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In the last few weeks I fixed a few things in my game, added some animation, completely broke everything, patched it back together, and then added some control and organization code that will make everything else I have to do so much easier.

Normally when someone says that they broke everything on a contraption as complex as a video game that usually means that they have a lot of work and tears ahead of them. I would usually agree. Had I still been using Unity, I would almost certainly agree. But I’m not using Unity.

Godot might make some things more difficult.

For example, if I don’t have to code, I usually won’t. Using Godot means I have to code. On the other hand, the code I have to write tends to be pretty simple, and constrained to calling built in functions of Godot.

I like to write in C#. Godot allows this, but it’s always slightly more roundabout than just writing my code in its native GDScript. GDScript is python-like and I have some familiarity with python from using Blender, but I am nowhere near as comfortable with it as I am with C#.

Again, none of this is very tough, but it is slightly more arduous than starting up Unity and pulling a lot of stuff from the asset store. Until something breaks.

Something in my game broke. The engine and editor wouldn’t talk to VSCode, the game wouldn’t build, the frame rate was in the toilet, and I wasn’t able to update my model and animation files. If this happened in Unity, you might expect to spend days just figuring out what went wrong. Even if you managed to fix it, you would spend the rest of your time side-eyeing the engine and wondering when it would let you down again.

Since this is Godot, and I own and understand everything I put into the game, I ripped out my stuff, reinstalled the Godot engine, and had everything back to working within an hour. I then went on to make some changes I had been wanting to make that should speed up adding new assets to the game.

I will never be the sort of person who would learn to code their own engine. I would never be the sort of person who would advocate that other people do that. But maybe I get the appeal now. There is a sort of calm that you feel when you understand a system well enough to disassemble and reassemble it. I will never claim to understand the Godot code fully, but I know what I built, and I know how cleanly separate my stuff is from the rest of the engine.

I have a couple more core components that I have to add to my game before it’s ready for a field test, but I am pretty excited by the idea of putting it in front of players. I move pretty slowly on this project, but with any luck, and a couple impromptu rebuilds, I hope to have something ready later this year.

Then I will only have the other 90% of the game to finish.

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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