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I'm currently trying out the various free SDKs out there (Cryengine3, UDK, Source) however all of them are mainly designed for FPS games. I was wondering if there are other AAA 3D engine SDKs that are aimed towards RTS games?

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Check out… – tenpn Sep 12 '11 at 11:46
Thank you for the recommendation. However I've already seen this post and I'm currently trying out Spring. However I was curious if there are any engines used by large companies specifically for RTS instead of FPS (Cryengine:Crytek, Source:Valve) – Elie Haddad Sep 12 '11 at 12:17
Those engines aren't designed mainly for FPS games. FPS games just easily demonstrate what an engine can do. And they are games that are easily accessible. It's up to you to code aspects of your game that fits the design. Most console games are build on UDK, and only a small portion of them are FPS games. Also Triple A refers to budget. – Sidar Sep 22 '12 at 15:11

I believe what you are looking for is the Broodwar API (BWAPI). Although not an official SDK, it pretty much allows you to do anything in Starcraft: Brood War.

It even has a yearly competition supported by Blizzard.

PS If you decide to use it, don't forget to check out two very important extensions:

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Thank you for the recommendation! Didn't know that existed :D However I was hoping for something 3D and not so dated :( – Elie Haddad Sep 12 '11 at 18:37
+1 This, and the Starcraft 2 map editor, is honestly probably the best you're going to get. There are more FPS games being made than RTS, and the RTS games that are being made are either using their own engines, or writing an engine from scratch. – thedaian Sep 12 '11 at 18:40
Plus, Stratagus and the likes may be good, but they are nowhere near AAA. :/ – pek Sep 12 '11 at 18:58
I thought BWAPI was for making AI clients, not for actually changing the in-game behavior of units. – Nicol Bolas Sep 12 '11 at 19:46
Yes, it is for creating AI clients. The OP didn't say anything about changing in-game behavior of units. – pek Sep 12 '11 at 20:11

I myself have been researching for some short-cuts into RTS Game Programming and I found these:

I'm leaving these as a reference since I've not done any programming on them.

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The simple fact is this: RTS games are not as popular as FPS games. And people, particularly people who make "free" stuff, tend to make what is popular (or what is easy, hence the thousands of Minecraft clones). That's what attracts multiple developers to a project, and multiple developers is pretty much the only way to make a "AAA" engine of any kind.

Because of that, you have to pretty much take what you can get with RTS game engines. The best are going to cost money, and you're not going to get anything even close to the quality of, say, the StarCraft II engine without paying for it.

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We should start a petition on forums for Blizzard to make an SDK :D – Elie Haddad Sep 13 '11 at 5:29
you forgot to answer – Noob Game Developer Jan 23 '13 at 5:52
@NoobGameDeveloper: I did give an answer: there aren't any "Free AAA RTS engines". It was the second paragraph. There are "Free AAA" engines, but they don't do RTSs. There are "AAA RTS" engines, but they cost money. And there are "Free RTS" engines, but they're not "AAA". – Nicol Bolas Jan 23 '13 at 6:25

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