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Freeware game engines

These engines are available for free use, but without the source code being available under an open source license. Many of these engines are commercial products which have a free edition available for them:

  • Unreal Development Kit - UDK is Unreal Engine 3 – the complete professional development framework. All the tools you need to create great games, advanced visualizations and detailed 3D simulations. The best tools in the industry are in your hands.
  • Adventure Game Studio – Mainly used to develop third-person pre-rendered adventure games, this engine is one of the most popular for developing amateur adventure games.
  • Build engine – A first-person shooter engine used to power Duke Nukem 3D.
  • dim3 – Freeware 3D javascript engine for the Mac (although finished games are cross platform).
  • Game Maker Lite – Object-oriented game development software with a scripting language as well as a drag-and-drop interface.
  • M.U.G.E.N – A 2D fighting game engine.
  • Panda3D – (Releases prior to May 28, 2008) A relatively easy to use python-driven game engine made by Carnegie Mellon University. Disney uses it to produce some of their games.
  • World Builder – A classic Mac OS game engine.
  • Wintermute Engine – A runtime and development tools for creating 2D and 2.5D point'n'click adventure games.
  • RGSS - A engine made by enterbrain to create RPG's using RPG Maker XP. RGSS2 was used for RPG Maker VX.
  • Wild Pockets - An engine designed for 3D hardware accelerated web deployment. Uses Lua as a scripting language and has integrated physics, shader support, global art & script library, and transaction system for selling your game.

Game Programming Libraries

  • Obsidian - An open source 3D virtual world for Linux and OpenGL, OBSIDIAN is an extensible virtual world system with a fullblown multiplayer client-server architecture.
  • SpriteCraft - SpriteCraft is a freeware 2D game engine for quick and easy game development. It is a sprite engine designed for developing shareware and freeware games for Windows.
  • Adventure Game Studio - Free 2d point and click adventure game creation suite with smart and flexible scripting language.
  • Wintermute Engine - Freeware, state-of-art adventure game engine that makes it possible for independent developers to create adventure games of commercial quality. Flexible scripting language gives the developer significant degree of creative freedom. Community-developed plugins provide additional functionality.
  • Allegiance Source - Microsoft Research is releasing the Allegiance source code. The Allegiance source code is for education and research purposes, not for commercial use.
  • Jet3D - Jet3D is a robust 3D graphics engine built for high performance real-time rendering. Jet3D offers realtime editing, advanced lighting features, 3D modeling support, seamless soft-skin polygonal characters and many other innovations. Check the website for licensing details.
  • PPTactical Engine - PPTactical is an engine for real-time strategy and real-time tactics games, developed in opensource fashion.
  • Pygame Pygame is a set of Python modules designed for writing games. It is written on top of the excellent SDL library. This allows you to create fully featured games and multimedia programs in the python language. Pygame is highly portable and runs on nearly every platform and operating system.
  • JOGRE - JOGRE (Java Online Gaming Real-time Engine) is an open-source, online, real-time games engine and API programmed entirely in Java.
  • Stratagus - Stratagus is a free cross-platform real-time strategy gaming engine. It includes support for playing over the internet/LAN, or playing a computer opponent. The engine is configurable and can be used to create games with a wide-range of features specific to your needs.
  • Panda3D - Panda3D is a 3D engine: a library of subroutines for 3D rendering and game development. The library is C++ with a set of Python bindings. Game development with Panda3D usually consists of writing a Python program that controls the the Panda3D library.
  • Irrlicht Engine - The Irrlicht Engine is an open source high performance realtime 3D engine written and usable in C++ and also available for .NET languages. It is completely cross-platform, using D3D, OpenGL and its own software renderer, and has all of the state-of-the-art features which can be found in commercial 3d engines.
  • Blender3D - Blender3D is open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback.
  • Simple DirectMedia Layer - Simple DirectMedia Layer is a cross-platform multimedia library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, 3D hardware via OpenGL, and 2D video framebuffer. It is used by MPEG playback software, emulators, and many popular games.
  • Golden T Game Engine - Golden T Game Engine (GTGE) is a Java library for creating 2D games.
  • QuakeForge - QuakeForge is a 3D graphics game engine based on id Software's legendary Quake and QuakeWorld game engines.
  • Crystal Space 0.96 - Crystal Space is a free (LGPL) and portable 3D Game Development Kit written in C++.
  • G2D - A freeware 2D library for C++ with full example game and source code, online and downloadable documentation.
  • SCI Studio - SCI Studio is a completely free game development system for Sierra's SCI game engine. It allows you to create games like Sierra's King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry etc.
  • Genesis3D - Genesis3D is an Open Source 3D Game Development Engine, with a license designed to allow use of the game in commercial, or non-commercial applications for free. See the site faq for licensing details and requirements.
  • PLIB: A Suite of Portable Game Libraries. - PLIB includes sound effects, music, a complete 3D engine, font rendering, a GUI, networking, 3D math library and a collection of handy utility functions. All are 100% portable across nearly all modern computing platforms.
  • Doom source code - This is a link to an ftp download of a zip containing the Doom source code.
  • Allegro - Allegro is a game programming library for C/C++ developers distributed freely, supporting the following platforms: DOS, Unix (Linux, FreeBSD, Irix, Solaris), Windows, QNX, and BeOS (MacOS port is in alpha stage).
  • OGRE 3D engine - OGRE (Object-Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine) is a scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine written in C++. The class library abstracts all the details of using the underlying system libraries like Direct3D and OpenGL.
  • SciTech MGL - This Multi-platform Graphics Library has been used in the development of many leading titles like WinQuake, Hexen II and many others.
  • Wolfenstein Source Code - This is an ftp download link to the free 3D engine for Wolfenstein.
  • Crystal Space - Crystal Space is a free (LGPL) and portable 3D Game Development Kit written in C++.

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