Self-described "pioneering on-line game publisher" Garage Games has announced a licensing deal with Sierra which will see them producing a stripped-down version of the Tribes 2 engine for use by independent game developers. This should come as no great surprise, as Garage Games was founded by members of the Tribes 2 development team, and is therefore familiar with the technology and the people behind it.
What does come as a pleasant surprise though is that you can download the source code for the engine (dubbed V12) for the princely sum of just $100, a thousand times less than most of its big name competitors charge for a license, putting it within the grasp of even the smallest game developer. The only catch is that the developer has to allow their game to be distributed online through the Garage Games website and give the company rights to represent the products for retail. Of course, for a small development team with no experience of negotiating publishing contracts this might actually be a good thing, and the prospect of Sierra picking up your game and distributing it through retail is certainly intriguing.
As Garage Games co-founder Tim Gift points out, "for less than the price of a graphics editor, developers can use a state of the art, AAA technology platform that lets them bring their gaming vision to life. This is an incredible opportunity!"