View Full Version : Explain DK1’s Engine

Ominous Perspective
January 21st, 2013, 05:42
What fascinates about Dungeon Keeper 1 is its engine: it seems very similar to Quake 1, yet it uses sprite NPCs instead of 3D models. The water and lava effects, lighting, and textures feel very Quake-like, yet it has a bit of advantage over the Q1 engine in that the walls are very destructible (like the Voxel environments of Ken Silverman’s Voxlap engine, or another game where everyone loves to mine in the first person). So I wonder: how was this engine created, and how did Bullfrog achieve aspects like destructible walls and the shift from isometric to first person in a late 90s game? Is the engine open source, or is it closed (like many other engines for unique games around that time)?

January 21st, 2013, 07:51
The DK1 engine is entirely Bullfrog created. It was previously used in Magic Carpet, Hi-Octane and Tube where some of these game had morphing terrain. They simply have adapted it for Dungeon Keeper to become a working dungeon. I have no idea how it has been created, only Bullfrog would know that. And I "think" it is open-source as the engine data code is present in KeeperFX. That's all I could say. Maybe Mefisto would have more knowledge about that.

January 21st, 2013, 17:27
Yes, I only knew Magic Carpet, but I've done some research and Magic Carpet is a FPS and the other 2 were drive simulators, so it's a very versatile engine (specially if you consider that is late 90s), so maybe Mefisto could tell us if it's possible to use that engine to write a game today...

January 21st, 2013, 19:47
maybe Mefisto could tell us if it's possible to use that engine to write a game today...

Every engine comes with documentation and tools - we don't have it for Bullfrog Engine, so I doubt anyone would like to make a new game on it.

A few years ago I wrote a few words about the engine, here: