While installing Godot Engine through ready to use binary that you can grab from Steam or official website can be much easier to set up, it is not without limitations. For example:
- You want to use encryption key on your exported project.
- You want the bleeding edge version of Godot that has all the latest bug fixes.
- You want particular feature of Godot that has yet to be implemented, but someone had already implemented it via Pull Request.
Working with Godot Engine: Binary vs. Source Code
In this post, I want to discuss an intriguing topic that often sparks curiosity among Godot developers: working with Godot Engine using either the pre-built binary releases vs the source code. Both approaches have their merits and drawbacks, so let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as a detailed guide on how to work directly with the source code.
Pros and Cons: Binary Godot Engine
- Quick and Easy Installation: Installing the Godot Engine binary from Steam or the official website is a breeze. You can get up and running within minutes, allowing you to dive straight into your game development journey.
- Stable and Pre-Compiled: Binary releases are thoroughly tested and come pre-compiled, ensuring a stable environment for your projects without the need for manual compilation.
- Limited Customization: Using the binary restricts your ability to customize Godot Engine to your specific needs. You'll be limited to the features and options provided by the official release.
- Delayed Access to New Features: You might need to wait for official releases to access the latest features, improvements, and bug fixes, which could slow down your development workflow.
Pros and Cons: Working with Source Code
- Full Control and Customization: By working with the source code, you gain complete control over the engine. This means you can modify, extend, and add your own features to suit your project's requirements.
- Early Access to New Features: If you work with the source code directly, you can access new features, bug fixes, and improvements early on, even before they are officially released.
- Complexity and Learning Curve: Working with the source code can be daunting, especially for newcomers to Godot development or those unfamiliar with compiling projects. It requires a deeper understanding of the engine's internals.
- Time-Consuming Compilation: Compiling Godot from source can be time-consuming, depending on your hardware. It might take a while to get the latest version up and running.
Working with Godot Engine from the Source Code: Prerequisites
Before diving into the compilation process, ensure you have the following prerequisites:
Development Environment: Set up a suitable development environment for your platform. This typically involves installing compilers, build tools, and other dependencies. Check the documentation for platform-specific requirements: Windows, MacOS, Linux.
Git: Make sure you have Git installed on your system. It will be essential for cloning the Godot Engine repository.
Steps to Compile Godot Engine
- Clone the Repository: Using Git, clone the official Godot Engine repository to your local machine. This can be done with a simple command like
git clone https://github.com/godotengine/godot.git
- Choose a Branch: Decide which branch of the repository you want to compile. The default branch is often
master, Godot is an open source project and every day there's always changes. The master branch is a moving target where majority of the development occurs, once master branch has reached certain checkpoints the team will then label it certain version then push the official build.
cd godot git checkout master
But you can switch to a different branch to access that particular version. In that case, simply replace
3.xfor Godot 3, or
4.0for the 4.0 branch.
- Run the Build System: Make sure your current working directory is
godot(the one that you cloned earlier) and run the build system for your platform. For example, for Linux, you would run
scons platform=linuxbsd, for MacOS you would run
scons platform=macos. And for Windows
Wait for Compilation: Depending on your hardware, the compilation process may take some time, especially if it's your first compilation. Grab a coffee or work on something else while it completes.
Run the Compiled Binary: Once the compilation finishes successfully, a folder called
binshould appear inside your
godotfolder. In there you can run the compiled Godot Engine binary and start using it for your game development.
Remember that compiling Godot Engine from source is not a one-time event; you'll need to update the source code and recompile regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest features and fixes.
Disclaimer: Compiling Godot Engine from the source code can be challenging for beginners. If you're new to game development or programming, consider starting with the pre-built binary releases until you feel more comfortable with the process.
Updating Your Local Godot Engine Code from the Master Branch and Recompiling
If you've been working with the Godot Engine source code, it's essential to keep your codebase up-to-date with the latest changes from the master branch. Frequent updates ensure you have access to the newest features, bug fixes, and improvements. Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to update your code and recompile Godot Engine:
Step 1: Fetch and Pull from the Master Branch
- Navigate to your local Godot Engine repository folder using the command line:
- Fetch the latest changes from the remote repository:
git fetch origin
- Switch to the master branch:
git checkout master
- Merge the latest changes from the remote master branch into your local master branch:
git pull origin master
Step 2: Resolve Merge Conflicts (If Any)
git pullprocess, there might be merge conflicts if your code changes overlap with the changes made in the remote master branch. You'll need to resolve these conflicts manually. Open the affected files in a text editor, look for the conflict markers, and edit the code to resolve the conflicts. Once resolved, save the files.
Step 3: Recompile Godot Engine
- Open a terminal or command prompt, navigate to your Godot Engine repository folder, and run the build system for your platform:
<platform>with the appropriate platform identifier (e.g.,
- Wait for the compilation process to complete.
Step 4: Run the Compiled Binary
Once the compilation finishes successfully, a new binary will be available in the
binfolder inside your Godot Engine repository. Run the updated Godot Engine binary to start using the latest changes.
Step 5: Test Your Project
After updating the Godot Engine code, it's essential to test your project thoroughly to ensure that it still functions as expected with the latest changes. Check for any compatibility issues or regressions that might have occurred due to the updates.
Step 6: Commit Your Changes (Optional)
If you made any changes to your project code during the update process, you can commit those changes to your local repository:
git add . git commit -m "Updated code to the latest master branch"
This step is optional, but it can be helpful to keep track of your project's history and changes.
Step 7: Stay Updated
Remember that the master branch of Godot Engine is continually changing as development progresses. To keep your codebase up-to-date, it's essential to regularly fetch and pull from the master branch and recompile the engine. This ensures that you're always working with the latest features and improvements.
By following these steps, you can confidently update your Godot Engine code to the latest master branch and compile it again. Updating and recompiling Godot Engine from the master branch is an advanced process. Ensure you are comfortable with version control and code management before attempting these steps. If you encounter issues during the process, refer to the Godot documentation or seek help from the Godot community.