The Tactics Engine, which was developed by Auran and is used to power Dark Reign is an advanced 2d strategy game engine that has many of the features normally associated with a true 3d engine. Some of these include real time map creation, phong altitude shading and true line of sight.

The Tactics Engine is a fully customisable true engine with which you can create a new game with a new directory structure, art and control files.

The History of the Tactics Engine
Auran's very first project involved developing a real time strategy game called Corporation - Off World (which will now be released in the near future).

After some 12 months of coding for Corporation - Off World, it became apparent to us that we had developed a program with features suitable for more than just one game. With some minor modifications, a sophisticated game engine could be created which, rather than being specific for one game, could be used as the foundation for a range of games. We called this the Tactics Engine.

Tactics Engine features include:

The flexibility for players to easily alter most of the game's internal parameters. This allows you to customise a game and make it your own. The Tactics Engine allows you to do this to a level never before possible. For example, you can create your own units (this includes characters, vehicles and buildings), your own missions and your own maps.

Artificial Intelligence
Allows you to play against the computer's artificial intelligence or allow multiple players to compete against each other. Unlike existing computer games, especially strategy games, the Tactics Engine allows the game's artificial intelligence to virtually think for itself. In current games, the artificial intelligence tends to follow a set series of moves, which you can soon anticipate. The Tactics Engine's artificial intelligence has been designed to take on a number of "personalities" based on the your strategies and the status of the game.

Be played over a network with multiple players. The Tactics Engine allows for superior game play over networks due to some ingenius networking code that can handle a wide range of protocols and handle varius latency conditions with ease.

How the Engine Works in Dark Reign
The development of a game of the nature of Dark Reign required constant changes to its design and requirements. The demands on the programmers led to what we see as the next level in game development - the Tactics Engine.

The Tactics Engine is designed to allow everyone who has a part in the production of the game creative freedom and the ability to respond to new ideas. Much of the work can be done without changing the code that produces the game at all.

Artists can change an amazing amount. Firstly, all of the effects and appearances of the terrain and the rocks, trees and debris you see scattered across maps. Next there are the units - how a unit looks and moves, the graphics you see when the weapon fires and what appears when it hits its target. Plus the buildings; as with units there are animations available for various building activities and the buildings actually differ slightly depending on the terrain you are playing on.

The designers can also count on freedom to evolve their design. The relative attack and defensive strengths and weapon ranges, how quickly a unit moves over all terrains and how far it can see. Whether it can change into another unit or disguise itself. Can it fly? The list goes on... Then there is the terrain itself and the overlays (rocks, trees and so on) which lie on it. Do you want to be able to walk through trees and should they hide units behind them? Can you destroy each tree and rock? Will the terrain hurt the units over it?

You get the idea, and we haven't even mentioned the interface and the designers' freedom with buildings.

To make things easier for you when you are configuring the Tactics Engine, we have prepared the following manuals. To view the manuals, you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available at the: Adobe Site (


This manual describes how to configure the Tactics Engine.


AIP Manual

This manual describes how to configure the Artificial Intelligence Personalities and End Condition Scenarios.


**Please note: This documentation was created to supplement the knowledge of someone who understands the basic concepts behind programming and the creation of in-game art assets. The Tactics Engine is owned by Activision, and the documentation, utilites and additional assets on this site are no longer supported by Auran.

Permission to use the manuals contained in this site ("Manual") is conditional upon you agreeing to the terms set out below. Do not proceed to download the manuals until you have read and accepted all the conditions. If you do not wish to accept the conditions, do not download the Manuals. The user is granted a non-exclusive licence to download and use the Manuals contained in this site on the following conditions contained here.