For a long time we thought about creating a game that would focus on learning Italian. Admittedly, at the beginning the idea was still a learning app, which should contain playful elements in addition to the learning content.
At the beginning of 2019 we actually started to implement the idea. We searched for platforms and programs with which we could realize such a project and found Godot and we immediately fell in love with this engine. What Godot can do, how it works and why we love it, you can read here in this article.
What is Godot?
Godot is a free game engine, a program with which you can develop 2D and 3D games. Godot is completely free of charge, open source under the MIT license and has an amazingly great community behind it. It consists of a graphical editor with which you can create scenes and arrange and structure elements with certain properties, called nodes.
What are scenes and nodes?
A scene in Godot can be a whole game, a character or just a sprite. A sprite is a picture element that is often used for 2D games in the form of sprite sheets. Each scene is organized in a tree structure and has a source node from which each additional object inherits properties. All objects in Godot are nodes and always have exactly one parent node and any number of child nodes. A scene is thus the totality of all nodes of the tree structure. This scene tree is called scenetree.
The programming of a game can thus be divided into many small puzzle pieces that can be put together again and again. So I can create a scene for a house that contains a door that I also structured in a scene. So I only have to create this door once and add it to any scene with a house if I want.
How to program in Godot?
You can breathe life into your game in a number of ways: VisualScript, GDScript, GDNative, C++ etc.
For our game we use exclusively GDScript as programming language. GDScript is very similar to the popular programming language Python and is therefore almost a home game. Like Python, GDScript is quick to learn and the written code is easy to read even for inexperienced users. We often speak of pythonic code, i.e. code that is understandable, precise and not unnecessarily complex.
Especially at the beginning it is very helpful that Godot offers an integrated documentation of all classes and functions directly in the editor. Godot’s website also contains many extensive tutorials with which you can build your first small 2D mini-games. Especially I can recommend the tutorial Godot 3.0: Top-down Tank Battle from KidsCanCode on Youtube. Of course you can also ask questions in the forum on the official site, where many answers often already exist in one form or another.
What do I do when the game is done?
With Godot you can export the finished games for all common platforms like Windows, MacOS and even Linux. Android, iOS and HTML5 web applications are also possible. This allows us to integrate our first demo directly into our website and you can test the game and give us your feedback on “La leggenda di Borgo Bello”.
We hope you enjoyed the look at the engine behind our game.