From Gears of War to Unreal Tournament, Epic Games is known for great games and bleeding-edge technology. And now you can add another bonus to the list - free software.
The company just released the Unreal Development Kit for free online. Download the software, and you can use the acclaimed engine to make your own titles. Yes, there's a caveat - only for educational and non-commercial use. But Epic - along with Valve Software in Bellevue, WA and id Software in Mesquite, TX - remains committed to nurturing the homebrew gaming scene. It's worth noting that all three of these companies rose from the PC gaming underground, and have never forgotten their roots.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.