Geo-Mod is the name given to two distinctly different engines created by Volition - each focused squarely on supporting extensive destruction capabilities beyond what is possible in other engines.
The Geo-Mod engine, first featured in Red Faction, allows players to interact with and alter the game environment in real-time - a feature that was particularly revolutionary at the time of its introduction. This technology enables the destruction of structures, terrain, and other in-game objects in a realistic manner, significantly enhancing the immersion and strategic elements of gameplay. Geo-Mod allows players to use weapons to break through walls, floors, and other barriers, creating new pathways and tactical advantages.
After Red Faction's 2001 release, the Geo-Mod engine received some notable upgrades and went on to power 2002's Red Faction II.
The design tool used for developing environments in the Geo-Mod engine is RED.
The earliest known development work performed on what would eventually become the first Geo-Mod engine happened in 1998, while Volition was creating a 6-DOF space shooter title that was intended to be eventually released as Descent 4. Following the breakdown of Volition's relationship with Interplay in late 1999, Volition reused much of the tools and code that had been developed for Descent 4 (including an early incarnation of the engine that would eventually be called Geo-Mod) and began substantive work on Red Faction.
Geo-Mod, as the engine powering Red Faction, was first unveiled to the public by THQ at E3 2000.
Volition started development of the engine with the end goal of "full, real-time destruction" in mind, initially unsure how to go about accomplishing that (or even, whether it was possible).
- Realtime geometry destruction using CSG operations
- Advanced physics simulation, including support for falling geometry, particles, liquid, and force modifiers
- Land, water, and air vehicles
- Extensive AI capabilities and behaviour settings
- Skeletal animation supporting deformation and interpolation
- Lightmap-based lighting system, supporting shadows and dynamic lighting
Geo-Mod 2.0 was an entirely new engine originally developed for use in Red Faction: Guerrilla. As opposed to performing real-time CSG operations like its predecessor, Geo-Mod 2.0 shifted focus to enabling physics-based destruction of man-made structures within the game world. Geo-Mod 2.0 uses pre-broken meshes that respond in a realistic manner to physical forces such as stress and kinetic impact (typically from player weapons or vehicles). For instance, a building could be strategically weakened at key structural points, causing it to collapse on enemy forces.
After Red Faction: Guerrilla's 2009 release, the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine went on to power 2011's Red Faction: Armageddon.
The design tool used for developing environments in the Geo-Mod engine is CLOE.