At the time of writing this blog it has been over a year since I’ve started writing my personal development diary in public (AKA devblog) about the RPG I am developing in Godot Engine.
I’ve survived a major release of the engine going from
2.1.x to eventually
4.0.0 is coming.
So I figured it’s about time I reflect on my experience with Godot so far, and see where the future is heading.
Why Godot though?
As I’ve said in my first blog post, one of the main reasons I went with Godot in the first place was because I got fed up with downloading 10GB of “engine” before I could finally start developing my game. Another important factor was that Godot Engine is open-source and its code is readable by mere mortals like me. And finally it felt snappy and lean like some other editor based engines, without compromising in power.
- Small installation
- Open source
- Readable codebase
- Snappy and powerful
Is plenty enough?
Short answer, yes.
Long answer, probably. As I went along and my game started to take shape I couldn’t help but look again to “competing” engines like Unreal Engine and Unity. Longing for that feature that was missing in Godot that I desperately needed.
- Behavior Tree
- Level Streaming
It ended up not being nearly as bad as I feared. I often later realized I (a) didn’t desperately needed it, (b) could make a simpler version of my own, or better yet (c) there was a plugin already available by someone else! Also often in that order.
While Unreal Engine 4 has so many features built in, Unity has a much larger community to offer extensions, most things are available in Godot as well in one way or another. And in my case (and I think many amateur/indie game developers), YAGNI.
Can’t I program in X?
Short answer, yes.
Long answer, most likely. One thing that bugged me a little bit in the beginning is the fact that I had to use
GDScript, Godot’s own programming language to develop my game in.
Don’t get me wrong, I love learning new programming languages, but what bugged me was that it didn’t have a mature ecosystem like many other languages have.
Now 11.717 lines of
GDScript I still feel it doesn’t have a mature ecosystem, but I am amazed by how well it works!
GDScript is extremely fast, and it contains just enough features (such as strong-typing) to make me feel comfortable.
Technically Godot supports any language through
GDNative but that requires bindings contributed by the community, with limited support.
One “official” alternative is C# which requires a special mono build, I haven’t given this a serious look because C# is one of my least favourite language/ecosystem.
Another one is C++, for which the Godot maintainers maintain the bindings for, I’m eyeing this one every so often but haven’t made the leap yet.
Would you go Godot again?
Short answer, yes!
Long answer, also yes. So far I have no real reason to use anything else than Godot Engine for any other games that I might be developing in the future.
Since my interest lie in retro games I have very little interest in none of them fancy features in Unreal Engine 4 or Unity.
I love having an editor available from the start, so there is very little chance I will ever go back to using engines like
libGDX, although I do sometimes miss the control engines like that give me.
If one were to build a current generation 3D game that needed all the modern features, and engine like Unreal Engine 4 might be more suitable. Purely because of sheer maturity. But Godot is very capable as well, I reckon.
If one were to build a 2D game of any complexity, I would probably go for Godot. It’s effective, it’s lean and offers all the features one could ever want in 2D.
Godot Engine is great, go use Godot Engine. It’s great.