The Godot team has released Godot 3.4, the latest update to the open-source game engine.
The release updates Godot’s physics engine and renderer, adding support for portal occlusion culling and improving tonemapping; introduces a new UI theme editor; and adds support for glTF export.
A powerful open-source alternative to Unity for 2D and 3D titles
Originally developed in-house at Argentinian game developer Okam Studio, Godot provides an open-source alternative to Unity, and is currently being used on a range of indie and mobile games, both 2D and 3D.
Since going open-source in 2014, work on Godot has been steadily accelerating, in part thanks to funding from Mozilla, Microsoft, and most recently, grants from Epic Games and Russian game developer Kefir.
In 2019, it became the open-source game engine, with the Blender Foundation removing its own game engine from Blender 2.80 and recommending Godot as a “more powerful alternative”.
Rendering: support for portal occlusion culling, and better tonemapping of bright lights
An originally unscheduled update on the way to the long-awaited Godot 4.0, Godot 3.4 nevertheless manages to pack in quite a few new features for games artists.
Godot’s render engine gets support for portal occlusion culling, making it possible to prevent objects hidden behind other geometry from being rendered, improving performance.
Raster occlusion culling is due in Godot 4.0.
The renderer also gets a new ACES fitted tonemapper, which should better mimic the appearance of very bright lights and emissive materials.
Physics: better calculation of convex hulls for dynamics simulations
There are also a number of updates to Godot’s physics systems, particularly 3D physics – due to become the default physics engine in Godot 4.0 – including improved generation of convex hulls for dynamics sims.
The particle system gets a new ring emitter for 3D particles.
New UI theme editor, glTF export and WebP image encoding
Workflow and pipeline improvements include a new UI theme editor, shown in the video above, which is intended to streamline the process of creating interface elements for games.
It is also now possible to export in glTF format, making it possible to edit scenes created in Godot in DCC tools like Blender; and to encode images in WebP format.
You can find a full list of changes, including those more relevant to programmers, via the links below.
Availability and system requirements
Godot 3.4 is available under the MIT licence for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Linux, and macOS.
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