Delve into the world of game-changing insights with our CTO Ariel Manzur, co-founder of Godot Engine, as anitya uncovers the secrets behind the power of open-source tools in creating extraordinary immersive experiences.


The Green Oasis of Opportunity: Navigating Emissions Cuts through Immersive Experiences

1 - Godot has gained significant traction in the gaming industry due to its open-source nature and flexibility. Can you share the pivotal moments or motivations that led you to create Godot and make it an open-source project, and how has the community's involvement shaped the platform over the years?

Ariel: We were always open-source Linux users. When we started Godot in 2008, there were no open-source options in the game development industry. We wanted to change that. A popular UI toolkit was used with a dual license model, GPL for open use and a different license for commercial use. But we weren't worried about the business model. The lack of open-source options drove us at that time. We wanted to see what could be done. When we published it as open source, it took a few years for people to adjust to the amount of code and our design philosophy. But the growth was terrific once people started contributing. The essential advantage of open source is the community and the contributions.

2 - The Godot engine provides robust 2D and 3D game development tools. Can you elaborate on the design philosophy that guided the development of these tools and how Godot has evolved to accommodate the growing demands and advancements in game development, especially in 3D gaming?

Ariel: Tools are crucial in game development. When deciding on an engine, you must consider that 80% of the budget goes to creating content. In most agencies and studios, about 80% of the team comprises content creators like 3D artists, sound designers, and level designers, while the remaining 20% are programmers. Good tools are essential to efficiently integrate this content into the game without creating bottlenecks on the programming side. The goal is to avoid a scenario where artists create assets and then hand them off to programmers, saying, "Put this in the game." We gained insights from running a studio and making games, which helped us understand the needs of a development team and informed our tool development. Regarding 3D, rendering code is expensive because skilled programmers and graphics experts are in high demand and come at a significant cost. We've always been working to keep up with other engines in terms of 3D capabilities, which is a continuous effort. However, with our growing community, we've been able to delegate and have more significant contributions to the 3D rendering code. This has been a significant advancement, made possible by the contributions of our community.

3 - Comparing Godot with industry giants like Unreal Engine and Unity, what unique advantages or features do you believe Godot offers to game developers? In what ways does Godot stand out, and where do you see it fitting in the broader landscape of game development engines?

Ariel: This is a complex question due to the vastness of the industry and its many use cases. We have robust tools and a solid architectural philosophy that benefits developers. Our license is one of the most obvious advantages, especially in today's landscape. If we consider an example like the gambling industry, imagine if they suddenly had to pay a hefty license fee for using Unity or Unreal for their games. The impact would be significant. The importance of the license cannot be overstated. Many other industries, like enterprise and cloud, heavily rely on open source due to the risks associated with proprietary software. The game development industry also needs this approach— our mature open-source license positions us well to serve this need. Our place in the broader landscape of game development engines is to be the open-source option.

4 - Godot has a global community of developers and enthusiasts who contribute to its growth and improvement. How has this diverse community influenced Godot’s development roadmap and feature prioritisation? Are there particular contributions or community-driven features that have surprised or impressed you throughout the journey of building Godot?

Ariel: Yeah. This phenomenon is akin to what happens on a smaller scale within a game development team. You build the fundamental systems and then hand them over to the content creators, who start surprising you with what they can do using the tools you provided. It's like, "Wow, you can do this with the code I wrote?" This is amplified on a much larger scale within the Godot community. They often surprise us with unexpected and impressive use cases. For instance, we designed the editor to run on the engine runtime, considering it a game. But the community took it further, running the editor on Android or the web. It's astonishing how people take ideas and push them to extreme, practical applications, like running the editor on unconventional platforms. These surprises and contributions continually amaze me, like running the editor on the web and Android; I find that impressive.

5 - anitya, a project built on Godot, provides a toolset for creators to design and publish their immersive websites. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind anitya and how Godot's capabilities have been leveraged to create this platform? What potential do you see for anitya in interactive web experiences?

Ariel: anitya is an excellent example of how, in game development, even with the best tools and a fantastic machine, specific tools for a game become essential as they surpass a certain complexity threshold. Creating new tools is a common occurrence. We prioritise the creation of exceptional tools, and anitya underscores this commitment. We emphasise simplifying the crafting of new tools for diverse games, seamlessly integrating them with the engine. anitya showcases our philosophy—designing editors and tools that are intuitive, purpose-specific, and tightly integrated with the engine. This capability directly results from harnessing Godot's strengths, making tool creation easy, given our understanding that developers will always require tools tailored to their specific games and projects. anitya is also a game-changer when it comes to interactive web experiences. It's not just another software platform; it's a fresh approach that opens up exciting possibilities. One of its core strengths is its appeal to two significant user groups. First, we have agencies and service providers. They are the creative minds behind commercial metaverse projects for various brands. anitya is a boon for them because it significantly lowers development costs. They can craft highly customised solutions that perfectly fit the specific needs of their clients. Whether for training and education, collaborative workshops, AI-driven customer support, or e-commerce showrooms, anitya's flexibility is a game-changer. Since it is built on Godot, it is way lighter than other Unity or Unreal Engine solutions. Moreover, it is highly adaptable and plays well with various tools and add-ons. This makes it ideal for agencies looking to deliver top-notch interactive immersive experiences. Secondly, there are brands and enterprises. They have a different set of needs. Using anitya, they can gain total control over their data and operate within their domain, creating a unique online presence. This control isn't just about branding; it's about managing building and running costs and avoiding dependency on proprietary software. That's a big deal because it ensures that software constraints don’t hinder their monetisation strategies. Anitya empowers brands to define and refine their online interactive experiences, ensuring they seamlessly align with their objectives.