Over the past few years, interest in the Godot Game Engine has grown steadily, leading to the birth of an amazing user community and the emergence of new services related to this game engine.
I recently got in touch with the team of Game of the Month, a free platform for Godot game developers to easily share their games on the web. I asked Mikael Hernvall, CTO and founder of Macaroni Studios (the company behind Game of the Month), a few questions.
Enjoy the interview!
Hi Mikael! To break the ice, tell us something about yourself and your previous experiences.
Hi Davide! Glad to be here!
I’m Mikael Hernvall and I’m a game and software engineer from Sweden. The last couple of years I’ve been working at a tech startup called Macaroni Studios that me and my colleague Fritjof founded together, where I mostly develop the backend infrastructure and technologies of a games platform called Game of the Month.
I live a pretty humble life. I enjoy walking in the forest, scratching my dog’s tummy and of course code, code, code! Bonus points if I can do all three at once.
Let’s get straight to the point: what is Game of the Month, and how was it born?
Game of the Month (GotM) is a free platform for game developers making games in Godot. Its core focus is to give Godot gamedevs a place to easily share their games with players on all devices. Free of charge, no strings attached.
However, GotM started off as something completely different to what it is today. Back then, it was a place where the community could submit and vote on mobile game ideas each month. The winning idea would then be realized by a game studio. It’s an interesting idea, but for various reasons we dropped that project.
But in that process we learned how tricky it is for game developers to share their games with players, especially on multiple platforms such as mobile and desktop. That’s when we realized how powerful the web is. On the web, all you need is a link, and suddenly anyone can play your game instantly without even installing anything.
When we looked around to see existing web platforms, we either saw Flash (RIP) or broken mobile experiences. And don’t get me started on the loading times!
Since we weren’t satisfied with any existing platform, we decided to make one ourselves. At first we only used it for our own games. But we soon realized that maybe others would be interested too. And here we are!
How does Game of the Month work?
GotM is a website that hosts your game and makes it playable directly in your web browser. It’s designed to be very easy to use.
To upload a game, all you need to do is export your game and drag’n’drop the resulting pck-file into the web player. Your game will immediately start in your browser as a preview. If everything’s good, just click “Upload” and you’re good to go! When done, you’ll get a customizable link to your game that you can share anywhere.
Why did you choose Godot over Unity or other more used game engines?
In short, because Godot is the future. Godot is a far better fit for most gamedevs than Unity or Unreal. It’s productive and easy to get started with. And it’s completely free, of course.
Godot is the most powerful engine out there that produces games that can be played in a web browser with reasonable loading times. Unreal completely dropped web support a year ago, and has abyssmal loading times. Unity doesn’t support mobile web games… and has abyssmal loading times.
Of course, there are web engines like Construct. But Construct, along with the other engines, aren’t free. As they are proprietary engines, you’re left at the whims of the corporations behind these engines.
Since Godot is open source, we have and will continue to improve the engine for everyone’s benefit.
Why should game developers choose GotM to publish their games?
Anyone making games in Godot should use GotM because it allows you to very easily share your game with only a link. Since everything on GotM is made for Godot, you can expect your game to load faster and run faster than on any other web platform.
GotM can also provide features that non-Godot platforms can’t, such as detailed gamestats like “Which level in my game is most played?”, and various integrated features like leaderboards, multiplayer matchmaking, multiplayer server-hosting and remote playtogether. Perhaps one day GotM will even have an integrated Godot editor with live collab?
What can we expect for the future of GotM? Where do you see your project 5 years from now?
The ultimate goal of GotM is to close the gap between us gamedevs and our players. We see GotM as an extension to Godot itself.
We share their vision of providing you with tools so that you can just focus on making your game without reinventing the wheel.
That’s why most Godot gamedevs will use GotM in the future, because that’s where all the cool features are! In 5 years, you’ll see everything from quirky pixelart games made by a hobby gamedev in a gamejam, to big, complex 3D multiplayer games made by larger (dare we say AAA?) studios.
We also share Godot’s vision of “no strings attached, no royalties, nothing”. Your game is yours, plain and simple.
That’s why we plan to have a very generous revenue share, because the real value is your game and the experiences it gives players around the whole world. The platform is just a medium. We plan to enable your players to support you both directly and indirectly. In 5 years, you’ll see a plethora of successful gamedevs that earn a living from their games through GotM.
I take this opportunity for one last question: what advice would you give to aspiring game developers, and in particular to those who want to publish a game on GotM?
When it comes to game development, I would recommend aspiring gamedevs to use Godot and to keep their game idea focused. Base your game around one simple mechanic and do that mechanic well. Here’s an example game that we’ve made: https://gotm.io/macaroni-studios/ribbon
If you want to host your game on GotM, I recommend you to try it out first in the web player. Keep in mind that GotM is in beta, so if you encounter any issues, please tell us via Discord or email! Chances are that we’ll be able to solve your issue very quickly. We are a pair of humble gamedevs, just like you! 🙂