Epic Games offers the huge UDK for the Unreal Engine 3 for download. Thus the Unreal Engine is now free to use for non-commercial projects.
Developer Epic Games decided to release the Unreal Development Kit. The toolset, which is based on the Unreal Engine 3, is intended for non-commercial use and for academic environments. For a commercial use of the UDK one still has to acquire a license.
The following tools are included:
• The Unreal Editor toolset, complete with fully integrated game editing environment.
• Unreal Gemini multithreaded rendering system with support for all modern rendering and shading techniques, advanced lighting and shadowing, ambient occlusion and a powerful material system for creating complex shaders on the fly.
• Unreal Lightmass global illumination solver for high-quality static lighting.
• Unreal PhAT visual physics modeling tool with state-of-the-art physics system powered by NVIDIA PhysX.
• Unreal Kismet, an advanced visual scripting solution that facilitates rapid prototyping of ideas and gameplay mechanics.
• AnimSet Viewer and AnimTree Editor, which give animators precise control over every muscle and bone movement.
• Unreal Matinee, which includes movie director-class tools for creating in-game cut scenes and gorgeous cinematics.
• UnrealScript, a fully integrated, high-level object-oriented programming language.
• Unreal Cascade particle effects system for implementing explosions, fog, fire and smoke. Module-based system gives real-time previews of visual effects.
• Terrain building tool for placing and customizing vegetation, structures and countless in-game points of interest.
• Audio control through UEs visual Sound Cue Editor, plus support for major audio compression schemes; 3D sound positioning, spatialization and attenuation; multi-channel playback, and much more.
• Built-in Internet and LAN networking support for up to 64 players.
Integrations with leading game development middleware including NVIDIA PhysX, SpeedTree, FaceFX and Bink Video.
The about 560 MByte big Unreal Development Kit
can be downloaded from udk.com. In our picture gallery you can find several pictures of the extensive toolset.