Stray Photons is a high-performance game engine focused on immersive VR experiences.With full-hand physical interaction, seamless asynchronous scene loading, fully interactive global illumination, powerful game logic and scripting functions, etc.


  • High performance core engine – Stray Photons built onTecsOn top of that, Tecs is a transactional entity-component system designed for multi-threaded applications. The core engine is designed to maximize frame rate stability for VR and take advantage of the ever-increasing core counts found in modern processors.

  • VR-Centric Design– All features of the engine are designed with VR as the main focus. Interactions are all done with physical characters in the world, such as the player’s hand. Stray Photon’s rendering is designed around the high frame rate and resolution requirements of VR.

  • Voxel-based GI lighting– Stray Photons support fully interactive Global Illumination (GI) without ray tracing hardware. This voxel-based approach to GI lighting partially decouples lighting calculations from rendering resolution, allowing for interactive specular lighting, even in VR.

  • Robust Force-limited Physics System – Based on Nvidia’s PhysX, the Stray Photons physics system includes custom fine-tuned constraints and controllers for handling VR hand input. Forces are accurately limited to prevent moving too heavy objects or players out of bounds. Full-hand physics interaction supports precise player input.

  • Light Reflection and Transparency– Engine lighting includes a custom recursive shadowing system that allows direct light to bounce off mirrors, or be tinted by glass filters. Players can create light-based puzzles by moving objects in the light’s path in real time.

  • Laser Optical System– Signals can be connected directly to laser emitters and sensors as part of the Stray Photon game logic. By combining modules such as mirrors, separators, grids and rechargeable batteries (batteries), the laser path can be controlled in several ways. Players can combine laser optics to create logic gates and other complex circuits.

  • Simple JSON-based scene format– Scenes in Stray Photons are defined using a human-readable (and writable) JSON format. A list of scene definition entity definitions, including support for templates and other scriptable prefabs such as tile or wall generation.

  • Fully asynchronous scene loading– The scene manager uses a staging environment to load scenes in the background before automatically adding the finished scene to the real world. Multiple scenes can be chained together to seamlessly load in and out as the player moves through the world without any loading screens.

  • Powerful Signal Expression System– Without writing any code, complex game logic can be expressed using only signals and events sent between entities. A set of built-in scripts can be combined to control almost any engine component.

  • CI testing environment and dev-friendly build tools– Stray Photon’s development tools are designed to keep iterations quick and easy. The engine’s modularity allows for fast incremental builds and flexible configuration of CI tests. Most aspects of the engine are tested, including automatic screenshot diffing of scripted scenes. These test scripts allow the engine to run in a deterministic “lockstep” mode to track down even single-frame issues.

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