Leadwerks is a cross-platform, 3D game engine developed by Leadwerks Software to make 3D video game easy to develop. It is written in C++, C-Objective and Lua. It develops games for the platform of Microsoft windows and Linux. It is a proprietary engine. On March, 2019 its first stable version was released. Until now four versions of the engine have been released.

The first version of Leadwerks was released in 2007. It utilized Open GL 2.1 and combination of texture-based lightmaps and per-vertex lighting. The version 2 was released in 2008 that used Shadow maps. Afterwards the version 2.1 switched to deferred renderer that was not so common at that time. The version 3 of the engine was released in 2013 at Game Developer’s Conference. This version provided support for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. In 2014 Leadwerks won Community Choice Award. Version 3.1 was launched on Steam and Android support was removed. The version 4 of the engine was released in 2015 that included new vegetation system. And it was announced that the engine has attracted 10,000 users.

Leadwerks uses Open GL 4.0 deferred rendering that provides realistic lighting, supporting any number of lights all casting dynamic soft shadows. The engine is aimed at easier 3D video game development.  The built-in level design tool allows designing new game levels without being an expert artist. Game code of Leadwerks is written in C++ and Lua Script, Lua is an easy to learn and powerful language. The visual flowgraph of the engine lets developer setup advanced game interactions by just click and drag the scripted objects.

It comes with a bundle of tutorials. The interface of the engine is simple for the beginners to learn. Thus it makes 3D development much easier to understand without the requirement of prior development knowledge. It is comparatively cheaper and relaxed development tool.

Many games can be developed with one license and there are no royalty or third party licenses’ payments.  The engine is mainly used for indie development and developers can develop their game on steam Workshop or export as standalone executable.


  • Deferred Shading
  • Newton Dynamic Physics
  • Constructive and Solid Geometry
  • Model Editor
  • Multiplayer Game Template
  • Deferred Lighting System
  • Material Editor
  • Texture Editor
  • Terrain System
  • Displacement Maps
  • Vegetation Materials
  • Particle Editors
  • Reusable Prefabs

Games Developed on Leadwerks

Other Useful Resources