Godot (game engine)
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A screenshot of the editor in Godot 3.1
|Original author(s)||Juan Linietsky, Ariel Manzur|
|Initial release||14 January 2014|
3.2.3 / 17 September 2020
|Written in||C, C++|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD,|
|Platform||Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, BSD, iOS, Android, UWP, HTML5, WebAssembly|
Godot is a 2D and 3D, cross-platform, free and open-source game engine released under the MIT license. It was initially developed by Juan Linietsky and Ariel Manzur for several companies in Latin America prior to its public release. The development environment runs on multiple operating systems including Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Godot can create games targeting PC, mobile, and web platforms.
Godot aims to offer a fully integrated game development environment. It allows developers to create a game from scratch, needing no other tools beyond those used for content creation (art assets, music, etc.). The engine's architecture is built around the concept of a tree of "nodes". Nodes are organized inside of "scenes", which are reusable, instanceable, inheritable, and nestable groups of nodes. All game resources, including scripts and graphical assets, are saved as part of the computer's file system (rather than in a database). This storage solution is intended to facilitate collaboration between game development teams using software version control systems.
The engine supports deployment to multiple platforms and allows specification of texture compression and resolution settings for each platform. Currently, supported platforms include Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, BSD, Android, iOS, Universal Windows Platform, HTML5, and WebAssembly.
Godot also has its own built-in scripting language, GDScript, a high-level, dynamically typed programming language very similar to Python. Unlike Python, GDScript is optimized for Godot's scene-based architecture and can specify strict typing of variables. Godot's developers have stated that many alternative third-party scripting languages such as Lua, Python, and Squirrel were tested before deciding that using a custom language allowed for superior optimization and editor integration. The engine also supports visual coding via its own built-in visual programming language VisualScript, designed to be a visual equivalent to GDScript
Godot's graphics engine uses OpenGL ES 3.0 for all supported platforms; otherwise, OpenGL ES 2.0 is used. Future support for Vulkan is being developed. The engine supports normal mapping, specularity, dynamic shadows using shadow maps, baked and dynamic Global Illumination, and full-screen post-processing effects like bloom, DOF, HDR, and gamma correction. A simplified shader language, similar to GLSL, is also incorporated. Shaders can be used for materials and post-processing. Alternatively, they can be created by manipulating nodes in a visual editor.
Godot also includes a separate 2D graphics engine that can operate independently of the 3D engine. The 2D engine supports features such as lights, shadows, shaders, tile sets, parallax scrolling, polygons, animations, physics and particles. It is also possible to mix 2D and 3D using a 'viewport node'.
Godot contains an animation system with a GUI for skeletal animation, blending, animation trees, morphing, and real-time cutscenes. Almost any variable defined or created on a game entity can be animated. The engine uses Bullet for 3D physics simulation.
Additional features include:
- Performance analysis graphs
- Light baking
- Plugins system
- Render targets
- Video playback using the Theora codec
- Audio playback of Ogg Vorbis and WAV codecs
- Particle system
- Texture import/export/compress pipeline
- Navmesh support
- Graphical user interface
- Keyboard, mouse, gamepad and touchscreen support
Godot's development was started by Juan 'reduz' Linietsky and Ariel 'punto' Manzur in 2007. Linietsky stated in a presentation that the name "Godot" was chosen due to its relation to Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot, as it represents the never-ending wish of adding new features in the engine, which would get it closer to an exhaustive product, but never will. In February 2014, the source code for Godot was released to the public on GitHub under the MIT License.
On 15 December 2014, Godot reached version 1.0, marking the first stable release and the addition of lightmapping, navmesh support, and more shaders. Version 1.1 was released on 21 May 2015, adding improved auto-completion in the code editor, a visual shader editor, a new API to the operating system for managing screens and windows, a rewritten 2D engine, new 2D navigation polygon support, a much improved Blender Collada exporter, and a new dark theme. The then-new 2D engine included shaders, materials, independent Z ordering per node, lights, shadows with polygonal occluders, normal mapping, and distance-field font support. Godot joined the Software Freedom Conservancy on 4 November 2015.
Godot 2.0 was released on 23 February 2016. New features included better scene instancing and inheritance, a new file system browser, multiple scene editing, and an enhanced debugger. This was followed by version 2.1 in August 2016, which introduced an asset database, profiler, and plugin API.
On 22 June 2016, Godot received a $20,000 Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) “Mission Partners” award to be used to add WebSockets, WebAssembly and WebGL 2.0 support. Later, with Miguel de Icaza's support, Godot received a $24,000 donation from Microsoft to implement C# as a scripting language in Godot.
Version 3.0 was released on 29 January 2018, adding a brand new PBR renderer implemented in OpenGL ES 3.0, virtual reality compatibility, and C# support (via Mono). Version 3.0 also added the Bullet physics engine in addition to the engine's built-in 3D physics back end and was the first version of Godot to be included in Debian. Godot 3.1 was released on 13 March 2019, with the most notable features being the addition of statically typed GDScript, a script class system for GDScript, and an OpenGL ES 2.0 renderer for older devices and mobile devices. Godot 3.2 was released on 29 January 2020, with the most notable features being massive documentation improvements, greatly improved C# support, and support for glTF 2.0 files. The lead developer, Juan Linietsky, spent most of his time working on a separate Vulkan branch that would later be merged into master for 4.0, so work on 3.2 was mostly done by other contributors. Work on 3.2 continues as a long-term support release, including Godot 3.2.2 on 26 June 2020, a large patch release that added features such as OpenGL ES 2.0 batching and C# support for iOS.
On 3 February 2020, Godot received a $250,000 Epic Games award to improve graphics rendering and the engine's built-in game development language, GDScript. On July 8, 2020, Juan Linietsky mentioned that the Epic Games award will be used to permanently hire himself and George (Marques) for 2 years in order to free donation funds for new purposes.
Many games by OKAM Studio have been made using Godot, including Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy, which uses the Escoria adventure game extension. Additionally, it has been used in West Virginia's high school curriculum, due to its ease-of-use for non-programmers and what is described as a "wealth of learning materials that already exist for the software".
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