An epic bug hunt featuring a unique blend of co-op play and squad-level tactics. With your friends, form a squad of four distinct IAF Marine classes. Plan your attack using an unlockable arsenal of weapons with countless loadout configurations against a wide variety of aliens. Blaze your way through an overrun, off-world colony, eradicating the alien infestation in environments ranging from the icy planet's surface, to a subterranean lava-flooded mining facility.

Post news Report article RSS Feed Alien Swarm SDK is free to all

A new UDK! Valve have launched their new SDK without access restrictions, allowing TC Source mods to become totally free – no purchase necessary.

Posted by Varsity on Jul 19th, 2010

Perhaps ironically for a game that started out on the Unreal Engine, Alien Swarm has turned out to be Valve's response to the Unreal Development Kit. It isn't quite as tidy a package as UDK - as a Steam account and 2GB download are required before mods can be played - but it's pretty close, and Steamworks fills in the indie licensing side of the equation. Like UDK however, there is a limited supply of content: Source's standard HL2 materials, models and sounds are not available.

In related news, Swarm documentation has gone up on the Valve Developer Community. Included is a guide to mapping (with the new TileGen as well as in Hammer), and a C++ code overview.

TileGen screenshot

Oh yeah: the game is out too.

Post comment Comments
Maxen1416 Jul 19 2010 says:

when they increased the time by 3 hours i was like WTFMFFHS!!

+14 votes     reply to comment
Dan911 Jul 19 2010 replied:

dito lol

+2 votes     reply to comment
BenQ3000 Jul 20 2010 replied:

I Was more like OMGWTFBBQ but yeah it was pretty close.

+7 votes     reply to comment
hogsy Jul 20 2010 replied:

I blew my head off in response...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Cremat0r Jul 20 2010 replied:

I smashed my head on the table, but, well, it's out!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
YeOldePoop Aug 5 2010 replied:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley Jul 19 2010 says:

Massive news!

+5 votes   reply to comment
Herr_Alien Jul 20 2010 replied:

Well, developers still don't get the right to redistribute the runtime. You can't say the same about Unity or UDK ...

+2 votes     reply to comment
MrMattWebb Jul 19 2010 says:

Through some discussion, it seems that current Source mods do not port over to this SDK. Shame. This "SDK" seems a bit gimmicky. We wont be seeing any AS total conversion for a long time.

0 votes     reply to comment
gtaiiilc Jul 19 2010 replied:

true I dought any TCs but I give it 2 or 3 months before the UT04 campaign and maybe few of it's mods are recreated

0 votes     reply to comment
SteveUK Jul 19 2010 replied:

Not even true. If it's based off HL2 then you maybe in trouble, but otherwise it might not be a problem.

Stripping out lobbies and matchmaking will be the hardest part. I was hoping they would port over the SDK template to make that a little bit easier and gives a barebones thing to work with.

+2 votes     reply to comment
MrMattWebb Jul 19 2010 replied:

Its a completely different code base from the HL2 code base therefore, even TC's dont transfer over.

+3 votes     reply to comment
SteveUK Jul 19 2010 replied:

Yes they do. All the default Source stuff is there (CBase* classes), just not all the HL2/HL2DM source files. Most multiplayer TCs should be using the template as a base anyway.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jul 20 2010 replied:

Not every TC starts off a TC though.(Jailbreak is the first to come to mind, it started as a simple hl2mp mod, it did have a "restart" when 0.5 went bad... so maybe...)

Anyway downloading the SDK before even bothering with the game :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Varsity Author
Varsity Jul 20 2010 replied:

That is no different to UDK.

-2 votes   reply to comment
Sgt.JokenJoker Jul 19 2010 buried:


is there gonna be a beta?

-16 votes     reply to comment
211476 Jul 19 2010 replied:

Get it on Steam dude, no beta

+15 votes     reply to comment
Armageddon104 Jul 19 2010 says:

So we just hit create mod in the alien swarm SDK and we can make a TC of it and sell it? To bad it has to be coop and top down I'm guessing...

+1 vote     reply to comment
211476 Jul 19 2010 replied:

I'm pretty sure that the camera postion can be changed, coop too.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Blandr3ws Jul 20 2010 replied:

yeah lol, that's like saying the orig sdk only allowed fps - it's up to you to change it. and the codes in the old codebase if it's not in the new one

+5 votes     reply to comment
ytres Jul 19 2010 says:

**** yea.

+4 votes     reply to comment
LordIheanacho Jul 19 2010 says:


+3 votes     reply to comment
sbnewsom Jul 19 2010 says:

Cool, but not amazing. UDK still gives the developers the ability to sell their product for a low royalty price.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Varsity Author
Varsity Jul 20 2010 replied:

So does Steamworks.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Gunship_Mark_II Jul 20 2010 buried:


Lol map editor like in FPSCreator or GameMaker XD

-6 votes     reply to comment
MrTambourineMan Jul 20 2010 replied:

It has a vanilla hammer as well...

+3 votes     reply to comment
Cypher05 Jul 20 2010 replied:

Perhaps you should do some research?... You get source code (client, server, missionchooser), SDK (model viewer, hammer, face poser, that "FPSCreator" over the top map editor...) This is far from a FPSCreator or GameMaker. That's just insulting.

+3 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jul 20 2010 says:

My first mod experience with it...


+3 votes     reply to comment
freredarme Jul 20 2010 says:

Nice, downloading now !

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk] Jul 20 2010 says:

This game is sweet, not checked out sdk yet but i will be playing with it soon :D.

+2 votes     reply to comment
xXMaNiAcXx Jul 20 2010 says:

Awesome game, too bad my processor sucks and I get 10fps on it hahaha

+2 votes     reply to comment
skarai Jul 20 2010 says:

It's ok. No fun enemies. Weapons same old, same old.

-1 votes     reply to comment
infl1ct1on Jul 21 2010 replied:

I agree. Couldn't play it more than 10-15 minutes without becoming incredibly bored.

-1 votes     reply to comment
Analdin Jul 20 2010 says:

I'm waiting for all the good HL2 mods to be ported to Alien Swarm! XD

+2 votes     reply to comment
Soul_linker Jul 20 2010 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
josemlopes Jul 20 2010 says:

That map editor looks incredibly close to the map editor from the Time Splitters games.

+2 votes     reply to comment
SamVision Jul 20 2010 says:

OMFG Valve is awesome!!!!!!1111!!!111one

+2 votes     reply to comment
gelal1000 Jul 20 2010 says:

i love this game :D
Ensim jjajajaj the game is very good because the gameplay is friendly fire and kill the bugs when they break into chunks:)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Noesis_Interactive Jul 20 2010 says:

So Sweet!

+2 votes     reply to comment
casualties1000 Jul 20 2010 says:

How do you create the Alien Swarm maps? Hammer is the regular source hammer.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kadersalad Jul 21 2010 says:

Who Is up For Making Crap....WOO HOO

+4 votes     reply to comment
Nikholai-Chan Jul 21 2010 says:

Epic game, epic SDK and more epic times to come when the public start releasing content :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
RickTheStickman Jul 21 2010 says:

I bought Half-Life 2 because of the SDK a day before it released.
Still an amazing game.

+2 votes     reply to comment
TheGangstaAlan Jul 26 2010 says:


+3 votes     reply to comment
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Alien Swarm
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Released Jul 2010
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