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Sneak peek: Godot 3.0

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 | Posted by Jim Thacker

 
The Godot team have released a sneek peak at the new features due in Godot 3.0, a major update to the open-source game engine that introduces a new 3D renderer, new audio engine, and early VR support.

The video was actually released last month, but the team has just announced that it has just secured enough Patreon funding to support its first full-time developer, so this seemed like a good time to revisit it.

For artists: new 3D render engine, 2D soft shadows, GPU-accelerated particles, and a new audio engine
Originally developed in-house at Argentinian game developer Okam Studio and made open-source in 2014, Godot was described as having “a similar feature set to Unity”, but geared more towards 2D than 3D titles.

The 3.0 update goes quite some way towards redressing that balance, introducing a new 3D render engine with much more advanced features: physically based shading, screen-space reflections and real-time GI.

The update also improves Godot’s post-processing capabilities, adding multi-stage bloom and glow effects.

Other improvements include some rather attractive 2D soft shadows – you can see them at 01:35 in the video – and a GPU-accelerated 2D/3D particle system capable of supporting “millions of particles”.

Outside of the graphics tools, other major features include a new audio engine with support for positional sound and other real-time effects.

For programmers: C# support, visual scripting, improved HTML5 export and VR support
Programmers get improved support for C++ via the new GDNative module and support for C#, along with a new visual scripting system.

The process of importing files has been streamlined; and there are new customisable export presets, while the HTML5 exporter now supports WebAssembly and WebGL 2.

There is also a new high-level networking API for multiplayer games, and early support for VR and AR: initially focused on the OpenVR SDK in order to support HTC Vive headsets.

Availability
The release date for Godot 3.0 is listed simply as “when it’s ready”, but you can download an alpha build for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Linux, and Mac OS X. The source code is available on GitHub.

The Godot team is also calling for volunteers to take part in a series of sprints to build Godot 3.0’s online documentation, of which two have so far been completed. Find out how to take part here.

Read more about Godot on the game engine’s website

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