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Godot 3.3 has been released with significant improvements to reliability and performance. The enhancements come ahead of the planned 4.0 release, but the team acknowledges that while they are mainly focused on the 4.0 release, users want a robust and mature 3.x branch to develop and publish their games now.
Godot is an open-source, cross-platform game engine that is increasingly popular as a rival to commercial alternatives. It was made available under open source in 2014, and since then has added features to become a strong choice, especially for 2D game development.
The new release adds a web editor, support for the Android App Bundle (AAB), and a new plugin API for iOS among other new and improved features.
Rendering support has been improved in a number of ways in this release, including unified 2D batching, a new CPU lightmapper, new software skinning for MeshInstance, and optimized transform propagation for hidden 3D objects.
The new lightmapper replaces the previous version that was quick but not great in terms of quality. This has been completely rewritten as a CPU lightmapper that provides proper path tracing, which results in better looking lightmaps. There will be another new GPU-based lightmapper in Godot 4 using Vulkan.
Alongside the Web editor, the general HTML5 platform port has been improved to support both threads and GDNative in the HTML5 platform port.
The new release also adds support for Android App Bundle (AAB), the publishing format that enables more efficient distribution of Android apps. Godot 3.3 now supports exporting AABs as well as APKs.
The Godot team has also added an interface for iOS plugins, similar to the Android interface added in the previous release, that makes it easier to build and distribute iOS plugins to end users.
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