Over on the Godot blog/news portal, there is an update called What’s Next for Godot 4, that takes a look at the near term development future of the Godot game engine. It is a guide to how they intend to continue development after the 4.0 release:
4.x release cycle
To alleviate pressure on contributors and to avoid delays, starting with version 4.1, we aim to have quicker release cycles for feature updates (4.1, 4.2, etc., i.e. “4.x” releases). The plan is to start with a fixed period of merging new features, then transition to a short period where we only merge bug fixes, then release and return to merging features again.
Some features may miss the window for merging, and will be postponed until the next version. But due to quicker iteration times the wait would be much shorter for users, and for contributors — their work won’t go stale. We believe this will help us maintain momentum and ensure that the engine stabilizes quickly (a special thank you to Miguel de Icaza for your insight and encouragement that led us to this decision). At this point we are unsure exactly how long the release cycle will be, you can expect we will experiment a bit to see what works best for contributors.
4.1 will focus on stability, performance improvements, and usability
Early in the 4.0 development cycle, we caught ourselves saying “X feature won’t make it into 4.0, but it will be in 4.1”. Please read such statements as saying “will be in 4.x”. Our decision to focus on quick iteration and stability means we can’t promise new features in any particular release. Features will be included in the next release after they are finished. This also means we will not be delaying releases in order to add “just one more feature”.
The state of 4.0
We are still in the beta phase, and development is more focused than ever on stabilizing Godot 4.0 for release. We are now releasing weekly betas to get faster feedback on our bug fixes.
At the time of the Godot 4.0 release, version 3.5 will remain the much more stable and battle-tested option. We advise users who desire a more stable, bug-free experience to continue using 3.5 until Godot 4 has been more widely tested and the team has had a chance to fix the highest priority bugs that will inevitably arise. Users with ambitious projects that depend on the new features in 4.0 can of course start using it as soon as it releases, while keeping in mind that there might be some roadblocks which will be lifted in the early 4.x releases.
We will release 4.0 when we believe it is ready to be used in production, not when it is perfect. It will not be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be. But it will lay down the foundation for all our future work, and with your help it might get a little bit closer to what we envision as the Godot 4.
You can learn more about the near term future of the Godot 4 game engine in the video below. So when will Godot 4 arrive? Well… we are still waiting.