Indeed what you say is correct. It is a game engine. You however are referring to a 3D feature set not a “3D” game engine. The title of this thread is “Defold and 3D support”.
To be clear, 3D features are usually related to a rendering and auditory capability and a toolset capability which can be a hugely broad discussion. Everything from GIS, Raytracing, Realtime Rendering, Animation, 3D positional Audio, VR/AR, Holographics, Haptics and so on… its a big field. I think constraining your use case will help in understanding what you think is missing.
All of Defold’s rendering (under the hood) is 3D. As @Pkeod pointed out. It already has complete 3D support. What you are referring to is 3D tools and 3D high level interfaces - ie editing tools and api’s. And as everyone has mentioned Defold doesn’t support 3D editing well. But this does not make it unable to be used for 3D applications.
OpenGLES is a toolkit and api as well. And yes you could just use that. However, Im assuming you know about and understand native-plugins in Defold. With OpenGLES in a native-plugin you can use all the 3D you want within the scripting of Defold objects, and I often also use properties in Defold objects to set and call 3D features - so it is quite easy to use 3D, its a matter of just spending time learning how to do it.
For me (which I have a background in 3D) I found getting a 3D scene up and running in Defold very easy and I understand for newer people to 3D this may seem difficult. What I would suggest is to visit the tutorials (there are example projects and samples for 3D) and read all about the great snippets on the forums for 3D. Try loading the 3D sample, and then pressing build - you should have a 3D scene.
The images posted are not really relevant to 3D Support. And nor does Defold state that it is a competing 3D engine - nor do people even say that here - which is why I find many of these discussions a little weird.
Also, if people want to make their own 3D Defold, then whats stopping you? The source code is there… go nuts?
Rather than complain about missing “scope” like 3D. State clearly what you would like to seen in 3D and if its not available, I’ll see if I can make a little sample for you (within reason of course ).
But more importantly, the statements above are powerfully true.
“The Ultimate Game Engine” - for me, shit yes.
“No setup” - this is so utterly amazing… I love it. look at other engine setups? (Ive used dozens of engines commercially for two decades)
“Truly cross-platform” - I cant say enough about this. One click build to any platform is insanely good.
So what specifically is wrong or would you like to see?