Defold Popularity - Discussion

Improving 3D support won’t impact 2D performance, and could in some cases could even improve it (eg. instancing & custom vertex formats). We want to make importing 3D content easier as well as providing a base PBR shader pipeline (as an extension likely) that should make it easier to get started with 3D projects. The core will stay mostly the same


probably I’ll organise a stream later this month.


I agree that we can promote this better, not exactly sure how to best do it.
Perhaps some changes on the website, but also more blog posts about our collaborations.

We don’t want to compete with that, we just want useful 3D.
You can do much with fairly standard functionality.

We won’t. Also remember that it always has been a full 3D engine (sprites are in 3D etc).
What we’ve lacked are better workflows for models and materials etc.

As mentioned, some improvements will help overall (e.g. shader includes)

Just to clarify: Candy Crush isn’t made with Defold (it uses an internal engine called Fiction Factory)

Re Target Audience:

As for the target audience I think we’ve been blessed in the way that the product is approachable for many users from beginners to professionals. We’ve always tried to simplify certain steps of game making to a) make them easier to work with, and b) also maintain a shippable game at all points throughout the development process.

At the start, Defold was a subscription model (back when all engines tried that). As such, it naturally targeted paying customers, which were more likely to be professionals.

Later when the engine was acquired by King, the money situation ofc improved and we could diverisify our efforts into all parts of the engine.
Now that we run things ourselves, we need to solve the financial situation on our own.
And in order to pay for 6+ full time developers, you need to target professional studios that are willing to pay for continued support.

With that also comes some extra focus on the needs of the paying customer. But I think that’s an good thing for us.
They can pay for the larger and more time consuming tasks.
And I’m happy to say that the things we do for our partners are directly put into Defold product (or extensions) and will benefit you all.

So to summarize, we’ve always targeted professionals, and we’ll need to continue to do so.
But, we won’t by any means exclude beginners from our target audience.
E.g. we want to continously improve our onboarding/learning materials. Or improve/simplify our toolset/workflows further. Remember, professionals need those materials too!


I actually have used some 3D features even in my 2D games. Rotating sprites around y axis, some 3d models, etc.

It will be interesting from a marketing point of view how to pitch the 3D functionality of defold. It’s going to draw in a lot of comparisons with full 3D engines.

I also wonder if Defold users think of defold as a 3D engine (when almost all the games I’ve see are 2D). More marketing effort could be made to raise awareness of the 3D aspects (in the case that you want to sell defold as a 3D engine).

With that said, it’s definitely possible to get better access to 3D functions without affecting those working in 2D.


I agree with @88.josh, what would make the most impact is marketing.

I knew of Defold because of Game From Scratch but I didn’t try it because, at that time, you had to upload your projects to build them and the license was different.

When that changed, several months have passed until I knew it happened. And it was again because of a GFS video.

This has been very detrimental to Defold’s popularity because made many people choose Godot or GameMaker over it.

In my case, I track the progress of many engines and I was looking for something performant and lightweight for web and mobile. I was about to go with Phaser until I saw that GFS video.

I see Defold as a “better” GameMaker/Construct, as a Löve2D-with-editor or as a cross-platform Phaser.

Just take a look at the most successful games made with GM, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have been made with Defold. And the same can be said about hundreds if not thousands of mobile games.

IMO it just needs a couple of popular games to start “rolling the snow ball” and a little bit more communication with “the community”.

I bet many of you have seen either photos or videos from a game and thought: “That’s very cool! Let’s search what engine was it made with…”.

In other words, it just needs cool s**t showcasing the engine’s strengths and replicate and spread this same sensation of curiosity.

Extra: I want to add that one of Godot’s secrets to their success is that they have an army of people going around on Youtube, Reddit, etc. talking about the engine.

“Godot this, Godot that”; “You should try Godot”; “Godot is better”; “Godot does the same but free AND OPEN SOURCE!”…

So yes, marketing marketing marketing.


Thanks for explaining, makes perfect sense. Perhaps, another target “audience” would be all those platforms that Defold can release/build for. I believe I saw in a few places Poki being a sponsor (podcasts, other?). I saw Defold in a list of compatible game engines on Facebook and decided to give it another go. The more they see that Defold is used to deliver profitable games on their or competitor platforms they could become partners, or help in other ways (promotions, sponsored game jams, etc).

About the website @mikatuo is right, to me defold site is a bit “cold”, it can be used by hobbyst and professionals, but looks more “corporate” than Indie/hobbyist, feeling less appealing!

Unity have an “boring corporate” feeling everywhere!

Godot’s website team are making several changes, and will do even more.

They know Godot isn’t an AAA engine and doesn’t needs to sell, so they advertise it with the main four advantages.
Free, Easy, Powerful and Friendly!


I definitely agree on this. This benefit is overestimated by Godot users, and the need for the source code modifications tends to be contrived, because in reality, most Godot users (which are hobbyists) don’t really need to build Godot from source. So, it’s certainly more about ideology rather than pragmatism which explains Godot’s so-called popularity and success.

I’ve actually contributed to Godot’s development myself in the past. I even wrote a book describing the reasons behind Godot’s alleged success: Waiting For Blue Robot. You can jump straight to Overview section and subsequent chapters in order to understand why this happens. Godot is like a shiny bubble which attracts novelty, and bubbles grow fast, but then they fail at achieving stability.

Since this topic is about Defold, I’d like to say that Defold is likely more popular among professional game developers in contrast, so I think Defold folks should cater to this audience more. Despite the fact that Defold has less features compared to Godot, it does have far more customization options out of the box, all without forcing users to compile Defold from source, and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.

Note to Godot users: I know that some of you won’t like what I say or share here about Godot, since I’m an ex-maintainer of Godot. Avoid ad hominem here, thanks.



Here and in other threads, there’s been a lot of talk about welcoming beginners, but what does beginner mean? Defold definitely has a cut-off for noobs. Potential users need to have some game dev skills to be able to get into Defold. Twine is an example of a game dev tool that nearly anybody can make a game with. Defold is not Twine. The Defold team needs to identify just how much knowledge/experience is required to learn the engine. I’ll suggest that a reasonable minimum is the equivalent of a (game dev) trade-school degree.

I also urge the engine/editor to make things easier for professionals, instead of noobs. Here’s an example:

The go.set and go.get functions are confusing because they have non-uniform parameters. In some of the functions, the URL comes first. In others the URL is last or nearly last. I’m always having to check which is which. Pick one way and stick with it. (yes, backwards compatibility, yadda yadda…) If a little of the team’s effort saves efforts of devs like me, then it’s worth doing!


If the editor had a more persistent tooltip as you’re filling in function parameters, that would alleviate most of this pain.

In Visual Studio, you can hit Ctrl + Shift + Space to bring up the parameter hint anytime you want. Defold shows it as soon as you type the function name, but once you make the parenthesis or hit Tab it disappears. This isn’t a big problem most of the time since it fills in the required arguments, but it falls down for functions like gui.animate that have several optional arguments. That’s when I’d love to be able to hit a shortcut to show the help tooltip again.


EDIT: To clarify my opinion, this doesn’t hold back popularity or adoption, but would be a nice quality-of-life improvement for pros who are used to the big IDEs.

What could really drive adoption? Some community-led tutorials or example projects that are fully done w/ camera, IAP, ads, leaderboards, achievements, etc… for iOS and Android. Defold is, IMO, the perfect tool for mobile games.


I agree that some website refresh would be great. wondering if there’s anyone currently already working on this?
If not, and if Defold is open to this kind of contribution, then I’d be interested to try to submit a proposition (I got some rough drafts that I think can be refined further).

*A bit of my background,
I’m still learning Defold but already a fan of this engine & its community. I’m a web builder and am just a hobbyist in game dev, but I did a few casual flash web games in the past.
My wife & I occasionally do FOSS projects for free on design and websites, eg: we did design & wp theme on audacity and ubuntustudio, about screen artwork for inkscape 1.0 and libreoffice 7.0, etc


Yes, we’re definitely open to this. The website is open source on GitHub ( I suggest we start this process either in a separate post here on the forum or in a GitHub issue. Let’s start by discussing the design changes you had in mind and, when everyone is in agreement, how to best implement them.


Thanks for the direction @britzl , i’ll check the repo and see what i can do

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Hello, I am a native Spanish speaker and I am thinking about creating tutorials and contents about Defold. My current idea is to create all of this content in Spanish, but I am wondering if English could be better option to attract more people to the engine.

The big issue here is that I don’t consider myself to be very good english speaker. I work as an Outsystems Developer, I can speak English, Everyday I do daily meetings with my clients in places like Netherlands, USA, etc and I have have participated in several Outsystems training bootcamps in English, people understand me, there are no complaints, still, I am not confident about creating content in English because the audience can be more bigger, and maybe I cannot transmit the information in a good way.

So I am here asking for your opinion, what do you think about new tutorials and content about Defold in Spanish?. There are many Spanish speakers in the world, so, this should be a good idea too.

Note: I am not an experienced Defold developer, but before Outsystems I learned about Java, and I know a little bit of SQL and Javascript, and i like Lua because it is so simple to understand, that’s why I like Defold.


I think you should create content in a language your most comfortable with. You will be more motivated to create content that way. And like you say, there are a lot of Spanish speaking people in the world!


We really appreciate more tutorials! And yes start with what ever you want, you can always translate it with AI as a starting point if you are doing text based tutorials :slight_smile:

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Actually I was thinking about creating a video together with a blog post explaining the same content. In the video I can explain the topics in more detail but for people who prefer reading, a blog post is a better option.

Not sure if this hybrid approach could work, but I will try and some experiments to see the results.

Does anyone from Defold team speaks Spanish to review and give feedback?

Thanks for your support


That’s a very good idea!

And don’t underestimate the power of subtitles! You can always add them to the video, in Spanish and in English. I have more views in videos with subtitles, even though I record all of them in English, so I try to consistently add them one by one :blush:
I don’t know about your spoken English (but if you speak daily in English you should be already really good), but written is really good, so additional subtitles in English would be useful! :wink:

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I’m Spanish so you’d already have 1 viewer :laughing:

Now seriously, record “language neutral” video and add audio later. If Spanish doesn’t have a big audience just create an English dub with translated audio.

This way you could have 2 videos without much effort.


My next goal is to learn Spanish, but I’m know at the step of learning French, but le français est difficile :sweat_smile: So it will take some time!

Nevertheless, Spanish is widely used and you would already have a wide possible audience :wink:

Additionally, Spanish is understandable to some degree by many Brazilians and there is a huge community around Lua and I believe a decent one around Defold as well.