Sometime before the release of Irrlicht 1.6, one of our forum users asked how to use Irrlicht to render user images onto 3D models on a web server, for example t-shirts and mugs. Although Irrlicht contains two software rasterizers, this wasn’t possible at the time because the video driver is created by an IrrlichtDevice which is the engine’s windowing system singleton.
After explaining the process of adding a new device type, I felt inspired enough to actually go ahead and add one myself. The result was an MS-DOS and VT100 console device which renders ASCII art to stdout, plus the ability to select the device type at runtime. This means that from Irrlicht 1.6 and above you can download an Irrlicht binary (.dll, .so or .framework) for your platform and switch device types without the need to recompile, which should keep the packagers happy and also allow non-game apps to make use of the engine.