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Game Development and Multimedia: Godot Engine, A Game-Changer in Game Development

Today starts my 29 Days of Open Source Alternatives series, where I'll be exploring open source alternatives to proprietary software in the categories of Game Development and Multimedia, Development Tools and Platforms, Productivity and Collaboration Tools, and more. If you'd like to see the list of the open source alternatives I'll be covering this month, head over to my 29 Days of Open Source Alts Page or check out my list of open source games.

Last year, we decided to homeschool my 13 year old for a semester. When he told me that he was really interested in game development, I installed all things Unity and tried to get him up and running.

Narrator: we never got things up in running.

We navigated a lot of error messages, challenges, and finally gave up with disappointment. Fast forward six months and I started to hear more and more good things about Godot. Full disclosure: we haven't gotten anything up and running (yet), but we've been navigating a new landscape of game development that has long been dominated by proprietary engines.

Godot is a free and open source, cross-platform game engine that allows you to create both 2D and 3D games.

Godot is the open source engine that gained a huge boost in popularity earlier this year when Unity announced changes to its pricing. Unlike its paid counterparts--Unity and Unreal Engine--Godot champions accessibility, robust features and an intuitive workflow. Whether you're experienced or new to game dev, Godot offers a positive and community-driven developer experience.

GitHub logo godotengine / godot

Godot Engine – Multi-platform 2D and 3D game engine

Godot Engine

Godot Engine logo

2D and 3D cross-platform game engine

Godot Engine is a feature-packed, cross-platform game engine to create 2D and 3D games from a unified interface. It provides a comprehensive set of common tools, so that users can focus on making games without having to reinvent the wheel. Games can be exported with one click to a number of platforms, including the major desktop platforms (Linux, macOS, Windows), mobile platforms (Android, iOS), as well as Web-based platforms and consoles.

Free, open source and community-driven

Godot is completely free and open source under the very permissive MIT license No strings attached, no royalties, nothing. The users' games are theirs, down to the last line of engine code. Godot's development is fully independent and community-driven, empowering users to help shape their engine to match their expectations. It is supported by the Godot Foundation not-for-profit.

Before being open sourced in…

Godot’s Features

  • Powerful 2D and 3D capabilities: Build anything from side-scrolling platformers to sprawling open-world RPGs.
  • User-friendly interface: Drag-and-drop functionality and a node-based system make development accessible even for beginners.
  • Multiple programming languages: Choose from GDScript (Python-like), C#, or C++ to script your game logic.
  • Open source and customizable: Extend the engine with plugins and modify the code to suit your needs.
  • Vibrant community: Get help and inspiration from a supportive community of developers and artists.

godot insight

Godot vs. Proprietary Engines

Godot differentiates itself from proprietary engines like Unity and Unreal Engine through freedom and flexibility. Its open source nature decreases the financial barriers that impede creative game development exploration while still providing quality tools and experience. It has a comprehensive suite of tools for 2D and 3D game development. From robust physics simulations to seamless cross-platform compatibility, Godot brings the same power as its competitors, but is accessible and often easy to use. Its been noted that using its scripting language, GDScript, a Python-like language, makes it approachable for beginners but also powerful enough for experienced developers.

What's Built with Godot?

  • HyperParasite
  • Open Sorcery
  • Unbound
  • Soul Ash
  • Starship Theory
  • Baba Is You

Customization and Creativity with Godot's Flexible Tools

One of Godot's greatest strengths is its adaptability to different developers' needs. Whether you prefer coding in GDScript, C#, or C++, Godot offers a range of options. Its node-based system lends itself to those who use a visual development environment, with its drag-and-drop actions. Beyond the core capabilities, the engine's architecture allows for extensive customization through plugins and extensions. This flexibility ensures that each developer can tailor Godot to their specific project requirement.

Open Source Support & Popularity

With over 80,000 stars on GitHub, an enthusiastic community forking and contributing to the code, and an open-source MIT license empowering creativity, Godot is more than just a game engine; it's a thriving ecosystem where developers collaborate, innovate, and build the future of gaming, one pixel at a time.

  • ⭐ 80.2k
  • 👀 1.5k
  • forks: 17.1k
  • license: MIT

It's worth noting that Godot's star-to-fork ratio is one of the highest that I've ever seen.

Building a Community in Game Development with Godot

Behind every great product is a great community, and Godot is no exception.

Contributor Graph

The engine is supported by an active and welcoming community of developers and enthusiasts. Newcomers to Godot will find in-depth resources, from comprehensive documentation and tutorials to active forums and community groups. This collaborative environment not only helps in troubleshooting and learning but also fosters a sense of belonging and mutual growth. Whether you're a seasoned game developer or a hobbyist, the Godot community is a valuable resource for expanding your skills and connecting with enthusiastic developers.

Godot Contributors

The Evolving Landscape of Godot: Future Developments and Enhancements

Godot is constantly evolving, with regular updates and enhancements that keep it at the cutting edge of game development technology. The development team is committed to improving and expanding the engine, ensuring it meets the growing and changing needs of the game development community. This commitment to continuous development means that investing time and effort in learning Godot is an investment in a platform that grows with you, adapting to future trends and technologies in the gaming industry.

Starting Your Game Development Journey with Godot

Godot allows you to step into a world where your creativity is the limit. With its user-friendly interface, robust feature set, and supportive community, Godot is a great platform for anyone looking to break into game development or to find an alternative to proprietary engines.

Feature Godot Unity Unreal Engine
Cost Open-source (free) Paid licenses; free options with limited features Paid licenses; free options with limited features
Cross-platform compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android (experimental), iOS (experimental), Web (HTML5, WebAssembly) Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web
Programming language(s) GDScript (Python-like), C#, C++ C# C++
Learning curve Beginner-friendly; node-based system Moderate; more features require deeper scripting knowledge Steeper; complex interface and codebase
2D game development Powerful 2D tools; dedicated 2D engine Good 2D tools, but focus on 3D Excellent 2D tools, but engine geared towards 3D
3D game development Capable 3D engine; growing feature set Excellent 3D engine; industry-standard Outstanding 3D engine; advanced tools and effects
Physics simulation Built-in 2D and 3D physics engine Good built-in physics; additional plugins available Excellent built-in physics; advanced tools and features
Community and support Active and welcoming community; extensive documentation and tutorials Large and helpful community; comprehensive documentation and resources Very large and experienced community; abundant resources and tutorials
Customization and plugins Highly customizable; extensive plugin library Moderately customizable; plugin ecosystem growing Highly customizable; vast plugin library with advanced features


Godot is one of my favorite open source projects because the community seems so supportive and robust. What games do you love that are made with Godot? What other open source games should I add to my list?

Top comments (9)

wynandpieters profile image
Wynand Pieters

I've been following Godot for some time, and while I haven't made the switch yet, I'm very excited for where it's headed. I'm convinced Godot will do for game dev what Blender did for modelling and animation.

bekahhw profile image

I totally agree. With the strength of their community, they can really push the limits.

bdougieyo profile image
Brian Douglas

Curious how folks find the onboarding experience for building in Godot. Always wanted to build a game to see what it takes.

Great post

bekahhw profile image

I'm going to work on it with my 14 year old this summer. I'm super excited for it.

meryboth profile image
Marilyn Botheatoz

Great article! What do you think is the best place to learn Godot? Do you find any usefull course online?

bekahhw profile image

I actually think they do a good job of collecting resources:

lymah profile image


bekahhw profile image

Thanks, Lymah!

petergrove profile image

I 100% agree with your blog. What is your take at pc free games?