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Defold in 2020 - A Year in Review

By Björn Ritzl on Jan 04, 2021


Last year was one of the most ground breaking in the history of Defold. Here is a look a some of the major milestones of 2020.

The Defold Foundation

The most dramatic change to Defold since the initial public release in 2016, was the announcement in May 2020 that Defold was handed over to the Defold Foundation and that the source code for the entire project was made available on GitHub. The announcement gave us a big boost in visibility and many users found out about Defold for the first time. The announcement was not without controversy though as we initially said that the source code was open source when in fact it was source available (a very important distinction to some!).

Heroic Labs joins as a corporate partner

Shortly after the Defold Foundation announcement we also announced Heroic Labs as our first corporate partner. As part of the partnership we worked together with Heroic Labs to make the Nakama open-source realtime server for apps and games available to Defold developers. Nakama really does makes scalable social and multiplayer game development accessible to Defold developers. Learn more!

Nintendo Switch

Another huge milestone this year was the release of Nintendo Switch support in June. Nintendo Switch is the first console supported by Defold and it was a huge accomplishment to finally be able to offer this to our users. Not long after the announcement Critique Gaming released their hit game “Interrogation: You will be deceived” on Nintendo Switch. Check it out!

Grant for the Web

In June the Defold Foundation was awarded a grant from Grant for the Web to explore the use of Web Monetization in games. We integrated Web Monetization as a Defold extension and in November we hosted the Web Monetization Challenge. This was a month long game jam open to all web game developers. Developers were challenged to create a web game around the theme “Secrets”, showing their creative and developer skills as well as a good use of Web Monetization. Try the winning games!

Melsoft Games

In August we had the pleasure of announcing Melsoft Games as a new corporate partner. Melsoft smash-hit Family Island is made with Defold and thanks to the partnership we have been able to accelerate development of new features for the Defold game engine.

Game Distribution

As the year was drawing to an end we also welcomed Game Distribution as a corporate partner. We are currently working together with GameDistribution to offer their publishing services to Defold developers. More information about the partnership will be shared early in 2021.

Android

Android continues to be one of our most important platforms. We were able to make significant improvements to the platform this year. Have a look at this list of new or updated features:

iOS

iOS is also a very important platform for Defold and we continue to ensure that we keep the engine up-to-date with new versions and requirements. Defold iOS app (and macOS for that matter) now support Apple’s hardware-accelerated 3D graphics framework Metal. Defold was also updated to the latest iOS version (14) and support for Sign in with Apple was added as an extension.

Vulkan

We released support for the Vulkan graphics API as a new graphics backend in Defold. The initial version is fully interchangeable with OpenGL and has been used as a springboard to enable Metal support on iOS and macOS. Our plan is to expand the Vulkan support in 2021 through a new modern render API.

Mesh component

The Mesh component is a new exciting low level Defold component which allows you to create and manipulate meshes in Defold. Forum user @aglitchman has put the new component to good use and started creating a Minecraft like block building game.

What’s in store for 2021?

We know you are are excited to learn what we have in store for 2021 and we promise to share our plans soon! We are currently working with our corporate partners to build a roadmap for the year and as soon as we are done it will be shared on our forum and on Twitter. We also invite our community to vote on their favourite issues for 2021.