Tank from indie game

If NASCAR star Tony Stewart has taught us anything, it’s that all it takes to become a hero is the right engine — and software firm Idea Fabrik thinks it has the right engine for indie developers.

This week, Idea Fabrik announced the launch of HeroEngine 2, available now for studios starting at $99 a year. This is the company’s newest graphical suite that provides a robust tool for building high-end visuals and in-game frameworks.

“We are very excited about the new features and expanded tools available in HeroEngine 2. “ said Idea Fabrik chairman Alex Shalash. “The release of HeroEngine 2 proves our continued commitment to empowering any game developer to create — faster and easier than ever before — powerful online games across all genres.”

With HeroEngine 2, Idea Fabrik equips developers with new lighting, shaders, and shadow tools. The software’s Foundation Framework gives them the functionality to create matchmaking lobbies and group-chat areas for in-game socializing.

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HeroEngine 2 also adds two middleware solutions (the adoption of a common tool from another company) to speed up production. SpeedTree 6 makes fast work of producing animated trees and foliage, and Awesomium Web UI Browser Framework gives developers an easy way to create the necessary user interfaces for microtransactions and subscription payments.