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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
We had a little interview with Juan Linietsky from Okam Studio, who talked about the most recent release of Godot 2.0 and discussed the main advantages of this particular engine.
There is no company behind Godot, it is developed by a community. It was used by many companies including ours (Okam), but Godot was always property of Ariel Manzur and Juan Linietsky. Godot 2.0 is the first in a series of releases aimed at improving usability. There will be a couple more before we switch focus to 3.0, which will be mainly aimed at improved 3D rendering.
Godot as an opensource project is very new and has only been stable for a year, so not that many user projects are out.
This is changing, as there are many interesting works in progress, but games take time to do.
A really cool game made with Godot, Dog Mendoza & Pizzaboy will come out on March 4, be aware of it as it’s a fantastic game!
Godot was used to make games for Sony, Square Enix, Daedalic and other large companies (Deponia port for Mobile is actually made with Godot!), but this was with our private companies. The community is only starting to pick it out, and companies at a slower pace.
2D or 3D
Most people is doing 2D games because the 3D part of the engine is a little obsolete (PS3 level). We´ll be working on a more modern PBR support for 3.0
Most developers just want a comfortable tool to work with, Godot is fantastic for that as it covers a large surface of common use cases while developing games.
The community is pretty large for an open source game engine. It’s difficult to measure it though (many thousands of users in Facebook, forum, etc), but it’s clearly growing at a steady pace.
We’ve been making engines since we started making games, because of many reasons. Back then there were no general purpose engines (most were for FPS games), and our first big project was an MMORPG (Regnum Online, around 2003), so we had to use a custom engine. Also at that time the Video Game industry in Argentina was virtually non-existent, and we always thought it was important for our industry to have a good footing on all parts of game development, including the engine. The need for this particular version, which became Godot, came in 2007 when we saw that the hardware landscape was changing, CPU cores were multiplying, and also lower end devices would become more relevant, so we needed something that would work from the iphone and PSP to the PS3 (back then the 2 ends of the hardware-weirdness spectrum ;). So we decided to start this version of the engine.
Difference between 2D and 3D
They are different, but a 3D game will need to have a good HUD and menus, and a 3D engine will need to have a good editor. Tools and workflow are very important for an engine, and being able to run our editor on top of our engine makes it more portable (people love to run the editor on Linux ;-), and a good way to test a lot of the engine features, just by forcing your team to use it through the editor. So having our own UI toolkit made sense, and having good 2D support was just a logical continuation to that.
We support (or try to support as best as we can) all the standard tools used by the industry. Development of the engine is very much influenced by the needs of our company (Okam Studio), were we make games for a living, hire professionals to work for us, etc. So we need to provide them with a good workflow to get the job done efficiently, within a budget, etc, the needs of any normal company. We use mostly Blender at the studio, through COLLADA.
Animations can take over any part of the scene (including the bones on your 3D character ;-), so they can be used for anything. UI transitions, cutscenes, initialization of states. You can also have gameplay parameters on the animation, like when the feet of your character are touching the ground, or when the arm is fully extended during a punch. There’s lots of possibilities.
So far Godot has been used by a range of teams, going from the 1-2 people “loner” style of development, to teams of ~30 people doing console games. All of those experiences were very positive, and have informed our development, and our intention is to do bigger projects as time goes on, and we believe we have the right tools to scale to those challenges.