RuneTek is a game engine developed by Jagex Games Studio, which is currently used on RuneScape and Runescape Classic, and will soon be used with the upcoming Jagex MMO, Stellar Dawn. It is currently on Version 5.
History of RuneTek
RuneTek 1 - DeviousMUD/Games Domain
This was the first incarnation of the RuneTek game engine, used in a game considered the predecessor to RuneScape. Not very much is known about DeviousMUD apart from the fact that it was available briefly and that it had a pseudo-3D view ingame, and graphics similar to Runescape Classic.
RuneTek 2 - RuneScape Classic
Released in 2001, RuneScape Classic had a 3D camera, but the 3D graphics were basic, the textures were also very basic, and characters/NPCs were just 2D sprites. The combat system was also vastly different as well in the way that combat was initiated by walking into the enemy's location and attacking, and that you could not retreat from a battle until at least 3 attacks have been made. Range and Magic worked vastly differently as well in the way that Ranged projectiles could only be fired at other enemies out of combat and that Magic was not autocasted. Camera angles could either be fixed or could rotate around the player in a circle.
There were no animations apart from the weapon swinging that 2D sprites did. Non-combat skills often had "animations" that involved a thought bubble with the skill icon appearing above the player's head as they were doing an action.
Support for basic in-game sounds was added, but was only made available to Members (before Runescape Classic was closed to non-subscribers of course)
RuneTek 3 - RuneScape
Released in 2003 - 2004 after a brief closed beta period open only to Members, this entirely new version of Runescape had many major overhauls. Players were also given the option to transfer characters to the new version from Runescape Classic, or keep those characters in RSC.
Two detail settings, Low detail which added next to no textures, basic shapes and was ideal for slow computers, and high detail which added basic textures, and more foliage were implemented. Everything in the game was also in 3D as well, including NPCs, characters, monsters and everything else which was previously just a 2D sprite. Dynamic animations were also implemented which were also improved upon over the years .
The camera also has a bit more freedom with the ability to view overhead or an almost side-on view, unlike RSC's camera which could only turn in a circle or be at a fixed angle in certain areas through settings.
Combat was also given a major overhaul. Ranged users and Magic users could use their abilities in Melee range, and the concept of the Combat Triangle was further developed through stat rebalances. Furthermore.Magic users could now autocast their spells.
After many minor graphical and engine updates which were implemented over the years, RuneTek 3 got phased out for RuneTek 5 (As RT4 ran alongside RT3 as it was a separate detail mode.)
RuneTek 4 - RuneScape High Detail
Released on 1 July 2008, first as a Members only feature but then becoming available to all players 2 weeks later. RuneTek 4 and the RuneScape High Detail update brought many significant graphical changes to the game including such things as:
- Hardware acceleration through OpenGL
- Dynamic lighting and shadows.
- Texture blending was improved tenfold. Paths which did look jagged before now looked like they smoothly integrated with the nearby terrain.
- Greatly improved textures. The ground had a lot of added textures which made the game look a lot more realistic than it did beforehand.
- Fullscreen mode (Members Only) with support for very high monitor resolutions of upto 1920x1200.
- Fog effects
- Improved Character Portraits (Came in updates after, but were made possible with RT4)
- Improved water effects
- Underwater visibility.
- Resizeable game window, available to all players although the actual fullscreen mode is Members only.
RuneTek 5 - Current cross-platform engine
RuneTek 5 is a significant rewriting of the RuneTek Engine which shares many of the current features of the RuneTek engine, but with a few changes:
- Cross platform support.
- Performance boosts.
- Integrated Standard Detail (RT3) and High Detail (RT4) into the same engine.
- Low Detail replaced with Safe Mode
- Standard Detail improved in terms of performance and graphical appearence.
- Particle effects
- Support for Sky Boxes
- Support for Bloom Lighting
- Support for Water reflections
- DirectX Support (Came as a separate Runescape update after the switch to RuneTek 5)
Many of the upgrades found in RT5 were upgrades being worked on during the development of MechScape. However, MechScape was cancelled in early 2010 and Stellar Dawn was announced instead.
Stellar Dawn will also use the RuneTek Engine, but it has been confirmed that in terms of graphical capabilities, Stellar Dawn will be far superior to RuneScape High Detail.
RuneScript is the in-house scripting language used by Jagex to develop ingame content for RuneScape which uses the RuneTek Engine. RuneScript has been used for Runescape Classic, RuneScape and since Stellar Dawn will allegedly use RuneTek