Epic Launches Free Unreal Development Kit

By Chris Faylor, Nov 05, 2009 4:00am PST Gears of War and Unreal developer Epic Games today released its Unreal Engine 3 dev tools as a free download, aimed at providing noncommercial and educational use of the technology that powers many PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games.

The 563MB Unreal Development Kit can be found on FileShack, with various Unreal Tournament 3 assets included to help you get started. Two UDK-crafted sample games are also available: Psyonix's vertical puzzler Whizzle and Toltec's The Ball.

"I'm excited about the possibilities the Unreal Development Kit opens to those who are looking to get into the game business but don't otherwise have the means to acquire world-class technology and tools like ours," said Epic VP Mark Rein. "UDK is Unreal Engine 3, which has been used to create games in a wide range of genres, as well as military simulations, 3D architectural walkthroughs, animated movies and more."

Among the numerous titles powered by Unreal Engine 3 are Epic's own Gears of War 2 and Unreal Tournament 3, Chair's Shadow Complex, Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum, Gearbox's Borderlands, Swordfish's 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and the hospitality training software Virtual Heroes crafted for Hilton Garden employees.

In its present form, content created with the Unreal Development Kit is only usable on PC, with Epic noting that PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 support is "under consideration."

The tools include many "features and technological enhancements...that have yet to be seen in an Unreal Engine game," claims Epic. The company further pledged that it will be supporting the Unreal Development Kit with continuous upgraded builds.

Alongside the tools, Epic released more than two-hundred pages of documentation via the Unreal Developer Network, launched dedicated forums, and offered up licensing details for those seeking to use the technology in a commercial application.

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  • Awesome step forward Epic!

    I've seen Mark and Steve have both posted here, so I'm curious if Epic has anything planned to showcase UDK projects in the future. Like I said, I think Epic has done a tremendous service to the indie population here.

    Here's an idea to take it one step further: Partnership with Valve to provide a dedicated marketplace for UDK created games. Producing the games is definitely one hurdle, but getting awareness of your work and providing a distribution channel to the consumer is the next major obstacle for small indie studios.

    Again, nice work Epic!