GDC 2024: Retrospective

With the team returning from its GDC adventures, it is once again time to tell those back home about memories made. We hope you didn’t miss us too much!

First of all, we want to thank our sponsors at W4 Games again for providing us with this super-sized booth that allowed us to house not only 11 indie developers, but also so many curious minds from within the community and beyond. Big thanks to everyone who made the time to drop by and fill the space with life. We had an amazing time meeting all of you.

The main difference to last year is rather shocking: barely anyone needed an explanation about what Godot is anymore. Visitors were excited to play the showcased games, and recognized titles — some really surprised to find out their favorites used the engine! Studios and other companies also came by plenty to talk about how they found out about Godot through an excited colleague or the news, and a handful mentioned they started experimenting or even using it in their projects. We took note of people’s wants & needs during these chats, appreciative of being able to forward these first hand accounts of users directly to our engineers.

Notably, we heard from a significant number of people who recently transitioned to Godot that it is working well for them, they love the current feature set, and the engine is not holding them back. However, they are still encountering a few too many pain points requiring workarounds or waiting for updates. For the team, this was a strong indicator that we need to spend more time identifying and resolving these everyday “papercut” issues that add up and impact users’ workflows. Expect to hear more about this soon, as we are back to discuss and adapt our priorities to the feedback we brought with us from the conference.

Exhibitors at the Godot booth

Of course, you cannot attend a big industry gathering without scheduling a fair share of meetings, so the Foundation did just that. One goal was to secure funding to keep the project running and be able to hire more core developers. Another recurring topic in such conversations were possible integrations and better industry support for Godot developers — we cannot wait to show you what is brewing in that area.

If you or your company had packed schedules already or could not attend GDC, but want to talk to us about similar topics, please reach out to [email protected].

Our gathering at GitHub HQ also proved successful, with many Godot users, content creators, and contributors chatting about their personal projects with us. The vegan food seemed to be a hit as well. Afterwards, we were told it was one of the most relaxed evenings of the week for some of our guests. We are grateful to GitHub that we could provide this kind of space to the Godot community, and are looking forward to GodotCon in that regard (TBA).

Assorted pictures from the week

As for the team itself, this conference allowed the fully remote team to assemble in person again. Between booth duty, team meetings, and extracurricular activities, we are happy to report we all grew a little closer. Even engine developers need to leave their houses sometimes ;)

At the end of the day, we and everyone we met are passionate about this open source project — interacting with the community in person is a really helpful tool to remind everyone of that common ground, and use it to our advantage: to compare feedback and sentiment to what we hear on the internet, and to forge lasting relationships. Which is one of the key reasons why we are now looking into being present at more conferences across the world in the future, aiming to enable more of these important conversations and super helpful learnings. This will come at the expense of a smaller GDC booth next year however, as we have to split budget and personpower accordingly. San Francisco indeed proved as pricey as everybody keeps saying, and we strongly believe there is more to gain from diversifying opposite to always being in one and the same location.

Did you visit the booth? Snapped any pictures you want to share with us? Use the forum post linked here to tell us about your experience at GDC, we would love to hear back from you :)