SAGE (game engine)

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Strategy Action Game Engine
Developer(s)Westwood Studios, EA Los Angeles
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, Macintosh, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
TypeGame engine

SAGE (Strategy Action Game Engine) is a game engine used primarily for real-time strategy games developed by Westwood Studios and Electronic Arts. Earlier implementations of the engine were known as W3D (Westwood 3D) while later versions were branded SAGE 2.0.


The first version of the engine, originally named W3D, was a major modification of the SurRender 3D engine developed by Hybrid Graphics Ltd.[1] Westwood first used W3D for the real-time strategy game Emperor: Battle for Dune, a departure from the 2D and voxel-based engines developed for earlier titles in their Dune and Command & Conquer strategy titles. W3D would later be used on Westwood's first-person shooter Command & Conquer: Renegade and their massively multiplayer online role-playing game Earth & Beyond.

After Westwood was dissolved by their parent company, Electronic Arts, the engine was renamed SAGE (Strategy Action Game Engine) and updated for the release of Command & Conquer: Generals; the rendering portion remained nearly identical to the W3D engine, but most other elements had been redesigned from the ground up. The updated SAGE engine allowed for dynamic lighting that would cast realistic shadows and reflections on most objects, as well as higher quality visual effects and a stop-motion camera feature; the SAGE engine would continue to be used by EA Los Angeles on additional titles in the Command & Conquer series and on the real-time strategy series The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth.

Following the release of the Command & Conquer 3 expansion Kane's Wrath, the engine underwent a large overhaul of its major systems; this new version of the engine was called SAGE 2.0 and was first used on Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. Major upgrades included support for the PlayStation 3, an upgrade of the renderer to RNA (RenderWare New Architecture), complete replacement of the math library with RenderWare Math, integration of RenderWare Physics, dynamic environmental music, and numerous minor internal improvements. A common misconception was that the new engine itself was called RNA when in fact RNA only referred to the renderer; the last title to use the SAGE 2.0 engine was Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight.


W3D engine[edit]

SAGE engine[edit]

SAGE 2.0 engine[edit]


  1. ^ Majik 3D Project announces co-operation with Taika Technologies, Ltd. - SurRender 3D is one of the leading 3D libraries on the market and is currently being used in many commercial titles such as Westwood Studios' Command & Conquer: Renegade.