The Pyrogenesis RTS and 3D Game Engine


Pyrogenesis is an open-source, multi-platform 3D engine for Real-Time Strategy games. It was developed by WildFire Games in 2001. Wildfire Games is a group of volunteers that develops free open source video games and mods. It was originally founded as a modding team in 2001. It is written in C++ and JavaScript. Pyrogenesis supports Windows, OS X and Linux. It is licensed under GPL (General Public License).

The Pyrogenesis engine was originally developed for a strategy game called 0 A.D.  In the beginning, the company used to develop mods. It released the mod named Rome at War for the real-time strategy game, Age of Empire II: The Age of Kings. In the same year the company started to work on the game 0 A.D. At first it was decided to develop the game by total conversion of Age of Empire II: The Age of Kings. Later WildFire Games decided to develop the whole new engine. It was called the Pyrogenesis Engine. In 2008, WildFire Games released this moddable engine as an open source project.

The general RTS engine can be subdivided in two main parts: graphics and simulation. Here, the simulation part is what all RTS games should need (a pathfinder, a position for entities, range queries …). This part of the simulation also communicates with the graphics (starting an animation, finding the height of a unit based on the position …). The graphics part contains everything about rendering. Some things are very general (like rendering objects), but some things might also be too restricted for general games (like our terrain is a grid of square tiles, our water is a single plane…).

Sandered17 – WildFire Games

Pyrogenesis provides a realistic 3D environment with 32-bit color. The games developed on this engine have very slight amount of system requirements to run. It supports both OpenGL and DirectX. Pyrogenesis provides the ability to save and load a game. The source code of the Pyrogenesis does not come separately, but it is packed with the source code of 0 A.D.


  • Shadows mapping and filtering
  • Flexible Terrain
  • emissive Mapping
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • HDR rendering and Bloom
  • Skeletal Animation and deformation system
  • Animated Water Plane
  • Particle Effects
  • Environmental Lighting (Day/night)
  • Open-AL Audio system

Games Developed in Pyrogenesis


Other Useful Resources

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