikolaus Gebhardt in 2002. After its first release, the company was expanded up to ten developers. Its four versions have been released till 2007. It is used to develop 3D and 2D applications such as games or scientific visualizations.

Due to its open source nature, the engine is also available at Xbox, Playstation, iPhone, Symbian and Google NativeClient. The engine provides language bindings with C++ Builder, Lua, Java, .Net, Perl, Object PASCAL, Python and Ruby. However most of these languages have not been maintained for five years or more. This is a simple and stable engine which has been worked on for almost two decades.

IrrLicht uses clean, easy to use and well documented API with lots of examples and tutorials.  A user can find IrrLicht’s enhancement in abundance on internet like language binders, terrain renderer, portal renderer, exporters, world layers, editors and so on. It has a huge community with hobbyists and professional developers. It is licensed under zlib license and it’s completely free.

IrrLicht is a German term used in folktales which means will-o’-the-wasp. It is the atmospheric light seen at night on marshes, swamps or bogs. It symbolizes the hope or goal that leads a person on, but is not possible to reach.


The engine uses real-time 3D rendering using OpenGL and DirectX 9. The engine comes with standard material library, with Vertex, Pixels and Geometry Shadders support. It allows users to directly import mesh files formats and textures. Many physics libraries have plug-ins for IrrLicht  including Open Dynamics Engine and Nvidia PhysX.


  • Skeletal  And Morph Animation
  • Skinnable 2D GUI System
  • Simple Collision Detection
  • Scene Management For Indoor And Outdoor Mixing
  • Terrain Render And  Sky-Doom Box For Outdoor Rendering
  • BSP (Binary  Space Partitioning) For Indoor Rendering
  • Stencil Shadows for Dynamic Shadows
  • Particle Systems
  • Water Surface
  • Per-Pixel Lighting
  • Sphere mapping, Bump Mapping, Parallax  Mapping

Games Developed in IrrLicht

Craft the world
Craft the world Game
Post Collapse
Post Collapse
OctoDad - Deadliest Catch
OctoDad – Deadliest Catch
Super Tuxkart
Super Tuxkart

Some Useful Resources