Game Engines

FIFE – game engine

FIFE is the Flexible Isometric Free Engine (FIFE).

The aim of the FIFE project is to create a cross platform 2D game creation framework. Games can be created with combination of engine, editor tools, game specific scripts and game content (e.g. maps, graphics and sounds).

A game engine generally provides graphics rendering, editors (map, GUI, animation, etc), virtual filesystem support, path finding and possibly AI, collision detection, physics simulation, audio support, effects (using things such as particle engines), game object and camera management (possibly through a scene graph), and 2D/3D maths.

Features include:


  • Support for formats implemented by SDL_image.
  • Support for the FRM image format (used in Fallout 1 & 2).
  • Palette color index override system for transparency effects.
  • Support for the Fallout palette format.
  • Take in game screenshots via hotkey.
  • Pooling of image resources, resulting enhanced performance and reduced memory consumption.
  • Animations:
    • Custom FIFE XML-based animation format (can be used with all image formats).
    • Fallout palette animations.
  • Effects: Several possible effects (e.g. fading in/out of instances).
  • Render: Support for different renderers:
    • Blocking.
    • Camzone.
    • Cell selection.
    • Coordinate.
    • Floating text.
    • Grid.
    • Instance.
    • Quadtree.
  • Free Choice:
    • Resolution.
    • Bit-depth (16, 24 32bit).
    • Window mode (full screen and windowed).
  • Define separate camera specifc viewpoints with different rotations, zooms and tilts.

Editor tools:

  • Basic map editor tool:
    • Dataset browser.
    • Deleting instances from map layer.
    • Loading existing maps.
    • Placing instances on map layer.
    • Saving maps.
    • Undo/Redo support for instances.
    • Object Editor plugin.

Event handling:

  • Support for the following event types, can be bind to scripting functionality:
    • Mouse events.
    • Keyboard events.
    • Widget events.
    • Custom commands.


  • Python-bases scripting system.
  • Scripts can be executed from the console.
  • Potential support for other scripting languages.

Support: GitHub
Developer: More than 20 developers
License: GNU LGPL 2.1 or higher


FIFE is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Games Engines Part 2

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