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Source Engine SDK To Be Free 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-you-don't-have-to-buy-hats dept.
Following up on news from earlier this week that Valve made Team Fortress 2 free-to-play, we now get word that the Source engine SDK will be free to all as well. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "The Source Software Development Kit, for those of you who've never clicked the Tools tab in Steam, contains everything you'd need to make a mod, except for personal ambition. It has everything from the infamous Valve Hammer Editor to Face Posers and Model Viewers. At the moment, to gain access to the Source SDK you have to purchase a Source based game such as Half Life 2, or as the official website states, Team Fortress 2. Which is of course now free. [Valve's Robin Walker said], '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.'"
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Source Engine SDK To Be Free

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  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:10AM (#36631130) Homepage

    How much would it cost to release a port of Source to Linux? Come up with a figure, and we - the Linux gaming community, who bought every iD game ever written simply because it had Linux support straight away - will come up with the cash.

    Go on, do it. The money is waiting.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RoFLKOPTr (1294290)

      ... the Linux gaming community ...

      Go on, do it. The money is waiting.

      I present Valve Senior Staff Doing Math: "So $15... from a potential customer base of approximately 20 people......."

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Some of us do play games, there is more than enough people out there playing the open source ones (mainly because there are hardly any commercial ones, modern games to say the least...).

        Another thing to point out is that linux users (on average) were the ones willing to pay a higher price for the games available from the humble indie bundle game packs. Valve should jump the gun and test drive some sales with a game or two, it could really benefit them (aswell as improving the chance of other publishers port

      • by Gordonjcp (186804)

        Where are you getting $15 from? I expect it would cost a bit more to release a Linux port than that, but if that's all it takes they can have the money now. At current exchange rates, that's the price of a bacon roll and a cup of tea from the burger van outside.

      • They're working on it. It'll be ready in late 2011 [valvesoftware.com]
      • by rl117 (110595)

        If Steam was available for Linux, and games could run natively or via wine, I'd lose the last major reason I have a copy of Windows. I'm sure I'm not the only one using Windows solely for gaming, and I'd love to be able to ditch it entirely for Linux.

      • Look at the numbers on all the indie bundles. Think again.
      • That figure is closer to a few thousand people, considering how many and what kind of people use any kind of Linux distro.

    • by Ooki (1576979)
      If we are lucky they will release the entire source code, so that the open source community can work its magic and port it them selfs. I for one would gladly pitch in making source-games for linux if I had the chance :D (Tux -something something- FPS here I come ! )
      • by cgeys (2240696)
        They wont. To begin with there are probably hundreds of license issues with it, and Valve of course still wants to be able to sell the engine for commercial usage.
        • They wont. ...and Valve of course still wants to be able to sell the engine for commercial usage.

          That does not exclude each other.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:28AM (#36631604) Homepage Journal

        >>If we are lucky they will release the entire source code, so that the open source community can work its magic and port it them selfs

        Well... the entire HL2 source code was leaked back in the day... =)

        But I'd love to see the *TF2* source code released. Robin (back when he was just a uni student in Australia) released the source code to TF1 (up to a certain version), which enabled me to write CustomTF (I guess some people call it Shaka's Mod) which allows you to build your own class using a cash-based system. Hell of a lot of fun to write and play, and it turned into an open source project in its own right, with various people from around the world taking over leadership of the project at one point or another in the last 14 years.

        People still play it, which is really neat. The Facebook group for it is here:
        http://www.facebook.com/groups/178060565542861 [facebook.com]

        But I'd love to be able to bring it to an engine written within the current millennium. =)

        • >>If we are lucky they will release the entire source code, so that the open source community can work its magic and port it them selfs

          Well... the entire HL2 source code was leaked back in the day... =)

          But I'd love to see the *TF2* source code released. Robin (back when he was just a uni student in Australia) released the source code to TF1 (up to a certain version), which enabled me to write CustomTF (I guess some people call it Shaka's Mod) which allows you to build your own class using a cash-based system. Hell of a lot of fun to write and play, and it turned into an open source project in its own right, with various people from around the world taking over leadership of the project at one point or another in the last 14 years.

          Given that the Orange Box 2009 engine is the basis of most of Valve's current online games, it's doubtful that would happen. The closest you're going to get is the Alien Swarm code.

          Even server plugins like MetaMod: Source and Orange Box are reverse engineering the server constructs to do a lot of what they do, as Valve is terrible at keeping the HL2 SDK for VSPs (Valve Server Plugins) up to date.

      • you wanna shoot penguins? ... You sir, are an evil bastard.
      • by Lanteran (1883836)
        Plenty of decent FPS engines free in linux anyway, darkplaces, whatever powers warsow, etc.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Any story about a hypothetic Linux release of the SDK on Slashdot would immediately turn into an immature flamewar about it using the wrong license and being proprietary. I can see why any sane company would want to avoid "attracting" such user base.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slow down, we're still waiting for HL2EP3...

      Remember, it's good that Valve opted for the episode releases which allowed them to shorten their development time...

  • Free Source (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Noughmad (1044096)

    How interesting: It's software, it's free, and it's name Source, but it's not Free Software or Open Source. It's really a shame that with the thousands of words in the English language neither RMS nor Valve could come up with something more identifying.

    • by SJ2000 (1128057)
      Source, the game engine, has been around since 2004. I don't think they envisaged this outcome when they named it.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      How interesting: It's software, it's free, and it's name Source, but it's not Free Software or Open Source. It's really a shame that with the thousands of words in the English language neither RMS nor Valve could come up with something more identifying.

      After reading ^this, the only thing I think fits and that popped into my mind is: " but... does the Source itself want to be free?"

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      It really does make doing google searches difficult when I've encountered a problem. That at C# and .NET. (I know Microsoft did that on purpose, what was Valve's excuse?)
    • As I understand it, the name was more or less an accident... at the time they first started showing off the engine "Source" was the name of the engine in their version control system. Why they decided to keep with that name instead of coming up with a new one is likely lost to time.

      And they rechristened the HL1 engine "GoldSrc" (because that version had gone gold) to differentiate between the two.

      • You are correct. Quoting Erik Johnson at Valve [valvesoftware.com]:

        When we were getting very close to releasing Half-Life 1 (less than a week or so), we found there were already some projects that we needed to start working on, but we couldn't risk checking in code to the shipping version of the game. At that point we forked off the code in VSS to be both $/Goldsrc and /$Src. Over the next few years, we used these terms internally as "Goldsource" and "Source". At least initially, the Goldsrc branch of code referred to the codebase that was currently released, and Src referred to the next set of more risky technology that we were working on. When it came down to show Half-Life 2 for the first time at E3, it was part of our internal communication to refer to the "Source" engine vs. the "Goldsource" engine, and the name stuck.

  • Are Valve preparing to release something?
    • It looks like they're preparing to release the Source SDK for free. What makes you think this is tied to something else?

    • Valve has discovered that they're making more money from their cut of the thousands of non-Valve games on Steam than from the few dozen Valve games. It's why they can so frequently give away their games for free. It's why they can dump a fortune into developing Portal, which while clearly the worlds best puzzle game, offers little replayability.

      I'd expect the Source SDK licenses will require that games are sold only on Steam.

      • by Machtyn (759119)
        They recently announced that Portal 2 hit sales of 3 million units. At $49.99 a pop, that only gives them $150 million in just a few months time. I think that'll float their boat for awhile.

        I wonder if they're sort of feeling sorry for selling a 10 hour game for such a high price. (Mind you, it is a very worthy game and fairly evenly paced - once you start thinking, what?! another test room? they move you out of it.)
        • by Weezul (52464)

          Portal and Portal 2 are truly exceptional games however. There are many people intentionally waiting until Portal 2 drops in price though.

          As I understand it, they had serious difficulties working more than two portal pairs into the physics engine. I'd imagine that'll get fixed eventually, paving the way for competitive portal games. Imagine Atlas and P-body in cowboy hats trying to round up escaping armed humans.

    • Probably not. They're probably just trying to kick some dirt into EA's eyes in order to add insult to injury over the fact that Origin doesn't even work.
  • The Source SDK being now free, everyone has now access to the mods in this list [wikipedia.org], most of them being free (Zombie Panic! Source, Age of Chivalry, Insurgency ...) or not costing much (Garry's Mod). I guess they are planning to get more well-know given their projects (DOTA 2 especially)
  • I can see how the Hammer editor is cumbersome or missing a feature or two in places, but I seem to do pretty well building my future "dream" houses and walking around in it. Are there other, better solutions to use than the Hammer editor for Source games? (I am curious as to what they may update with this release.)
  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:08AM (#36633176)

    For those of you who don't keep track, the "Source 2009" version of the game engine used by Valve's multiplayer games has had a number of updates in the past year.

    The problem is, the SDK hasn't reflected these changes.

    So, right now, the final game itself has interesting C++ classes like CVoteController that don't exist in the SDK.

    Does Valve plan on releasing an updated SDK along with making it free?

  • Please, for the love of god, port Hammer Editor to OS X - it sucks that the only stable computer I have [as in, won't crash in the middle of rendering the map] doesn't have a port of this tool.

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