Torque 3D engine going open-source and free

Long before Unity or the Unreal Development Kit, Torque was the engine of choice for indie developers with big dreams of making their own shiny 3D games, costing only $100 to license the tech behind Tribes 2. Now, 11 years later, maker GarageGames is preparing to set Torque 3D free and open-source it.

The source code will be released through GitHub under the MIT License, CEO Eric Preisz said in a blog post. Senior developer Dave Wyand noted that he hopes GG will work on improving performance and bringing the engine to Mac and Linux after the switch, though no plans are set.

Though T3D has fallen out of favour since the rise of Unity and the UDK, it's been used in recent years for games like GG's own Fallen Empire: Legions and Penny Arcade Adventures.

GarageGames is only planning to open-source Torque 3D first, keeping its other engines closed "for now," but says it'll be "learning from this experience." It'd be nice to see more of Torque 2D, which is the foundation of games including Frozen Synapse and Space Pirates and Zombies.

Opening Torque 3D up is part of GarageGames' grand vision to "focus on innovative uses of game technology." Employees can work on anything they fancy on Fridays, a bit like at Google, and GG is working on 3 Step Studio, a game maker that doesn't require any programming.