Bungie Wiki

The blam! Engine (also known as "Blam Engine" and "Halo Engine") is name of the game engine originally used to power Halo: Combat Evolved. It has been reiterated upon for each Halo and Destiny game and used by a few other games.


The blam! Engine was purposely built for a sandbox shooter and includes concepts like projectiles, vehicles, and wind. According to the Reclaimers Library,[1] It's not possible to add new systems to the game which were not required to build the kind of gameplay Halo has now.

The engine and asset tools were fairly innovative and powerful in 2001, combining techniques like portal-based occlusion, radiosity, particles, AI and pathfinding, dynamic physics, advanced shaders, and a scripting engine. It was written in C and C++.[1]

The systems in place are data-driven through the use of tags, which is how Bungie was able to display and expand upon Halo and Destiny stats on Bungie.net. Tags are seen as the "interface" to the game and come in expected types only. All customizable assets and gameplay parameters are represented as tags within map files, with tags forming a dependency tree via references. When Halo loads a map, it will use the included tags to drive game systems such as AI, weapons, vehicles, rendering, physics, and more.[1]

Development History[]

According to Jason Jones,[2] the engine was originally a test bed for Myth:

"Halo didn't begin as a strategy game but the engine it uses started out that way. The engine Halo uses began as a next-generation Myth terrain engine, with polygonal units."

Engineering Director Chris Butcher also said in a GDC presentation[3] that development of the game that would become known as Halo began in 1997 with the new "blam!" Engine. "blam!" served as Bungie's engine over the course of 10 years of games and included "feature evolution and addition."[3]

Issues With Engine[]

By 2008, Bungie felt that the engine felt "old" in the sense that it was starting to become restrictive. When the first Halo game was created, the blam! Engine was designed to use "a single main thread, a single platform" that were very hard to change.[3]

Games That Used the Engine[]

Modified Blam! Engines[]

The following are game engines that were derived and modified from the blam! engine to become new game engine.

Tiger Engine[]

Destiny and Destiny 2 use a modified blam! Engine called the Tiger Engine.

Saber3D Hybrid Engine[]

Saber Interactive was hired by 343 Industries to remaster Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. One of the main goals was to keep the games' original gameplay untouched, so Saber retrofitted their Saber3D Engine to render the new graphics on top of the blam! Engine. This allowed the game to run both engine at once, allowing players to switch between the old and new graphics.

Slipspace Engine[]

During development of Halo Infinite, 343 Industries decided to modify and revamp the blam! engine to create the Slipspace Engine. The new engine still retains remnants of the blam! Engine but mostly uses new and modified code.

Blamite Engine[]

Elaztek Studios is currently taking the core ideas and concepts of the blam! Engine to create a new engine, Blamite, for their future games.[7]