Indiestatik.com posted a really interesting article called Back To The Source – 20 Free Indie Games Built On Mainstream Foundations featuring 20 games that have been made using previously commercial engines and many of which went open source and game designers used to make a game! The article is very interesting because the engines of some of the games were for example built to make an FPS but instead are being used to make a strategy game or something else you might not likely expect. A really important thing to be sure to check before you ever consider any engine is the license. Some of these engines allow you to make a commercial game but some do not. Also a lot of game makers claim to be free but when you check out the license it turns out they aren’t and also give you a lot less freedom than you expected. Some of the games on there are also not exactly legal. Another reason it is really important to check out the license and also create your own IP is that let’s say you make a Star Wars Game or Mod that Lucasarts (I guess Disney now?) doesn’t like they can shut you down and all your hard work is gone, even if you’re making a non commercial game. I hope you enjoy the article, I found it quite insightful and interesting especially since you can use some of those engines to make a game yourself!
Here is a little clip from the article:
The towering (and possibly crumbling) monolith of AAA development aside, the line between mainstream and indie videogame development blurs a little further each day. The latest positive trend has been big-name studios releasing their full development suites (Unreal, CryEngine, Unity) to indie developers, free for non-commercial development and available to license at a steep discount otherwise. Before that came a great deluge of studios releasing the raw source-code for their older engines to hobbyist developers and, in rare, wonderful cases, even including the full original game content for fans to do with as they please, so long as it’s non-commercial.