Valve to make Source Engine SDK free

Hot on the heels of last week's announcement that Valve was turning its multiplayer shooter -- Team Fortress 2 -- into a free-to-play product, it's been revealed that Valve will soon release the Source Engine SDK mod tools for everyone to use for free. At the moment you can only access the Source Engine SDK by paying for a Source Engine based game but with last week's change of Team Fortress 2 into a free game, Rock Paper Shogun reports that Valve has now made the decision to make the mod tools free as well.

According to an email from Valve's Robin Walker, "We are in the process of getting it all done. It’s a bit messy because we have multiple versions of the SDK, and there’s some dependencies we need to shake out. But yes, the gist of it is that we’re just going to go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available." The tools included in the Source SDK include the Hammer level editor, a model viewer and more. You can get more info on the Source Engine SDK via Valve's developers web site.

While the Source Engine SDK will soon be free, it looks like amateur game developers will still require that a Source Engine game be installed before playing any mods created via the Source Engine SDK, even if Team Fortress 2 and another free game, Alien Swarm, are free. This is in contrast to Epic Games' UDK which allows people to create stand alone games using a modified version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Games For Windows web site to become part of Xbox.com in July

Next Story

California is the latest state to tax Amazon.com purchases

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is awesome. Its like the Doom and Quake engines opened up to fans. This will bring more people into the game programming community.

Reacon, what did you mean when you said "Whatever their next one is, I just hope they can remove a lot of the limitations in Source today."

What limitations?

I love the Source engine. Although I couldn't care less about SDK's, I'm proud of Valve for giving even more to the community. If any one company is responsible for keeping PC gaming on life support, it's Valve. Kudos to them!

stunts said,
Source engine has held up better than any other engine, ever. One can only imagine their next one.

I beg to differ. Bits and pieces of the Unreal 3 engine is still in use today by modern games.

Source is only used by ambitious mod developers, and Valve. ... and about 3 other games over the course of the past 7 years.

Whatever their next one is, I just hope they can remove a lot of the limitations in Source today.

Reacon said,

I beg to differ. Bits and pieces of the Unreal 3 engine is still in use today by modern games.


Dude U3 engine arrived much later and is still very current. It has been updated recenty to 3."975" with new cutting edge features, remember?

stunts said,
Source engine has held up better than any other engine, ever. One can only imagine their next one.

Source engine is just a hacked to hell early quake engine. Q3 at best. Sure it doesn't look that much like the old quake engine any more.. Oh wikipedia back me up here
"John Carmack commented on his blog in 2004 that "there are still bits of early Quake code in Half-Life 2"."
Not that I'm saying its a bad thing, I just see source games and they still have that Quake feel.. I can't explain it.. they just do.
And the U3 engine is the current engine.. Again to quote wikipedia
"Due to its focus on the next console generation, Michael Capps, President of Epic Games, indicated that Unreal Engine 4 should be ready between 2012 to 2018"

stunts said,
Source engine has held up better than any other engine, ever. One can only imagine their next one.

Go look what some games have done on an Unreal engine (1,2 and 3)...even MMORPGs like L2 are Unreal2 engine

MafiotuL said,
Hopefully they are working on a new engine or on a new version of this one.

The source engine as it is today is not the same engine it was when HL2 came out. Because of the modular design used on the Source engine, it can be upgraded in parts, where needed, when needed

SteelToast said,

Then is it possible to make maps for TF2?

Pretty sure you can already do that without the SDK, just look at the Community maps out there.

xendrome said,

Pretty sure you can already do that without the SDK, just look at the Community maps out there.


The community maps are made with the *paid* SDK.

MrPink said,

Not really.

Ehh, you need the SDK to test the weapons (Since the SDK contains the model compiler), but you don't need it to submit stuff.