Game Bytes is our monthly series taking a peek at the world of gamedev on GitHub—featuring game engine updates, game jam details, open source games, mods, maps, and more. Game on!
Godot, the increasingly popular open source game, engine recently released version 4.1. The release is the first in Godot’s new higher-frequency release cycle. Despite the faster development pace, Godot 4.1 includes many bug fixes and new features, such as static variables in GDScript and the option to detach editor windows and put them on another screen. What’s more, Godot 4.1 includes experimental and foundational work to support future features. Read the detailed release notes to catch up on what’s new in Godot 4.1.
Bevy is a game engine built with the Rust programming language. The 0.11 release of Bevy packs in a lot of improvements, ranging from rendering quality upgrades (with screen space ambient occlusion and temporal anti-aliasing), WebGPU support, and a clever new UI layout system that uses a CSS Grid-like syntax. Read the Bevy 0.11 release notes: you’re sure to learn something about what goes into a game engine, not just a feature list.
LibGDX is a cross-platform games development framework for Java. The latest release, version 1.12.0, adds several new features. A new audio switching API can, for example, switch to another output device when one is disconnected. Haptics on iOS and Android make themselves felt in this release. A new graphics backend, MetalANGLE, translates OpenGL calls to Apple’s Metal. And all backends now support OpenGL ES 3.0. Get all of the details in the LibGDX 1.12.0 release announcement.
GDevelop is a no-code game-making app that runs on and makes games for most devices: smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Not only can it produce games for Android, iOS, and desktop platforms, it publishes to popular game stores, too. Recent releases include new assets, bug fixes, and improvements to the built-in game-building lessons and examples. But perhaps the biggest highlight has been the introduction of 3D games to GDevelop, which has become the default for new games. Learn more about GDevelop’s recent releases on GitHub.
Brogue—and its community-developed successor Brogue CE—is a re-creation of the classic dungeon crawler and ur-procedurally generated adventure Rogue. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the world of traditional roguelikes, then Brogue CE is a great place to begin. More than ten years after Brogue’s original release, the community edition carries the torch forward, with a remarkable development pace. Take a peek at Brogue CE‘s recently merged pull requests or download a recent release and see if you can claim the famed Amulet of Yendor.
Thrive is a work-in-progress evolution simulator in the spirit of life simulations such as Spore. Thrive features a hardy microbial simulation, so you can experience life as a unicellular organism. But the most recent release incorporates prototypes for later stages of the game, where you evolve into macroscopic life, planetary civilization, and finally space-faring explorers. Will you achieve Ascension or head down an evolutionary dead-end? Check out the release announcement, or support the game’s development on Steam and itch.io.
Mindustry puts you in charge of a growing factory crossed with armory. In this factory-management game with aspects of the tower defense and real-time strategy genres, you have to balance material extraction, constructing units and ammunition, and defending yourself from attack. You can go it alone in a single-player campaign, or take the battle to your friends in multiplayer games. Recent releases fixed pesky bugs, improved modding support, and introduced user interface improvements. Follow development of Mindustry on GitHub, or support the project on Steam and itch.io.
This month, we’re highlighting two great 2D space trading games. Earn money and resources through trading, transport, and completing missions; spend your earnings on upgrading ships and gear. Will you explore the galaxy and strike it rich? Or find yourself locked up or blasted to atoms? It all comes down to your choices.
The first is Endless Sky, built in the spirit of classic space traders like Escape Velocity. Endless Sky‘s most-recent stable release rolls up many recent developments, such as an expanded storyline, new alien factions, and many bug fixes.
The second space trading game is Naikari: Eye of Chaos. Naikari draws inspiration from predecessors like Star Wraith 2 and RiftSpace and contemporaries like the aforementioned Endless Sky. Naikari 0.8.0 unveils recent developments, such as new NPC behaviors, a smoother introduction for new players, and quality-of-life improvements for the game’s interface.
Unearthed is a recently open-source sandbox game that puts you in the boots of a pickaxe-wielding miner. The “totally not Minecraft” game started as a seven-day “distraction” but is now a fully-fledged moddable 2D multiplayer world. Head over to Unearthed to start digging.
Next up, let’s take a sneak peek at Dialogic 2.0, a plugin for Godot to help you build conversations into your game. Characters are speaking in this forthcoming rewrite for Godot 4 (yes, we couldn’t wait for a release to tell you about this). And we’re happy to talk about how the Godot community has embraced version 4. But we’ll stop yapping so you can listen to the work in progress.
Icons Finder is a recently-released tool for finding and importing icons in Unity. Part of the unity-tailwindcss plugin, Icons Finder looks up open source icons via react-icon and imports them into Unity in the correct formats. The plugin provides some other interesting tools as well, such as a font finder and the option to style UI elements with a Tailwind CSS-style syntax. Learn more from the feature announcement on Twitter (or do I call it X now?).
Test your skills or learn something new with one of these upcoming game jams:
- GDevelop Game Jam #4 (August 4 to August 13)—Use the GDevelop engine to make a game that runs in the browser.
- JS13KGames (August 13 to September 13)—Make a game in 13 kilobytes or less. GitHub is proud to be sponsoring it this year (and don’t miss our past hints on making a tiny game).
- Game Off 2023 (1 November to 1 December)—GitHub is excited to host the return of Game Off. Make a game and share the source with a GitHub repository while following a theme to be announced at the start of the jam.
Slay Yourself, an entry in last month’s GMTK Game Jam 2023, faces you off against your own clone in gladiatorial combat. This game features turn-based RPG-style combat, but with a puzzling twist: with each turn, you reverse roles with your clone. Can you make choices that force your clone into a losing strategy? This mind-bending game will make you appreciate
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That’s all for this edition of Game Bytes. We’ll see you next month!
Working on something cool or releasing something this month? Share it with us via email@example.com.