Game engine

Godot 3.0

In recent years, Godot has gone from being an interesting side project for people wanting to write their own open source games, to a serious alternative to game engines like Unity and Unreal. This is important because the games industry, in particular, is still driven by proprietary games written on proprietary platforms. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with this, having a "free software" platform that attempts to implement a similar system is wonderful for all kinds of reasons. It means, for example, that educators can teach games development without the cost associated with platform licensing, or even worse, being restricted in how the games created with education versions can be used or sold. It means students have no cost barrier for entry, and it means game developers who want to release every line and asset of their creation can do so without complicating the situation by building atop a "free" platform. Godot has grown to fill this purpose, much like Blender or Ardour have in their respective realms, and Godot 3.0 is by far its biggest release yet.

Download open source/free software assets and examples directly within Godot 3.0.

Godot includes an editor, both 2D and 3D games engines, and animation tools, and it's completely open source and cross platform. This major new release has taken 18 months to get to this point. During this time, the community surrounding the project grew to such an extent that its developers created a Software Freedom Conservancy-ratified Patreon page, which has in turn funded the full-time employment of one of its core developers alongside an additional developer to work on a new rendering back end and the brilliant new GDNative for this release. GDNative is a way for Godot to dynamically use external libraries without recompiling the engine. It means, for example, you can dynamically support various audio and video codecs, and build games for virtual reality or Microsoft's Kinect without having to build a special binary for each use case. GDNative also allows for the use of extra scripting languages, such as the very popular (in gaming circles) Mono/C#.

This new version feels like a completely different piece of software. Elements such as the integrated asset download tool and asset workflow (complete with licence listing) and a fantastic set of new documentation help make this feel like commercial software; there are too many new features to list. Perhaps the strongest new feature is the new 3D renderer, which includes the full principled BSDF shader. We covered the details of this fantastic shader when it was added to Blender, and the results are equally stunning here. Alongside this comes global illumination with a mode called GI that probes for real-time lighting and a classical lightmapping workflow for slower machines. The end results are a major upgrade of Godot's appearance and form a cornerstone of the new version being used for professional quality production. New tone mapping, GPU particles, and support for GLTF 2.0 (the latest standard of file formats for 3D scenes) close the deal. The end result: If you've been looking to get into Linux game development but thought there was nothing to compete with the likes of Unity, Godot is now worth your time and money.

Project Website

There has never been a better time to get into game development, and you can do it for free with Godot and its huge community of supporters.

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