One of the most important decisions a Dev has to make when starting development on a
new game is what engine the game will be built in.
While there are a huge array of engines to choose from, if our community feedback is
any indicator, then Godot Engine is setting up to take game development by storm.
We’ve talked about Godot in the past, we even had a Godot Engine showcase but today
we are going in-depth in response to our community requests for more Godot content
We are Ask Gamedev and this is why we think Godot will be the next big game engine.
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We’d love to help you along the way During the history of gaming, game engines
have evolved alongside the overall market, and the rise of indie games was accompanied
by easily accessible engines that anyone with a computer and a dream could use . Of course,
in order to navigate these engines expertly, game devs usually had to understand complex
interfaces, programming languages, and scripting protocols.
Eventually, however, engines with simpler interfaces allowed anyone to start messing
around and make their own games or mods with easy-to-use drag and drop features.
And as any artist can tell you, the best way to get started in a creative pursuit is to
Artists like Picasso and Banksy had to doodle mindlessly on scratch paper before they realized
their passion for painting and really honed their craft.
Likewise, easy-to-use game engines that can be loaded up and understood by pretty much
anyone are an essential tool for inspiring the next generation of great devs.
That's where Godot Engine comes in.
Looking at the “Overwhelmingly Positive” reviews for it on Steam shows that many praise
Godot for its ease of use.
Likewise, many developers who have made the switch over to Godot from other engines like
Unity love the simple, intuitive interface that lets you jump right in.
So, let's do a quick run through of the history of Godot.
Originally designed for private companies in Latin America, original authors Juan Linietsky
and Ariel Manzur later decided to release Godot as an open source software, allowing
for a community of developers to form around it.
This enabled improvement of the engine at a much faster rate than they themselves could
ever dream of.
They then chose to release it under the MIT license.
The pair then positioned their engine for financial support by procuring funding solely
through Patreon donations.
This made the engine perfectly accessible by cost-constrained indies - with licensing
fees, updates, and rights limitations absent when using n Godot engine.
There are no premium versions to pay for, you just download Godot, and go.
not only can you build whatever you want in Godot; anyone in the world, can actually make
changes to the Godot source code.
This allows clever users the world over to literally create anything they can imagine
There's no question that as more users adopt Godot, we'll see it expand even more than
it already has, and much like how Linux, an operating system with similar features, disrupted
the computer industry.
Godot just may make massive waves in the gaming world.
So how does Godot actually look and feel?
Well, when you first download the executable , you'll find that the program itself is incredibly
small, at just over 22 megabytes.
Upon opening it, you're immediately, right in the middle of an incredibly intuitive interface,
filled with template game projects that you can jump right into and start editing for
There's no registration, nor account log-in page, and the engine instantly opens itself
up to you.
In much the same spirit as Godot itself, the vast majority of the projects you're presented
with also fall under the MIT license, meaning anyone can edit them to their heart's content.
Diving deeper on the expansive library of template game project in Godot, the options
range from casual puzzle games made for mobile devices, to 2D and 3D shooters programmed
for hardcore PC gamers.
Herein lies another of Godot's strengths: its projects can deploy on Windows, Mac, and
Linux operating systems, iOS, Android and even BlackBerry devices (if anyone still uses
All that's missing so far is the ability to port to the major systems like the Switch,
PS4 and Xbox One, but considering that Godot can already deploy on Playstation 3 and PS
Vita systems, it won't be long until an individual comes along who makes the right sorts of alterations
themselves and opens the door for major titles for home consoles to begin to be built using
In terms of adaptability, Godot has been designed to make it easy for most developers to migrate
to . Games can be made using C++ or C#, but one of the most highly praised aspects of
the engine has to be it's original language, GDScript.
GDScript is based on Python, which many consider the easiest programming language to learn.
For users who are already proficient in Python, GDScript is a breeze to adapt to.
One of the major differences between the two languages, however, is GDScript's strict typing
of variables, which is better suited for the scene-based build of Godot.
According to users who have shifted over from Unity, things that could take days to complete
in Unity can be often be finished in one day in Godot.
The engine's built-in script editor probably has a lot to do with this, with its helpful
features like code completion, auto indentation, and syntax highlighting.
While incrementally these tools might only save a few minutes or seconds at a time, when
scripting a large section of a game, those minutes really add up and end up saving a
ton of time.
Godot's versatility, in terms of what kinds of games can be built using it, is another
of its strongest selling points.
We mentioned before that you'll find all kinds of games in its ever-expanding library, but
let's really look at what you can do with Godot.
The largest chunk of the mobile gaming market is dominated by 2D games.
Nearly half of all people in the world have a smartphone, and the number continues to
With 2.5 billion individual users estimated by 2019, and the current massive modernization
movements in India and Sub-Saharan Africa, the 2D and mobile game markets are sure to
keep up their almost exponential growth.
For those of you aspiring developers out there, Godot is a great place to start building beautiful
and engaging 2D games without incurring the crazy cost that comes with its competitors.
engines built right into it, one for 3D graphics and one for 2D, although you can also use
some of the features of the 3D engine, such as its shaders, for 2D rendering.
The 2D engine includes features such as lights and shadows, shaders, polygons, parallax scrolling,
particles, tile sets and more.
That's more than enough to make the next mobile sensation.
Now, Godot's 3D capabilities are another facet of the engine's incredibly versatility, user-friendliness,
and forward-thinking that all continuously make us marvel at the fact that Godot is completely
free to use and open-source.
Godot currently supports, at the time of this recording, OpenGL ES 2.0 and 3.0.
One of the reasons for keeping the older OpenGL ES 2.0 around is because a large minority
of Android devices currently on the market can't handle graphics made in the 3.0 version.
Godot's team has openly addressed that they don't want to leave the huge population of
people using those phones incapable of playing games made in their engine.
On top of all that, in May 2019, Juan Linietsky announced that the team had starting working
on Vulkan support for Godot Looking at the Patreon page for the Godot
engine, its main source of funding outside of a small handful of grants the project has
received over time, such as the Mozilla Open Source Support Mission Partners Award back
in 2016, there are currently over 1,000 backers providing donations in excess of $10,000 a
That may sound like a lot, but when talking about running an entire game engine, $10,000
a month really isn't much.
It remains to be seen if more money will be needed to oversee Godot in the future, or
if the fans of the engine will help drive its development pro-bono.
So if you’re just hearing about Godot for the first time today, and want to start on
your Godot game development journey, where do you begin?
Well, the first thing we’d suggest you do is download the engine and get familiar with
You can get it at godotengine.org.
Just click download at the top and select your version.
Once downloaded, unzip the file, double-click on it, and you’re off to the races - no
Once opened, click on the Templates tab and start exploring all of projects available.
Some of the projects that you’ll be able to dissect and learn from include:
a 2D isometric demo a 2D Kinematic Character Demo
a 2D Lights and Shadows Demo a 2D Platformer Demo
a 3D Platformer Demo a 3D Kinematic Character Demo
a 3D in 2D Demo and that’s just scratching the surface!
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with a couple of projects, and get a feel for Godot
(or at the very least, see what’s possible), it’s time to dig into the documentation.
Head over to docs.godotengine.comorg Under the “Getting Started” section, click on
“Step by Step”.
This is a great place to start - run through all of the learning modules here.
Once you’ve tackled the list, click on “Scripting” on the left index, then “GDScript”.
As mentioned earlier, GDScript is Godot’s scripting language.
Its uses syntax similar to Python, but is much more optimized for Godot Engine.
From there, you can finish up the modules in the “Getting Started” section, then
start going through the “Tutorials” section.
There’s no particular order for going through the tutorials - select the ones that fit with
the vision of your game, or explore and get inspired.
Between all of the templates available, and all of the documentation on Godot’s website
there is more than enough information to get you well on your way.
If you’re looking for additional resources, here are a few other options:
YouTube has a ton of Godot tutorials across a number channels!
A simple search for “Godot Tutorial” yields recent videos from a number of different channels
including Gamefromscratch, HeartBeast, Thoughtquake, BornCG, Jeremy Bullock, and more!
There are a number of Godot courses available for purchase on Udemy.
Going to Udemy.com/Godot takes you to a bestselling Godot course that’s currently rated 4.6/5
stars based on over 1000 reviews.
YouTuber GDQuest also has courses available for purchase on their GumRoad page
Godot’s subreddit is pretty vibrant with almost 20,000 members as of May 2019.
Need help, want to show off your demo, or just talk Godot?
Join the subreddit.
If there are any other Godot learning resources that you’d like to share, let us know in
Now let’s look at the Ask Gamedev Community Member Game of the Week.
This week it’s Velocity G from Repixel8.
Velocity G is a futuristic Zero G racing game akin to games like Wipeout and F-Zero.
The game was solely developed and completed in just 12 months.
You can pick it up on Steam today.
So, what so you think of Godot?
Will it take over the gaming industry in the coming years, or will it stay as an underground
engine for indie developers?
Are you using Godot now?
What sorts of things have you built?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, we'd love to hear how the community
is feeling about this Little Engine that Could.
For more Ask Gamedev check out this video on the best games made in Godot, or this video
on the best free game engines