Developer Central | Indie Games Developer

Hology Engine Journey – How it all began

We recently had the privilege of catching up with Adam Ringhede and Annie Tsai to discuss their game engine, Hology. Impressed by their ingenuity, we invited Adam to introduce their engine on Developer Central, laying the groundwork for further exploration of their journey within the pages of our magazine.

Artistic expression comes in many forms, and one that affected me the most is game development. I enjoy using technology to create apps and tools. I started helping people make customized websites in high school and created a dating app during my time at university. Two years ago, my interest in creating tools arose when I resumed playing World of Warcraft after a hiatus of several years. I wanted to understand the intricacies of game development, and thus commenced my journey into game development.

The roller coaster experience of game development encompasses moments of frustration. There were times when I felt that a solution could have been achieved with just a few lines of code, but instead, I was led down the rabbit hole of searching through online tutorials for hours to find solutions to problems similar to mine and replicate the steps they outlined. Despite years of software development experience, I could still spend months poring over tutorials to learn new programming languages, engine features, and game development concepts. It is an art form that comes with a steep learning curve.

I began contemplating alternative approaches to game development. My initial experimental workflow for constructing game levels involved utilising Blender. In addition to using it for crafting every detail of the level, I attempted to employ it for placing game data such as spawn points and handcrafting navigation meshes. While this method yielded some results, it fell short of being optimal. I encountered challenges in achieving consistent lighting and materials, reusing assets, and optimising game rendering performance.

These challenges led me to an ambitious thought — could I create a simple level editor myself? Although unsure of what would come out of it, I began building. As time went on, I found inspiration in other games and was driven by the idea of crafting a tool capable of producing stunning levels, which prompted me to transition from creating a level editor to developing what is now known as the Hology Engine.

I utilise the existing web development ecosystem of technologies and complement it with tools I have built to create optimised workflows for game creation. This reduces the barrier of entry for those who come from a web development background or have some experience in front-end web development languages. Conversely, it also serves as a gateway for collaboration between individuals from the web development and game industries on 3D/VR projects.

At present, the Hology Engine boasts a fully-featured editor for crafting game levels. Assets can be imported into the editor, with physics colliders generated automatically. Materials can be defined within the editor, and custom shaders can even be utilised for special effects, which can then replace materials on imported models. Landscapes can be hand-sculpted to fashion vast open-world adventures, complete with procedurally generated foliage. Additionally, it features a gameplay framework built around actors and components to aid in structuring game projects, whilst also offering numerous built-in capabilities such as character controllers, third-party cameras, and trigger volumes.

The future of Hology Engine is exciting, and I am not working on it alone. Annie is responsible for operations, UX research, public relations, and community management. Ben will concentrate on commercialisation to ensure its commercial viability, making it a trusted choice for game studios while also being accessible to indie developers and students. Additionally, we are seeking indie developers and studios interested in partnering with us to collaborate and create together.

If you are interested in a demo or trying out the beta, please contact us at:


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Author: Adam Ringhede
Edited by: Annie Tsai

Hology Engine

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