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30. May 2020


Thanks in part to a $50,000 award from the Mozilla foundation, the Godot game engine is gaining the ability to be run in a web browser.   You can try it out right here if you have the latest version of a Chrome based browser, or Firefox Nightly.

Explanation for the rationale for Godot in a Browser from the Godot news page:

Godot Engine supports exporting games to the HTML5 platform (i.e. browsers). Given that the editor itself is written using the Godot Engine API it should be possible to run the editor in browsers as well.

The reason why the editor wasn’t able to run in browsers up until now was due to some historical Web browsers limitations, mostly lack of support for threading, but also file system access.

With the introduction of WebAssembly, WebAssembly threads, Javascript SharedArrayBuffer, and possibly an upcoming Native FileSystem API, it should now be possible to have an almost-native user experience when running the editor on the Web.

This will be beneficial in many ways to the engine itself for multiple reasons:

  1. It will lower the barrier for new users, which will be able to try out the engine without the need to download anything.
  2. Any modification towards reaching that goal will also improve the HTML5 export itself (given that the editor is made like a Godot game).
  3. It will allow to use Godot in a reasonable way in environments where installing/downloading applications is not an option (e.g. schools’ computers and tablets), fostering the usage of the engine for educational purposes (which is something we, as an open source community, deeply believe in).

This DOES NOT mean that Godot will move completely to the Web, nor that the Web browsers version will be the recommended way for professional development, but it will be an additional option for cases where it might be useful (again, pick the education sector as an example).

Perhaps the most interesting part is the future plans for mobile usage:

  • Virtual keyboard in the HTML5 plaform, for working text input in mobile devices.
  • Persistence support, WebDAV integration.
  • Gestures for the editor, allowing using the editor from touch devices (this will also be beneficial to make native Android or iOS versions of the editor for example).

These features, as well as Dropbox support, could truly bring Godot to Android, iOS or ChromeOS devices in the future!  You can learn more about Godot in the Browser in this video.  This is the second project to bring Godot to the browser, details of the first ‘Godot.Online’ is available here.  Note, Godot.online is not an official Godot project.

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