The Godot Game Engine have just been sponsored by Facebook Reality Labs. It comes in the form of a grant that is funding future XR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality) development. As a direct response to this grant, Bastiaan Olij is now going to be hired full time starting early 2021. In addition to being the lead developer on the Godot VR efforts, Bastiaan also worked on GDNative and other core Godot contributions. He also runs a very solid Godot technical YouTube channel available here.
Some details of the work he will be performing from the Godot news announcement:
- OpenXR implementation for desktop and mobile. OpenXR is the new open standard for XR (Extended Reality, encompasses Advanced Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)). The OpenXR specification reached version 1.0 in 2019, and now has multiple conformant implementations by major XR players (Oculus, Microsoft, Valve, and more!). As an open source, cross-platform and vendor neutral game engine, we’re thrilled by the support that IHVs are giving to OpenXR and want to rely on it as our main interface.
- Extending Godot’s input action system to support VR specific actions across all devices based on their respective capabilities (hand tracking, controller sensors, buttons).
- Adapt the XR plugin system to the new Vulkan renderer design. While Godot 3.2’s XR support is functional, the upcoming Godot 4.0 release changes all the rendering backend and needs work to make XR functional again.
- Implement Vulkan rendering on Android. This is necessary for mobile VR devices such as Oculus Quest 2, and will benefit all Godot users who want to make Android games.
- Various rendering optimizations:
- Stereoscopic rendering enhancements, providing details about the eye for which an image is rendered.
- Support for compositor layers, which make it possible to render e.g. UI as an overlay without going through the eye buffer with lens distortion, allowing for sharper and more stable UI.
- Support for variable rate shading in Vulkan, providing performance gains with techniques such as foveated rendering.
- Rendering optimizations for mobile, implementing alternative techniques to the ones suitable on desktop platforms for better mobile performance.
This Godot Engine sponsorship from Facebook is their second in less than a month. In November it was announced that Facebook had become corporate sponsors of the open source Blender development fund. Even if you aren’t a big fan of Facebook, this investment in the Godot engine should be a win for everyone. You can learn more about the grant in the video below.