Create real-time strategy games with the open source Spring Engine

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Spring Engine is an open source game engine that can help you create fun real-time strategy (RTS) games. There is also a large number of games already created with the engine, free to download and play.

I am a creative person, and it’s always been my theory that there is an artist buried somewhere in every one of us. Naturally, I have always loved programs that will let me create something.

Whether it’s a new video editing suite or a new mod conversion for a favorite game, I enjoy finding and of course sharing great programs that let us be creative.

Spring Engine is one of those, and on a high pedestal since it combines two things I love: RTS gaming and being creative.

Spring Games collection

Right off the bat, Spring Engine is impressive just looking at the list of games that have been created for or with it. The list is available on the Spring Engine web site, and it states that while many of the games have standalone installers, some of them will only have a game file that requires you to download and install the core Spring Engine files anyway, so I would recommend you head there first before even starting to download anything.

Spring Screem 7Spring Screen 1

The Engine itself isn’t a terribly huge download and it will be nice to have it installed already when you find a game that requires it and interests you. In fact, since the Engine is just that and not a game in and of itself, to get started you will need to go ahead and find a game and a map and download them as well. This will give you an idea of what the Spring Engine is capable of and what it’s all about, really.

Spring Screen 2Spring Screen 3

The games are many and varied, with all kinds of different concepts within the RTS framework. The engine itself has a rapid graphic interface but for the average computer user Spring Engine’s real value is in the growing library of games available to run with it. There are some pretty impressive games available on the web site, and each one has its own pros and cons, too many to go into here but it’s worth exploring to see what they have that fits your personality and gaming style. Within the rapid interface is a list of the available tags that you can download and install, just by double clicking on it. Once downloaded with the rapid GUI, you can then run Test Mode and fiddle with the different options available. Almost every aspect of the game is editable in the settings menu of the Test Spring mode and you can achieve some pretty amusing results if you put your mind to it. The Zero-K Game and  Lobby is a perfect example of just what can be accomplished with the Spring Engine behind things.

Spring Screen 4
The Engine is open source so you can use it to develop your own games, maps and build your own following if you want and if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn how. It’s a heck of a lot easier and more accessible to learn this kind of thing than it ever has been before now, and Spring is a perfect example of that shift. Those who are more familiar with development of mods and scratch games from engines and sdk resources will find Spring to be absolutely overloaded with available features and options, not to mention a rabid fan base of gamers with a never ending desire for new content. Those who are just looking for new free games will find plenty of those in the Lobby system as well as on the website. For either case, Spring Engine has much to recommend it and I very much look forward to seeing the content that comes out in the near future, like the Star Wars game in development at the moment. Until next time, my friends.

[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip]

Check out Spring Engine and the games for it here (Windows, Linux, Mac).