A little bit over a month ago we launched a Patreon campaign to improve our funding. The first goal, which is allowing me to work full time on the project, has been just met, which is amazing!! Thanks to everyone who helped and contributed, your support is heart-warming and goes far beyond what we imagined! (And, for the backers of higher tiers, we'll setup the various rewards for September soon, once we settle on the best way to do it!).
Godot has kept growing incredibly fast this past year, even though we haven't made major stable releases. And the growth has not only been in userbase, but in amount of contributors and core developers - the month of August has seen more than 350 pull requests to the engine's code! We've been doing an immense amount of work to bring you Godot 3.0, which we believe will "literally :D" be a game changer. We can't even believe ourselves how amazing this new version already is.
As lead developer, given the huge and increasing amount of contributors and new developers, I am finding myself increasingly in a position where my time is spent more helping the newcomers add new features and improving existing ones, than adding them myself. This transition was becoming really difficult due to lack of time, but thankfully the ability to work more on the project will help this enormously. This is a welcome change, as I can help contributors get a better understanding of the engine's architecture and philosophy, greatly improving our pool of "core" developers.
Godot is slowly transitioning to become a really big open source project and, believe me, this is a much bigger amount of work for us core devs than we would have ever expected.
We will soon share more details about my working full time on Godot when we are sorted out all the specifics with our non-profit home Conservancy.
Given that the first goal is met after only one month and while Godot 3.0 still hasn't been released into the wild yet, we have high hopes for this ongoing donation campaign and what it will enable us to do. Our next goals (set at USD 4,500 and $6,000) will be to hire some of our core developers part time on short contracts (1-3 months) to work on important and demanding features.
Many of our contributors are doing an incredibly good work, but have limited time and resources to dedicate to the project. This will help us advance faster with key goals, while also ensuring that those contributors can improve their expertise on various domains of the engine (scripting languages, rendering, optimization, etc.) and be even more efficient in the future.
By investing some of our funds on such contracts, we can therefore build up a stronger team of core developers who can in their turn share their knowledge with new contributors, sustaining the fast paced growth of our engine.
Apart from pure technical work packages, we are also starting to ponder what we could do to improve both the project management and our public relations. Keep in mind that besides just writing code, there are dozens of new daily issues and pull requests, a triage team, a documentation team, dozens of programmers and hundreds of contributors that need to be organized (and new ones popping up all the time). We also intend to forming groups related to education, local events and helping spread the word about Godot. This project is growing more and more demanding every day!
We aren't sure yet about how to use our funds to sustain those specific needs, but we'll keep you posted when we do.
And Godot 3.0 is not even out yet.. don't even want to think what will happen once it comes out! In any case, it will definitely be fun, so thanks for being part of this awesome adventure with us!!
Spread the word, and have fun with Godot!