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Are there any good, free 3D game engines similar to UDK that are under open-source licenses without copyleft provisions?

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I don't know too much about licenses..but how is the developer tied to anything? And you don't need to pay, only if you develop the project commercially. –  The Communist Duck Mar 10 '11 at 18:26
I suspect the OP means the developer "using the engine" not the developer "of the engine." –  Nate Mar 10 '11 at 18:30
Even so. I don't get it. –  The Communist Duck Mar 10 '11 at 18:45
@TheC I'm assuming here, but I think he wants to make something commercial but he doesn't want to have to pay Epic in the end. Unfortunately, (going out on a limb) there is nothing at the quality of the UDK that is free, open source, and not under the GPL. In general, when people make work that useful, they usually want money, credit, or both. Creating a usable and useful game engine is not a trivial task. –  Noctrine Mar 10 '11 at 19:28
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3 Answers

Panda3D is relatively nice (note: relative to most FOSS game engines, not things like UDK) and free/unencumbered, though you would need a commercial license for FMOD if you use that I think (FFTW and ARToolkit also need commercial licences if you use them, but those are more special case tools). FMOD is dirt cheap as middleware goes though. Unity isn't open really, but I don't think there are any royalty requirements on it.

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Cube 2 is an engine similar to quake engines that is under zlib (soon CubeCreate will be released with lua scripting based on Cube2)

There is also the more general Panda3d, Ardor3D, jMonkeyEngine. As well as a handful of 2d engines you can use without a problem

However there is nothing close yet to Unity, UDK or Source yet

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jMonkeyEngine is pretty full featured and available under the BSD license.

It's my personal favourite if you want an open source, cross-platform engine with modern OpenGL features a good community.

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