Virtual Reality

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 181–187 | Cite as

Computer game engines for developing first-person virtual environments

  • David Trenholme
  • Shamus P. Smith
Original Article


Building realistic virtual environments is a complex, expensive and time consuming process. Although virtual environment development toolkits are available, many only provide a subset of the tools needed to build complete virtual worlds. One alternative is the reuse of computer game technology. The current generation of computer games present realistic virtual worlds featuring user friendly interaction and the simulation of real world phenomena. Using computer games as the basis for virtual environment development has a number of advantages. Computer games are robust and extensively tested, both for usability and performance, work on off-the-shelf systems and can be easily disseminated, for example via online communities. Additionally, a number of computer game developers provide tools, documentation and source code, either with the game itself or separately available, so that end-users can create new content. This short report overviews several currently available game engines that are suitable for prototyping virtual environments.


Virtual environments Computer game technology Game engines Reuse Prototyping 



This work was funded in part by the Nuffield Foundation (Grant URB/34118). 44


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUK

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