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3. January 2020


With the 2010’s coming to a close, it’s a time to look back at the decade that was.  This is exactly what Godot founder and lead developer Juan Linietsky just did over on the Godot Engine blog.  Here on GameFromScratch.com we’ve been tracking the progress of the Godot game engine from the very beginning.

A quick recap of major events in the Godot game engine’s development history:

Godot 3.2 should release any day now, currently in late beta.  If you are interested in experiencing the history of Godot first hand, you can download all the previous versions (except 1.0) right here.

For as long as Godot has been available, we have been creating Godot tutorials here on GameFromScratch, as well as over on DevGa.me.  The original Godot 1/2 tutorial series is available here while a more up to date Godot 3.x tutorial series is available here.

Learn more about the history and development of the Godot engine in the video below.

GameDev News General


20. December 2019


Qodot is an open source add-on for the Godot game engine that enables you to export .MAP files created using traditional CSG authoring tools.  Qodot is available under the MIT license on GitHub or can be added via the Godot addon market.

Features of Qodot include:

  • Natively import .map files into Godot
  • Supports
    • Brush geometry
    • Per-face textures and customized UVs
    • Precise trimesh collision
    • Entities with arbitrary collections of parameters
  • Extensible tree population
    • Leverages the .map format's simple key/value property system
    • Spawn custom entities and brushes
  • Supports the TrenchBroom editor
    • Simple, intuitive map editor with a strong feature set
    • Includes a simple Qodot game preset
    • Can be built upon with game-specific entities and brush properties

Qodot also includes configurations to make getting up and running with TrenchBroom, however any Quake level editor should work.  You can learn more about Qodot on their wiki or by watching the video below.

GameDev News Design


14. December 2019


PixelORama is a free, open source (MIT licensed) pixel art application written using the Godot game engine in GDScript.  Version 0.5 was just recently released with the following features:

  • Choosing between 6 tools – pencil, eraser, fill bucket, lighten/darken, color picker and rectangle select – and mapping them to both of your left and right mouse buttons.
  • Different colors and brush sizes for each of the mouse buttons.
  • Support of two types of custom brushes: "From files" and "per project" brushes. Custom brushes from files get loaded from the "Brushes" folder that comes with Pixelorama, and per project brushes get saved with the rectangle select tool.
  • Creating a new canvas with a size of your choosing.
  • Are you an animator? Then you've come to the right place! Pixelorama has its own Animation Timeline just for you!
  • Import images and edit them inside Pixelorama. If you import multiple files, they will be added as individual animation frames.
  • Export your gorgeous art in PNG format.
  • Save snd open your projects as Pixelorama's custom file format, .pxo
  • Undo/Redo support!
  • Horizontal & vertical mirrored drawing!
  • Tile Mode for pattern creation!
  • Split screen mode to see your masterpiece twice! And a mini canvas preview area to see it thrice!
  • Create straight lines for pencil and eraser by holding down Shift while you draw.
  • The middle mouse wheel isn’t forgotten, you can use it to pan around the canvas and by scrolling up and down, you can zoom in and out!
  • Keyboard shortcuts! I’m pretty sure this is a lifesaver for most of you.
  • Just like onions, Pixelorama has a multiple layer system! You can add, remove, move up and down, clone and merge as many layers as you like! It is also possible to rename them!
  • Rulers and guides!
  • Scale, crop and flip your images!
  • Greek localization support!

You can learn more and download it here on Itch.io, while the source code is available on GitHub.  You can learn more and see Pixelorama in action in the video below.

Art GameDev News


11. December 2019


Although it has a misleading name, Godot Game Tools is a very cool Blender addon that makes working with Mixamo animations in Blender 2.8x extremely easy.  This includes the ability to easily import and merge multiple animations from Mixamo, an otherwise frustrating task.  Features of Godot Game Tools include:

- Batch Animations Bake In A Single File

- Character Armature Clean and Fixes for Better Export

- Animations Testing

- Add Automatic Root Motion For Model Export

- Automated NLA Tracks Insertion

- Animation Rename

Godot Game Tools is available as a free download on itch.io.  See GGT in action, including how to install, in the video below.

Art


26. November 2019

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This is a very common question, so this guide and video is setting out to answer why *I* might choose to use Godot over those other engines. Keep in mind, this isn’t me saying Godot is better or worse than those engines. Additionally, I have a video on Unreal vs Unity in the works, so if you want to decide which of those engines to use, stay tuned for that.

Without further ado, let’s jump in.

Free

Obviously, the lack of a price tag is one of the most obvious features of Godot. Yes, you can start for free with both Unity and Unreal Engine, but both ultimately have a price tag. With Unity, you pay a per seat license fee if you make over 100K a year. With Unreal Engine you pay a fixed 5% royalty after the first $3000 dollars earned. If you’re not making money nor plan to, this obviously doesn’t matter… but the more successful your game is, the better a deal free is!

Open Source

On the topic of free, we also have free as in freedom. Godot is free in both regards, to price tag and license, being licensed under the MIT license. Unity trails in this regard having only select subsets of the code available. Unreal Engine has the source code available and you can completely build the engine from scratch, as well as being able to fix problems yourself by walking through a debug build and applying fixes.

UE4 however is under a more restrictive proprietary license, while Godot is under the incredibly flexible and permissive code license.

Another aspect in Godot’s favor… it’s also by far the smallest code base and very modular in design from a code perspective. This makes it among the easiest engines to contribute code to. The learning curve to understand the source code is a fraction of that to get started contributing to Unreal, while contributing to Unity is frankly impossible without a very expensive negotiated source license.

Language Flexibility

Over the years Unity have *REMOVED* language support. Once there was UnityScript and Boo, a python like language, in addition to C#. Now it’s pretty much just C# and their in development visual scripting language.

Unreal on the other hand has C++ support, with the C++ thanks to Live++ usable very much like a scripting language (although final build times are by far the worst of all 3 engines!), as well as the (IMHO) single best visual programming language available, Blueprints.

For Godot the options are much more robust. First off there is the Python-lite scripting language, GDScript. You can also use C++, although the workflow for gameplay programming may be suboptimal. Additionally, C# support is being added as a first-class language and there is a visual programming language available here as well, although I can’t really think of a reason to use it as it stands now.

Where Godot really shines though is its modularity. GDScript itself is implemented as a module, meaning making other custom scripting languages is a borderline trivial task, as is extending or customizing GDScript. Additionally, there is GDNative/NativeScript it makes it fairly simple to link to external code, without having to jump into the guts of Godot (nor having to compile Godot) or to write performance critical code in C or C++. Finally, you have the ability to create C++ “modules” that have access to all of the C++ classes available in Godot without having to make changes to the underlying codebase.

Ease of Use

This one is obviously subjective, but if you are looking to create a game, especially as a beginner, the learning curve and ease of use with GDScript make this the easiest of the 3 engines to pick up, at least in my opinion. Unreal Engine is frankly fairly appalling for 2D titles, having basically abandoned Paper2D (their 2D API) on the vine. Over the last couple years Unity have really been focusing heavier on dedicated 2D support, but you still must dig through a lot of cruft and overhead to get to the meat of your game.

With Godot you pretty much everything you need for 2D out of the box and the ability to work directly with pixel (or % based) coordinates.

It’s Tiny

Unreal and Unity are multi GB installs and both have a hub or launcher app. Godot… a 50ish MB zip file (plus templates for a couple hundred more MB needed when deploying). Download, unzip and start game development!

You Like it Better?

You may, or you may not like the coding model of Godot. Chances are if you like the Node based approach to game development, you will love Godot. All three game engines (and almost all modern game engines) take a composition-based approach to scene modeling. Godot takes it one step further, making everything nodes, trees of nodes, even scenes are simply nodes. The approach is different enough that users may either love or hate the approach. If you love the approach Godot takes, you will be productive in it. If you don’t like it, you’re probably better served using Unity or Unreal.

Why Not Pick Godot Then?

I am not even going to pretend that Godot is the perfect game engine and ideal in every situation… there are certainly areas where Unity and Unreal have a small to huge advantage. This could be its own entire video, but a quick list include:

  • Performance concerns, especially on large 3D scenes (hopefully resolved with proper culling and the upcoming Vulkan renderer). In 3D, both engines out perform Godot quite often
  • Platforms… Unity and Unreal support every single platform you can imagine, Godot supports most of the common consumer categories and takes longer to get support for devices like AR/VR. Hardware manufacturers work with Unity and Epic from the design stages, while Godot pretty much must wait for hardware to come to market and then for someone to implement it. Another huge difference, and one of the few downsides to open source software, it isn’t compatible with the closed proprietary licenses of console hardware. While Godot has been ported to run on console hardware, it isn’t supported out of the box and probably never will be.
  • Ecosystem. Godot has a vibrant community but can’t hold a candle to the ecosystem around Unreal and especially Unity. There are simply more users, more books, larger asset stores, etc.
  • The resume factor… this is a part of ecosystem continued. It’s easier to get a job with Unity experience or Unreal experience on the resume than Godot. While many people wouldn’t (and really for a full-time hire, shouldn’t) care what engine you use, when people are hunting for employees, they often look for Unity or UE experience specifically. The other side of this coin is the number of people with Unity or UE experience is larger if you are the one doing the hiring.
  • As with many open source projects, it’s still heavily dependent on one or two key developers. If the leads left the project, it would be a massive blow to the future of Godot. Meanwhile there are hundred or thousands of people being paid to develop Unity or Unreal and the departure of any individual member isn’t likely to have a tangible impact.

The Longer Video Version

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