After several years using the Unity game engine to make my games, I decided to make the switch to an open source software engine, Godot, to see if it would speed up my game development.

The things I like about Godot, I really like!

Moving from Unity, Godot is actually a breath of fresh air.

Godot is so lightweight, most older computers won’t throw a hissy fit when it is opened, and that translates to it be being quick. While Unity takes a while to work out what you want it to do, Godot just gets you, and the time taken to run tasks like running your code on a phone can be counted in seconds and not minutes.

Coding is quick too with no recompile waits that you encounter on Unity, and you’ll be prototyping your games (and apps) in little to no time.

It’s not all full steam ahead though. There’s niggles, which aren’t actually Godot’s fault.

I began coding with Godot 4, to future proof myself, and I thought I’d be doing just fine learning with the code examples and resources available from community. The problem is most of the code was written with Godot 3, and the newer version made changes to the codebase which caused a lot of the examples not to work. It will take nothing more than time, as the community updates their code, to un-niggle this niggle.

While Unity is a company valued in the billions, with over 7,000 employees, Godot is run by its community, with only 10 contractors (and not all of them are even full time).

This all translates to Godot being a far less mature engine than Unity. That’s not really an issue to me, I’m never going to make a $80m FPS, but it does cause issues when moving over my mobile games to the Godot engine.

Many basics I need, like ads, achievements, and IAP, have a wealth of plugins in Unity from their rather awesome Asset Store, but Godot is very thin on the ground in this respect.

I hope time will once again come to the rescue here, but it has meant that I’ve been writing some plugins in programming languages I don’t know. In some cases I don’t even mean that I don’t know how to code in the language, I mean I didn’t even know what language it was, so much trial and error!

These are my initial thoughts on Godot, and despite those issues I’ve faced, I can’t help but like it a lot!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be updating my games with the new Godot versions, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes!